How Can I Stop My Dog Digging Up The Garden?

It’s important to understand that if your dog is leaving craters all over your yard, it’s unlikely that they are doing it out of spite or a desire to damage your landscaping; rather, they are probably doing it because they are looking for fun, attention, comfort, escape, prey, or protection.


Dogs dig for a variety of reasons, therefore it’s important to attempt and pinpoint the actual cause in order to determine the most effective way to stop a dog from digging. Spending time with your pet and getting to know them well will be quite beneficial when attempting to break negative habits.

When dogs discover that soil and roots “play back,” they may dig as a form of amusement. Your dog might be digging to amuse himself if:

How Can I Stop My Dog Digging Up The Garden?

  • They spend a lot of time alone in the yard without the company of their human family.
  • Their surroundings are fairly barren and devoid of toys and playmates.
  • They lack other ways to release their energy because they are young animals or adolescents.
  • They are an earth-digging breed of terrier or another dog.
  • They are an energetic breed that requires job to be happy.
  • They’ve recently seen you in the yard or gardening.

By using these tips to constructively discourage your dog’s digging tendency, you can safeguard your landscaping from their inquisitiveness.

Cover The Freshly Tilled Soil

The last thing you want is to discover the work of passion torn to shreds after spending countless hours tilling, mulching, and sowing your garden. Cover the ground surrounding the plants in your garden with bark chips, gravel, or pavers to alter the texture of the soil and make digging through it less enticing.

Create A Doggy Play Area

Set up an appropriate digging area to divert your dog’s behavior to a more suitable area of the yard so that your plants and the garden are safe. In the yard, make a sizable, shallow pit, and fill it with sand. By hiding your dog’s favorite chews and toys in the digging area for them to find, you can make it more appealing to them.

Fence Off The Garden

Dogs enjoy digging over recently tilled soil. Use garden fencing to enclose a spot where your dog frequently digs. A small barricade may be sufficient to deter your dogs. A wire mesh fence secured to steel poles and buried up to a foot underground would be a straightforward option.

Sprinkle Spices

To keep dogs away from the flowerbeds, sprinkle red pepper flakes or mustard powder around them. While your plants’ growth won’t be hampered by this, your pet’s desire to dig up that area will be reduced.

Spray Unpleasant Odors

Spray plants with bitter apple bitter or white vinegar to keep dogs from eating your vegetable garden. As an alternative, you can use marigolds to screen your garden from dogs as well as other pests like aphids, squash bugs, and Mexican bean beetles.

As spring approaches, now is the ideal time to try out these simple strategies to stop your dog from digging so that your entire family may enjoy the backyard together.

Should You Scold A Dog For Digging?

Any form of digging your dog engages in may be addressed, and it’s always a good idea to ask your veterinarian or a professional behaviorist for assistance so you can better understand your dog’s behavior.

Most importantly, you must refrain from reprimanding or punishing a dog for digging and instead focus on rewarding good behavior. Your dog might not comprehend why he’s being punished because digging frequently takes place hours before you discover the resulting proof.

After the fact scolding and disciplining a dog is unlikely to stop the behavior and will instead frighten or upset your dog. Instead, make adjustments to your dog’s environment and try to understand what is motivating them to dig. This will stop them from doing all of that pointless digging.

How To Stop A Dog Digging

Here are a few strategies that can help entirely stop your dog’s digging behavior if you decide it’s time to take action:

1. Remove Sources Of Stress

It’s important to try to identify the source of your dog’s fears if they are causing them to dig because they are stressed or feel threatened. This can occasionally be an unavoidable event like moving house because animals frequently experience stress when their surroundings abruptly changes.

Spending lots of time with your pet and creating a “safe” space in the new home can both help to smooth the transition in this situation. It will be easier on them if their sleeping area is recreated in a spot that is as comparable as feasible.

In order to stop a dog from digging, start by observing any alterations to their environment or routine.

2. Exercise

Make sure that your dog gets the recommended amount of daily exercise for their breed. Different dog breeds require varying degrees of daily activity, so a little dog doesn’t necessarily need less exercise!

Every day, your dog needs to spend at least 30 minutes outdoors. Increasing their amount of exercise may enable them to expend the additional energy required to dig holes in your garden.

