How To Stop A Dog From Digging


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Digging is a very common problem with dogs, and it can be a nuisance and even dangerous. Fortunately, there are several techniques you can use to stop a dog from digging and help them develop better behaviors. These tactics range from providing extra exercise and enrichment to making parts of your yard off-limits, and changing your reaction when your pup starts digging. Understanding why your pup might dig can help you decide the best way to stop them. An important part of addressing this problem is to be patient and consistent in your training tactics.

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  1. Discourage Boredom and Destructive Behavior: Start by giving your pup plenty of exercise and attention. Take him or her out for regular walks and provide plenty of chew toys and interactive toys to keep them entertained.
  2. Keep Your Yard Out of Reach: Make sure that your yard is fenced in or at least outlined with chicken wire or another type of fencing that your dog cannot dig under.
  3. Make Limited Areas of Your Yard Attractive: If there are areas of the yard where it is okay for your dog to dig, try to make them more attractive to your pup. Plant pet-friendly plants or grass that your pup can easily remove from the ground.
  4. Create an Unappealing Digging Spot: If your pup begins to dig in an undesired area, try to create an unappealing area for them to dig instead. Fill it with soft soil and not grass, as this makes it more difficult for them to dig and less appealing.
  5. Distract Your Dog: If your pup begins to dig, try to distract them with a different activity or toy. This will help redirect their behavior from digging to something more positive.
  6. Spray Deterrents: Spray deterrents are an option if all else fails. These sprays typically contain chemicals that, when sprayed in areas, make them unpleasant and unappealing to a dog.

Why Does My Dog Keep Digging At Nothing?

Dogs may dig at nothing for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons for this behavior include boredom, nesting, and seeking attention. Dogs may also dig holes as a way of scavenging for food, burying objects, or trying to escape from the yard. If the cause of the behavior is not clear, consult a veterinarian or animal trainer for help.

Why Does My Dog Keep Digging The Same Hole?

If your dog is consistently digging in the same area, they are likely looking for a way to cool off. Digging creates a large open area of dirt which cools the dog as it goes into the hole and buries. Additionally, your dog could be looking for something that they cannot find on the surface of the ground, such as food or a toy. If this is the case, make sure to provide them with plenty of enrichment items to occupy their time. Finally, if there are other dogs in the area, it’s possible that your dog is digging in the same place out of an instinctual need to create their own territory and mark it as their own.

Why Is My Female Dog Digging?

Female dogs can dig for a number of reasons, including having too much energy or boredom, attempting to hide or bury an object, cooling down on a hot day, looking for a peaceful or comfortable spot to rest, and even looking for food or water. Digging can also be a sign of anxiety. If you believe your dog’s digging is related to anxiety, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to determine the exact cause and the best course of action.

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Why Do Dogs Dig?pbNXu

Dogs dig for a variety of reasons. Digging is a natural behavior, just like barking or chasing stuff. Some dogs dig to create a cool spot in which to lie down. Other dogs dig to create a safe hideaway in which to rest. Still, other dogs dig to bury or dig up bones, toys, or other items of interest. A few may even dig out of anxiety, boredom, or frustration. Whatever the cause, it’s important to understand that digging is an instinctive behavior that should be embraced rather than punished.

Is your Dog breed a digger?

Most dog breeds do not have an instinct to dig; however, some do. Breeds that are more likely to dig include terriers, especially Fox Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Weimaraners, and Hounds. If your dog belongs to one of these breeds, it may be more likely to dig than other breeds.

What Breeds Are More Inclined to Dig?

There are certain dog breeds that naturally have a strong inclination to dig. These breeds typically have a strong sense of exploration and a natural instinct to hunt and search for things underground. Examples of such breeds are:

  • Terriers: Terriers such as the Jack Russell, Biewer Terrier, and Cairn Terrier are natural diggers due to their long legs and strong bodies. Terriers have a strong instinct for exploration, hunting, and problem-solving, and they often feel the need to dig in order to satisfy their curiosity.
  • Dachshunds: Dachshunds are another breed that has a natural inclination to dig. They are also known for their long legs, small size, and strong tails that can help them power through the earth when digging.
  • Working or Herding Dogs: Working dogs and herding dogs such as the Border Collie, Australian Cattle Dog, and German Shepherd are also known for their active digging interests. These breeds were genetically created to complete specific tasks, such as digging in order to find large animals and easily herd them, or digging in order to protect their territory from predators.
  • Hounds: Hounds, notably scent hounds such as Beagles, Coonhounds, and Foxhounds, have an even stronger inclination to dig than Terriers, Dachshunds, and Working or Herding Dogs. Hounds have an exceptional sense of scent which they use to track rabbits, foxes, and other small animals. As such, they will often dig deep holes in order to find these creatures.

When Is Digging a Sign of a Health Problem?

Digging can be a sign of a health problem if it is excessive or compulsive. This type of behavior can be a sign of stress, anxiety, allergies, skin disorders, boredom, hunger, or other medical/health concerns. If you notice your pet excessively or compulsively digging, they should be brought to a vet for a check-up.

