Our Dogs World 101

15 Ways To Completely Sabotage Your Dogs Digging

Welcome to Our Dogs World 101, and today we are going to cover your dogs digging and what you can do to stop it!

Dogs dig for a variety of reasons: they could be trying to bury a toy, hunting for bugs, or creating a den. However, as an owner it’s important to recognize when your dog’s digging is becoming a problem. 

In this blog post we’ll go over 15 ways to completely sabotage your dog’s digging habits. 

From filling their hole with water to putting cayenne pepper on top, we’ve got you covered! 

So keep reading for the ultimate guide on how to stop your dog from digging.

What Does It Mean When a Dog Tries To Dig?

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Dogs are natural diggers. It’s instinctive for them to want to dig, especially if they’ve been bred to do so (like terriers and dachshunds). 

There are a few different reasons why your dog may be trying to dig. The most common reason is that they’re bored. Dogs need mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. 

The Dog Solution

If they’re not getting enough attention, they may start to dig as a way to entertain themselves. 

Dogs may also dig if they’re anxious or stressed. This could be due to changes in their routine, separation anxiety, or even just fear of loud noises.

Another reason dogs may try to dig is to escape their yard. If your dog is constantly digging under the fence, it’s likely because they want to explore the world beyond your property. 

Dogs may also dig to find something they’ve hidden, like a bone or toy. They may also be trying to reach a cool spot in the ground on hot days.

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While digging can be frustrating, there are some things you can do to help stop your dog from doing it. 

First, make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. A tired dog is less likely to dig. 

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Dogs also need mental stimulation, so try playing games with them or teaching them new tricks. 

You can also provide them with a designated digging area, like a sandbox, where they’re allowed to dig to their heart’s content. 

If your dog is still having trouble, talk to your vet about possible ways to help reduce their anxiety or stress levels.

While digging can be annoying, there are some ways you can redirect your dog’s behavior. With a little patience and training, you can help your furry friend curb their digging habits.

Dogs Digging – Is It Normal?

Yes, it is quite normal for dogs to dig. Dogs are curious by nature and love to explore their surroundings. 

Digging is one way that they can do this. Additionally, some dogs dig because they are bored or have pent-up energy that needs to be released. 

Others may dig to create a cool spot to lie down in during warm weather. 

Some breeds of dogs, such as terriers, were even bred specifically for their digging abilities! 

Whatever the reason, if your dog is digging, there’s no need to worry – it’s perfectly normal behavior. 

Just be sure to provide your furry friend with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied and help them release their energy in positive ways.

What Is It Called When Dogs Dig?

Also called denning, your dog’s digging  behavior may be a natural, instinctual part of their doggy brain. 

Dogs that dig like to burrow and create a cosy space that feels like home. Some dogs will also dig to get attention or as a way to relieve boredom or stress.

Dogs digging at the beach

If your dog starts digging holes in your yard, there are a few things you can do to help curb their behavior.

First, try to figure out why your dog is digging. If they’re bored, provide them with more toys and activity. If they’re stressed, see if you can remove the source of their stress. 

Dogs may also dig to escape their yard or to find something they’ve buried. If this is the case, make sure their yard is secure and that they have everything they need in their space. 

Lastly, Dogs may dig simply because it feels good! Try rewarding your dog for not digging with treats or extra attention.

If you’re struggling to stop your dog from digging, reach out to a behavioral specialist or trainer here at mark@ourdogsworld101.com for help. 

With some patience and training, you can help your dog curb their digging habits.

What Repels Dogs From Digging?

The most effective digging deterrent smell we tested was red cayenne pepper. 

When we applied the red pepper flakes to the ground, our test dogs immediately stopped digging. 

Some dogs were deterred by the smell of hot sauce, while others were not. 

Dogs with a strong prey drive may be more likely to dig where they smell prey, such as rodents. 

Dogs that dig for fun or exercise may not be as easily discouraged by smells.

If your dog is diggin’ up your yard, try sprinkling some red pepper flakes on the affected area. 

Dog Digging A Hole

You may have to reapply after rain or watering, but it’s worth a shot! Dogs are sensitive to smells, so this could be a effective way to keep them from digging. 

Other scents that may work include citrus, eucalyptus oil, and vinegar. 

You can also try commercially-available animal repellents. Be sure to read the labels carefully, as some products may not be safe for dogs. 

If you have a serious digging problem, you may need to create a physical barrier between your dog and the area they’re trying to dig. 

Fencing, raised beds, or landscaping timbers can do the trick.

Dogs typically dig where they can see and reach their owners, so spending more time with your dog may also help to deter them from digging. 

Dogs need exercise, so be sure to provide plenty of opportunities for them to run, play, and burn off energy. A tired dog is a good dog!

Will Vinegar Stop a Dog From Digging?

Dogs do not like the smell of vinegar,  so they will stay away from areas where it is sprayed. 

