How to Stop a Dog from Digging? (Home Remedy)

Your furry friend can build a habit of digging in your backyard. This leaves craters and holes in your yard and can be hard to contain once your dog gets older. The digging behavior can come from a lot of causes.

To keep your yard well-maintained and to train your dog away from that deed, here are a few home tips on how to stop your dog from digging.

Know the causes of the digging behavior

It won’t take long for you to notice that your dog loves digging around your backyard. You have to know that this isn’t just to destroy your precious space.

There are a lot of causes for how they are behaving like this. And to primarily stop that behavior, you have to acknowledge how he feels to address the root of his digging.

Know the causes of the digging behavior

He may be anxious and needs attention

A bigger space can help release a dog’s anxiety. And the yard for him is one of the best places where he can express his anxious state.

This anxiety can be because he is left alone, when his toy is missing, and in times of heat, among others. They may tell you that they need attention to this behavior.

When you know what causes his anxiety, you can provide him with what he is missing so that he can’t take the anxiety out on your yard. This can be in the form of a new chewy or a new toy. Sometimes, the weather can be the root of his anxiety, so a cooling pad indoors can do the trick.

Please give them the attention they seek and let them have a good time with their master.

He is seeking more entertainment

Dogs who like digging most probably are bored of their own space at home. Digging gives them a challenge because of the depth. This entertains them a lot, and they will keep digging through until all of the spaces run out.

Use active and interactive toys at home. This will give them more entertainment, even without going outside. Playful and energetic dogs like to dig the most, so playing with them will likely tire them out.

He needs comfort

Some of the dogs take comfort in the holes that they dig. When you spot the holes under the shade, it will likely signal you that they like that spot. Weather changes can also encourage them to dig on to keep them warm.

Provide your dog with a shelter inside your house. You can have a warming or cooling pad so they can take comfort without going out.

He wants to escape

He wants to escape

One of the most common causes of dog behavioral problems is the lack of physical activity. Most dogs like to escape, especially if they are alone at home. Those dogs that are inherently playful and energetic love to interact.

Digging with the soil can give them a sense of accomplishment. It will also give them the feeling that they have escaped the indoor life.

Take your dog for a walk and let him explore the neighborhood. This will give them the freedom to explore their surroundings. It also gives them the opportunity of meeting other dogs.

Walking them around will let them feel that they have escaped through and will give leave fulfilled with the new place they have been through.

He inherently likes hunting

Most dog breeds like to hunt inherently. This behavior is hard to stop, especially when they come from a family of hunters. They like to catch a burrowing animal or insect for this cause.

You can notice this behavior when they focus on a single area in the yard. They may also keep digging around trees or in some paths.

Check out burrowing animals around your yard. You can rightfully take them out with humane methods. This will keep your dog away from these animals.

You can also give them a walk in a larger area or space, so their hunting instincts aren’t suppressed. However, it would be best if you reprimanded them when they are within your premises again.

Train him early

The best way to keep the digging behavior off your dog is to train him early. By doing so, you will let him know that the yard is off, even when he is still a puppy. While growing up, start reprimanding him when he is showing signs of a digging behavior.

You will notice his love for the ground as early as his first year. Start scolding him early on.

Use a commanding voice when calling him out. This will let him know that his master disapproves of his digging habit.

An angry voice will also stop him from digging deeper. Establish your firm decision of not letting him dig through.

You can also use a spray once he starts digging out. A physical form of reprimanding will also work. Most dogs hate water –rain, puddles, baths, and sprinklers, among others.

Aside from spraying water, you can also do the usual punishments when he starts digging out. This way, he will learn that that behavior is not tolerated.

Give him a walk

Give him a walk

When you are around the house and still likes digging through, it may be time for a walk. This distraction will make him feel freer and will let him explore more. One of the reasons why dogs like to dig around is the lack of exercise.

When you are at home, take some time to walk him around the neighborhood. This will also tire him out. He will feel exhausted and will lie around after a walk around your area.

Limit his yard access

There are a lot of ways that can keep your dog off the yard. Limiting their access to that area can discourage them from digging and leave them with no choice but to stay indoors.

Adding red cayenne pepper to your yard can deter them out. This is safe and harmless for dogs. As they sniff through, they will likely snort and runoff.

This will most likely avoid digging again because of this bad experience. Other scents that deter them from the ground include:

  • Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, and others
  • Citronella oil
  • Coffee grounds

You can add a digging barrier on your ground. This will give them a hard time and will leave them breathless as they combat through the mesh.

Install a sturdy chicken wire laid on top of your ground, although this can rust over time. Other options are in common home improvement stores.

The easiest way to limit their way to your yard is to block their access. A small and secure fence will do, which will alert them that this beyond that is already off-limits. Install a fence tall and sturdy enough so he can’t pass through.

Consider modifying your yard

One of the best tips that can help you discourage your dog from digging is by modifying your backyard. In this way, he will be more hesitant to dig around. But within a few days, he can seek his way and figure out how he can continue his behavior.

Adding stones will give a different sensation on the ground. This will likely discourage him from digging because of the hard surface. This will also give him more time and struggle to dig deeper.

Creating his own dog home in the backyard can also make him realize that he has his own territory. This has proven to help owners as there is a time when they cannot leave their furry friend inside the house while they are gone. This will also provide him a cozier shelter than being just outside.

A dig-pit can be one of the best solutions you can provide for really stubborn dogs. Aside from the fact that you can let them dig their way out, it will also give you the fulfillment of seeing them extremely happy with their past time.

A soft and sandy pit will leave them entertained for hours. Let it become more interactive by burying his toys.

Make sure that they know that this is the only place they dig their heart out so they can keep off your yard. Reward them with praise when they dig within that zone.

Ask professionals for advice

If the behavior is out of hand, dog behaviorists can give you more specific tips and tricks so your dog won’t dig up anymore. Aside from that, a proper consultation can point to other quirks that might also be addressed, aside from the digging.


It is best to train your dog at a young age so that it won’t be hard to let him learn that his digging is not wanted in your space. As a pet owner, you should know that this is an instinctual behavior in dogs.

Aside from the tips previously mentioned, the breed of your dog will contribute to its digging behavior. The earlier you address his behavior, the better he will understand that this digging behavior is unwelcome in your backyard.

Rita Wagener
Rita is a resident paw expert at Pet Keepers. A registered & licensed dog trainer, she also has a degree in animal nutrition, and runs her own dog training course.

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