How Do You Stop Dogs From Digging | No More Holes

Before a person ever gets their first dog, you can usually tell, as they usually have the nicest backyard lawn on the block. LOL!

Then all of a sudden they decide they are getting a puppy. I don’t even think they realize that the beautiful yard they once had, will be gone forever. Now not all dogs are yard destroyers as I like to call them. Some dogs are pretty good at not being that destructive.

Unfortunately there are many dogs that are very tough on backyards. The question that these poor dog owners want to know is how do you stop dogs from digging?


*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Please see my disclosure.

Reasons why dogs dig.

Has your backyard turned in a yard of crater holes! Everywhere you look do you see a new hole that your dog has just dug. Your lawn is ripped up and your flowers are all dug up.

Dogs can get focused on digging in one specific area and that can quickly become a bad habit to break. Next thing you know, they are digging everywhere.

The one thing you need to know is that your dog is not doing it to be spiteful. He is digging for many reasons, but that isn’t one of them.

Some typical reasons why dogs start digging are:

  • Boredom
  • Left alone in the backyard without humans.
  • Puppy with no outlet for their pent-up energy.
  • Your yard has nothing for them to play with (no toys).
  • Certain breeds like terriers are bred to dig.
  • They have seen you digging in the yard and are mimicking you.
  • Rodents in the yard.

Every dog breed is different. Making sure you know what characteristic your dog’s breed have, can help go along way to understanding why they might be digging.



Now that you have a digger in the family, you need to try to stop that digging behavior. Nobody wants a dog that destroys their yard regularly. Trying to stop the behavior right away is very important. You don’t want the behavior to escalate or continue.

Here are some deterrents that may help in getting your dog to stop digging:

  • Spend more playtime with your dog in your yard, throwing a ball or Frisbee.
  • Provide your dog with more exercise to try to burn off their extra energy.
  • Keep dogs toys in the yard that are interesting to your dog.
  • Put some flat rocks and bury them in the most common places that your dog likes to dig.
  • If you have mice or rodents, get rid of the problem.
  • Bury plastic chicken wire or some type of netting just below the surface.
  • Stay outside with them in the yard when you let them out.
  • Try putting things like cayenne pepper, citrus peels or even vinegar in the dirt.
  • You can try to plant a border plant like roses or shrubs that are prickly.
  • Block off the specific area if possible.

Overall the key to getting your dog to stop digging is really all about paying attention and making sure that your dog isn’t alone in the yard with nothing to do. Whether your dog is a puppy or an older dog it is crucial that they don’t have free rein to do whatever they want.


Training classes.

Your backyard can be a big open space with many wonderful things that your dog may find very exciting. When your dog starts behaving badly, like digging holes in your backyard, it is important to first think about their behavior.

Dogs behavior in most cases is one of the key reasons that a dog can become a digger. A dog needs boundaries and the best way to teach a dog boundaries is to take your dog to dog training classes. In dog classes your dog will learn that he has to respect the boundaries that he is given.

When a dog has no training or discipline, they can turn out to be very disruptive and unmanageable. Dogs need to have a good understanding of the rules of the house and that it is important to listen to the pack leader, which should be training

Training classes teach your dog to be patient while waiting their turn to complete a task, they also learn that a calm well-behaved dog is rewarded with treats and positive reinforcement.

It doesn’t even matter if your dog is a puppy or an older dog, their are classes for all ages of dogs. Making sure that you research dog training in your area, will help make sure that you pick a class that will suit your dog’s issues. There is no point in spending your money on the right dog class for your dog.

You can even ask friends that are dog owners to get some recommendations of training that they have already used. No point in reinventing the wheel. Raising a dog takes a village, so make sure to reach out to anyone that can help. Personal dog experiences can be very helpful.

Escape artist or cool dog.

Sometimes dogs will dig if they are left outside on a hot day. Why is that you ask? Well it could be that your dog is hot and digging down farther in the dirt can provide a cool spot for them to lay. Laying on the dirt with their belly will definitely cool them down.

Make sure if you are leaving your dog in the backyard for a long period of time that you provide shade for your dog. It could be something as easy as a cool dog house, or a covered deck that offers some shade for them to

The other reason that a dog maybe starting to dig in your yard is they are trying to escape out of the yard. Dogs can dig in the yard around the fence line, in hopes of digging their way out. Digging long enough, can create a nice hole for them to sneak out of. Next thing you know, you have a loose dog that can easily become lost.

Whether your dog is digging to get out or just stay cool, both of these reasons can be easily fixed. Never leave a digging dog in the backyard while you are at work. That is far to much time to be left alone. If you absolutely need to leave your dog outside while you are away, then you should be building your dog an outdoor dog kennel.

A safe space for them to avoid getting in trouble.

No more digging.

There are many reasons that dogs dig, but the reality is, it generally is a behavior issue. Sometimes we don’t even realize the real reason that you have a dog that digs.

Understanding your dog is really important. Having a dog is a full-time job that requires your full attention. Being a dog owner is something that you can’t take lightly.

