How to Stop a Dog from Digging

How to Stop a Dog from Digging: A Comprehensive Guide

A comprehensive guide with expert tips

Do you find your backyard resembling a minefield, with holes and craters created by your furry friend’s enthusiastic digging? While dogs have an instinct to dig, it can be frustrating when it disrupts your garden or landscaping. In this guide, we’ll show you effective strategies on how to stop dogs digging, including ways to prevent them from digging under a fence. Plus, discover how Hanrob’s professional dog training services can help if you need expert assistance.

Understanding Why Dogs Dig

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s understand why dogs dig in the first place.

Because digging is a natural behaviour for many dogs, you may not be able to stop yours from doing so altogether—but, by understanding the why, and working with your pet, you can prevent the habit from becoming destructive.

Digging is often a dog’s way of:

  • Relieving Boredom: Dogs dig to pass the time and alleviate boredom.
  • Anxiety: Dogs when left alone or are stressed may dig in an attempt to escape or hide.
  • Seeking Comfort: They may dig to create a cool spot to lie in during hot weather.
  • Hunting Instinct: Dogs, especially terriers, have an inherent instinct to hunt and dig for prey.
  • Hiding Valuables: Some dogs dig to bury their toys or treats.
  • Escaping: Some dogs may use digging to escape by digging under a fence.
  • Just for the fun of it: Sometimes digging can be an outlet for dogs – some dogs that may be prone to digging include Huskies, Terriers, Border Collies, Kelpies.

Knowing the underlying reason for your dog’s digging can help you choose the most appropriate solution.

So, what does Hanrob Recommend?

  1. Exercise and Mental Stimulation

One of the most effective ways to stop dogs from digging is to ensure they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation. A tired dog is less likely to dig out of boredom or pent-up energy. Regular walks, playtime, and puzzle toys can help keep your dog engaged and active.

  1. Designate a Digging Zone

Create a designated digging area in your yard using soft sand or loose soil. Encourage your dog to dig in this specific spot by burying toys or treats there. Whenever you catch your dog digging elsewhere, gently redirect them to their designated digging zone.

  1. Supervision and Training

Supervise your dog while they’re outside, especially if they’re prone to digging. When you catch them in the act, use a firm but gentle “No” and redirect their attention to an appropriate activity or toy. Consistency is key in reinforcing this behaviour.

  1. Physical Barriers

To prevent your dog from digging under a fence, consider installing physical barriers such as chicken wire or dig-proof fencing. Bury the barrier a few inches underground to deter digging.

  1. Professional Dog Training with Hanrob

If your dog’s digging behaviour persists despite your efforts, or if you need expert guidance from experienced trainers, Hanrob’s professional dog training services can help. Our team of trainers specialises in addressing behavioural issues and can create a customised training plan tailored to provide your dog with suitable outlets to focus innate desired behaviours into positive fun training and obedience activities.

What doesn’t work…

Regardless of the reason your dog is digging, don’t:

  • Punish your dog after the fact. This won’t address the cause of the behaviour and will worsen any digging that’s motivated by fear or anxiety.
  • Stake out your dog near a hole they’ve dug or fill the hole with water.


In conclusion, understanding your dog’s motivation for digging is the first step in addressing this behaviour. By providing exercise, mental stimulation, a designated digging area, supervision, and potentially installing physical barriers, you can significantly reduce your dog’s digging tendencies. Remember that patience and consistency are key in training your dog to stop digging. If you need extra support, Hanrob’s professional dog training services are just a call away, ready to assist you and your best mate!

For any Dog Training questions, please give us a call on 1300 426 762