Protecting Grass from a Digging Dog

Your dog can enjoy time outside without turning your yard into a minefield of holes and destroyed plants.
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Some dogs are more persistent diggers than others, but most dogs will dig if they are bored, anxious or frustrated. Protecting your grass from a digging dog requires a two-pronged approach. You need to protect your grass so your lawn isn't destroyed and you need to put a stop to the digging.

Divide the Yard

If there are specific areas in which your dog likes to dig, use chicken wire, an electric fence or in invisible fence to block off those areas. This works well if he concentrates his digging along a specific fence line, under a tree or along landscaped areas. Watch closely to make sure he doesn't transfer his digging tendencies from one spot to another. What won't work is tying your dog up to keep him away from certain areas of the yard. Most dogs find being tied frustrating, which makes him more rather than less likely to dig.

Supervise Outside Time

As convenient as it is to open the door and let your dog out to play and do his business, if he is digging, you need to be outside with him. The quickest and most straightforward way to protect the grass and stop your dog from digging is to interrupt him every time he starts digging. A firm "No" should be all it takes to redirect him. If he persists, bring him inside.

Exercise Your Dog

Your pup shouldn't get most of his exercise by himself in the yard. Even if he behaves, that is a lot of wear and tear on the grass. Instead, take him for daily walks through the neighborhood or visit a nearby dog park. If he has the opportunity to work off excess energy, he is less likely to spend time digging holes.

Provide a Digging Area

Some dogs just like to dig. If you have one of these dogs, you may have to accept that he is going to dig, whether you want him to or not. What you can do to protect your grass is to provide him with a specific spot. Create a border with landscape timbers or use a plastic children's pool to make a boundary for the digging area, and fill it with sand. Bury toys in the sand to encourage him to dig, and place it in a shady location so the sand doesn't get too hot.

Repair the Yard

Now that you are getting serious about putting a stop to your dog's digging, go around and fill in any holes and divots your dog has made. Don't do this while your dog is outside, because watching you dig in the dirt may encourage him to do the same thing, but you need to get the holes filled to reduce temptation for your reformed digger.