Stop Dog Digging

Stop Dog Digging

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Digging.

The first time I came home to find my long-awaited tulips totally destroyed I was beyond frustrated. That frustration only grew when I got to the porch and saw Sally, my new golden retriever puppy covered in dirt and happily gnawing on a tulip bulb. Teaching dogs, especially those that are avid diggers like mine, not to dig up your garden can be a frustrating. And a difficult part of dog ownership. Luckily with age and some training, Sally learned to leave my tulips alone. You will find with these simple tips your pup will too!

Digging in Natural

First of all, it is very important to remember that digging is a natural part of dog behavior. And nothing to be alarmed about. Most dogs have the natural inclination to dig, and really love this activity. Totally stopping your dog from digging will deprive him of easy mental stimulation and lots of fun. So instead of trying to put a full end to this behavior, it is often better to try and redirect it. If your yard is large enough, consider designating an area for your pup to dig in. When you see him digging outside of that area, gently redirect him to his own place. A great way to do this is by burying treats and toys in the designated are. This will encourage him to stay in there, and keep him out of the rest of your yard.


Supervising your dog while he is in the yard will prevent him from forming bad digging habits. Correct his behavior right away, and correct it consistently. If you consistently tell your pup “no”! Then guide him away from the area he is digging in, he will quickly begin to understand that you are not happy with that behavior. At this point in redirecting your puppy’s digging, it may help to startle him away from the area he is digging in. You can do this by making a loud noise or even getting him wet with a hose or spray bottle. This will get his attention so you can more easily redirect him.


While it is very important to be consistent in stopping your dog’s bad digging behavior.  It is also crucial to be consistent in rewarding your puppy for the correct behavior. When you see him digging or playing in his part of the yard, be sure to encourage and reward him. Puppies are very responsive to positive reinforcement, so rewarding your pet with doggy treats, belly rubs or play time will help him understand that you are pleased with his behavior. This will encourage him to only dig in his own designated area.

Decorative Fence

If redirecting your dog’s digging and using positive reinforcement are not enough to keep your pooch from destroying your yard.  You may find a simple decorative fence is. Putting a physical barrier between your garden and your pup will often discourage him from digging in it. The size and type of fence or border you decide to use will have to correspond to the size of your dog. A very small border will likely be ineffective in preventing a very large dog from digging. Another effective way to halt digging is by raising your flower beds. Dogs are much less interested in digging in raised beds. Remember that your pup likely doesn’t understand that your vegetable or flower garden are any different than any other part of your yard. Raising your flower or vegetable beds will make a difference and discourage your dog from digging in that particular area.

Final Though

While digging can be frustrating, it is often just another aspect of puppy training that with consistency and repetition your pup will quickly grow out of, just as mine did.

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