The Dog Solution

This can be an effective way to stop your dog from digging in specific areas. 

Simply make a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and then spritz it on any areas where you don’t want your dog to dig. 

You may need to reapply the vinegar spray every few days, especially after rain or watering. 

If your dog is particularly persistent, you can try using a stronger solution of vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water).

While this method will be effective in deterring your dog from digging, it is important to remember that you need to address the underlying reason why your dog is digging in the first place. 

Dogs dig for many reasons, including boredom, fear, anxiety, and hunger. If you can figure out what is causing your dog to dig, you can then take steps to address that issue directly. 

For example, if your dog is bored, try providing more toys and engaging in more playtime. 

If your dog is anxious or afraid, work on building their confidence with positive reinforcement training. And if your dog is hungry, make sure they are getting enough food each day!

You can fix all of the above with the Furbo Dog Camera (Anxiety, training, and hunger) which we have just reviewed here.

You can also check out the quick video below.

With a little patience and perseverance, you can successfully stop your dog from digging – and keep your yard looking nice in the process!

What Is The Best Homemade Dog Repellent?

How do you make homemade dog repellent? 

In a clean, empty spray bottle mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and add 10-15 drops of essential oil. Some good essential oils to use are citronella, lavender, lemongrass, mint, or orange. 

Then just simply spray on areas where you don’t want dogs digging!  Dogs have a strong sense of smell, so the aromatic oils will mask the smells that they’re looking for, and hopefully deter them from digging.

You can also create a natural dog repellent from the pungent smell of garlic. 

To do this, you’ll need to peel and chop 10-12 cloves of garlic, then add them to 2 cups of water. 

Let the garlic sit in the water for about 30 minutes, then strain out the garlic pieces and transfer the liquid to a clean spray bottle. 

You can use this mixture as is, or add a little vinegar to help it stick to surfaces better. 

Apply it to areas where you don’t want dogs digging, and reapply as necessary.

There are also a few commercial dog repellents on the market that can be effective at deterring dogs from digging. 

These usually contain capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in pepper spray, and can be found at most hardware or pet stores. Be sure to read the labels carefully before purchasing, and follow the directions for use.

If you have a specific dog that you’re trying to keep out of a certain area, you can also try using their own urine as a repellent. 

Dogs are very territorial and don’t like the smell of other dogs in their territory. 

You can either collect your dog’s urine in a bottle or cup, or buy commercial dog repellent that contains urine. Be sure to apply it liberally to the area you’re trying to protect, and reapply as necessary.

While there is no guarantee that any of these methods will completely stop a determined dog from digging, they may help to deter them from areas that you’re trying to protect. 

If you have problems with dogs digging in your yard, be sure to reach out to us here at Our Dogs World 101 for more advice.

Do Coffee Grounds Deter Dogs Digging?

Did you know dogs detest anything bitter? To keep your dog  from excavating your flowerbed, try sprinkling coffee grounds on the soil. 

The Dog Solution

Dogs are highly sensitive to smells and will be repelled by the strong scent of coffee. This method is also effective for keeping cats out of gardens. As an added bonus, coffee grounds make excellent fertilizer!

Simply take your morning coffee grounds and mix them into the soil around your plants. You can also sprinkle them on top of the soil as a deterrent. 

Dogs will smell the coffee and be deterred from digging in that area.

If you have an outdoor seating area, you can also place a bowl of coffee grounds nearby to keep dogs away. 

The strong scent will keep them at bay and they’ll avoid the area altogether.

So, next time your dog is digging up your garden, reach for the coffee pot! Coffee grounds are a natural and effective way to keep your furry friend out of the garden. 

If you have a persistent problem with pests in your garden, you may need to take stronger measures. 

Dogs can be trained not to dig, and fences can keep them out of areas you want them off limits. But if all else fails, you can always give your dog its own patch of dirt to dig in! 

After all, they do say a tired dog is a good dog.

Does Chicken Wire Stop Dogs Digging?

Digging may be a natural doggy behavior, but it’s also a dangerous one. 

Dogs who dig can easily hurt themselves, and their owners, if they aren’t careful. That’s why many dog owners look for ways to stop their furry friend from digging.

One popular method is using chicken wire. But does chicken wire actually work to stop dogs from digging?

The short answer is: it depends.

Chicken wire is a physical barrier that can deter some dogs from digging. But it’s not foolproof, and some dogs will find a way to get around it. 

Roll out the chicken wire laying it flat. Pin it down, making sure all the pins are pointing inwards so your dog doesn’t hurt themselves. You can also use rocks or bricks to weigh it down.

Make sure the wire is buried deep enough that your dog can’t dig under it. And be sure to check the fence regularly to make sure it’s still intact and your dog hasn’t found a way around it.

If your dog is determined to dig, chicken wire may not be enough to stop them.

