Ever wonder why your pup digs holes in your yard? It is often destructive and can ruin your grass and flower beds. Dogs need exercise and, depending on the breed, some need more than others. Your dog could be digging because of boredom, comfort, for fun, to cool off on hot days, or just because the breed is predisposed to that kind of behaviour. Terriers and dachshunds were typically bred to dig for badgers. For these dogs, it can be challenging to train them out of that behaviour. If this is the case, create your pup a safe digging zone in your yard and bury things they would enjoy finding, like treats and bones. Remember to reward their behaviour when they do dig in the safe zone, that will train them to dig in that one spot. Fill in the other holes and make it unappealing to your pup, so they won’t want to dig there.

Your pup may also be digging out of fear or frustration stemming from separation anxiety when you leave them alone or from storms.

Want your pup to stop digging?

  • Reward and reinforce good behaviour. When you praise good behaviour, your pup will continue to do those good things.
  • Make the yard less appealing. Since dogs like to go back to the same spot to dig, fill in those holes and continue to fill in holes.
  • However, make sure your pup doesn’t see you because they will think you are having fun playing in the dirt as well. You can try and place chicken wire under the dirt’s surface to help deter your pup.
  • Be consistent. When deterring your pups behaviour, you and your family must be consistent, and it can be challenging.

Here are some tips to stop your pup from digging:

  • More play and exercise time!
  • More chews and toys to keep them occupied.
  • Help them cool down in hot weather.
  • Designate a safe digging area in your yard.
  • Use digging deterrents.
  • Remove rodents from your yard.

More information can be found here. If digging is behavioural, our veterinarians at Happy Paws can answer any questions you have too.