My Dog Is Always Digging In Yard. How To Stop This Behavior

Owning a dog continually digging in the yard can be annoying. The main reasons for the behavior are:

  • Territorial,
  • To relieve anxiety,
  • To want to play,
  • To hide food,
  • and they want to escape.


However, with the proper training, this can be stopped.


Why is  My Dog Always Digging In Yard

All dog owners have had their dogs digging around the yard. You need to be able to understand why your dog is always searching to be able to sort it out.

This is the gateway to smooth communication with your dog.

When you bring a pup home, you want to ensure that he is comfortable and relaxed.

However, this is not always the case; your dog may develop certain behaviors to help him cope with some situations.

Before you proceed to the solution for your dog always digging in your yard, it is essential to understand some of the reasons why dogs dig.


To Escape Heat

Dogs tend to look for ways to cool their bodies, especially during summer.

When they feel the heat, he might want to dig for more peaceful grounds to lay down when his bed gets warmer.

Not only will the feet get more relaxed, but also he will search enough to fit his body and get comfortable.

If you leave your dog in the yard, you may find that he has already got himself a nice place to cool off when you are away at work.

To respond to this behavior, you may want to raise his cot from the ground and provide shade for him.

It is also important to leave him with cold water to keep him hydrated.


To Escape Confinement

Your dog may want to escape from your home for various reasons, including loneliness, homesickness, and fear.

You should monitor your dog and ensure that he is well taken care of and supervised.

New dogs tend to dig, looking for escape points to get back where they came from; they are homesick.

Some other dogs will dig to escape, play with the neighbor’s dog, or socialize with other pets.

This will happen when you are away from home, and you will probably find holes in your yard.

Dogs are natural animals and sometimes act like they would in the wild. If he does not have enough space to explore, he might want to escape confinement.

If there is a threat at home, like another more giant and hostile dog, your new puppy might feel threatened and wants to flee.


To Hide Food

Once you leave your dog some food, probably more than he can finish, he may dig in the yard to hide his leftovers.

Like all of us, dogs need to save some food for later once he is full. To keep him from doing this, ensure you feed him enough food and not more than he can finish.



Dogs are natural hunters of prey despite being domesticated all their lives. If crawling animals like rodents and squirrels are in your yard, your dog might sniff them and want to hunt.

Due to complications from your dog eating these animals, it is essential to keep them out. You may use pesticides to keep them out of your yard.

Some dogs dig in not only the yard but also the couches. If you bring a new pup home and he is making holes on your couch, you may consider examining him for anxiety.

He is probably used to another environment, and now he is with you, a stranger.

The best way to handle an anxious puppy is by spending as much time as possible and playing with him.

Dogs tend to develop separation anxiety when left alone for long periods, and they can create the habit of digging into couches.

This means that you cannot trust your dog around your furniture. However, you can correct the behavior within a few days.

Your dog needs to learn a command to stay off the furniture. This will probably take you a couple of weeks to train him, but he will eventually get it.

You may also restrict him from accessing certain areas in the house until he is fully trained.


My Dog Is Always Digging In The Yard

A digging dog can be a nuisance because he will escape, lay on the dirt, or even contract some infections.

However, you can control the behavior by making it more enjoyable and relaxing to live with, especially when a new dig is involved.


Buy Them Toys

Entertainment is one of the dogs’ most effective ways to control behavioral problems.

Leaving the TV on or playing music at home while you are away, exercising your dog, and other practices can change his mood.

Check out these Dog Toys for dealing with boredom…

Dog ToysDog Toys

If your dog is always digging to reduce boredom, getting him rotating toys and teaching him how to play with them is an exciting way to solve the digging problem.


Feed Your Dog

If you overfeed your dog, he might be tempted to save some for later as soon as he is full. This might cause him to dig a hole in your yard to hide his leftovers.

To prevent this, monitoring your dog’s feeding schedule is essential to know the amount to give to him. This will prevent overfeeding or underfeeding.

Underfeeding may also result in your dog digging in your yard while trying to hunt.

To avoid this, you should keep your yard clean and treated with pests and other crawling animals.

This will control the behavior since your dog will not smell them.


Keep Him Under a Shade

During summer, your dog will also experience a lot of discomfort from the heat.

However, you can modify his living conditions by making them more relaxed so that he will not be digging in your yard in search of a more peaceful place to lie down.

You can do this by raising his bed off the ground so that he can feel the breeze. Other dogs may run away from the cold and dig in your backyard where there is warmth.

