Dogs are natural diggers. They do it for a variety of reasons, including to find food, cool off, bury bones, or create a safe space. While digging can be a harmless activity, it can also be destructive. If your dog is digging up your yard, there are a few things you can do to stop them.

Identify the Cause of the Digging

The first step to stopping your dog from digging is to figure out why they’re doing it in the first place. Once you know the cause, you can start to address it.

How to Stop a Dog from Digging

Here are some common reasons why dogs dig:

  • Boredom: Dogs need mental and physical stimulation. If they’re not getting enough exercise or playtime, they may start digging to entertain themselves.
  • Temptation: If your dog finds something they want to eat or bury in your yard, they’re more likely to start digging.
  • Herding Instinct: Some dogs, such as terriers, have a natural herding instinct. This instinct can lead them to dig in an attempt to round up animals or children.
  • Anxiety or Stress: If your dog is anxious or stressed, they may start digging as a way to cope.

Stop the Digging Behavior

Once you know why your dog is digging, you can start to stop the behavior. Here are a few tips:

  • Redirect their energy: If your dog is digging out of boredom, provide them with more exercise and playtime. Take them for walks, play fetch, or let them run around in a safe area.
  • Make the digging area less appealing: If your dog is digging in a particular spot, make it less appealing by covering it with rocks, gravel, or chicken wire. You can also plant plants that your dog doesn’t like in the area.
  • Punish the behavior: If your dog is digging in an unacceptable area, interrupt them and say “no” in a firm voice. You can also use a water bottle to squirt them with water.
  • Reward good behavior: When your dog is not digging, praise them and give them a treat. This will help them to learn that digging is not the desired behavior.

Create a Digging Zone

If your dog has a natural urge to dig, it’s a good idea to create a designated digging zone for them. This will give them a place to dig without destroying your yard.

To create a digging zone, find a spot in your yard that is out of the way and not near any plants or trees. Fill the area with sand or dirt, and make sure it’s deep enough for your dog to dig. You can also add some toys or bones to the area to make it more appealing.

Get Professional Help

If you’ve tried all of the above and your dog is still digging, it’s time to get professional help. A certified dog trainer or behaviorist can help you to identify the cause of the digging and develop a plan to stop it.


Digging is a natural behavior for dogs, but it can be destructive if it’s not controlled. By following the tips above, you can stop your dog from digging and keep your yard looking its best.