How to Stop a Dog From Digging

Dogs will often dig instinctively to bury bones, etc. They also do it as a way to cool down in the hole, or to release pent up energy from being confined. The problem is that this results in unsightly holes in your yard and can sometimes result in escape attempts by the dog digging under the fence. It can also become a habit - as dogs learn to do it, they will often start doing it compulsively.

   

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There are a couple of ways around this.

1) Try to exercise your dog more. Dogs that are properly exercised will usually not start digging in the first place and will be less likely to do it. Take them for walks regularly and make sure they have space to run around in.

2) You could try to make it harder for the dog to dig in certain areas. There are a lot of ways around this. For digging outside of fences, bury rocks and chicken wire fence for about a foot under the fence along the edges. This will keep your dog from getting out under it. You can use similar fences to keep the dog away from a garden. There are also a lot of people who claim that if you bury the dog's feces in an area where it likes to dig, it will stop. I'm not sure if that really works, but it's worth a try.

3) Another option is to create a "dig pit." If you've got a big enough yard, designate a certain area as a place where it's OK for the dog to dig. Bury some rawhide bones, toys, and treats there, and encourage the dog to dig there, rewarding it with treats when it does. When it digs up the bones, it will keep digging in that spot as it learns that it can find stuff there.

Finally, there are some products you can get if you're having serious problems with it.

No Dig! is a spray that you use on the ground in your yard. It is supposed to keep the dog from digging, without leaving a residual smell that you'll notice. It is available online here for $11.99.

There's also a book that's specifically written about stopping dogs from digging in the yard.

Digging: Simple Solutions is a more in-depth treatment of the issue by Dog Fancy Magazine. It's $7 and has illustrations as well as tips for training. I know it sounds weird to have a whole book about this, but there are tons of reasons dogs dig and you might need to do something very specific to stop it. If you can't get rid of the problem with anything else, try this.

 

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