5 Effective Methods to Stop Dog from Digging

Sometimes dogs dig holes or chew things out of boredom or frustration.

Digging can cause damage to property or harm to other animals. Is there anything else I should know before tackling this problem?

Dogs love to play. But sometimes they get bored or frustrated without enough exercise.

They resort to digging at objects that give them satisfaction. This can include digging their way through the ground, chewing on items such as fences, and even gnawing off furniture.

If you notice your beloved pooch digging, don’t panic! There are ways to discourage this behavior and prevent further damage.

Keep reading to discover whether your dog has a behavioral issue and learn how to train the furry friend.

dogs digging sandPin
photo: freepik.com

Look to see where the dog might like to dig (i.e., yard, fence, etc.)

Not all digging is bad. When a dog is digging, it’s usually looking for soft dirt that’s easy to dig.

The furry friends can dig as a form of exercise, because they are bored, or even to find cool roots, bugs, and other goodies buried in the ground.

Dogs that dig may not be able to successfully bury their treasures and may leave them around the yard, which can be problematic for your garden or landscaping.

  • Digging Under a Fence?

You can’t blame the buddy for wanting to explore his surroundings.

After all, he doesn’t have any fences around him.

However, if you catch him digging under the fence, you may need to put an end to his curiosity.

A simple solution is to place small stones along the side of the fence, making it harder for the dog to dig underneath.

dog fencePin
Metal Fireplace Fence

You’re not likely to solve this problem by scolding your pet.

It may just think you’re mad at it. But if it persists in trying to escape, you might consider using a shock collar.

These devices deliver low levels of electric current to the pet when it gets too close to the fence.

  • Pick a spot for the dog to dig!

Choose an area for the pet to dig – at least temporarily. Keep this area appealing by burying safe items (e.g. chew toys) for them to find.

If the furry friend digs there, give it a reward like a cookie or vocal praise!

But if they start digging in an inappropriate place, call them to you and encourage them to go back to the right place!

Provide the Dog With Toys

Imagine yourself trapped in a yard all day long with nothing to do. You would go crazy.

So, rather than let them amuse themselves by digging, you should provide them interactive toys: tether tuggers, treat dispensing balls, and an automatic ball thrower.[1]

Each kind of toy is designed to fulfill a specific need.

For example, treat dispensing balls are great because the dog gets to exercise its mouth muscles while it plays with them.

Tether tuggers are useful for pets that like to pull on strings. Automatic ball throwers are perfect for dogs that dig holes.

Giving your beloved pooch toys will help keep it occupied and happy.

Two Iron Gray PuppiesPin
Shepherd Puppies 4302

Can the dog be taught not to dig?

You might train your dog using clicker training, shaping, or positive reinforcement.

Depending on your needs, there are “different tools” available:

  • Clicker training is effective because it works well with dogs who aren’t very motivated. Every time your pet performs an action, you should give it a treat. When they repeat the behavior, you should “click”. This will help reinforce the desired behavior and teach the pet to do it again. Clicker training is a great tool to teach the dog basic commands like sit, stay, come, down, etc. [2]
  • Shaping is a method of teaching dogs to behave in a certain way. It involves breaking down “a complex behavior” into smaller, easier steps. For example, if the furry friend wants to go out, you may teach him to walk towards the door, then sit, then wait at the door while you unlock it. If he does not understand what you’re asking, he might get confused and give up. [3]

In our case, the most important commands are “stop” and “place”.

Bonus trick: Spray your furry friend with water every time he digs. He’ll get the message and won’t dig anymore.

Buy a Dog House?

Your pet will be happy if you provide it with a safe place to retreat when the weather warms up.

It may like to dig holes or burrow for the same reasons mentioned above.

If it digs, keep it away from your garden or other plants, especially those that could cause harm or irritation.

You should provide your buddy with a clean, dry, secure, and well-ventilated area to lie down in.

Also, give it access to fresh water in a dish that cannot be tipped over!

dog housesPin
Large Dog Houses

Have some fun with the furry friend

Use a dog pool to cool off the pet during the hot summer months — you’ll both stay cooler.

A simple plastic swimming pool works well, but any large enough container will do.

Place the container and water in an area where the dog likes to spend time, like under a tree or near a shady spot in the yard.

Give the dog access to the pool if it wants to swim, but keep it away from other dogs and pets to prevent injuries.

Shepherd DogPin
Dog Swimming Pool

Do certain dog breeds dig more?

Some breeds are more likely to dig than others. These include the Jack Russell Terrier, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute Beagle, Miniature Schnauzer …

Is digging a natural behavior for dogs?

That’s right. But digging isn’t always about reaching something under the surface. If you’re walking through a park and notice the pet digging, don’t get upset. It probably just wants to play!

Should I discourage my dog from digging?

There are several dangers associated with digging that you should keep in mind if you own the dog. For example, digging could cause the furry friend to escape from the yard, damage your lawn, expose him to bacteria and parasites that thrive in the soil, and even lead to injury. If you notice any of these problems, it is best to encourage the buddy to stop digging until he heals.

Final Word

In conclusion, don’t worry – if the dog digs, it doesn’t necessarily mean it wants to hurt itself or anyone around it.

Simply set up some boundaries around the yard so it won’t stray from its own space.

And remember that being bored or frustrated isn’t always a bad thing; it just means that the buddy needs some exercise!


My name is Alen Stefanovic, and I am the founder and administrator of the website "Awesome Sarplaninac". As an economist-trade manager, and web designer, I have a passion for the Sarplaninac breed (number 1 dogs for me). My father has been breeding these dogs since 1990, and through the website, I aim to share valuable information about nutrition, care, and training for both puppies and adult dogs. Whether you're a new or experienced owner, you'll find plenty of helpful tips and resources on the site. Welcome to "Sarplaninac FCI 4302", and I wish you a pleasant stay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *