How To Stop Your Dog From Digging

In nature, I believe most dogs will do this from time to time, especially if they are puppies. God knows this is the one thing I wish my dogs wouldn’t do in my backyard.


I can remember several times when I came back home from work on a nice spring day and saw a big pile of dirt and a big hole in our backyard. When I looked at my dog with his face full of brown dirt, I couldn’t help but laugh.  After awhile the holes had to stop and I had to do something. A lot of research and countless trial, these tips help me to get my dog to stop digging:


Cover the Area with Bad Smells

Dogs often dig because of curiosity or to explore something. There are certain smells that dog dislike, which is what many dog parents use to solve the digging problem. I sprinkle red cayenne pepper in the areas where my dog digs. The strong spicy scent will irritate their nostrils, discouraging further digging. My dogs never really get closed to touching the actual pepper, but they will sense from a few steps away and know that the area isn’t fun to get close to. Research also shows other scents like citrus fruit, coffee grounds, and citronella essential oil can also deter them. 


Designate a Digging Area

If you don’t mind your dog digging holes, you can create a designated area where your dog is allowed to dig. You can bury toys or treats in this area to encourage them to focus their digging energy there. Reward them when they use this space.


Provide Adequate Exercise and Mental Stimulation

A tired dog is less likely to dig out of boredom. Regular walks, playtime, and different activities can help burnt their energy constructively.


Create a Comfortable Resting Spot

Dogs sometimes dig a hole to create a cozy spot. My first dog did that growing up. He dug a large enough hole for him to lay and rest. Try setting up a comfortable sleeping area in your yard with their bed, pillow, or blanket. If they have a comfortable place to rest, they may be less inclined to dig.


Avoid Gardening in Front of Your Dog

Dogs often mimic what we do. If they see you digging in the dirt when you are planing flowers, they might think that is a okay action and wants to join in. Try to avoid gardening or digging in front of them to prevent them from picking up the habit.


Block the Areas

For specific spots your dog targets, consider using some kinda of object to block your dog from the area they like to dig. Use large rocks or a planting pot. Cover the areas where they dig to make it less appealing.


Address Separation Anxiety

Some dogs dig because they feel anxious or lonely. Spend quality time with them and consider crate training or interactive toys when you’re away.

In conclusion, observe your dog’s behavior, adapt these tips to their specific needs, and celebrate their progress. I, certainly was able to break this habit from my own dogs. With patience and consistency you will be able to succeed and maintain a beautiful yard!

Read about fun activities to enjoy with your dog

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