If you’re tired of falling in the holes your dog keeps digging in your yard, you may be ankle deep in frustration.
While some dogs dig out of boredom, cold weather dogs such as Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes will dig their way towards cooler parts of the earth when they’re stuck outside in hot weather for too long.
Other dog breeds can’t help but dig as they were specifically bred to hunt for burrowing prey. These typical digging breeds include:
- Miniature Schnauzers
- Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
If you have a digger on your hands, you may be wondering how to accommodate both his instincts to dig and your wish to keep your backyard intact. Don’t worry; we have a few tips to make you both happy.
Wear Your Dog Out
Give your dog a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise. Whether that means taking him on a long hike, or playing an invigorating game of fetch, your dog needs to burn off the energy he would normally spend digging in the dirt (or at your carpet).
Pent-up energy from not exercising is the biggest cause of behavioral problems in dogs.
If your dog is a working breed, such as a Border Collie or an Australian Shepherd, and he doesn’t have a hard day’s work, he may try to find his own fulfillment by digging up roots or rocks to feel productive.
Redirect that energy with extra playtime so your dog is too wiped out to tear apart your flowerbed. Teach him a few new tricks to get his mind off of digging his way to the other side of the world.
Give Your Pup Attention
If your dog digs when he’s left alone for too long, give him the attention he’s craving. Besides that 30 minutes of exercise, make sure to pencil in a few play, pet, and cuddle sessions to bond like packmates and have fun together.
Control the Escape Artist
If your dog is digging under/along fence lines, keep these tips in mind:
- Bury the bottom of your fence 1–2 feet below ground
- Partially bury large rocks along the bottom of the fence
- Use citrus peels to line the fence area as many dogs dislike the smell of orange, lemon, and grapefruit
Create a Digging Zone
Set aside a specific area in your yard as a digging zone. Teach your dog to dig ONLY in this location. Cover the area in loose soil or sand and bury toys for him to find. Make sure to reward him for his discovery by giving him treats or playing with the toy he found.
If your dog starts digging elsewhere, respond with a firm NO and lead him to the digging zone. Place rocks, citrus peels, or chicken wire over his former digging spots to deter him from digging there.
Above all, try not to get upset with your pup. Remember that punishing him after the fact won’t stop his handiwork from happening in the future.