Your Complete Guide on How to Stop Dogs from Digging

An in-depth guide on how to keep dogs from digging. Your Complete Guide on How to Stop Dogs from Digging

Is it starting to look as if someone is digging for buried treasure in your backyard? Except instead of treasure you’re shelling out some cash for landscaping repairs.

Dogs are instinctive creatures and some of those basic instincts can start to become a nuisance. If a dog is left to train itself, you will start to see that they turn to their instinctive nature. When it comes to a dog’s instincts, digging is one that can start to become a major problem.

Your dog is not meaning to cause you any headaches but in their mind, they were made to dig. They find a weird enjoyment in it, but with proper training, you can teach them that there is a time and a place to let their instincts flourish.

Below we will take a look at how to stop a dog from digging, and keeping your yard looking beautiful.   

Reasons Dogs Dig

When it comes to the actions of dogs, a lot of them depend on the breed and the way they were raised. If a dog is properly trained than you will find that you can avoid bad behavior before it starts. When it comes to the dirty habit of digging, there are a couple of reasons. So, if you’ve found yourself wondering, “Why do dogs dig, anyway?” stick around for your answer.

Playing Around

One of the main reasons that your dog may be digging around your yard is because they’re playing and find enjoyment from it. If they are young they may be discovering your yard and are digging to explore what is under the ground beneath them. If they catch a glimpse of some roots or discover something that is buried than this will spark their curiosity. Then they will continue to dig to see what else they can find.  


This reason may be due to the opposite of enjoyment, and your dog may be bored. This will cause them to find something that will cure their boredom and they will start to dig. Always leave some sort of toys or something to stimulate your dog, while they are out in your yard.    

Other Dogs

If your dog is been trying to dig a tunnel to escape your yard like it is in Alcatraz, then most likely something has sparked their curiosity. This is usually another dog. So if the dilemma you find yourself facing is how to keep dogs from digging under a fence, you may want to look at training your dog and familiarizing them with neighborhood dogs. This way they can interact through your fence instead of digging a tunnel under it. 

Born Hunter

Depending on your breed, digging may just be built in their genes. If you have a breed of dog that was bred to be a hunting dog. Then they will instinctively look to dig to find small creatures that they may be able to hunt. If you have critters that run through your yard. This may also stimulate the situation as your dog will instinctively try and catch them. 

Breeds That Dig

As stated above, there are certain breeds that will tend to dig more frequently than other breeds. These breeds tend to be quite the natural diggers because they were bred to be this way and catch small critters that are causing a nuisance. Nowadays you may not have any issues with the critters that you share your yard with, but your dog does not know that. They are simply following their instincts and helping you rid your yard of these small critters.  


Terriers were bred to be hunting dogs and are one of the breeds that tend to dig more frequently than other dogs. They naturally will search the area for small critters and if they get a sent that one is around. Will not stop until they catch them. If you are looking at getting a Terrier breed, make sure you have an environment they can strive in.  


Looking at a Beagle, you can tell these dogs are quite the outdoor rascals. Like the Terrier, these dogs were bred to be hunting dogs and to sniff out any small critters. Once they get their sent or see what critters live in the area, they will stop at nothing until they catch them. This breed especially loves rabbits, so if you have any rabbits in your yard, your Beagle will be on the hunt.   

Border Collie

Border Collies are a breed that tends to dig quite frequently as well. This is not due to the fact that they were solely bred as hunting dogs but because they have quite a bit of energy. If you are looking at getting a border collie, you should have the terrain for them to flourish. Also, you should be able to provide a highly active lifestyle for this breed. If you can provide the border collie with this, you should not have a big digging problem on your hands.

How to Stop a Dog From Digging 101

If you are an owner that is having some trouble with your dog and their dirty habit of digging. Then you will want to check out these methods below, which will shed some light on how to stop this dirty habit from continuing. Persistence is key, so do not give up or accept behavior that is causing you frustration. Stay strong and work together to get back on a happy and healthy track.   

Keep Him Stimulated

One of the main reasons why your dog may be digging in your yard is because they are bored and are not stimulated. The best way to tackle this is to have toys scattered about for them to play with. You can also go outside in your yard with your dog to play fetch and rid some of that extra energy.

You do not have to isolate the playtime solely in the yard. You can also take your dog out for a walk a couple of times per day. This way you will burn off their extra energy and let them get some exercise at the same time. Any way you can help them to be stimulated throughout the day will help. They will be exhausted from a fun day, that the last thing they will think about is using their leftover energy to dig. 


One of the best methods to stop any bad behavior from developing is proper training. You usually want to train your dog when they are young and still learning. But if you have an older dog, they can still be taught new tricks. Through positive reinforcement training, you can over time train your dog that digging is not allowed.

If you have no problem with your dog digging in a specific area, it’s time to teach them that they can only dig in that area through proper training. This will give them an opportunity to dig and have fun and you get free labor. 

Get Rid of the Critters

If your dog is digging to get at the local critters as they were bred to be hunting dogs, the best method to stop this behavior is to rid your yard of those critters humanely. If you can rid the area of those small critters that are tempting your dog, they will have no need to hunt for them.  

Other Dogs

If your dog is digging due to the neighbor’s dog or other dogs that walk by, the easiest way to fix this issue is to introduce them to these dogs so they become comfortable.

It is best to introduce your dog to other dogs and people at an early age. This way they will not be fearful or curious about dogs and people as they age. If they are aware of the other dogs, they will not be interested in wasting energy to dig their way over to see them.

It Starts With You

Ultimately when it comes to ridding your dog of bad behaviors, it starts with you. It is best to train them at a young age either by yourself or through a class. This way you can rid a lot of headaches down the road. 

When it comes to how to stop a dog from digging, it is not a behavior that can not be stopped. But it will take patience and determination. If you can stick with it, you will have your dog not even thinking about tearing up your yard. So take care of that dirty habit and get back to enjoying life.