how to stop a dog from digging | Pupford

How to Stop a Dog from Digging

Tired of pulling your hair out trying to figure out how to stop a dog from digging?

It’s hard not to get angry with your furry best friend after finding them digging up your freshly cut grass or even attempting to dig into carpets or floors inside your home!

While digging is a natural behavior that stems from your pup’s survival instincts, it can get a little frustrating when it’s affecting the appearance of your home.

In this article, I’ll cover some sure-to-work-tips to stop or control your dog’s digging! ?

Causes of Excessive Digging & How To Stop a Dog From Digging

Knowing why your dog digs, is often the key to stopping them from digging!

So, let’s dive into possible reasons and how to fix them.

Boredom Can Cause Digging

Is your pup left alone for long periods of time throughout the day? If so, it’d be helpful to have some stimulation for them in order to distract them from digging or getting into trouble.

If your dog is bored, they are more likely to try to entertain themselves. Bored dogs can become destructive!

a bored white bulldog | Pupford

Here are some ideas to keep them occupied when you are not there to play!

  • Hide and seek treat games: Hide treats around the areas of the house where your dog is allowed to go.
  • Kong Wobbler toy
  • Bob-a-lot Interactive Toy
  • Give them a stuffed Kong with their favorite treats or peanut butter inside
  • If you leave your dog in the yard, leave toys and bones around that can keep him occupied. You can even throw a handful of food out that he can search for!

Here is a more extensive list of mind and puzzle game ideas.

If you plan to be gone for more than a few hours it’s a good idea to hire a dog walker or have a neighbor or friend come by to take them on a walk or throw the ball in the yard.

This is a great way to keep them active and prevent digging!

Training & Practicing To Decrease Boredom

happily home alone pup product image | Pupford

The Happily Home Alone Pup course is perfect for owners that want to learn how to train their dogs to be calmer and better behaved when left alone.

Enrolling in a training program or course is a great way for you to learn how to be proactive about different habits your dog can likely develop as they grow and experience different things. Practice what you learn daily, keeping your pup engaged and keeping yourself accountable for training them.

Lack of Exercise

a brown dog playing tug so it will stop dogging | Pupford

A tired dog is (usually) a good dog! How much exercise is your dog regularly getting?

Lack of exercise can be another cause of their digging habits. Depending on the age of your dog, you should make sure that you are giving them the right amount of time to exercise outside and even inside on a daily basis.

Walking your dog (even if it’s just a couple blocks) twice daily is a great way to help their behavior. If you have a backyard, playing a game of fetch or getting them to run around for 20 minutes per day will help!

Great ways to get your dog exercising more are….

  • Hikes
  • Long walks around the neighborhood
  • Games of fetch
  • Tug-of-war
  • Hide and seek (with or without treats depending on their motivation)
  • Play dates with other doggie pals
  • Kiddie pool swims

Keeping your dog interested, active and exercised (physically and mentally) will decrease the likelihood that they have enough energy or even time to dig!

Lack of Supervision

We get it, you can’t have eyes on your dog at all times (even though you’d probably love to!) but if your dog is unsupervised and bored for a long period of time then they are more likely to get into destructive behavior.

After putting in place the tips above, consider the following to ensure your dog stops digging!

Use Chicken Wire or Fencing

If you have a nice garden or specific area of your yard that you want to keep your dog from, it’s a good idea to block it off with some simple chicken wire or fencing. Putting this in place will prevent your dog from getting to that area and also train them not to go near it.

Build a Digging Pit!

using a digging pit to stop unwanted digging | Pupford

If you’d like your dog to still be able to dig, a good option is just to train them to dig in an area in which they will love to dig in! Similar to the tip above, a digging put is a simple solution! First, order off a specific area with rocks or a fence. Then go ahead and fill that area with sand or dirt, whichever your dog loves the most or what will be easiest for them to dig.

In order to train your dog to dig in the pit, start by putting some of their favorite toys hidden within the dirt. Encourage them to try and discover the toys, reward them when they do! They will already feel a sense of excitement and reward by digging and finding their toy.

One issue that can happen when you build the digging pit is that your dog may not understand that it’s okay to dig in one place and not in the entire yard. It’s important that you avoid this by introducing the digging pit to them while they are supervised.

If they go off and try to dig elsewhere, clap and get their attention over to the pit.

Redirecting them to the pit and encouraging them to dig there will help them understand that this spot is okay. If your pup isn’t interested in the pit, try hiding food or treats or putting the toys at a more shallow depth.

Recap to Stop Digging Dogs

a dog digging in the sand | Pupford

Training your pup to behave in acceptable ways for your home and family takes time. Be patient with your dog’s digging and remember that it is a natural and common habit.

By implementing the tips above and practicing training every day, you will be able to stop your dog’s digging in unwanted places!

Here is a quick recap of ways to stop a dog from digging ?

  • Avoid boredom
  • Give adequate exercise (physical and mental)
  • Train ‘home alone’ behaviors
  • Limit their freedom
  • Use fencing to close off common digging areas
  • Create a designated digging pit or box

How else have you been able to stop your dog from digging? Tell us in the comments below ?

Written by Devin Stagg

Since being deprived of dogs during his childhood, he and his wife decided to make up for it by having three dogs, two Lab puppies, and one grandpa Puggle. Meaning he is ALWAYS covered in dog hair. When he’s not busy training his dogs and/or picking up their poop, you can find him cheering on Tottenham Hotspur and the Cleveland Browns (yes, you read that right).

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5 Comments on “How to Stop a Dog from Digging

  1. Our dog thinks she is a hunter. She hates moles. Digging in random places we have mastered but when the hunt is on, it is bad. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  2. So far I still have a problem with him digging. I have tried putting big rocks in the holes he has dug with a piece of chicken wire over them before I cover the hole. I ALWAYS tell him that’s a NO-NO when I catch him digging or in a hole he dug. He just finds a different spot to dig.
    I live in FL and it gets hot, I know sometimes he digs to find a cool spot. He loves being outside, but I hate letting him out because of the digging.
    I can’t take him for walks like we used to do, due to a medical condition I now have with my lungs. I do play fetch but… He’s a 2 year old, 80+ # GSD!!!

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