Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
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
We have large dogs who love to dig - think I'll try this. Thanks!
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
This sounds like such a strange idea but it makes a bunch of sense! Good tip and thanks for sharing it!
This is a guide about dog digging in carpet. It is frustrating to try prevent your dog from digging in the carpet.
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.
How do I get my 3 month old Rottweiler puppy to stop digging up my flower beds?
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I would like to know how to stop my dog from digging in my flower bed.
June 6th, 2010</em>
<dd>The decorative garden fences you can purchase at places like Home Depot or Lowes can sometimes help. If you set them up around the flowerbeds with stones or edging to keep it safe from being dug up.</dd>
Put his poop in the holes. Black pepper sometimes works too.
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
Bury some of the dog's poop in the holes where he digs. That very often stops it cold.
You have an 'outside dog' in Iowa? Your dog is bored, so wear him out with exercise and he'll be good. I put my dog in the back of my pickup truck in the canopy and run up and down the highway, and she works herself into a frenzy back there 'chasing' cars in the oncoming lane. that is, when I'm not walking her! You do bring this dog indoors at night? into a crate maybe? I'm imagining this dog in winter, how could any dog survive it?
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!
Our chihuahuas kept digging the dirt up around their pen (a chain link fence). We found that sprinkling chili pepper around the edges of the fence stopped them from doing it.
Reapply after it rains for best results.
By Joanne from Lugoff, SC
Have you tried Moth Balls? They really stink! Put a few around the OUTER edge of the fence! It will also keep out cats and rodents!
I wouldn't suggest using the moth balls. They are poisonous. When it rains won't they melt to some degree and contaminate the soil which the dog may ingest by some chance? Also I wouldn't suggest chili pepper or anything of that nature. It seems a bit inhumane. That must be terribly painful in the nasal passage when inhaled. There must be a better way.
We have moles that tunnel in our yard and two large dogs that will dig for them! What our dog trainer told us to do was to scoop some of their poop and put it in the hole. They won't go near it! If you are filling the hole, put the poop towards the top and toss a little dirt over it so it's not so gross! My dogs now only dig every once in a while! Good Luck!
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Now that you've planted your garden, you need to make sure your pets don't dig it up!
One important question is: why are your pets digging? Are they bored? Does something smell funny over there? Or is it just instinct?
If your pet is bored, he can easily become destructive. Make sure that when your pet is in the yard, he has plenty of entertainment -- a stuffed toy, a special treat, a ball, anything that will keep him engaged. Your pets need a lot of human interaction and activities to be happy.
Your dog may be digging out of instinct. My Nerman will dig himself a shallow hole on a warm day and lay in it. I guess the dirt is softer and cooler than the hard, sun-baked ground. Nerman also likes to bury his rawhides if he isn't going to eat them. And some pets will scuff up a bit of dirt and grass to cover over their bathroom spots.
A dog or cat who is digging out of instinct will be harder to distract away from the dirt in your garden. There are a few ways you can handle this:
1. Restrict access to your gardens and flower beds. Put up a fence to keep the pets out.
2. Offer a substitute digging area. Your dog or cat may love a small sandbox! You can seed the new digging area with special toys or treats; finding the goodies will teach your pet that digging in that spot is a positive experience.
3. Try a deterrent spray, or plant things that don't smell good to your pets. Your local pet store will probably carry a bitter apple spray -- just be sure to reapply after each rain. Planting citronella will keep the cats out of your garden but may tempt your dogs to try and cover up the plant's smell with their own scent.
4. Your local garden store may sell mats with flexible plastic spines (I've seen them called "Scat Mats" in catalogues). The spines make it very uncomfortable for paws to walk or dig but don't actually hurt your pets.
My dog Sammy likes digging holes in our backyard and he won't stop. We have about thirty holes in our backyard now. Any advice on how to get him to stop?
Priscilla from Seattle
My dog used to dig and dig to the point I couldn't stand it or keep up filling holes. My first idea was to find out WHY he did it. I found out there were moles in the ground! I had to rid my yard of moles, or let him dig til he had "gotten" them all.
Yes, the poop in holes helped, but not enough. You may want to take a sample of your soil to your local Ag office and have it tested. Maybe he smells something good?
