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How to Stop a Dog from Digging

Sonia Nair Nov 4, 2018
Canines are infamous for their digging instinct. Here are some tips to stop your dog from digging.
For most dog breeds, digging is an instinctual activity. They love to dig for various reasons. While some dogs dig as they get bored, some others want to cool themselves on the mud. It can be a natural instinct for certain dog breeds like Border Collies, terriers, gun dogs and Dachshunds.
Digging may also be done out of curiosity, to find some critters, to chase rodents, to store food, to seek your attention, to escape, or to regulate body temperature.
It has been observed that this behavior is mostly seen in dogs, which are left in the yard for a longer time; dogs without any playmates and playing options like toys; dogs of some specific breeds, etc. Whatever may be the reason, they may spoil your garden, lawn or landscape in this process of digging.
So, it is better to understand the reason behind this behavior, before starting preventive and deterrent methods. There are two options for discouraging a dog from digging. You can try some methods to entertain and engage the dog, so as to prevent boredom. Otherwise go for measures to deter the dog from such activity.

Avoid Punishment

Some people resort to punishment for deterring dogs from digging. However, punishment may not be a good idea, as the dog may tend to repeat digging in your absence. Otherwise too, it is better to opt for some other methods, rather than hurting the animal.

Provide Entertainment

One method to make your dog stop digging is by providing the animal with alternate entertainment options. You can make your dog exercise with walks, runs and games. You may also bring some toys, which can be entertaining for the animal. Provide then with tasty chew toys, when you are out of the home, so as to distract the dog from digging.

Train the Dog

A little bit of dog training can work wonders. You can train him to stop digging. Show your displeasure, when he digs holes in the garden or lawn. Make him understand that you are the boss and he must obey your commands.

Use Deterrents

If your dog likes to dig specific areas, you can use certain deterrents to discourage the animal.
  • Sprinkler: You can use sprinklers to stop a dog from digging. You may either start the sprinklers as the dog enters the lawn or the area it digs, or install motion detected sprinklers, which release water in full pressure, once the animal enters the area.
  • Pepper Powder/Citrus Peel: Spray ground pepper powder, as this can deter the dogs from entering that place. Citrus peels may also work instead of pepper powder. Some dogs are averse to their own poop. In such cases, put some dog poop to deter the animal.
  • Inflated Balloons: Inflate some small balloons and bury them in those places where your dog likes to dig. The balloons will pop up when the dog digs the place. This may prevent him from digging the place again.
  • Chicken Wire/Stones/Sticks: Fill the holes (made by the dog) in the lawn or garden, with mulch, sticks, or pine needles. Placing a chicken wire (beneath the surface) and concealing it with mud may also work. You may also use flat rocks and sticks for this purpose.

Set Up a Fence

It will be an equally good idea to set up a fence to prevent the dog from entering the garden and dig holes. Dogs who want to escape may also dig near fences. In that case too, you can bury chicken wire beneath the fence or bury the fence more deeply. Apart from that, place some large rocks or stones along the base of the fence.
You must also try to get rid of rodents, as dogs have a natural instinct to chase them. Such chasing may end up in digging rodent holes. Some dogs may start digging to imitate their owner. So refrain from tilling soil in front of your dog. If the said measures fail to stop your dog from digging, then it is better to demarcate some areas as digging regions.
However, you have to make the dog understand where they are allowed to dig. These are some of the simple and effective ways to stop your dog from digging. You can adopt any of these mentioned methods for this purpose and save your garden, lawn or landscape from getting spoiled.