Is Your Dog Digging Up Your Yard?
Updated: Apr 6
We have to understand that digging holes is a natural behaviour for dogs to do. There for, it is not a “bad” behaviour, just undesirable for us humans. We have brought them into our homes, but this is simply a natural behaviour they will express and we have to accept this.
They dig for a few reasons:
Fun & Enjoyment
Stress & Anxiety
To lay in the cool dirt on a hot day
Building a den (Entire, in heat, pregnant or phantom pregnant bitches or for shelter from the element)
And simply again, it’s just fun
Unfortunately, there is no way you can teach a dog to never dig again. Its even harder to teach a dog what he should or shouldn’t be doing when the digging is happening when you are not home or if you are leaving him unsupervised in the yard.
This is a problem that needs to be managed & prevented. Also give your dog less reasons why they need to dig.
How to give your dog less reasons to dig? Fulfill their needs!:
Make sure they have adequate shelter outside that protects them from cold, wind & heat
Bring them inside if you can not provide them with adequate shelter outside
Provide them with an alternative digging spot, such as a sand pit. (Keep in mind if you dog enjoys and has a personal preference to the texture of your lawn more, a sandpit may not do the job)
Make sure you are providing them with enough mental stimulation!!! Train them before and after you leave the house. (Training = Whatever obedience you’re currently working on. If you’re not working on obedience, teach them a new skill or trick! We all get tired from sitting in the class room learning)
Provide them with enrichment and puzzle toys during the day to keep them mentally stimulated (Examples: Kong, Nina Ottomans, Busy Buddies, DIY enrichment toys)
Provide them with another way to relieve any stress such as chewing on raw meaty bones or Nyla Bones
Address any stress or anxiety issues
Physically exhaust them (I’m not talking just walks, I’m talking much more! Sledding, biking, agility, rally obedience, IGP, swimming, slat mills, spring poles, off leash freedom – if you have a reliable recall. Understand what your dogs breed was designed for and let it act on its impulses in a healthy and constructive way)
What to do if you have given them less reasons to dig and they still are digging? We now come to prevention & management:
Don’t leave them outside unsupervised
Mesh your yard and grow the lawn over top
Fence off any garden beds or areas you do not want them digging in
Crate them indoors
Provide them with an indoor or outdoor kennel run (With shelter, water, shade, misting system, enrichment toys, bones, solid or mesh flooring and roof for escapees)
Acceptance - You have purchased a dog and they will dig, some more than others