Four ideas to stop your dog digging up your yard

IMG_1687 Following on from my last article, where I went through some of the common reasons why dogs dig, I’m going to take you through some of the methods I’ve come across on my journey to stop your dog from relandscaping your yard. All dogs are different though, so sometimes you need to try a few different methods before you find the method that will work for you.

Here are four ways I have tried (and with differing levels of success) to stop Luna, Cynder and Sprocket from digging up the yard:

  • Burying their poop: If your dog is prone to digging because they want to try and find things underground then this is something you can try. Bury some of their poop in one of the holes they have dug. The idea is that they will dig it up, think that it’s not that interesting after all and give up on the digging. I’ve tried this one and the Beagle, Luna just went and dug somewhere else.
  • Burying a balloon: Another one for the serial diggers out there. Take a balloon, blow it up part way and bury it in the hole. The theory behind this one is that when the dog digs up the balloon they should pop it with their nails and the fright they get will be enough of a deterrent for them to stop.Training 250
  • Chilli flakes or citronella: I tried these two methods in an attempt to stop the Beagle, Luna and the Border Collie, Cynder from digging along the fence line and in the bark that is there. Both of these methods aim to deter the dog away from the area. The Beagle, Luna was quite fond of chilli flakes, so that didn’t really help but both tended to stay away from areas where citronella was sprayed. We used a citronella oil concentrate which is available from most hardware stores.
  • Chicken wire: This was one if the final methods we tried, quite successfully I might add, to stop the Beagle, Luna from digging under the fence and escaping the yard. We got a roll of chicken wire and some metal pegs from the hardware store and cut the chicken wire so that it would cover the length of the fence. The Beagle, Luna had been digging the bark at the edge of the fence so the first step was to rake this back, lay the chicken wire flat along the fence, with one edge right on the fence line, and use the pegs to secure it down. Once this was done along the line we raked the bark back over and you can’t even notice it at all. Now if either of them try and dig at the fence line they hit chicken wire and don’t bother trying to go further.

These methods were all given to me as advice from a dog behaviour specialist. If you are having serious issues with your dig digging then please consider speaking to your vet or getting a dog behaviour specialist to visit to discuss your options.

Training 253If your dog is digging to stay cool, then make sure they have somewhere shady and cool to go to beat the heat, even consider a small wading pool, such as a shell pool, with a little bit of water on really warm days, as well as plenty of fresh drinking water and maybe even a Pupsicle or two.. Check out my article on how to keep your pup cool on a warm day for a few more tips.

Your dog may also be digging just because they are bored, if this is the case then make sure they have plenty of toys and stimulation, such as kongs or raw meaty bones, to help keep them occupied whilst you aren’t at home. You could also build them an area where they are allowed to dig, and teach them where it’s appropriate. I’ll take a look at that in a future article.

Is your dog, or has your dog, been a digger? What are your tips to stop it from happening?

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  1. Frankie Furter and Ernie

    Hi Luna and Cynder,
    Just in case you don’t post again before Santa Paws comes…. WE (Ernie and I) want to Wish YOU Both… and your Daddy… a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.
    We remember your grrrrreat series of posts from Last Year.

    • Hey Frankie!

      Thank you so much! Hope you guys also have a grrrrrrrest Christmas! Lunamas was such a great time last year.

      Unfortunately this year things aren’t so great at home… We will be split up soon. 🙁

      Luna and Cynder.

  2. Thanks, very informational.

  3. Tucker is an excessive digger, unlike any of my prior dogs. He is always supervised in the yard, and does it right under our noses. He can be distracted with a toy, but we cant take our eyes off him for a second, or he’s at it. Our formerly nice yard is now a mud pile 🙁 I’ll let you know if and when I find something that works! 🙂

  4. Very interesting post! It’s nice to know these things if I ever get a dog in the future! 🙂

  5. We had to try and find a way too stop of the fox from digging. Hang a bag of mothballs by the hole. It worked. Old farmers trick apparently. Have a marvelous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  6. Just wanted to say these are some great tips…with Gizmo I found that as he grew older digging in the yard pretty much stopped…only time he’s dug recently was in some mulch i’d just put down…it was just too tempting

  7. Build a sand pit! Redirect their behaviour and give them a special area where they are allowed to dig -it’s a great way for them to get it out of their system. If you catch your dog digging, take them to their sandpit instead. Entice them there by hiding treats and toys under the sand and praise them for digging in the right spot.

  8. Our dogs dig, because we have moles on our property and sometimes I get the pleasure of burying a mole that they captured when I’m cleaning up their yard. The “bury their poop” idea works for our dogs too.


  9. My mom told me once, if you do not give your dog a toy to
    play with… It will deal with its boredom with your backyard or
    furniture. So i got my dog toys from local pet stores and then
    tried online through biteem and I never had digging

  10. Great post! Been reading a lot about getting my dog to not do this. Thanks for the info here!

  11. Hi
    I have done the digging pit and he uses it when i am home, i also give him plenty of toys, treats and shade but he still digs. I have blocked off his access by putting up an additional fence but he still manages to get through and digs again. I have even boarded up the wire fence to stop him getting through but he chewed it up and squeezed through the wire fence. He is 7 years old and only started digging about 1 year ago when I moved into my new property. He first started digging to get out of the yard and I think he was looking for me as he went the same way I drive to work (this happened a couple of times). I think he is anxious and lonely when I go out to work etc. I’m not sure what else to do I have blocked the whole under the main fence but he still digs near the path leading to the fence.I have also put him on a chain to prevent him from running off if he does manage to dig his way out of the yard. I’m not sure what else to do.

  12. I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT he digs holes A LOT. . So, leaving home is always a challenge for us.
    My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

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