How to Discipline a Dog for Digging

by Amy Hunter
It may take some training to get your dog to enjoy the yard without digging holes.

It may take some training to get your dog to enjoy the yard without digging holes.

Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

Dogs dig because they are bored, want to find a cool spot to lie or need a source of comfort if they are nervous. If he has witnessed you do some yard work recently, he may decide the flying dirt looks like a lot of fun and start digging in recently disturbed areas. Regardless of the reason, getting your dog to stop digging once he starts can be a challenge. Timing is everything in training, which means you need to catch him in the act.

Step 1

Supervise him. You can't leave your dog in the yard by himself and teach him not to dig. When he goes outside, you need to go outside. You don't have to stand over top of him and, if you have a good window, you can even stay inside, but keep your eye on him constantly.

Step 2

Correct him when he starts digging. A firm "no" should be enough to get to stop what he is doing. Keep watching him, in case he decides to resume digging as soon as you turn away. It will take several corrections before he makes the connection between his digging and your reprimand, so be patient.

Step 3

Deny him his favorite spots. If your dog has areas he focuses on while digging, make them less attractive. If it is a relatively large area, unroll a section of chicken wire and lay it flat on the ground over the area he likes to dig, securing it around the edge with rocks. If it is a smaller area, you can set several large rocks over the spot to discourage digging.

Step 4

Give him something else to do. Walk your dog two or more times a day, play fetch or another game with him, and spend time obedience training him or teaching him tricks. Dogs left unattended for hours at a time in a yard will find all sorts of ways to entertain themselves, and it's unlikely you will care for many of them.

An Item You Will Need

  • Large rocks or chicken wire

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

Trending Dog Behavior Articles

Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!