Allowing him to dig, is only reinforcing or okaying the bad habit. You may need to stay outside with him and correct him every time he starts to dig. (03/12/2009)
Lots of dogs start digging from boredom, pent up energy and lack of mental stimulation. Are you walking your dog enough? Do you spend playtime with them, not just put them in the yard and leave alone. Taking your dog for a daily walk is like reading a newspaper for a human. While your dog gets exercise he will also smell scents from other dogs and people on your walking route. Consistency lets a dog know he has time to investigate outside his confinement during "his" scheduled time and satisfies his curiosity. My dog was abused and had behavioral issues when I got her as a pup. Putting her on a scheduled walk 2x daily gave her a calming personality and more obedience. (03/12/2009)
Get an inexpensive sandbox with a lid. Fill it with clean sand and hide toys in it. When the dogs go out take the lid off and let them dig away to uncover new "treasures". I saw this on a television show about misbehaving dogs. (03/16/2009)
We use the dog poop theory too. It does work but when it rains they start back up. We even have a place set up for him to dig at. We hide treats there sometimes and toys to keep him going there. We just keep filling in the holes and putting poop there. (11/09/2008)
The dog poop idea does work, but only if it doesn't rain. LOL. We also have a spot for our dog to dig at. We hide treats, bones and toys there to keep him interested. (11/09/2008)
Use critter ritter from Home Depot. It works great. (11/09/2008)
By mark m
My daughter had a beagle and a black lab! Jeez, those dogs made a mess!
Then, we finally gave them their own yard. She got a spot that was off the porch, cool under the deck in the summer and with dog houses and inside shelter in the winter. They had about 20' by 20' to run, dig, make a mess and have fun. They couldn't see anyone on the street or in the neighbors places, so the barking was reduced greatly.
The fencing was recycled from a house being torn down, and the rest of the yard was transformed into the yard for the humans. If you have the room, this might help. Good Luck! (11/10/2008)
Purchase ALUM (not aluminum). Spread it in digging area.
It's got a nasty taste, but harmless. Good luck! (11/11/2008)
Give your pet a stout kennel of 6' x 4' with a rubber mat flooring. These are made for and are tough enough for horses and cattle. Your dog won't get sores and won't harm it with his digging action. Some kennels come with rain-proof covers while others have enough room for a dog house in them.
Dogs also love to sit on top of a dog house. Put the dog house in the middle of the kennel, away from the sides or ends of the kennel to prevent him from using it as a stepping stone to jump over the kennel walls. Better yet, take your dog for a walk on a leash when he has to go out. You'll both get exercise and your garden and yard won't suffer from a bored dog digging. (11/14/2008)
If the dog goes back to the same hole(s) to dig, try scooping up some of his poop and putting it in the hole(s). Most dogs are naturally tidy and don't want to soil their paws with "nasty" stuff. (11/15/2008)
By Yogi's Mom
Q: My newly adopted dogs have made a mockery of the lawn and garden in my back yard. Besides rocks, what can I use that is bug free and safe that will keep them from dragging mud in my house and deter them from digging up my flowers?
Jennieb from Pt. Pleasant, NJ
Congratulations on your new companions! The first thing you need to consider is why your new canines are making a mockery of your lawn? Dogs dig for a variety of reasons. Are they bored? Are they acting out an instinct to dig out prey? Are they feeling confined or not getting enough exercise? Are they seeking out cool places to lie down? Any measures you take are likely to be unsuccessful for long unless you establish the reason driving their behavior.
They'll simply channel the digging energy into something else, like chewing-or worse. If you have the space, why not designate an area in the garden just for them to dig up? Dig up a small area and fill it with sand instead of dirt. Locate it as far away from the house as possible and their paws will have plenty of time to unload the sand in your grass before reaching the door to come inside. Reward them for using it by burying their favorite toys and food treats in it.
For areas around flowers, you can lay down chicken wire and clip openings around plants. Cover the wire slightly with soil to hide it. If they have spots they seem to favor over and over, try this recipe:
Mince the garlic, onions and jalapenos and combine them with the other ingredients. Let everything marinate in a container overnight, then sprinkle it over problems areas.
Above all, as their pack leader, make sure you let them know what your expectations are for their behavior.
Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
This doesn't sound pleasant but my son used this method on his dog and it worked for him. Wherever his dog would start to dig, he put some of his dog's own feces in the ground. It took some time but the dog did eventually stop digging. Some dogs will dig more than others. I have read that if you can't stop your dog, is to let them have an area of their own using a sandbox. Make a game of it by burying their toys in the sand so they get to dig.
When our dog used to dig around the fence, we buried chicken wire all around the edge of the fence. We put it only about an inch underground and when she dug, she didn't get anywhere so she stopped digging.
By Kathy in Colorado
I've heard that people use moth balls, but moth balls are poisonous, so DO NOT go that route! I've also heard that you can sprinkle pepper flakes or spray with pepper spray, which also keeps bugs away.
White pepper or Japanese wasabi horseradish. Place plenty of either in the area where the dogs are digging. If you catch them at it, sprinkle the pepper on their noses. I have a Lab who was a HUGE digger, and this worked like a charm. The wasabi also works for chewers. (08/30/2007)
This sounds gross but dog poo works! P.S. It will fertilize those flowers also---win win situation:) (08/31/2007)
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.