It’s a classic tale: You finally have your yard just the way you want it and your dog turns it into its own personal digging zone. Before frantically calling a professional dog trainer or behaviorist, here’s some simple tips dog owners can employ to learn what can be done to curb its behavior before having to spend a lot of money on landscaping.
Steps to stop your dog from digging
Keep them busy
Dogs dig for fun if they get bored or are left in the yard by themselves for long periods. Make sure you keep their space with plenty of toys and play with them often. You should also walk your dog at least twice daily so they can spend that excess energy on something positive like exercise.
Keep them comfortable
Dogs can also dig holes to keep themselves cool in hot weather or vice versa. If you see your dog lying in the hole they dig, this may be a sign the dog house is too cold or hot for them to lie in.
To solve this problem, let your dog inside more often when facing hot days to let them cool down. You can also make sure your dog has constant access to an untippable bowl of water.
Check for burrowing animals
If your dog constantly digs in one part of the yard, it may be looking for something you haven’t noticed yet. Dogs, especially terriers, dachshunds, huskies or other dog breeds that were bred to dig may be trying to get to burrowing animals or insects living in your yard.
The Humane Society suggests periodically searching for signs of these types of small animals and using safe and humane methods to fence them out. Chicken wire or deterrents such as cayenne pepper to make your yard and flower beds uninviting to invading critters may prove to be an effective strategy.
Have a designated digging area
If all else fails and your dog is a digger at heart, having a designated digging spot can help curve your dog’s behavior and keep their digging habit controlled. You can cover the dig pit with soil or use a sandbox with buried dog toys that your dog can discover. This will help with your dog’s mental stimulation and turn the dog’s negative habits to habits that allow for positive reinforcement and enrichment in its life.