Your Dog is Digging Holes? We’ll Teach You How to Stop It!

dog digging

One day you wake up and see that your yard or lawn is filled with holes. Was there a meteorite shower at night or did your dog turn into a burrowing animal?

If a sudden change in your dog’s behavior happened and you are worried about the outlook of your property, it is important to know about the reasons that could cause such a behavior and the most efficient ways of changing it!

Why Dogs Dig Holes?

Below are the most common and popular reasons, why dogs start digging holes in your yard, at a park or any other place with soft soil.

  • They are Bored

Remember how you act, when you feel bored and don’t know what to do? You probably play weird games on your smartphone, scroll social media feed or switch TV channels.

Unfortunately (or luckily?) our pets don’t have all those hi-tech devices, so they need to invent their own activities to escape boredom. Digging is one of them.

  • They are Lonely

Dogs are social creatures, so they need interaction and communication, especially with their owners. If you leave your pet in the yard all alone for quite a while, they will most likely start digging.

This is one of the most common reasons for digging and to remove the problem, you need to make sure that your dog is not feeling lonely.


  • They Have Too Much Energy

You probably know that dogs are extremely clever and most of them are bred in order to perform certain tasks. If you don’t give your dog a chance to exercise both physically and mentally, most likely it will start searching for a way to let out the energy.

Such breeds, as dachshunds or terriers were bred particularly for digging. This means that there is a high probability they will dig holes no matter what. This also includes puppies: almost all dogs at an early age like digging holes.

However, you can train any dog to stop it from burrowing. The only question is how much efforts you will need to apply.

  • They Want to Escape

In case there is another pet nearby, most likely your dog will be willing to play with it or chase it (if it is a cat). And it doesn’t matter what type of fencing there is!

  • They Want to Hunt

Pay careful attention to the signals your dog is sending you. There is a high probability that there are burrowing animals in your yard. They can be quite harmless, like rabbits but your dog will want to hunt them either way.

If you have found proofs that there are such animals, it is better to call the animal control to protect your health and property.

  • They are Hot or Cold

When the temperatures are too high or too low, dogs shouldn’t be kept outside. This may greatly influence their health and lead to a heart stroke or other severe conditions that may even be fatal.

If the dog is cold or hot, it may want to dig a hole and to find more comfortable shelter. 

dig hole
Photo: Shutterstock

Stop Dog from Digging

Boredom and loneliness are the most common reasons why dogs start digging. That is why, the first and in the majority of cases the best solution is to improve their lives. Luckily, it is quite a simple task, considering that dogs are mostly happy all the time.

Once you understand how to correct your pet’s behavior, you’ll solve the problem!

Spend Enough Time With Your Pet

Everything starts with paying proper attention. As you have probably noticed, dogs adore attention. That is why to ease their loneliness and to stop the digging thing you need to devote as much time to your pet as possible.

The simplest option is to take your dog with you, when you are completing regular activity: picking a dinner, sending a letter or having a walk around the block. Your pet will surely appreciate the change in the scenery.

When you have a day off try to organize an outdoor rest, such as trip to a local park or even hiking.  Dogs love traveling and they definitely love spending time with their owners.

Physical Activity

While there are breeds, which don’t need serious exercises, most of the puppies and dogs have too much energy, so they need a way to release it. If there won’t be any solution, they will start digging holes in your garden and ruining your wife’s roses!

Of course, it is quite difficult to find time for an exercise between college, work and family. However, you can always adjust it to your experience, qualification and schedule.

You can play fetch at home, have a walk in the nearby park or even have a short jog around neighboring houses. All of these exercises can be done together with your dog!

Your pet will surely appreciate the time you have devoted and will become more relaxed and obedient. Once you add exercises to your daily schedule, you will see that they have a positive impact not only on your dog’s behavior but also on your health and mood!


Actually, the best way to name this article would be ‘How to occupy your dog?’ If your pet spends time outdoors, you need to buy different toys that occupy mind and time of your friend. This will entertain the dog, while you are away, and it won’t have time to plan digging or a runaway.

Mental exercises are as important as physical ones! Luckily, there is a huge variety of toys for dogs, so you can choose the one, which suites age, temper and size of your pet. Another useful technique is to hide treats inside toys. In such a way your dog will be more encouraged to find the treat and will spend more time playing.

There are even interactive toys, which means that they make moves and noises. Buying several toys will help you to understand which one your dog likes the most. You should also rotate them not to make your dog bored.

playing dog
Photo: pixabay

Get Rid of Burrowing Animals

If your dog is mentally and physically trained and is able to entertain itself without any side interference, there can be another reason for digging: presence of burrowing animals in the garden.

You will understand that it’s the case, when your dog starts looking for something in a particular part of the garden. In addition, when following scent of such animal, your dog will most likely dig holes in a particular sequence. 

To fix this problem, you can contact animal control or other competent services. Make sure that they don’t use chemicals, because it may harm your dog. 

Make a Shade

If you notice that your dog is digging holes along the fence or near the shade, most likely it is trying to find a cooler place. Probably such places are in the shade most of the day and the soil there is much cooler.

When dogs burrow into cooler ground, they feel calmer. If this is your case, make sure your dog has a place, where it can hide from the sun.

One of the best solutions is buying a dog house. It must be cozy and big enough not to make your dog claustrophobic. To make it more comfortable, put a bowl with water and a blanket inside.

Crate Training 

All of the above tips fade compared to the last one: if you don’t want your dog to dig holes in the yard, you just need to keep it indoors!

Statistics show that most of the dogs that were stolen or poisoned, were in the yard. This means that it is much safer for your dog to stay inside the house. You shouldn’t keep it inside the house forever (leave that to the cats) but controlled walks will make it simpler to correct wrong behavior.

In addition, dogs have strokes or hypothermia more often if they are left outside on heat. Moreover, they can contact different insects and bring them to your home.

However, if you worry that your dog will ruin furniture or will have conflicts with other animals, crate training can be a nice option. Most of the veterinarians and trainers say that it is the best and the simplest way of making your dog comfortable, safe and happy.

You can buy crates online or at most of the stores with pet goods. They have different sizes, shapes and colors. To make the crate cozier you put add toys, bowls and a blanket. With a proper approach and preparation your dog will consider the crate as its own personal space.

Remember, stopping the dog from burrowing and digging is not engineering or physics. All you have to do is to find the reason why your dog feels bored, lonely, tired or anxious and fix it!

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1 Response

  1. Hanah says:

    Crate training works well for us! We were originally trying to train Griffy as an indoor-outdoor dog, with him indoor part of the time, but outside most of the day. Turns out it was just way too hot for the sweet thing here in Alabama. We worked on crate training and now he only goes outside for walks, and my garden thankfully has no doggy holes in it!

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