Does your dog dig holes in your yard like she’s got a little tractor in her lineage? Dogs love to dig for many reasons, including:
- To make a cool spot to lay in
- To eat something yummy they smell underground (like grub worms, for example)
- Out of boredom
- Because they love to dig (a good digger can dig a hole a foot and a half wide and at least as deep in about 3 minutes)
Diagnose and Redirect
First you need to diagnose why she’s doing it, and then work to eliminate the root issue. Is she too hot? Bring her inside or provide more shade. Is she digging up something yummy? Maybe a food puzzle or a game of Go Hunt is in order! Is she bored? Maybe play a fun game or provide some mental enrichment or go for a walk.
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Enable ‘Em
Some dogs just love to dig, like humans love to shop and watch the Super Bowl. For dedicated diggers, supervision and redirection are your best tools. Giving your dog a place to dig can be a great outlet and reduce your frustration with having your yard torn up. Consider making a spot where it is okay for her to dig. Get a baby pool, fill it with a substrate that’s fun to dig up, and bury some toys and treats. When you catch her digging in the wrong spot, get her attention with a sound and take her over to the approved spot. Say something like “Go dig,” and even help her find something so she knows what the game is. Keep this area loaded with surprises so it’s always new and fun, and your dog will be more likely to choose this fun, easy spot to dig in next time.
As for keeping her from digging in the same spot, here’s a method that works for our little diggers:
- Fill up the crater with rocks and dirt, packing it down well for your safety.
- Then a little bit of her poop, and then covered that with a layer of to save your shoes.
The smell of her waste should turn her off from that spot. Then, practice a bit of management or create a space for your dog to fulfill her need to dig.