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Home Pet Q&A Dog Questions How Do You Stop A Dog From Digging Holes?

How Do You Stop A Dog From Digging Holes?

You can stop your dog from digging holes by training him to not dig and to create physical barriers that will stop your dog from digging in certain areas. When your dog is a digger, it's more than just annoying—it can also be dangerous. No pet owner wants to think about what could happen if their dog managed to dig his way out from under a fence, so it's important to learn how to stop the behavior.

Why Do Dogs Dig?   

Understanding why your dog is digging is the first step to stopping the behavior. There are several reasons your dog may spend his time digging holes in your yard. These include:

It's Fun

Active dogs in particular use digging as a way to keep busy and make the most of their time outdoors. Other reasons your pet may dig for entertainment include:

  • They are left outside alone for long periods.
  • They are of a breed that digs by instinct (terriers are one example).
  • They need some toys to keep them occupied.


    • Take your dogs on at least two long walks per day.
    • Provide toys that engage them physically and mentally. 
    • Spend more time each day playing with them.
    • Give your dog his own "digging pit" in your backyard. That way, he can have his fun digging in a place that isn't harmful to your landscape.

      They're Hunting

      If your dog tends to dig in the same spot, he may be hunting prey that lives in your yard.


      • Call a humane pest control specialist to search for and then safely and humanely remove burrowing animals from your yard.

      To Cool Off 

      If you live in a warm climate, your dog may be digging himself a spot where he can cool off. This may be the case if:

      • Your dog does not have proper shelter or other protection from the sun.
      • Your dog sits or lies in the holes he creates.


      • Don't leave your pet outside for extended periods—especially when it's hot out.
      • If you must leave him outside, make sure he has proper shelter that provides relief from the heat.

      Plotting Their Escape 

      It's easy to tell if this is why your dog digs as the burrowing will be confined the fence line. Since this can lead to harm for your pet, it's important to stop the digging as quickly as possible. Rather than relying on behavior modification alone, you'll want to place physical barriers.


      • Burying the fence one to two feet below ground.
      • Burying chicken wire along the length of the fence.
      • Partially burying rocks along your fence line.

      Until such precautions are taken, never leave your dog alone in the yard. You can also work on behavior modification with a dog that uses digging to escape, but you'll want a barrier in place in the meantime.

      Take your yard back by implementing the suggestions above. If you're still not able to curb the digging, call on the services of an animal behaviorist. 

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