7 Great Ways to Curb Your Dog's Digging Behavior

Aug 15, 2020     |      Sophie's Circle

A Terrier is digging on the beach in the sandIs your dog digging behavior making a mess of your yard and flower beds? Are you afraid your dog will leave the safety of your property by digging under the fence? Use these top tips and tools that can reduce worry and help your pet enjoy his time outdoors more.

Designate a Location?
If you have a digger, chances are your dog has an instinct or obsession he is not likely to lose anytime soon. Therefore, instead of trying to break the habit, it may be more useful to teach him when and where he can practice this activity he loves. For example, try setting up a sandbox with an outdoor-friendly set of toys and bones hidden inside. Your veterinarian can help you select the right treats and toys for your dog’s size, chewing behavior, and interests.

Teach Him to “Leave It”?
Although your dog now has a proper place to dig away until his heart is content, he may still need a command for times when he tries to find his own good-smelling or feeling spots in the yard. This is especially true if he likes to dig under the fence, which can be a safety hazard. Saying the command “Leave It” in a low and stern voice while redirecting his attention to another task or location could be a great tool for teaching him what not to do. Also, be sure to reward him when he obeys or is doing a behavior you like with plenty of praise and some vet-approved treats. Soon, he will learn that he gets your attention when he follows his commands and performs the associated behaviors in a calm manner.

Give Him a Purpose?
Dogs are a lot like people. When they get bored or have not been exercised, they will search for things to do that may not always be healthy and appropriate. If this sounds like your furry best friend, he may need more exercise and a task that keeps his mind focused on something challenging that requires physical activity, such as running an obstacle course or catching frisbees.

Choose the Right Fence for Your Dog
Fences come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some can block the view of people and other animals walking, which may prevent him from getting so excited. Also, an electric fence may be an affordable option if he is not left alone outdoors that he cannot dig under or jump over.

Create a Next-Level Barrier
For dogs who still dig around the perimeter, there are many tools to add to make getting underneath an uncomfortable experience. Mesh or wire fencing, for instance, placed under the fence will not feel good to your dog’s nails and paws. Filling in any holes or gaps along the fence or providing an added barrier, such as a plant bed with its own fence may also prove effective at reducing his interest in the fence borders.?

Hunt for Yard Critters?
Do you have moles, rabbits, deer, and other animals around your property? If so, this may encourage your fur baby to dig where he smells their scent. By taking measures to decrease the chances your dog will come across another animal in his domain, he may decide his excellent security work is over and it’s time to leave your flower bed alone.

Preventing Water Dishes From Tipping Over?
Some owners are more concerned about their dog’s lack of water from his dish turning over than the digging behavior by itself. This is a major health concern when your dog is left outside unattended. Every dog should have access to fresh water and cool shelter. Thankfully, there are other pet owners who have shared this problem and created weighted “no tip” bowls and bowls that attach to your dog’s kennel! There are even splash-proof bowls that limit your pet’s ability to dig inside the water bowl. We found prices as low as $7.59 at Walmart and Amazon for a no-tip and no-splash water bowl.

Therefore, when you are struggling with unwanted behavior such as digging, the great news is there are some healthy tools and methods to apply that can reduce stress and frustration for the whole family. If you are ready to adopt or foster a furry best friend yet are concerned about how to work with unwanted behaviors, learn more about positive-reinforcement training suggestions on our website. Then, visit our adoption page for the most adorable tail-waggers who are searching for a loving friend like you to bring them home!