• Dogs
  • How To Prevent Dogs From Digging

How To Prevent Dogs From Digging

By John DoeLast update: 2023-07-20

It's important to understand that if your dog is leaving craters all over your yard, it's unlikely that they are doing it out of spite or a desire to wreck your landscaping; rather, they are probably doing it because they are looking for entertainment, attention, comfort, escape, prey, or protection. Here are some ways to prevent dogs from digging.

How to Prevent Dogs From Digging

Before correcting the habit, it's critical to understand why your dog is digging, whether it's to create holes all over your yard or an escape route beneath the fence. Some pet owners are only attempting to comprehend the odd, perhaps irrational-appearing digging activity. Several people are frantically attempting to rescue their garden. Yet more people want to prevent their dog from slipping under the fence. Although there are various reasons why your dog could be digging, the first step in controlling the behavior is knowing the fundamentals of why dogs dig. And below are some ways to prevent dogs from digging.

Provide a sandbox

Providing a sandbox is the first way on the list of ways to prevent dogs from digging. Certain breeds are digging creatures by nature. Digging is an innate activity that dates back to the wild ancestors of our dogs. Several hunting dogs, including terriers, beagles, and dachshunds, were developed with the purpose of digging prey out of their burrows.

To satisfy your dog's demand for digging, behaviorists from the Humane Society of the United States advise offering a sandbox. In order to draw him to his new playground, bury a bone in the sand. Say "No digging!" and lead him to the sandbox if you see him digging elsewhere other than the designated area. His previous digging locations can be made unsightly by temporarily covering them with pebbles or mesh wire.

Keep your dogs out of the area

Is your dog concentrating his digging efforts in one area of your yard? If he can't access it, he can't dig up your grass or flower bed. Setting up a fence around your dog's favorite digging site is the simplest approach to prevent access.

Depending on your yard, you may customize how you do this. You may separate off the yard by fencing off the lawn by securing the patio fence to poles with zip ties. Get an outdoor baby gate for your porch stairs as an alternative. Your dog will be unable to descend to the grass below if you do this. Dogs are frequently discouraged from digging in vegetable gardens and flowerbeds by fencing.

The breed of dog you want to keep out should be taken into account while choosing a fence option. A pug will probably be kept out by a tiny fence. German Shepherds and other more athletic dogs need a fence that is significantly taller since they can jump up to 6 feet.

When in doubt, get the highest fence you can. While fencing off your yard may require some ingenuity, the outcome is worthwhile because your dog won't be able to reach his favorite digging location.

Set up a shoring-up perimeter

What if you could put a halt to your dog's digging by making a barrier in the ground? You can, in fact, do that. To install it, all you need is a roll of chicken wire and an afternoon. Often, this wire mesh is used to prevent hens from stomping in food gardens. Yet dogs can use it just as well.

The chicken wire should be spread out flat. To prevent your dog from digging through it, pin it down. If you don't like the way it looks, cover it with a thin layer of dirt.

Your dog won't be able to scratch up the earth underneath if he attempts to dig since his paws would scrape along the chicken wire. The most persistent of diggers will ultimately give up.

You should be aware that metal chicken wire has a serious disadvantage. It has pointed parts, particularly if it rusts. You don't want your dog's paw pad to get hurt if he attempts to dig and runs his foot across the chicken wire. Because of this, I favor using plastic poultry fences. It is reasonably priced, strong, and kind to your dog's paws.

On really hot days, lead your dog to areas of the yard that are cooler

Leading your vet to the cooler yard is a good way to prevent dogs from digging. Does your dog often sleep in the depression he has dug out of a hole during the summer? clever boy Your dog will like the cold, cozy feeling of the ground beneath the surface.

It may be helpful to lead your dog to shaded areas of the yard, such as beneath a tree. When your dog remains there, praise him. A doghouse that provides all-weather protection is another option. Of course, your dog should remain inside during really high temperatures.

Stop your dog from bringing toys outside

In the wild, wolves bury food they can't consume right away to keep scavengers away. Some dogs may bury toys or bones in the yard because they inherited this tendency.

Don't offer your dog too many toys or bones so he won't have extras to hide. Don't allow your dog to bring toys into the yard, and if he chews on a bone outside, take it away when he gets bored to prevent him from burying it.

Water-blast your dog

Water irritates my dog. If anything gets her wet, she will go out of her way to avoid it, whether it be from showers, sprinklers, rain, or puddles on the ground.

Yet a motion-activated sprinkler will do the work for you so you don't have to wait around with a garden hose till your dog begins to dig.

The sprinkler will shoot a jet of water in a precise direction if it senses movement, dousing your dog with water.

Use a balloon to frighten your dog

Many thanks to Carol, a reader who sent this advice. Droopy, Carol's Basset Dog, was scared of loud noises, particularly thunder and fireworks. Can your dog be scared easily? Here's how to leverage his fear to effectively stop him from digging:

  • Place a blown-up balloon in your dog's burrow. Only enough dirt should be applied to the balloon to keep it in place.
  • Your dog will bust the balloon as soon as he begins to dig. Your dog will run away from the loud popping noise.
  • Your dog could need a few tries before realizing that when he starts digging and hears this big bang. Droopy had to be convinced four times before he changed his digging habits.
  • If you want to prevent your dog from ingesting the rubber balloon parts, don't forget to pick them up all after you're through.


You can see that dogs dig for a number of reasons, many of which are reversible. Cayenne pepper, fences, and obstacles are excellent digging deterrents that can stop your dog from digging straight away. They are merely short-term fixes, so they won't always address the behavior's underlying cause. For instance, no matter how much cayenne pepper you apply, your dog will still be bored and unhappy if he is digging because he is bored. Because of this, you should utilize digging deterrents in addition to addressing the underlying problem; your dog will thank you. For this reason, digging deterrents should be used in conjunction with instruction and addressing the root cause of digging. Hope the 7 above ways to prevent dogs from digging will be useful for you.

Related Articles