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How to stop a dog from digging?

October 15, 2022


Are you one of those dog owners who are annoyed by seeing your yard full of holes because your dog keeps on digging on it? Well, you are not alone, many dog ​​owners have the same problem. It seems that no matter how many times you try to discourage your dogs from digging, they still keep doing it.

In this post we will discuss the most common prevention methods to stop a dog from digging and the dog breeds that are more prone to have this behavior.




How to stop your dog from digging?


Digging can be one of the most common problem behaviors that owners encounter, no matter how much you do to prevent it, some dogs are quite stubborn. However, this problematic behavior can be fixed by doing some prevention methods such as not leaving your dog outside, increasing exercise, removing outside toys or keeping an eye on the temperature. Let’s dive a little bit deeper into each of these common prevention methods to stop your dog from digging.


1. Don't leave your dog outside


Most dogs love being outside, but it's not possible for dog owners to spend all day, every day outside in the yard with their dogs. Instead, owners sometimes let their dogs out to play on their own for part of the day.

Unfortunately, left on their own, dogs will often find a way to entertain themselves. For many dogs, this means digging holes all over the yard. The best way to start improving it is to only allow your dog to be outside when you can be supervising.


2. Exercise and Playtime


Dogs often dig in the yard because they are angry or bored. They need play time with you and exercise to end boredom. Plan to spend at least an hour (more for high-energy dogs) with your dog each day. There are several activities you can do with your dog that allow him to socialize, exercise, and receive mental stimulation. These activities include:

  • Take your dog for a walk.
  • Play a game of fetch or tug-of-war.
  • Do several training sessions every day.
  • Participate in dog sports.
  • Take your dog to the dog park.

All of these activities help dogs to burn some energy and get tired, so your dog won't feel the urge to burn off energy by digging in the yard.


3. Don't Allow Toys Outside


Many dogs feel compelled to bury their possessions. If you allow your dog to bring toys, bones, or other objects outside, he may dig in an effort to hide them. The best way to deal with this is to prevent your dog from taking these toys outside. 


Only allow toys outside if you use them to interact with your dog. Things like Frisbees or balls are great for you to play with your dog. You can also allow your dog to play with his toys outside when you are there to supervise.


4. Keep an Eye on the Temperature


Some dogs only dig when the weather is warm. They dig a hole to provide a cool place to lie down. Be sure to give your dog a shady spot in the yard during the warmer months, and don't leave him outside for long periods when the temperature is high.


5. Offer an alternative digging site


Some breeds are natural-born diggers. They could feel quite sad if they are not allowed to do their instinctive dog activities. In addition, most dog digging problems are often difficult to control. Instead of letting your dog choose where to dig, why not decide for him?


All you need to do is create an area where it is acceptable for the dog to dig in such as a plot of ground or a children's sandbox. A digging zone or digging pit is another possible solution to a dog’s digging problem.


What dog breeds are likely to dig the most?


Digging is often a natural and instinctive behavior for dogs, but certain breeds are more likely to do it than others. If your dog has a habit of digging at things, then that could result from any number of factors: boredom, genetics, training, and personality.

Here are the top 10 dog breeds that love to dig:

  1. Dachshund
  2. Jack Russell Terrier
  3. Cairn Terrier
  4. Siberian Husky
  5. Alaskan Malamute
  6. Bedlington Terrier
  7. Beagle
  8. Miniature Schnauzer
  9. Smooth Fox Terrier
  10. Airedale Terrier

However, this doesn't mean that all dogs who dig are of one breed, it all depends on your dog's specific situation.




To get your dog to stop having this bad habit, you need to be patient and persistent. These were just a few of the prevention methods to avoid your dog from digging your yard, your attitude and how you discipline your dog plays an important role in this process. Always remember to not discipline your dog with physical or harsh punishments. Opt for positive reinforcement and remember to reward your dog for good behavior. 


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