Dogs have an inborn habit of digging, which can leave your garden in a mess. That’s why training your dog not to dig becomes essential since your rose bushes could get destroyed, along with your orange tree, and your carefully pruned hedges, for example.

Dogs usually dig holes to bury themselves to keep cool during summer, hide bones, or when extremely bored (they also dig to catch gofers and moles and there is nothing wrong with that but if you do not want your dog digging at all there are methods to get them to stop). However, each reason needs to be approached separately.

Digging spots

Begin by setting up a particular digging spot in order to redirect its action. A few adjustments in the garden helps save it without having to punish the dog. Cordon off a particular area or purchase a shell-pool or sandpit for him to use.

Sand is a better and cleaner option than soil because the latter may contain fungal elements and molds. Bury dog toys in this area and dig with him to discover them. If he’s still digging elsewhere, lead him gently to the specified spot while rewarding him for doing all his digging there.

Securing the garden

Protect plant roots by placing large rocks or pebbles around the plant base. If the dog tends to dig along a fence, use pavers or underground chicken-wire to prevent tunneling. Refrain from using any manure and/or compost that attracts the dog. Moreover, they also like digging in fresh and loose soil. So at least for the time being, don’t put any new plants or soil till the time, he trains to dig in his own spot. Keeping a bored dog occupies with chews and toys also helps avoid digging.

Keep him cool

Some dogs dig holes to lie in them to keep cool during summer. You could make his bed cooler and comfortable. Why not shift it to a shady area or place a wet towel over the bed top. Remove carpeting from the kennel floor and ensure that the bedding is washable to prevent fleas and dust mite allergies. If your dog is big, the ideal bed would be a trampoline type bed that allows air circulation under it on hot days.


When the dog digs to hide bones, try and replace bones with a pigs ears, greenies, or dried kangaroo tails. Give him his bone for breakfast and ensure that they are raw. Raw chicken necks also make healthy eating but keep a watch that it doesn’t damage its teeth or attempts to gobble it up too quickly as there’s always a risk of choking.

Keep him occupied

If boredom is the cause for digging, take him out for a run or walk in the mornings so that he gets enough mental stimulation to remain happy indoors. Alternately, you could get a trainer or dog walker to visit him mid-day to keep him gainfully occupied. Keep enough interesting toys that challenge his intelligence and also treats that he enjoys when you are away.

Chewing busts boredom and relieves stress in dogs. A Kong stuffed with treats for instance, is ideal. However, make sure that the toy is a safe one and he doesn’t chew off pieces and swallow them. This could lead to either choking or severe stomach trouble. You do not want that! Your dog is precious!