How to Stop Your Dog From Digging Up Your Yard!
13 July, 2016

Most dogs love to dig holes.  It is part of their behavioral make up as they don’t see digging holes as bad behavior.  And, of course, the first place your dog will start to dig is your back yard.  It is important to stop your dog from digging right away or he or she is likely to continue doing it!

Determine why your dog is digging

Try to determine why your dog is digging in the first place.  Your dog may just like it or he might be bored and looking for attention. He could also be trying to dig his way out of the yard. Dogs can be attracted to digging in fresh dirt, mulched dirt or fertilized dirt. He could be trying to dig a den a hole for shelter, especially in hot weather. He could also be using the hole he digs as food storage.  If you find out the cause, it is easier to determine how to stop your dog from doing so.

Always be consistent in stopping the digging

Be consistent in your training and encourage everyone in your family to do the same. Use positive reinforcement for good behavior, rather than punishment (as always!)  If your dog starts to dig a hole, make sure to give him a warning that this is not the accepted behavior.  Bring him inside and if your dog goes outside again and does not dig, reward him or her with a treat or favorite toy.

Avoid dog bones (at least temporarily)

If your dog likes to chew bones and then heads outside to dig them in your yard, it might be time to give up the bones.  At least temporarily.   Try giving your dog a chew toy instead.  Once he stops the digging, you can give him bones, which is he allowed to only eat inside your home.

Keep your dog inside if you work in the garden

If your work outside in the garden, try keeping your dog inside so that he or she does not think your ‘digging’ is an acceptable behavior.  Dogs love to be close by us and  your dog just might want to mimic the behavior.

Give your dog an area where he’s allowed to dig

If you can give your dog an area where he’s allowed to dig, this will be your dog’s favorite option. Add soft sand to the designated area. Bury toys and treats in the sand and encourage your dog to dig there. Praise him when he digs in the right spot. Some dogs dig to avoid the heat. If this is your dog’s reason for digging, move your dog to a shaded area where he can escape the sun and cool down.

With consistent training and positive reinforcement, your dog should stop digging up your yard! If your dog is digging or destroying your furniture, read this:  Dog Destroying Furniture!


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