How to Stop Dogs from Digging?

If you have tried so many tricks but still haven’t been able to find the best way to keep your dogs from digging, you’ve come to the right place. We will tell you the reasons why they dig. Knowing the reasons, you can easily figure out how to stop dogs from digging.

dog digs hole

Understand Why They Are so Keen About Digging?

Digging is a natural behavior, as it is an act to survive. Dogs are bound to dig if they have the opportunity, especially when they are left unattended outside. After they are done entertaining themselves, they will turn to digging for some fun and exercise. To discourage your dog from digging, keep them busy. Challenge them in some sports that will require mental and physical agility. You can also supervise your dog. It is nice to exercise your dog until he gets very tired.

If your dog loves to play with other dogs, allow him. Keeping them occupied will make them use their excess energy and will prevent them from digging as well. For dogs who keep on digging even though their needs are met, the best way is to keep them indoors when unsupervised.


The reasons why we love our dogs are because of their fun nature and curiosity. Our pet friend brings a lot of happiness into our lives, but problems like excessive digging may put a strain on the relationship between the owner and the dog itself. You may find it so irritating to see a mountain of dirt in your yard every day. Most people see this as a nuisance. What you need to understand is that digging is encoded on their genes way back to their forefathers. I insist again that digging is their natural behavior.

how to stop dogs from digging

Reasons Why a Dog Digs

This made you so eager to know the ways to stop dogs from digging. Whatever the reasons why your dog digs, always remember that this behavior is vital to dogs. You must observe your dog to know the reasons why he digs so you can find a way to prevent it.

  • One of the reasons why they are digging is simply because they like it.
  • Another reason for digging is to grab your attention.
  • He may be bored and he just wants to dig because it can stimulate him mentally and physically.
  • Dogs like to dig anywhere especially on freshly turned dirt like a bed of flowers. The scent of compost is tempting to some dogs and they find it so attractive.
  • They dig because they want to have a shelter like in the wild where they can cool down or warm up.
  • Some breeds are prone to digging more than the other breeds.
  • Sometimes they dig for hunting for some insects that live in your garden.
  • Lastly, they dig for the purpose of storing food.

Dogs dig for certain reasons but these are the breeds that have this habit written in their genes.

  • Dachshund
  • Cairn terrier
  • Bedlington terrier
  • Jack Russell terrier
  • Beagle
  • Basset hound
  • Miniature schnauzer
  • Alaskan malamute
  • West Highland
  • Siberian husky

These dogs are very comfortable with digging and will keep doing it if they have an opportunity. These breeds have been genetically selected because of their desire to dig. Nature has predisposed certain breeds to the love of dirt under their nails. Some dogs just want to get down and dirty by digging. Dogs love to explore new places and to sniff things, too.

How to Stop a Dog from Digging?

The moment you are sure why they dig, you need to stop it with the help of techniques that are proven to be effective. Here is a list on how to stop a dog from digging.

  1. Channel your dog’s energy into something positive. Give your dog exercises to stimulate him physically and mentally and to burn his energy off at the same time. Provide your dog with regular walks, playing, running and training. It will give you a better chance of stopping the digging problem. Exhaust your dog with all of the activities to prevent him from digging and destroying your yard.
  2. If your dogs are always digging because they like to bury bones, don’t give them one. Give your pet some chews that he will eat instead of bones. You can also buy him a busy ball that dispenses treats. It will surely keep your dog’s body and mind active for it is a challenge and an exercise at the same time.
  3. Blow up some balloons and bury them in the area where your dog loves to dig. Once he strikes a balloon, the noise of it may startle your dog and it may be enough to stop your dog from digging.
  4. Restrict your dog when you are not around to look after him. Put him indoors every time you are out or until you resolve his digging problem.
  5. Every time you see your dog digging, reproof him by spraying water into his face. You must do this every time you see your dog digging for this method to be successful.
  6. Bury some chicken wire into the area where your dog loves to dig. He will not like the feeling of the wire scraping against his paw.
  7. This may not sound nice, but it is a very popular and effective way to keep dogs from digging. Fill up the holes that your dog created with their feces. It will discourage your dog and it will not attempt to dig again. Some trainers encourage the owners to feed pineapple to their dogs before using this technique.
  8. Confine your dog every time you are doing things in your garden because dogs have a tendency to follow the actions of their owner.
  9. If you have enough space, provide your dog a place where he is free to dig. Encourage your dog to dig in the area that is assigned to him.
  10. If you see your dog digging under your fence, fill up all the holes in and under the fence. By doing this, you are taking away the visual temptation from your dog.
  11. Try to visit your local pet shop and find some commercial products that can help with your digging problems. They are very effective and worth a try.
  12. Provide your dog with tasty chew toys every time you are away from home.
  13. Dogs like to dig because they are hunting prey like rats, moles, and gophers. Eliminate the pets but don’t use poison to kill them for it can kill your pet too.

