Stop Your Dog From Digging With These 5 Simple Tricks

If you own a dog, chances are, your lawn isn’t your highest priority.

Dogs love to run around, dig holes, and sometimes just roll in the dirt. They’re just trying to have fun. Can you blame them?

Still, all that fun can leave you with a patchy brown backyard. It can be hard to keep dogs from digging holes, but it can be done.

Follow these tips and you’ll understand how.

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Lots of dogs like to dig. Do you know how to stop them?

5. Get out and play

In many cases, dogs dig holes out of boredom. They may just need some exercise. According to the Humane Society, dogs may even dig if they think it’s a game.

Here are a few ways to tire your canine companion out:

  • Walk your dog two times every day.
  • Play fetch and other active games
  • practice some simple commands or tricks regularly.

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      Keep your dog tired out and distracted to deter them from digging.

      4. Distract them with toys

      When your dog has trouble focusing on less destructive behavior, you can reach their brains through their stomachs, and reinforce positive outcomes at the same time.

      You can find a number of options in the Animal Rescue Site store. Fill the Original KONG® Dog Toy with treats and you will have your pet working out its muscles and its mind, while the Doggles Pentapulls® Dog Toy can engage your pet even if you dont have a lot of room to play.

      For those with big yards, the is the perfect toy. Throw it high and watch your dog chase it down. Keeping your lawn hole-free has never been more enjoyable!

      3. Deter them from digging

      Over time, some dogs develop a preference for digging in certain spots rather than others. You can discourage your pet from making mole holes into man eating craters with a few quick fixes.

      According to Rover.com, flowering plants with strong scents, thorns, or otherwise offensive features are an effective deterrent to digging, provided they aren’t poisonous.

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      Designated digging areas can keep your dog from ruining the rest of your yard.

      Here are a few other tips and tricks:

      • Bury large flat rocks in popular digging areas
      • Place cayenne pepper, vinegar, or citrus peels in fresh holes and cover them up
      • Set your sprinklers to activate when there’s motion in the area


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      If you don’t trust your dog to leave the topsoil where it belongs, go outside with them,

      2. Watch like a hawk

      When all else has failed, your best bet is vigilance.

      You may be able to count on your canine growing out of the behavior after a while, but it will take some work.

      VetStreet recommends monitoring dogs when you take them outside until their digging subsides. If a dog does start to dig:

      • Distract them by clapping your hands or blowing a whistle
      • Shake a can filled with coins or rocks
      • Toss a handful of small treats away from the hole


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      If all else fails, keep your dog off the grass!

      1. Keep them off the grass

      So, you’ve tried tricks, and you’ve tried treats… Let’s face it, some dogs you just can’t reach.

      With difficult and determined diggers, often the only option left is physically keeping them away from their favorite holes, or giving them a dedicated spot to excavate.

      You can border the area with plants or a small fence, VetStreet advises, but giving your dog a reason to dig there will likely prove more effective. Loose dirt, special toys, and praises aplenty when your pet digs in the designated area will keep them, and you, pleased with the results.

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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