Did you just discover the hole where your flowers used to be? There are many reasons a dog likes to dig including breed, exploration, attention seeking, or wildlife in your garden. This is a guide about training a dog to stop digging.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
I have mentioned this before and it does work. This is will not keep a dog from digging, but it will keep them from digging in the same spot or spots. It sounds a little unorthodox, but it is a quick and simple solution.
When you find holes that your dog has been digging in, drop some of their own poo into the hole, and then fill it up with dirt. Dogs don't like digging up their own poo. I have been doing this for years with all the dogs I have owned, and it has always worked for me.
By xintexas from San Antonio, TX
I have 3 dogs and when I planted a shrub or a tree, the dogs would go to the new plantings and start digging it up. I started to leave the dogs indoors while I planted, so they could not see what I was doing. This did help some. But I still got holes next to the big planted items.
I still plant my shrubs and trees the recommended way, but now when I get the hole 3/4 of the way filled, I put dog poop in the hole (you don't need much) and then continue to fill the hole the rest of the way up. The dogs leave it alone. They don't like digging up their own poop. If dogs dig along a fence line put poop in before you fill the hole and they will leave that spot alone.
By xintexas from San Antonio, TX
To stop your dog digging in your garden beds, put citronella oil into a spray bottle and spray the area. Dogs hate it.
By Lorimay from Perth Western Australia
Heather from South Africa
This young age is the perfect time to start teaching your puppy that you're the "leader of the pack" and as such, you have certain expectations regarding the behavior of pack members. Rule #1: digging is only done in designated areas! For these first few months, you're going to have to supervise your puppy while out in the yard. Use his/her digging as an opportunity to modify behavior. I'm a huge fan of Cesar Millan-a.k.a The Dog Whisperer. He uses what he describes as calm, assertive energy to direct a dog's mind and body away from undesirable behaviors. It's all about energy. Control the mind and body and you control the behavior. Cesar maintains that in the wild, dogs need rules, boundaries and limitations in order to survive as a stable and organized pack. Every dog knows its position within the pack and what is expected of him. This pack mentality is one of the strongest natural motivators in dogs and is an effective training tool for humans.
In the wild, members of the pack learn early on that there are undesirable consequences for certain behaviors. These consequences usually come (swiftly) in the form of a bite from pack leaders. Since you are your puppy's pack leader, when your puppy starts digging, you can mimic this "bite" by turning your hand into a "teeth-like" claw and firmly touching the side of your puppy's neck while directing him away from your flowerbeds. You can use your voice to emphasize your point, but asserting yourself with a firm, physical touch is more important. Consistency is key, but this form of dog psychology really works. Don't punish him/her, just assert your authority. If you have the room, set aside a sandy spot in the corner of the yard just for puppy play and direct him/her to this area. Other physical deterrents include laying down wire mesh or plastic soda bottles filled with water or inserting wire coat hangers into the soil to create a physical barrier. Whatever you do, don't use any chemical deterrents-especially those formulated to keep out wildlife. They seldom work and they can be harmful to young animals if ingested. Some gardeners have also had luck temporarily "poopy trapping" the area with the dog's own feces. For more information on Cesar Millan and his Dog Psychology Center, visit www.dogpsychologycenter.com
By Ellen Brown
Share Your Feedback: Once you try any of the above solutions, be sure to come back and give a "thumbs up" to the one that worked the best for you. Do you have a better solution? Click "Share a Solution" above!
Here are questions related to Training a Dog to Stop Digging.
I have two large dogs; one digs out and runs off and the other stays home. The one that runs off is a Lab mix. She digs out under the fence and runs away. I am afraid that she is going to get hit by a car or picked up by the dog catcher, but we walk the fence line fix all the holes and she still always gets out.
I don't want to have to get rid of her, but she will dig under any fence and training does not matter. We have tried to train her to stay in the yard and not dig out over and over again and nothing works. Iis there anything else we can do?
By Megan from FL
Try laying chicken wire along the bottom of the fence. We folded it into a 90 degree angle so that we could attach it to the bottom and put the other part on the ground. You can either let the grass grow over or dig the soil up and over the bottom part. Dogs do not like to drag their claws over that stuff so they give up.
I would like to know how to stop my dog from digging in my flower bed.
I put a fence up around my garden, but around trees I have put pinecones and chili pepper on top of them. I don't know that the pepper had much effect, but they have avoided the pinecones religiously. My mother-in-law put some pavers around hers, and just separating her garden from the rest of the yard helped a little. I recommend the pinecones, though.
My outside dog is digging up my yard. What can I do to stop this?
By oldladyrules from Hampton, IA
My shih tzu started digging like crazy every time he was outside. I did ALL of the "tricks" others have listed, absolutely no success. That's because there were moles/voles in the ground! Once I trapped the critters (6 in one day), no more digging. At one time, I had a Pomeranian that did the same thing, and yes there were moles at that place too. These are not aggressive/mean dogs, they just don't like critters underground!
The poop in the digging area may work for some dogs, but also remember, your pet licks its paws!
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I have a four month old puppy that has started digging holes in the lawn. He's not digging a lot but he does have about six small ones now. Any help will be appreciated.
Betty from Fond du Lac, WI
By Dog lover
How To Stop A Dog From Digging
Whenever you are trying to change any behavior in your dog the golden rule is be consistent! Make it very clear to your dog what is, and is not acceptable behavior.
Depending on the reason you believe your dog to be digging, you can apply some of these proven techniques: