How To Stop a Dog Digging Holes

Kwinten Alexander
May 12, 2019

Many pet owners will wonder exactly why their dogs are always digging. Understanding why they are doing it could be half of the battle when trying to find ways to stop them from destroying flower beds and garden areas. Sometimes, only look at it from your dog’s perspective will give you some insight as to why the digging transpires. Let’s take a look at how an expert would approach how to stop a dog from digging holes.

To begin with, you need to know what the digging is not. Your dog it not digging in an attempt to annoy you, to wind you up or to even ruin your new flower beds out of spite. Dogs are just not wired that way, such as a human.

1. Natural Instincts

Dogs are naturally fun loving creatures, with many dogs that like to dig for fun. A younger dog, or puppy, will love to explore and investigate while having a great time in the soil, mud, stones and sand. Some dogs will end up digging for a particular reason, including feeling too hot and they will look to dig into the ground where it is a bit cooler. There are also times when a dog would want to burrow into the ground when it is cold to build up a bit of a den. Some dogs will also have lots of energy that they need to channel off into something else, which is where the exercise from the digging will come into play.

Think about covering up certain things before your dog starts to investigate. For example, smelly fertilizers will be the perfect thing to tempt your dog to start in on digging. Some garden foods will have specific ingredients that can be dangerous for dogs, including slug pellets, which can be deadly for your pets. There may even be some products that are on the market that claim to be safe, but if they do not explicitly state that they are safe, you should proceed with caution and think about looking for one that says pet safe on the label.

After you have given your dog lots of exercises, you have removed any bones that might be buried, given your dog a nice shelter to stay in, and then stopped using garden products with an enticing smell, you can look further into why the digging may be taking place.

Digging is a normal activity. However, the excessive digging is not necessarily normal. Most dogs will dig, and the secret may not be to stop it but to find ways to work with your dog so that you can manage the digging instead.

2. The Digging Pits

Small dog digging hole in sand pit

 If you can focus your dog’s digging into a single area, then you will have already won half of the battle. You can do this simply by creating a digging pit that your dog knows and recognizes. Some dog owners have made a pit border with some boards and nails; then you can start the digging in the area using a spade to show your dog that it is okay to dig there. You could put a few toys in and bury them, encouraging the digging spot even further. For an added touch, you can put some tasty treats in as well. Just a few times of your dog digging in that one area and you will be amazed at just how quickly he or she will start paying attention and getting involved. After your dog understands they can dig in that area and not in the middle of your lawn or flower bed, you are one step closer to success.

3. Lawn Holes

Dog digging massive hole in lawn

 If your lawn is being destroyed by digging, there are some other options that you may have. For an existing hole, find a small rock or brick that will fit inside at the bottom of the hole and wedge it in. Then, bury it, packing the soil in around it. When your dog tries to get back in to dig that same area, they will be stuck once they get to the brick or rock underneath. This is no fun for the dog, so he or she will most likely give up. If your dog continues, you can walk over and guide them to go back over to the digging pit that you have created and encourage them to dig there instead. If they seem to go back again to the lawn for digging, you can place your dog in timeout somewhere. They will hopefully learn soon that they will not be allowed to dig the lawn. If you can’t solve the digging right now, you might be able to distract your dog in other ways. Dogs that like to fetch balls can be kept busy very well with an automated ball launcher, as we found out in our iFetch review.

4. Digging When You Are Not Around

Dog digging hole under fence

 One major problem that people have is that the dog will dig whenever you leave the property. The solution will be quite simple, however. Instead of being an issue of having too much energy or one that loves to dig, this may be caused by pack leader issues.

Your dog could be digging as a way to escape the setting of the property to look for you. This is actually why so many dogs will dig whenever their owner is away, which can include damage that will occur at the bottom of a gate or a fence. The owner will sometimes note that their dogs will only dig when they are away from home. This is because when you are home, your dog is relaxed and happy that you are around. When you leave, they will usually become anxious and look for you.

Dogs will feel as though it is their job to look after their owner and protect you. Many will become stressed when they are alone and then channel this stress into digging, all over the place. Other behaviors that are destructive, like chewing, will be the same thing.

5. Be The Pack Leader

In a nutshell, you have to become the pack leader so that your dog will relax even when you are not around. There could also be a lot of other behaviors that will more than likely disappear if you have a dog that understands he or she is not the one that is in charge.

Doggy Dan’s website is loaded with all sorts of information that you can use to help make sure that your dog is always on his or her best behavior. There are many helpful steps that you can use to be sure that you are the pack leader and that you have a great relationship between you and your dog. The methods listed by Doggy Dan are not harsh, nor are they difficult to tackle. It is a kind and gentle way for you to train your dog and work on methods that will allow you to have a happy coexistence that is free from destructive behavior.

Once you win your dog’s mind, you will see that training is simple and you can become the pack leader very quickly. To find out more, just click here!