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  1. Make Your Yard Less Appealing: A great way to stop your Labrador puppy from digging is to make your yard less appealing for them. Remove anything that may be attractive for them to dig in, such as rocks, sticks, leaves, and other objects. Leave only a bare area for your puppy to dig.
  2. Provide an Alternate Area to Dig: If you don’t want your pup to dig in your yard, you can create an alternate area for them to dig. Set aside a corner of your yard or even a sandbox for your puppy to dig in. This can be a safe place for them to go when they feel the urge to dig.
  3. Provide Plenty of Exercises: One of the main reasons why puppies dig is because they are bored and have too much energy. To prevent digging behavior, make sure to provide your pup with plenty of exercises. Going for walks, playing in the yard, and engaging in interactive games will help burn off some of their energy and make them less likely to want to dig.
  4. Use Positive Reinforcement: Finally, use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior. Whenever your puppy is not digging, praise them and give them treats or rewards. This will help him to understand that digging is not desirable behavior.
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How To Stop A Labrador Puppy From Digging

  • Use deterrent sprays: There are several types of deterrent sprays available that are specifically designed to keep your Lab from digging in your yard.
  • Put rocks on its path: If your Labrador loves to dig a certain spot, try putting rocks in the spot to deter him from digging there.
  • Distract them: Give your Lab lots of toys and activities to keep him occupied, so that he is less likely to start digging in the yard.
  • Exercise your Lab: Make sure your Labrador is getting enough exercise that will tire him out so he’s less likely to dig.
  • Plant flowers: Plant colorful flowers, plants, and trees to distract your Lab from potential digging spots.
  • Install a fence: This won’t stop your Lab from digging, but it can help to limit it to certain areas.
  • Make a sandbox: A sandbox or an area filled with sand can help redirect your Lab’s digging urge and provide a safe spot for him to dig.

How Can You Stop A Dog From Digging Up Your Garden Without Harming Him

  • Provide your dog with an alternative digging spot – you could provide them with their own special area to dig. You can fill it with sand, pebbles, or dirt and encourage them to dig in that spot.
  • Create barriers to protect your garden – using fencing, rocks, or landscaping materials to create a clear distinction between your garden and your dog’s digging area.
  • Add to the difficulty – sprinkling cayenne pepper along the side of your garden, or putting chicken wire just below the surface of the soil, can make it difficult for them to dig.
  • Direct their attention elsewhere – your dog may be trying to dig in search of something that excites him/her. Try redirecting their attention to a chew toy or interactive game.
  • Distract them – a distraction when they start to get the urge to dig, such as a treat or quick game of fetch can be effective.
  • Provide plenty of exercises – when your dog is adequately exercised, it will have less energy and desire to dig.

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Some possible ways to help stop a dog from digging include:

  1. Consistently and patiently training your dog to not dig.
  2. Exercise your dog on a regular basis to reduce its energy levels and the urge to dig.
  3. Create a designated digging area in your yard away from where your dog usually digs. Fill it with plenty of toys and sand for your pooch to play with.
  4. Re-direct your dog’s focus by giving it toys or treats when it starts to dig in areas it shouldn’t.
  5. Place a fence or solid barrier around the perimeter of your yard that your dog can’t dig under.
  6. Spray an unpleasant smelling or tasting deterrent on the places your dog likes to dig.
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Best Dog Digging Repellent

There are several dog digging repellants on the market, but the most effective are bitter apple spray, citronella spray, hot pepper spray, or vinegar spray. All of these sprays will discourage your dog from digging in an area. Additionally, you can create different types of barriers with your existing landscaping to deter your dog from entering specific areas. For example, you can create a rock border around flower beds or garden spaces. You can also make a “dig box” for your dog by burying the bottom of a planter box and filling it with dirt for your dog to dig in. Another option is to provide your dog with an alternative location to dig, such as a sandbox.

Can You Use Cayenne Pepper To Stop Your Dog From Digging?

No, you cannot use cayenne pepper to stop your dog from digging. While there is some evidence that using spices, such as cayenne pepper, to deter animals from digging is an effective tool, there are far more humane and safe ways to deter a digging dog, such as filling in the digs they have already created, providing plenty of outdoor playtimes, regulating their access to the yard, providing them with toys, and reinforcing positive behaviors.


Q. Does vinegar stop dogs from digging?

A. Vinegar can act as a deterrent to stop dogs from digging in certain areas because they dislike the smell. It can be sprayed on or around a designated area so that when a dog goes to dig there, it will be put off by the smell and decide to move on.

Q. Do dogs ever stop digging holes?

A. No, dogs do not ever stop digging holes. Dogs are natural diggers and they often do so for various reasons, such as to cool off, to bury toys or bones, or to make their own den. Unless trained out of the behavior it is usually an ingrained instinct and a way to express their energy.

Q. Can you stop a dog from digging?

A. There are several methods for stopping a dog from digging. One option is to make sure the dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise to help relieve pent-up energy. If the dog digs to reach a cool spot, try providing a shallow pool for them to cool off in. When the dog starts digging, redirect them to a toy or their bed. Owners can also use deterrents, such as filling in the area they are digging with stones or planting thorny foliage.

Q. Why Is My Dog Digging Holes All Of A Sudden?

A. Dogs may dig holes for a variety of reasons including to hide or store food, to locate prey, for fun, to escape discomfort or fear, stress, and as a reaction to environmental changes. Understanding the cause behind your dog’s digging can help you choose the best method to curb their behavior.


Digging in a dog is an annoying habit but it is possible to control it. Start by eliminating the underlying causes, provide acceptable outlets, and use positive reinforcement training. If the digging persists, you may benefit from an exercise or behavior plan created by your veterinarian. If done properly, you can teach your dog not to dig and eventually put an end to this annoying behavior. With patience and consistency, you can find a solution that works for you and your pup.


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