How To Stop A Dog From Digging

Usually the first two things that happens are you ask yourself the question,” What’s going on here”?   And you then say to yourself,” I have got to find out how to stop  a dog from digging”!

Sometimes, even dogs that are very well-behaved indoors have an annoying and destructive habit that takes over just as soon as they get outdoors:  Digging

Some dogs are trying to dig their way out of the yard by burrowing under the fence, while other dogs leave the yard dotted with craters, the fruit of their digging efforts.

The reasons for the digging, in addition to the dogs trying to escape the yard, may include digging after a small animal the dog may have seen go into a hole in the ground or burying or looking for a bone.  Other dogs dig just because it’s fun!

While these behaviors are instinctual, there are ways to teach dogs to stop digging.


How to stop a dog from digging does not involve punishment.  As with many canine behaviors that you would like to correct, punishment is not the most effective tool.

As mentioned above, this behavior is not the result of your pet trying to misbehave.  He is acting on instinct and has no idea that the behavior is unacceptable.  If you punish him, he will have no idea why he is being punished. 

Instead, try to isolate why your dog may be digging and seek to address that problem. 

More Exercise

Some dogs dig because they are bored.  Digging is a way for them to be active, so one example of how to stop a dog from digging would be offering your pet more opportunities to exercise.  If you have a big yard, go out and toss a ball with him for a half hour each night. 

If you don’t have a decent sized yard, take him for nightly trips to the local dog park or for walks around the neighborhood.  This will offer your pet a chance not only to exercise, but to interact with other dogs and thus release some of his boredom.

Small Animals

If the reason your dog is digging is because he is chasing small animals, such as mice, groundhogs or snakes, the best way of how to stop a dog from digging in this situation would be to rid your yard of these animals. 

If you don’t know how to do this yourself, you may need to consultant experts in the field who can help you keep your yard free of these temptations.

A Cool Spot

Sometimes, dogs dig because they are looking for a way to escape the heat.   If your dog is left out in the heat (which, by the way, is not a good idea), you need to provide him a cool place to get out of the sun.

How to stop a dog from digging in this situation would be to erect a shelter or install a dog house.  If you give him an easy way to escape the heat, that may stop dog digging.

Indoor “Digging”

Some pet owners notice that their dogs “dig” on the bed or in their pile of clothes.  The reason for this could be boredom or he could be trying to surround himself with your scent.  

You may be able to curb this behavior (although many pet owners find it fairly harmless) by making sure your pet has plenty of toys to play with and by leaving him with something that is covered in your scent.  That will help alleviate his boredom and give him some comfort while you are away.

Digging destroys your yard and, should your dog escape, can be very dangerous for your pet.  Try to figure out why your dog is digging and use the tips above to stop the behavior.  Check out this dog training guide How To Stop A Dog From Digging.

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