How to Get Your Dog to Stop Digging Holes in the Yard

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Digging Holes in the Yard

Do you know how to get your dog to stop digging? Dogs love to dig whether that’s in your garden or under the fence in your backyard. This behavior can damage your landscaping, resulting in costly repairs. If your dog is digging under an outside fence, there is the added risk that they may be able to get loose into the neighborhood. Naturally, we want to stop our dog from digging holes, but how?

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How to Get Your Dog to Stop Digging

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Digging

Sometimes they seem so determined that despite our best efforts to change their behavior, they just won’t stop. Here are a few tips that we’ve had luck with when faced with a dog that loves to dig.

Dogs dig for one of a few reasons. They may be bored and looking for something interesting to entertain themselves. They may be in search of prey or something tasty to eat. Or, they may want to get out of somewhere they don’t want to be, or they may only want attention.

Keep them entertained

Dogs are like children, if they aren’t entertained, you run the risk of bad behavior.  Be sure you aren’t leaving them alone in the backyard for a long time with no attention. Do they have playmates? Are there toys for them to play with?  When was the last time they went out a good, long walk to release some energy? Certain breeds are just more likely to dig based on their nature (terriers, shepherds).

Try to limit prey

Is your dog hunting prey? Do they appear to be digging up your flower bulbs or is their digging focussed on one area of the yard? Use safe, humane ways to keep pests out of your yard to discourage your pet from their natural prey instinct. Never use any methods in your yard that may be harmful to your pets.

Provide comforting areas

Is your dog digging for comfort? Do they want a place to roll around in the cool dirt? Are they trying to get out of the wind, rain or the sun? Be sure they have somewhere to go to get out of the elements like a comfortable dog house with a constant supply of fresh, cold water in a bowl that won’t tip over.

Give them attention

If your dog is bored and wants attention, they may dig to get out. Be sure you let them in the house to be with the rest of the family. Go for long walks and play fetch. Be sure to praise them for good behavior.

Digging deterrents

If they insist on digging even after using these tips, you may need to invest in some digging deterrents. There are dog repellents you can use in certain areas of your yard. Or you may want to consider these training collars.

How to stop a dog from digging under a fence

If your dog is digging to get out of the yard, find out where they are going. Is there a dog in the neighborhood? Is their environment safe and fun for them? Bury a chain link fence two to three feet below the surface of the ground to discourage them from digging out.

Now that you know how to get your dog to stop digging, which of these methods will work best for you?


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Ellen is a busy mom of a 20-year-old son and 25-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She has been running a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont for the past three years. She’s a proud Mommy to 2 shelter kitties. If you’d like to work together, email info@other-peoples-pets.com to chat.