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How to Stop a Dog from Digging


If you’ve got a dog that is starting to turn your backyard into a bunch of holes, try not to scream! Dogs dig because it’s natural for them to do so. First, you need to figure out why your dog digs. He might be doing it to bury his bone or he could smell some animal, and it is due to his predatory instincts. Plus, dogs also instinctively bury food to hide it from another predator.

If your dog is pregnant, she may be digging herself a nest. Or is they are hot and don’t have proper shelter, they may do a hole to lay in to get cool. Or they could be trying to escape from your yard if they are digging under your fence. Plus, many dogs are just plain bored so they dig for something to do. Or dependent on the breed it could be a genetic thing. For instance, terriers are known for being digging dogs.


What can be done?

After you figure out the reason for the digging, you can start to look for a way to correct it. You do, however, need to be patient and have some persistence. For instance, if the dog is doing it to chase some animal, you could put up something to block their view. If they can’t see the animals, maybe they won’t try to dig to get at it.

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For instance, if the animals he sees is on the other side of your fence, probably it’s a squirrel or a bird, and they wouldn’t be fast enough to get it. Dogs may try to go after mice or rats too but most dogs are too slow to catch them. Plus, be careful using poison to get rid of vermin as your dog could accidentally eat it, or if you put out a trap the dog could get hurt by it.


Using up energy

If your dog merely appears to want to get rid of his saved up energy or because he is bored, try providing extra exercise. Take him on more walks or make the walks longer. Also try to get in active games such as playing fetch so your dog will get tired out.

Don’t punish a dog if he digs holes. The dog isn’t capable of understanding that he’s being punished for hole digging. But if you catch him doing it, get him more interested in doing something else. Then give him a reward for deciding to do that and not dig holes.


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