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Dog Digging – Dig Yourself Out of a Hole

Dog Digging Answers – Effective Ways to Stop Your Dog From Digging

dog-digging-how-to-train-a-new-dogDog digging. Is your dog digging holes in your yard, tearing up your flower bed, garden, or grass? Are you struggling to understand why your dog keeps digging and what you can do to put a stop to it?

There’s got to be a reason!

Understanding the reason behind dog digging will help you in finding the appropriate solution. So, lets start with the most common reasons behind dog digging:

Dog Digging – Your Dog is Outside and it’s Hot!

It’s hot and your dog is outside. And he’s digging along the border of your house, near your home’s foundation, or near your patio. The reason? Your dog is digging and trying to use the cooling effects of the damp earth (dirt) to get away from the heat.


You’ve just watered your beautiful garden, grass, or any patch of earth in your yard and afterwards noticed a large hole where your freshly watered plants or grass used to be. Again, it’s your dog digging to try to get some much needed relief from the heat.

  • Take measures to make sure your dog has a cool, shady, or covered pen area plus a large water bowl, with plenty of water and chew toys.
  • Put your dog in your patio, if it’s covered. Again, supply a large water bowl with plenty of water and chew toys.
  • Make your own cool frozen dog treats, (it’s easy). Frozen dog treats are like popsicles for your dog and will keep your dog cooler, hydrate him, and give him something fun to do that doesn’t expend much energy.
  • Get a dog pool (especially durable and designed for dogs) and fill it with lots of cool water. Let your dog splash around. You will find your dog gets tired and gets wet. The added benefit is not only will your dog will be cooler, but be slightly cleaner after he’s done splashing around in his pool.

Dog Digging – Your Dog’s Frustrated and Has Nothing Better to Do.

Your dog is bored. Doesn’t have enough distractions, toys, or a very small yard.

  • Take your dog on some very long walks – at least twice a day. Play fetch, teach your dog to walk slowly on a treadmill, take your dog to the dog park, or on an outing, the idea is to get your dog tired.
  • Get your dog some toys that will help with boredom.
  • Get some fencing and fence off the area you don’t want your dog getting into.

Dog Digging – Your Dog’s a Natural Born Digger

It’s true, some dogs are bred to dig or to burrow and some dogs are bred to dig out animals. Examples of  dogs who like to dig are Huskies, Malamutes, Hounds, and Jack Russell Terriers (just to name a few). Preventing digging in these breeds is harder and usually takes longer.

  • Use Poultry Netting (coated netting that doesn’t rust) and bury it anywhere you don’t want your dog to dig. A few times of digging when you have put netting down and your dog will not dig in the areas you have filled with netting.
  • If you have access to a dog park or a dog beach, take your dog to the park or beach and let him dig. After your dog has learned by repetition that there are safe places to dig, he will be more likely to dig in those areas and less likely to dig in your yard.
  • Create a sandbox for your dog. Establish an area your dog can dig. A sandbox with toys works well.
  • Fence offthe areas such as your garden you don’t want your dog in.
  • Since the urge to dig is so strong in some breeds, and if nothing else works try a training collar. However, you will need to watch when your dog digs and be able to correct them when it happens. This option will work rapidly (using vibration) to correct your dog’s digging behavior.

Dog Digging – My dog buries his toys outside.

  • If your dog is burying his toys, bones, or any other man-made items in your yard, the best way to stop this behavior is usually very simple. Only let your dog play with his toys inside and remove toys, bones, etc, from your yard. If you want your dog to play with toys outside, just take the toys inside when your done playing with your dog.
  • If you have moved all of your dog’s toys inside and your dog continues to try and bury “things” outdoors, then please see below about how to take care of holes in your yard.

Dog Digging – You have a Female or Male Dog that is Not Been Spayed or Neutered and is digging along a fence line.

Your dog is looking for a mate and digging to get out and find one.

  • If your dog has not been fixed and has tried to dig their way out of a fence, then this behavior will most likely not go away no matter what else you try. Please take your dog to the vet and get them fixed. As soon as possible. Getting your dog spayed or neutered will not only calm your dog, in time it will get rid of their urge to dig out of your yard to try and find a mate.

I’ve got Holes in my Yard, Now What?

The  methods that work best are:

1. Fill the hole up with gravel or rocks. Go down at least 8 inches or more. This will work to deter your dog’s digging in that spot.

2. Use poultry netting. Measure the size of the largest hole your dog has ever dug for a reference. Cut a piece of netting to the length of the hole and add a few inches to the length and width. Next, bury the wire at least 4 inches or more below the surface of where your dog is digging, cover with dirt, and pack the earth down. You can also put gravel on top of it, as a measure of added protection. When your dog tries to dig where the netting was buried, the wire grating against his paw pads and nails will prevent him from wanting to dig in that area again. Most dogs will get the message quickly and no longer want to dig in other areas of the yard, however, be prepared, some stubborn diggers may require you to fix all of the holes in your yard before the digging stops.

3. Use poultry netting along your fence line. Cut the netting to the length of your fence. Secure the netting to the fence (along the inside of the fence) with staples. When the netting gets to the ground, keep going vertically a short distance underground 8 inches or less. Make sure the netting forms an “L” shape. Bury the horizontal netting underground inside the fence line, pointing the netting away from your fence. When your dog tries to dig along the fence line his weight on the earth where the netting is buried will help keep the netting in place and prevent your dog from digging out underneath the fence.

4. Make a sandbox, fill it with sand, and let your dog dig away. This way, you will not have to worry about your dog digging all over your yard. Take your dog out to the sandbox area, provide toys and treats buried just below the surface or let them stick out just a little. Your dog will literally have to dig for them. After your dog is done digging, take him back inside. This works well to retrain your dog as to where digging is allowed.

Address dog digging when it happens, be consistent with training and take steps to prevent digging. Dogs need to be trained not to dig. If you happen to have a dog who digs, by addressing dog digging and the reasons your dog may be digging, you can figure out a way to stop the behavior and keep your garden, grass, and dog in check.