If your dog sleeps outside, you may consider letting him in and buying him a bed so that he will not be cold during cold weather.

This will keep him away from digging holes.


Bury Chicken Wire In The Fence

If your dog is digging to escape from your home, you will have a problem controlling him.

The key to correcting any negative behavior in dogs is understanding why your dog is digging.

In most cases, your dog will try to escape if there is an unpleasant situation causing him fear and stress.

Loneliness and the need to socialize with other dogs could be the cause of your dog trying to escape.

On the other hand, fear can be the leading cause of your dog running. A giant dog could stimulate this or other hostile pets at home.

In such a case, you should be able to keep any threat away from him and anything that makes him uncomfortable. This is common with new dogs at home.

However, monitoring your dog before putting up any fence is essential to know where he escapes and what motivates him.

Putting up chicken wire on the ground will help you keep him home. However, confinement may lead to your dog developing other behavioral problems.


Train Your Dog

Teaching your dog a few commands is essential when trying to control any dog behavior—punishing him by putting him in confinement will not help when digging.

Instead, he may get stressed and anxious, and we all want happy dogs, don’t we?

For instance, you may teach him the command ‘no’ to stop the behavior if you tell him so a couple of times, he will learn that his master does not like it when he digs.


Exercise Them

Digging is a form of exercise for our canine friends, and despite domestication, our dogs still feel the need to search.

Breeds with high energy levels may dig in your yard to keep them distracted because he likes it.

Before letting him out in the yard to spend his day, having him tired from play and exercise is helpful.

You should monitor his energy levels and develop a schedule to exercise him as he walks the habit off.

This will ensure he is down to rest after exercising; the only energy left is for him to lie down and rest.

It is also important to remember that if digging is one of your dog’s favorite activities, you should get an alternative for him.

You can make a digging area for him in the yard and teach him that it is only acceptable in that area.


Keep Burrowing Animals Out Of Your Yard

Your dog can smell other animals from afar, even from underground. For this reason, your dog might want to know what’s underground and thus dig up.

To prevent this, you should treat your yard to keep these animals away from your dog.

It would help if you kept your yard clean and well-kept to keep these animals away.

You may designate a digging place for him if the habit does not stop after the practices mentioned above.

If your dog loves to dig, you can let him do it on an appointed ground.

Your dog might also be looking for something he hid some time ago and start to dig in your yard.

These might include bones or toys, and when he does not remember the exact location where they buried the object, he will dig around your yard until he finds it.


Dog Is Always Digging In Yard – Extra Tips


Supervise Your Dog

Unsupervised dogs tend to act out when left alone. He will develop certain habits that are undesirable to his human companion, like unnecessary barking, digging, or even eating poop.

If you have a new puppy at home, it is essential to always keep an eye on him until he gets used to staying with you.

When you notice behaviors like digging, make sure you have something to shift his attention elsewhere.

This will take you a few days, and you will be able to control the problematic behavior. Spending time with your dog will ensure he does not get lonely or develop separation anxiety.

Dogs enjoy bribery and reward when training to curb behavioral problems. Once you have his attention and obey him, giving him a treat will reinforce the training.

For instance, if your dog is always digging, you can curb the behavior by bribing him.

You can do this probably by throwing a ball and instructing him to get it to distract him from digging.


Toys For Dogs

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Among the toys you can buy for your dog to keep him busy from digging in your yard include rotating toys and things he can chew on.

Remember, boredom can be the cause of your dog digging. You may also get him a bone to chew on when you are away.

To keep a healthy and happy dog, you must be able to commit to helping him adapt to your rules and your house.

When a dog is comfortable and well-exercised, he tends to like it there, and there are minimum chances of him escaping.

If your dog hates confinement, well, most do, and he is digging to escape, you may try letting him lose for a couple of hours when you are home.

It is the dog’s nature to want to roam around, so it is recommended to exercise your dog regularly.


In Conclusion

If your dog is naturally attached to digging, you can get a place for him to do so. Dogs who still like to hunt prey will also search if they smell something.

Discourage the behavior of digging by understanding why your pup is doing so.

Spend time with your dog and play with him regularly, so he does not get bored. Monitor his feeding to ensure he does not leave some food underground to dig up later.

Only give him enough food while ensuring you are not underfeeding him.

Always ensure your dog has water and is happy with the living conditions at home.

A happy dog will keep you happy too!

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