How to Stop Doggy Digging

Do you have a dog who is digging up your yard or garden? We understand that this is a frustrating and destructive behavior that can lead to problems for you and your dog. As such, we want to provide some helpful tips and insights into how to stop doggy digging. Luckily, it might not be as hard as you think!

Two small dogs sit in a garden during summertime. How to stop doggy digging,

Why do dogs dig?

It might first be beneficial to understand why our canine companions dig at all. The short and simple answer is; it’s fun! Dogs love to bury or recover bones and toys, dig out prey like mice and rats, or make a nice cooling pit when the weather is warm. They also tend to dig when left alone for too long outside as a means to keep themselves occupied.

Either way, it’s important to know that digging is not a behavioral problem. It’s actually a very common and normal canine behavior that is instinctual to your dog. That being said, we understand your frustration! If you have an active digger on your hands, the best solution is to provide them an appropriate place to indulge their hobby. Here’s how to stop doggy digging!

What to do.

  1. Break the habit. Is your dog digging in all the wrong places? If so, prevent their access. Your dog won’t learn new ways while they still have free access to their old digs—digging is just too much fun! Prevention is better still, and easier. If your dog has yet to dig up the roses, don’t wait for them to discover how much fun it is. Teach them where to dig from day one.
  2. Supervise. Early on in training, don’t use the yard for alone-time. Give your dog ample time to learn where they are allowed to dig before you leave them out there unsupervised. Otherwise, it is too easy for them to make mistakes. (If you need to leave your dog alone, use a confinement area in the house. Give them plenty of chew toys for company!)
  3. Provide a digging area. Make a dig pit or use a large pot with loose potting soil. A dig pit can be a sandbox or a 3-by-6 foot area in your yard. Loosen about 2 feet of earth, and remove any nails, wires, or such. A little sand mixed in helps drainage when it rains. Then:
    – Let your dog see you barely hide a Kong or Nylabone or some other treasure they value. Encourage them to find the toy and praise them when they do.
    – Gradually cover the toys with more dirt every time you bury them. Keep praising!
    – Every now and then, hide something new and exciting to keep your dog coming back for more!

Extra tips.

We hope this helps your avid doggy digger keep their habit under control so you can keep your roses and your yard free of holes!