Management & Training

How to Stop Dogs from Digging

How to Stop Dogs from Digging

Some dogs will dig, some will not, and some dig like that’s what they were born to do! Digging is a natural behavior for dogs, it is especially natural in Terriers who were bred for such tasks. But all dogs can dig and will dig if given the proper incentive.

Why Do Dogs Dig?

Digging is a completely normal and natural thing for a dog to do. It’s super fun, provides great exercise, keeps their nails short, and is all around great for your dog.

In the summer dogs like to dig a spot to lay in. The cool dirt on their tummy feels good. You can’t blame them for wanting to be cool!

Dogs also have very keen hearing and sense of smell. This allows them to smell and hear things underground. So, since dogs are curious creatures they like to dig down and find the source of the smell/sound.

Dogs will also dig because they are bored, lonely, or anxious. Digging is fun, relieves stress, and often attracts attention!

Providing A Place To Dig

If your dog enjoys digging then providing him with an approved area to dig is the best thing you can do! Pick an area of your yard or put in a sandbox for the digging area. Be sure no to put the area too close to the fence. Be sure to mark the area in some way so your dog can know the boundaries.

Once you have the area set up dig the dirt up a little yourself. Before showing your dog the dig spot hide some treats, toys, or chews in the dirt. This will encourage your dog to dig there. Then bring your dog out and show him the spot. Praise him for digging in that spot.

Put treats and chews and toys in the digging spot often when he isn’t looking. This will encourage him to dig there and only there because it is the most rewarding place to dig. Always praise him for digging in the right spot.

Preventing Inappropriate Digging

You cannot punish a dog after you find the hole in the yard. He will not remember digging it and he won’t know why you’re mad. If you do find your dog digging in the yard redirect him to the digging area you set up for him. Dig with him for a bit in this area and praise him for digging there.

It is also a good idea to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Daily walks, training, and games will all help to wear your dog out. A tired dog is a good dog.


It is also important to reduce the amount of time your dog is left alone. The more you are with your dog the more you can monitor where he is digging. If he is digging inappropriately redirect him. If you are around more this will also help him to not dig out of loneliness or anxiety.


Digging is natural and good for your dog. Providing your dog with an area to dig in is a great option. Don’t stop the dog from digging all together, just redirect them to their digging spot. Be sure to make that stop the most rewarding place to dig by burying treats and toys, and praising your dog while he digs there.