3. Mental Stimulation

Dogs require just as much mental stimulation as they do physical activity, so if your dog is left feeling bored all day, it may be the cause of their digging.

The best way to prevent a dog from digging due to a lack of mental stimulation is to spend more time with your pet doing activities you both find enjoyable. walking, playing fetch, and other dog games. Adding more dog toys to your pet’s area will help give them the necessary stimulation they need when left alone. Obstacle courses and dog food toys are two more entertaining ways to increase their everyday stimulation. Find out what to play with your dog that will stimulate their minds.

4. The Pest Problem

It is easy to stop a dog from digging up your yard or house while it is looking for pests: Eliminate the pest issue!

Find humane methods of capturing the pests that are an issue for you, or engage professionals to do it. Always use caution when applying pesticides of any kind to a pest issue because they might be harmful to your dog.

5. Provide Shelter And Shade

Despite coming from the wild, dogs are accustomed to modern luxuries now. If you want to leave your dog outside for an extended amount of time, make sure they have access to cover during the winter and shade during the summer. Additionally, make sure they always have access to fresh water by finding a “untippable” dog bowl.

6. How To Stop A Dog From Digging Under A Fence

The desire to run away is one of the most typical dog digging offenses. You can discourage your pet from digging around the fence by making it more difficult for them to do so. Try half-burying rocks along the fence’s edge.

If your dog still digs as a habit, you might need to set up a “digging zone” where they can indulge this urge. Praise your dog for digging in a specific area of your garden where you don’t mind it being disturbed.


Is My Dog’S Digging Bad?

Digging does not necessarily indicate a terrible dog. More so, it’s a poor habit. The majority of people prefer to have a yard that doesn’t resemble a battleground. If this describes you, your dog’s digging is acceptable. Simply put, it’s undesirable.

Does Vinegar Stop Dogs From Digging?

Some dog breeds dislike the smell of vinegar and will stay away from places where it is overpowering. Spray a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water in your dog’s favorite digging areas. You should be aware that not all dogs will respond well to this method of preventing digging.

Do Dogs Grow Out Of Digging?

Most puppies enjoy digging. However, provided your dog isn’t a digger breed like those mentioned above, it should become less inclined to dig with the right training. If your dog digs anyhow, there are ways to reduce and even stop it.

Can I Hire A Professional Dog Trainer To Help Stop My Dog From Digging Up The Garden?

Yes, if you are having trouble getting your dog to stop digging up the garden, hiring a professional dog trainer may be a good alternative. To address your dog’s particular behavior, a trainer can offer tailored guidance and training methods.

How Can I Provide My Dog With An Alternative Place To Dig?

By making a pit filled with sand or soft soil, you can give your dog a different spot to dig. By burying toys or treats and praising your dog for digging in the designated area, you can encourage your dog to do so.

Is It Possible To Completely Stop A Dog From Digging Up A Garden?

While it might be difficult to totally stop a dog from digging up your garden, you can lessen or eliminate the habit with constant training, a different area for them to dig, and the use of deterrents or obstacles.

Can I Plant Certain Types Of Plants That Will Deter My Dog From Digging Up The Garden?

Yes, some plants, such as those with potent fragrances like lavender, rue, or marigolds, or those with spiky foliage like holly or roses, may discourage dogs from digging up the garden.

How Long Does It Typically Take To Train A Dog Not To Dig Up The Garden?

Depending on the dog and the training techniques employed, it can take a different amount of time to train a dog not to dig up the garden. To see noticeable behavioral improvements, consistent training may be required for a few weeks or even several months.

Is There A Particular Breed Of Dog That Has A Higher Propensity To Destroy Gardens?

Breeds with a reputation for digging, including terriers, dachshunds, and beagles, may be more likely to disturb gardens. But any dog can get into the habit of digging.

Can I Use A Deterrent To Stop My Dog From Digging Up My Garden?

Yes, you can use a variety of deterrents to prevent your dog from digging up your garden, including natural ones like vinegar or citrus, as well as manufactured ones like bitter apple spray and physical ones like pebbles or chicken wire.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Dig Up Gardens?

Yes, digging up gardens is an activity that dogs naturally engage in. However, it might become an issue if it harms the garden or puts the dog or other animals in risk.