Paying attention to your dog inside the house, is just as important as it is outside in the yard. “Idle hands is the devils work” is a saying I think we have all heard before. Generally this is used to describe a child that has too much time alone. Well being a dog owner this can be just as true. Your dog needs to stay busy and have some type of job that will keep their mind working.

Physical exercise is important for sure, but so is mental stimulation. A puppy is especially prone to becoming distracted very easy. Keeping their mind moving will tire them out much faster than a run or walk. When it is time to let them out in the yard to do their business, keep it short and supervised.

I hope that you have found some helpful tips in my post of how to stop dogs from digging in your backyard. Best of luck!


FitBark Dog Activity Monitor


10 thoughts on “How Do You Stop Dogs From Digging | No More Holes”

  1. How interesting. I have never owned a dog in my life however, those I know who do own them, have them as inside dogs. Therefore I had forgotten that dogs dig and make holes. This I do find concerning since I have a lovely yard. But I suppose they only dig in their own territory; as I read, it is to make one. “This is my spot!” 

    • Hi Linda,

      Yes some dogs do dig in their own yard.  The thing about dogs that dig, it is not necessarily dogs that are outside dogs, inside dogs still need to go out and do their business.  This is the point and time when some will dig. 

      The real key to getting them not to dig is to be vigilante about being outside when they are and that they get the right amount of exercise.

      Thank you for taking the time to discuss my post. I really appreciate it.


  2. I’m really experiencing hard time stopping my dog from digging all over the garden, but I have come to understand that most of what you have said here is true, I actually leave Robin all to himself from morning till evening and I guess boredom like you said could be the cause, but should I spend more time with him. Do you think he’s ever going to stop because he enjoys digging and I honestly get pissed about it? 

    • Hi SeunJeremiah,

      I totally understand how frustrating it can be to have a dog that digs.  The key thing I am getting from your story is exactly what you think it is. Way too much time alone and absolute boredom. 

      In order to make him stop, you would have to make some changes with the amount of time he is alone.  A dog left alone for that long outside by themselves can lead to behaviour issues, like digging.  Spending more time with your dog will also help him stop digging.

      Is there anyway you could provide other things in the yard like toys that he can play with.  By giving him something else to do, the hope is he will taper off with the digging.  You could also try a outdoor dog pen so he doesn’t have complete run of the yard.

      Thank you for sharing your dog story with me. I hope that some of my suggestions will help.


  3. Coralie, this is a VERY useful article about how to stop or minimize dogs from digging holes in a backyard.   I am a real estate agent and I’ve seen so many yards that look more like a land mine because of all of the holes.    I’ll be saving a link to your website so that I can share it with other people.     

    In recent years, I have lived in the country where my dogs have a lot more room to run and burn off their energy.    So, the holes have been greatly minimized.   

    Yet your article reminds me of a dog that I had while growing up.  Her name was Junebug.   She loved playing ball.  Yet, it was not humanly possible to play ball as much as she wanted to play.   So, she started digging because she enjoyed kicking up the dirt and then turning around and trying to chase it.    It was a weird game that she had that we simply decided to tolerate.   Sometimes, you have to simply over look a pet’s unusual behaviors.   

    • Hello Sondra,

      Your Junebug sounds like she was quite the character.  I don’t think I have heard of a dog digging and chasing the dirty she flipped up. I am sure it was quite funny to watch.

      I 100% agree that not every odd thing our dog’s do, needs to be corrected.  My dog Boo likes to dig the grass a bit after he pees. Why? I have no idea, but really there is no harm and it is kind of cat in a litter box move. Kind of cute to see.

      I am glad that you found my post interesting enough to pass on, so thank you for that. It is greatly appreciated. Thanks for sharing your dog stories.  They really do make my day.


  4. Great post on dogs attitude. I used to have a dog too and your post makes me remember how he also scattered the backyard and destroyed my mum’s plants. For my dog, he was given some training and he became calm and reserved than before and he stopped digging. I stopped letting him out on hot afternoons too. Great post

    • Hi Jason,

      It is great to hear your story about your previous dog.  I am sure your mom was not to happy that he destroyed her plants.

      I am so glad that after training he was more calm and reserved, most of all it stopped him from digging.  Taking your dog to training was an excellent idea.

      Thank you for sharing your comments on my post. I love hearing other dog stories from dog owners.  Sharing really does seem to help other people with their dog problems.


  5. Your review about stopping dog from digging is very unique I have never come across this type of information online. Being the first I also learn the reason why a dog digs this is an educating post to me, your research also tells me about solutions. Especially taking the dog for training school is one of the main points I learned. It looks funny to me when I am.reading the post when you mention the dog wants to find its way out of the compound. Caring for the dog is very important.

    • Hello,

      Thank you for checking out my latest post. I appreciate that you found something that you found helpful in it. Digging is a topic that is necessary for dog owners that have dogs that love to dig. 

      You are right that caring for your dog is very important.  I appreciate your comments.



Leave a Reply to Sondra M Cancel reply