A dog digging holes is high on the list of bad dog behaviors. In order to get control of this problem, you need to understand why your pet is digging holes in the first place.
Why Dogs Dig
All dogs dig. It’s a perfectly normal part of dog behavior. However, some canines seem to dig obsessively. It’s usually for one of three reasons.
Boredom – A bored dog is a recipe for dog behavior problems. You don’t like to sit around all day with nothing to do, and your dog doesn’t either. If he doesn’t have enough to do, he WILL find something to occupy himself. Digging and barking are only a couple of problems that can be traced directly to boredom.
High Energy – Some breeds of dogs have very high energy levels. Border collies and other working dogs fall into this category. And of course, young half-grown dogs are very energetic, too. Your dog needs lots of exercise, or he’ll get it himself by digging holes.
Attention – Digging is often a form of attention-getting behavior. If the only time you pay any attention to your dog is when he does something naughty like dig holes, bark, or chew up your stuff, you’re training your dog to do exactly what you don’t want him to do.
Once you’ve figured out why he’s digging, you can take steps to end the behavior.
How To Stop A Dog From Digging Holes
If your dog is young, or has a lot of energy, exercise is essential to burn it off. A long walk twice a day is best. If you have a dog park nearby, take him there every day so he can run around playing with other dogs. If you don’t have time to do this, hire a dog walker.
Provide a place for him to dig. Make a sand pit in one corner of your yard for him to play in. When he starts digging someplace else, redirect him to his own digging area.
Bury a Kong toy filled with peanut butter in his sand pit for him to find. Digging the peanut butter out will keep him occupied for quite a while.
If your dog is stubborn about digging where you don’t want him to, you may need to put a large rock over his favorite place. Cover it with dirt. When he starts digging agin, he’ll hit the rock, which will stop him right away. A variation is to bury some chicken wire just under the ground.
Set up a sprinkler where you don’t want him to dig. Turn it on when he starts his excavations, making sure he can’t see you doing it. He’ll think the garden is doing it to him, not you.
In extreme cases, try burying some of his poop in the hole. Dogs have an instinct to be clean, so this may discourage him from digging in that particular location. Take advantage of this “teachable moment” to encourage him to dig in his own area.
- How to stop dog that digs yard rocks, not toys? (sfgate.com)