Things to Avoid When You’re Trying to Stop Your Dog from Digging

If you catch your dog digging and you want to stop him from doing so, there are things you should never do.

  • Taking revenge against your dog is not advisable at all. One of the most common forms of this act is making your dog sit next to the hole that they dug for a very long time. It will solve nothing, and it will only make your dog anxious.
  • Drowning your dog with water will only worsen your dog’s behavior. This act will never stop dogs from digging.
  • Punishing your dog will worsen the situation. It will only worsen his digging activity and it will make him anxious as well.

You, Your Dog and Digging

Never Give Him Any Physical Punishments

Find ways on how to keep dogs from digging. Remember the basic dog obedience rules in correcting the behavior of your dog. If your dog trusts and respects you all the time, then he is very eager to please you too. Just don’t use physical punishment while teaching your dog, for it which will only damage the trust of the dog towards you. This will only lead to the development of more serious behavioral problems. Never use extreme physical force towards your dog when you discipline them.

Clearly, Communicate Your Commands to Him

When you attempt to change the behavior of your dog, always remember to be consistent. Make it very clear to your dog what behaviors are acceptable and those that are not. Digging is natural for dogs, and you will find it difficult to stop this. Dogs are very intelligent and they are able to grasp easily what you are trying to teach them, so communicate with them in an effective manner. Overtime and with a proper supervision, attention, and exercise, this will surely help him forget all of his digging activities.

Keep Him Engaged

The best way to stop your dog from digging is to spend time with him and provide some activities where he can release all of his energy. Stay on top of your dog until the problem is solved. These two things alone will do wonders. If everything else fails, supervise him outdoors and during bathroom breaks to make sure that he is not digging.

Be His Pack Leader

You are the answer to your dog’s needs. Be the pack leader. This is a position where respect is awarded to you for the way you handle them. You won the respect of your dog and it is his way to show their affection towards you. Use it wisely and train him properly on how to quit his digging behavior. Always see to it that the mental and physical needs of your dog are met. Digging is not a bad behavior. It just becomes annoying when your dog is digging on that unwanted certain area. Finding proper ways will solve all your problems against the digging dog. It is easier to solve the problem if you happen to know the reasons why.


Your Time, Patience and Training Will Do Wonders

Stopping your dog from digging is not an easy task, especially if this behavior has been going on for a while. With your time, patience and a little bit of training, you are on your way to having a dig free dog. Digging is inevitable but by tending to the needs of your dog, you can reduce the inappropriate digging behavior. By observing their behavior, you will be able to know how to keep your dog from digging.

The Bottom Line

Whatever the reasons are why your dog digs, avoid punishing them. It will not solve the problem but will worsen any digging behavior that is motivated by anxiety or fear. Digging is a normal trait of a dog. Dog experts claim that digging is a behavior that is adapted normally as it is in the wild. Stopping them from doing their natural function is not good for their health and well-being too. If you have enough time, train your dog. It is the best way on how to keep a dog from digging because it will fix the source of the problem and your dog will stop digging even when you are not around. If you have done this and your dog keeps on digging, don’t lose hope.


4.7 by 3 votes
Affiliate Disclosure

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.