How to get a puppy to stop digging

Puppies can be difficult, and they often come with some bad habits. Some of the most common behavior issues that puppies face include chewing and digging. You must train your puppy not to chew things like shoes and furniture if you don’t want them to end up in pieces. However, when it comes to digging, there are ways you can keep your pup from their tunnel-digging phase without much effort at all.

  1. Give your puppy an acceptable place to dig

Choose a spot in the yard that is acceptable for your pup to dig, and then train him or her to do that digging there instead of wherever he or she wants. This gives them the chance to get all their energy out, but does not allow for destruction of your home’s foundation (and other strange places where they could choose).

  1. Put up physical barriers Dogs are less likely to dig when it hurts

Get physical barriers like rocks or bricks and spread them along the side of the foundations you do not want dug up. If your pup continues to dig anyway, consider getting little flags (decorative if possible) attached to stakes that can be placed just above ground level on either side of their digging spot. The flags will begin to hurt his or her nose, and after a while they’ll stop going near the area because it’s painful.

  1. Give your pup an alternative

If you’ve been digging outside, don’t make him or her stop completely; instead give him or her something new and healthy to do . Take them out more often (daily if possible), get a dog bed they can dig in, let them play with toys like Kongs filled with peanut butter , etc… These things will help them redirect the energy into more positive outlets and prevent accidents from happening around your home.

  1. Practice patience and persistence

While you shouldn’t expect results overnight (and sometimes it may take longer than usual), always remember that by keeping on top of this problem and ensuring your pup has alternatives when he or she starts digging, you should see improvements over time. Just train him or her slowly, and always make sure they don’t get more freedom than they can handle (like letting them dig in the back yard for example). With some persistence you’ll get rid of the digging problem before it becomes a big issue.

  1. Give them the right tools

A dog that is trained to dig in one spot (and has no reason to go elsewhere) should not need a doggy door. If you are allowing your pup outside on his or her own, consider getting an electronic pet door . This expensive option lets only your dog’s body through the door; it keeps all of their materials inside so you won’t have to worry about them tearing anything up.

  1. Don’t punish them

When trying to stop any negative behavior in your puppy, avoid punishing since it will only exacerbate the problem and make him or her more anxious than ever before. Instead put an end to bad behavior with plenty of positive reinforcement whenever possible (like a treat for staying off furniture), and simply give them a firm reminder that digging is not allowed where you want it stopped . Your voice should be enough — just don’t shout at this young age!

  1. Take care of their boredom

Dogs get bored just like humans do , and when they do not have anything to keep them busy — digging holes in the ground is one way to go about it. You’ll want to avoid this by making sure your puppy has plenty of things he or she can do inside . That includes chew toys, fun games, etc… Keep them occupied as much as possible, that will reduce the chances of their digging around outside.

  1. Make digging a reward

Instead of punishing your pup with something he or she finds unpleasant, you can use the opposite approach to teach him or her not to dig. When they are doing anything that is not digging — like when they’re in their bed for example — praise them profusely . Put an end to any digging by giving them a treat whenever it happens, and over time you will have a dog that finds the behavior undesirable because it doesn’t yield positive results anymore.

  1. Be patient and consistent

As with most training, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t give up. Keep on top of this problem and maintain a strong approach as often as possible (while avoiding punishment), and eventually your dog should be trained not to dig.

  1. Try not to stress out over the problem

Remember that dogs are very intuitive creatures, and if you’re stressed about this issue they will become more anxious as well . Always remain calm whenever there is a problem with your dog’s behavior, and they’ll have an easier time understanding what they are being told to do or not do.

  1. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back

Dogs are not an easy thing to train, especially if they have certain habits you wish they didn’t have. But by working at it patiently and consistently, you can say goodbye to your dog digging around your backyard! Dog training is hard work , so always remember that you are doing something valuable for yourself and your pet.

  1. Don’t give up on your dog .

It can take a very long time to train a dog , and it may not happen overnight. Sometimes the process takes months, but that is why it’s important never to get discouraged and remain dedicated throughout the journey — that will help ensure things go as smoothly as possible. It’s all worth it in the end when you have a wonderful companion who doesn’t dig holes around your yard anymore.

  1. Provide them with plenty of exercise

One common reason why dogs dig is because they are not getting enough exercise . If you take your dog out for regular walks on a daily basis, this problem should go away within no time. A tired dog is always a well-behaved dog !

  1. Be more engaging

Dogs do things for their owners in order to get attention or food — that’s how they communicate with people. Whenever you give them praise or treats every time they stop digging, it will lessen the chances of them seeking attention through means like digging holes in the ground. Dogs want to please their owners , so make sure you are making it clear to him or her what behavior you appreciate more than anything else!

  1. Don’t allow them to dig anywhere

Many people make the mistake of allowing their dog to dig holes in one specific area, and it ends up backfiring because then they start digging in other places as well. You should be consistent and ban your pup from digging anywhere and everywhere , including your yard (you don’t want things like plants or flowers getting destroyed).

  1. Use a muzzle

Dogs who continue to dig will put their nose in the ground and twist it around, which can lead to them ingesting a lot of dirt . It’s important not to let this happen because soil may not be doing your pup any good inside their stomach. You should take steps to protect them at all costs , so consider purchasing a muzzle before letting them back outside.

  1. Keep an eye on when they are most likely

Most dogs will go through predictable stages where digging becomes more common than others . For example, they might start digging more often if they are experiencing an abundance of stress in their life (like having new puppies). They may also use that behavior as a form of body language when they are uncomfortable. If you see your dog digging in certain situations, make sure to take note because it could be a sign that something is wrong .

  1. Don’t punish them for already-dug holes

If you catch your pet digging in your backyard right now, don’t punish them for doing so (using things like citronella spray or yelling). Instead, this should tell you that you need to work on training much more than waiting until the problem occurs again. Fixing the actual act itself isn’t as important as everything that came before it; i.e., why would your dog resort to digging if he or she knows it’s not allowed? Keep this in mind every time!

  1. Use repellents

While there are many methods you can do to stop digging , one of the most effective is using a repellent. This is always a good idea because once your dog tries it out and realizes how unpleasant it is, they’re less likely to seek out that specific behavior again . There are many different types of repellants available to purchase online or at home improvement stores, but it’s important not to use anything that may hurt your pet.

  1. Provide them with digging areas around your house

Some dogs dig holes in an effort to find something cool or fascinating to explore . It might be for this reason why they tend to make their way to specific spots in your yard, like under certain bushes or near rocks (it’s a common place for some sort of animal to hide). Since this is the case, you should consider planting something that they can dig up or at least burying your pet’s favorite toys into the ground.


So, if you’re looking to stop your dog from digging up all of the grass in your backyard, it’s important that you stick to a training schedule and not give up too soon. You should also pay attention to when they are likely going to try that kind of behavior again, since this can clue you in on what might be triggering it. With the right mindset and the proper tools at your disposal, there is no reason why your pup can’t stay out of trouble!