How do I stop my puppy from digging?

What a frustrating behavior digging can be.  It will destroy your property, dirty up your dog and can even lead to him getting out of his enclosed yard and getting lost or worse.  Dogs dig for a variety of reasons to include boredom, trying to escape, aggression or frustration towards something on the other side of the fence, temperature control, or to bury a prized possession like a bone.  While digging is a natural behavior, it is one that can be corrected and unlearned with persistence and patience.

Watch them and catch them in the act of digging

Supervision is your first line of defense in stopping and correcting the digging behavior.  When your puppy is outside, you should be outside as well so you can catch your puppy when he starts to dig.  As soon as he starts digging, clap your hands loudly and give a firm “no”.  He should startle and look at you.  When he does, call him to you and reward him for coming.  If he will not come away from the digging site, go get him and remove him from the area.  

How to keep puppies from digging in their favorite spot?  They don’t like their poop anymore than you do.

If you find a spot where he has been digging and you didn’t see him do it, you can treat the area to prevent him from returning to the area again.  One easy way to prevent same spot digging is to bury some of his own feces in the hole and fill the hole in with dirt.  Dogs will not dig where they smell their feces so that should fix the same spot digging problem. 

      Make it a hot spot with chili powder!
        Chili powder is another thing that can be put into the holes to prevent your dog from digging there again.  There are also products you can purchase to put on your yard or garden area that will deter your dog from digging.  One example is called Critter Ridder and protects your yard from dogs, cats, squirrels, raccoons, etc. 

      Need help keeping your dog from digging under the fence?  
          If it is good enough for chickens…
       If you find a hole near the edge of your fence and you are worried about an escape, you can lay chicken wire a few inches down under the soil.  When your dog digs, he will reach the chicken wire layer and the wire will make it uncomfortable for your dog to dig further and he will not be able to dig deeper either.   

Why do they dig!!!!!! One of the main reasons your dog digs is out of boredom.  In conjunction with these other suggestions for digging prevention, up the amount of exercise your dog gets.  Play fetch with him in the yard, take him for long walks or even hook him up to a treadmill for 30 minutes if you have one.  Ultimately, consistent supervision, exercise, and prevention will lead to the extinction of the digging behavior.     

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