How to Stop a Dog from Digging?

A dog who digs in the dirt to bury a bone is normal and cute, right? But, digging can be a problem if your little one decides to paw his way out of your yard. Learn how to stop a dog from digging.

How to stop a dog from digging:

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Why do dogs dig?

Why a dog digs is related to breed, behavior and activity level. Some breeds may have higher prey drives and dig in search of burrowing animals or insects. Most dogs may dig because they are bored and need exercise, while other dogs dig cooling pits to beat the heat.

11 Tips for how to stop a dog from digging

  1. If your dog is digging cooling pits, keep him inside in the air conditioning.
  2. For dogs who like some extra help staying cool, set up a kiddie pool outdoors.
  3. When dog dig tunnels or along fences, it is often in search of burrowing animals or insects who may also live in the yard. Use safe and humane means to prevent them from entering or to make your yard less attractive. Be sure to never use anything toxic or harmful to wildlife or pets.
  4. Dogs that dig holes are often frustrated and bored and adding activities to their routine can help. Play fetch, toss a Frisbee, or practice fun training or tricks for mental stimulation.
  5. Scent hounds can be deterred from digging by hiding treats around the yard and encouraging him to track them down.
  6. For dogs who are home alone all day, one of the best ways to end boredom for your dog is to include a daily walk together.
  7. Offer your dog a chewable treat to divert his attention from randomly digging holes.
  8. If your dog enjoys playing with other dogs, invite neighborhood dogs over for a playdate.
  9. Create a digging pit for your dog in a designated area filled with his favorite toys and chews. Praise him for using it and not the plant-beds.
  10. Try to keep your yard free of small animals by using fencing or by removing potential food sources.
  11. For dogs that dig along the fence, reinforce it with chicken wire at the bottom, push it into the ground.


Dog digging: Which breeds dig the most?

It is virtually impossible to make digging breed-specific. The truth is that all dogs have the potential to dig. Below are just a few breeds known to find cooler environments, search for small animals or have a prey drive and may dig based on natural instinct.

Spitz dogs*

Earth dogs*

Scent hounds* 


Australian Shepherd

American Foxhound

Chow Chow

Australian Terrier


Finnish Lapphund

Bedlington Terrier

Basset Hound

Finish Spitz

Border Collie


Icelandic Sheepdog

Border Terrier

Bluetick Coonhound


Cairn Terrier

English Springer Spaniel

Norwegian Elkhound


German Shorthaired Pointer

Norwegian Lundehund

Jack Russel Terrier




Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Shiba Inu

West Highland Terrier

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Siberian Husky



*This list is not comprehensive and includes some breeds with a natural instinct for tracking, prey drive, and a need for colder environments.

Playing Treasure Hunt with your Dog

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