Stop your dog from digging

The Big Dig

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The Big Dig

I have a mixed breed dog, and he likes to dig holes in our yard. Do you have any ideas on how stop my dog's digging?

Strange, but True

This sounds awful, but it works. Collect as much of Fido's do-do as you can get in a plastic bag. Wherever he digs, plant it. He won't dig in his own droppings, and it will do dual duty by enriching the soil. Of course, exercise and less boredom for him also helps.

Keep Doggie's Nails Trimmed

When I trim the toenails of our dogs, the digging seems to stop. And when it's muddy I only let them outside for a few minutes to potty and then bring them right back in. You might have to spend a few minutes out there with your dog, and when the digging starts, reprimand with a firm voice and then praise when he/she leaves that location.
M in KC

Construct a Sandbox

Construct a small child's sandbox and fill it with sand, as your dog is trying to cool off by digging in the cool dirt. A covered sandbox opened up when your dog is in the yard is just the ticket. You should have the camera on hand when he jumps in, digs himself into a hole, and covers himself with sand. Precious!

Another Sandbox Proponent

My husband is a dog trainer and some dogs are just going to dig, as it's in their nature. We've found a fun solution. People think it's crazy at first, but it works. Give the dog a place to dig. Make him his own sandbox. Bury a few toys, bones or balls to help him get the idea. When you see him digging where he's not supposed to, just stop him and take him over to his sandbox and move some dirt around. Most dogs get the idea fairly quickly.
thebarkingdog in MI

Can't afford a pro? Give do-it-yourself dog grooming a try.

Rover Needs a Job

As an experienced dog owner and trainer, I believe this dog needs a job. No amount of scolding will cure him or her of this behavior. However, giving the dog a job will help. He is most likely digging because he is not mentally stimulated enough or is not given enough exercise. A few walks per day won't cure this.

Try joining an obedience class or agility class. Not only will you bond with your pet, but you will also give him an outlet for all of his creative energies.

Two Approaches, One Goal

I've tried two different ways to stop dogs from digging over the years. Both have worked.

  1. Fill all of the holes with ground pepper. With some dogs, it only takes one snout full of pepper not to dig again.
  2. Blow up some small balloons, stick them in some of those holes, and then cover them over with a layer of dirt. When the dog starts to dig, the balloon breaks and scares him off.


According to Animal Planet…

I saw a show on Animal Planet where a family's English Mastiff was creating a "trench" in their yard. The solution was to lay down chicken wire under a few inches of topsoil. Apparently, dogs hate the feeling of their nails going over the wire. They also made her a sand "play area" and trained her to dig there if she really wanted to dig.
Big Dog Mom

Beanbag Toss

There was a segment on Susan Powell's show this morning regarding training your dog. They were using a beanbag to get the dog's attention. When he went to do something wrong, they tossed the lightweight beanbag at his rear which stopped him from jumping, etc. Then they praised the dog. Make up several little beanbags and then try this idea. Try using navy beans and some leftover fabric to make the beanbags. It's worth a try!

Take the Next Step:

  • Stop overpaying for your pet's medications. See how much 1-800-PetMeds can help you save.
  • Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
  • Don't let your pets take such a bite out of your budget! The Dollar Stretcher's Guide to Frugal Pet Care can show you smart ways to love your pet while spending less.

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