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3 Ways to Stop Digging in Your Yard

jjjjjhhhhjj illustration of dog walking away from digging site with a bone in his mouth

Unfortunately, mounds of dirt and holes in your yard will not increase the value of your property.

Many dogs love to dig and stopping this behavior can be difficult. You can try to give him commands to "stop" but it's hard to be outside with your dog every minute.

Here are three ways to stop his behavior that don't require your constant supervision.

1. Make it undesirable

If there is a certain area of your lawn where your dog loves to dig, make that area unappealing to him. Bury something your dog hates to smell in that area.

For many dogs, pepper - ground or cayenne - does it. One snout full of pepper is often enough to make that area off limits. You may enhance its aroma with hot sauce.

Some owners have success burying some of their dog's poop in the area. Dogs often do not like to dig up their own excrement; however, this also may turn that area of your yard into his new bathroom. Dogs do like to go in the same spot over and over. Be careful not to switch one undesirable behavior to another!

If you can't find anything he doesn't like to smell, then go for sounds. Find a toy or noise maker of some type that he hates and bury that. When he pulls it up and it makes a horrible sound, he'll learn to stay away from that area.

Obviously do not use something like a mouse trap that could harm your dog especially small dogs with small paws and do not use moth balls. Many dogs will try to chew moth balls and these may have harmful, even toxic, side effects.

2. Create an alternative

Digging is instinctive doggy behavior. Instead of fighting it, build a sandbox for your dog where he can dig to his heart's content.

This is sandbox similar to what small children use. Bury one or two of his toys as well as favorite treats in the sandbox and then let him dig. If you catch him digging where you don't want him to dig, just pick up and put him in his sandbox.

3. Wear him out

Digging also can be sign of a bored dog. Take him for a walk at least once a day and play fetch in the backyard while the weather is warm and daylight enables you to be out longer.

One of the oldest rules of dog training is "a tired dog is a good dog."


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