Mon. Jun 24th, 2019

How to Train a Dog to Stop Digging

by  Lauren Peralta


Does your dog love to dig? Ever wonder why?  One of the most annoying habits that most canines have is their love for digging.  While this may seem to be a natural behavior, this is an annoying habit that can easily get on your nerves especially when you don’t want to see holes all over your garden or yard.

This odd behavior that we see in dogs actually makes sense when you look at it from a canine’s point of view. There are many reasons why dogs do it and it includes:

  • Fear –Dogs tend to dig in the yard when they fear something. This is their closest attempt to an escape.
  • Interesting Scent–When canines smell something interesting in the ground, they tend to dig the area close to that smell which means that you can find random holes in your backyard. Hunting dogs are also more prone to this kind of behavior.
  • Cool off –When dogs feel too hot, they could dig a hole in the soil under would feel much cooler than the one on top.
  • Mating Behavior–Female dogs love digging because of its part of the normal behavior for them.
  • Entertainment – Sometimes, dogs dig around because they are alone and it is an entertaining activity for them.

Preventing Dogs from Digging

While it may be alright for some to find holes in their yard, it can be quite irritating. It is important to let dogs know that their behavior is unacceptable and one way to achieve that is to train them not to dig.

The first step is to know why your dog is into digging holes in the backyard. It is important to know why your dog is doing it so you can address the issue properly.

It would be impossible to find the best way to train your dog if you don’t know why they are behaving the way they do. Once you have narrowed down the culprit behind such behavior. Here are the top suggestions to help with your dog’s behavior.

Create a safe environment for your dog

Since a lot of dogs dig because they fear something, the best way to address that behavior is to look for the kind environment that will foster a safe environment. You may want to have a dog house where your dog can cool off during a hot day. You should also try allowing your dog indoors more often especially when the temperatures are too extreme.

This way, you dog will not be forced to dig to feel secured. Proper diet modification could also work if your dog is not getting the right nutrition.

Discourage digging by adding chicken wire or rocks

If your dog is digging to find a means of escape, you will notice that there are holes near the fence or a wire. For this you will need:

  • Chicken wire
  • Large Rocks
  • Shovel


Step 1: Dig about one to two feet.

Step 2: Take the chicken wire and bury it under the fence.

Step 3: Bury the rocks partially on the ground.

Following these steps should mitigate your dog’s behavior. Aside from this, you should also look into working with your dog to correct this behavior. By doing this, you can get to the bottom of the problem and resolve the issue.

Have a digging zone

In some cases, dogs just love to dig holes and you can do nothing about it. If you want to be spared from the frustration of keeping your canines in line, the best method is to make a digging zone in the yard. This way, you wouldn’t worry that there will be random holes in the yard.

In making a digging zone for your dog, you will need the following:

  • Shovel
  • Sand or loose soil
  • Interesting items


Dogs that are just fans of digging are hard to discourage from such behavior as they can be pretty persistent about it. Good news is you always have the option to limit the space that they are allowed to dig in. This will be your designated dig zone, to make one:

– Step 1: Dig a small hole and pour sand or loose soil in the hole.

– Step 2: Bury toys in the hole.

– Step 3: When dogs do the digging in the designated area, praise them and give them a reward.

– Step 4: if your dog decides to dig another hole in an area outside of the zone, tell them “Stop digging” and bring them to the dig zone.


You can also do the steps outlined above such as burying rocks or a chicken wire to discourage canines to dig unacceptable areas.

If all of these steps fail you, it might be time to consult a professional to figure out what is wrong with your pet. It’s necessary to be attuned to your dog’ behavior since it says a lot about their needs.

Lauren is the founder of

Lauren is a young woman with a true passion for animals. She has kept many pets over the years and has intimate knowledge of their needs both emotionally and physically. She loves that her dogs keep her so active and satisfy her desire to spend lots of time in nature.

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