If you’re looking for a way to stop your dog from digging, chicken wire may be worth a try. But remember, no method is guaranteed to work, and you’ll need to be diligent in monitoring your dog’s behavior.

Will Gravel Stop Dogs From Digging?

If your dog has dug any deep holes, or holes near fencing, fill them up with coarse gravel. Dogs typically do not like the feel of gravel under their paws, and will avoid digging in those areas.

Dogs won’t dig through them as the coarse chunks will scratch your dog’s paw pads. 

Also, make sure to pack the gravel down well so it doesn’t shift or move around. You may need to reapply gravel from time to time if your dog continues to dig, however I highly doubt that will happen.

If you have any other questions or tips on how to stop your dog from digging, we would love to hear about them in the comment section below.

Should I Let My Dog Dig?

Digging can be fun for dogs, making it a great way for them to relieve stress and burn off energy. However, it can also be destructive to your property and annoying to your neighbors. 

If you’re considering letting your dog dig, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Dogs typically dig for one of two reasons: either they’re looking for something, or they’re trying to escape something. 

If your dog is digging because they’re bored, anxious, or stressed, provide them with more exercise and mental stimulation. 

This could include longer walks, more playtime, interactive toys and puzzles, and training sessions. 

If your dog is trying to escape their yard, they may be doing so because they’re afraid of something or they want to find something (or someone) they’re missing. 

In this case, you’ll need to find out what’s causing your dog’s anxiety and address the issue.

Once you’ve determined why your dog is digging, you can start to work on discouraging the behavior. 

If they’re digging for fun, provide them with an area where it’s okay for them to dig, like a sandbox or a section of the yard that’s fenced off. 

You can also try training your dog with positive reinforcement – rewarding them when they stop digging and remain in their designated area. 

For dogs who are trying to escape, increasing the security of their fence or enclosure is key. This could mean adding a taller fence, burying wire along the base of the fence, or using stakes to secure the fence to the ground. 

You may also want to provide your dog with a cozy “den” area in their yard, where they can feel safe and secure.

Ultimately, whether or not you let your dog dig is up to you. 

If their digging is causing problems, it’s important to take steps to discourage the behavior. 

But if they’re just digging for fun, there’s no need to put a stop to it – as long as they’re not damaging your property or disturbing your neighbors!

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Digging Under The Fence?

If your dogs are like mine, they are veritable Houdinis  when it comes to finding ways to escape the yard. 

The Dog Solution

Dogs dig for many reasons: boredom, attention-seeking, anxiety, prey drive, and more. While some digging is normal dog behavior, it can become a problem if your dog is doing it excessively or destructively.

There are several things you can do to stop your dog from digging under the fence:

1. Keep them busy with interactive toys and puzzles: Dogs that are bored are more likely to start digging. Be sure to give your dog plenty of toys and playtime to keep them occupied.

2. Train them with positive reinforcement: Dogs that are rewarded for good behavior are less likely to engage in bad behaviors like excessive digging. Try using treats or praise when your dog is behaving the way you want them to.

3. Address underlying issues: If your dog is digging due to anxiety or another issue, you will need to address that issue directly. This may require the help of a professional trainer or behaviorist.

4. Create an unattractive barrier: Dogs are less likely to dig where they do not want to be. Try putting up a fence with chicken wire or netting on the bottom to make it difficult for your dog to dig under.

5. Use deterrents: Dogs do not like certain smells or textures. You can use this to your advantage by sprinkling chili powder, cayenne pepper, or citrus peels around the perimeter of your yard.

With a little patience and effort, you can stop your dog from digging under the fence. Just be sure to address the underlying issue and keep them occupied with toys and interactive playtime. 

Dogs are less likely to dig where they do not want to be, so creating an unattractive barrier can also be effective.

Will Black Pepper Stop Dogs From Digging?

Although not guaranteed to work for all dogs in all situations, black pepper can be an effective way to stop your dog from digging. 

Dogs have a strong sense of smell, and the sharp scent of black pepper may deter them from wanting to dig in that area. 

You can sprinkle black pepper around the perimeter of your yard or wherever you don’t want your dog to dig.

If your dog is already digging in a certain spot, you can try sprinkling black pepper on the ground there. 

You may need to reapply the black pepper periodically, especially after rain or other weather events. 

Some dogs may not be bothered by the smell of black pepper, so you may need to experiment with other deterrents as well.

Will Paprika Keep Dogs From Digging?

Another pepper-type spice that dogs dislike is paprika. You can sprinkle it around the areas of your yard where you don’t want your dog to dig. Be sure to keep kids and other pets away from these areas until the paprika has had a chance to work. Dogs are very sensitive to smells, so a small amount of paprika will go a long way in keeping them away from an area.

You may need to reapply the paprika after rain or other inclement weather, but it is a natural and safe way to keep your dog from digging in certain areas of your yard.

15 Ways to Completely Sabotage Your Dogs Digging Summary

No More Digging made Simple! So there you have it. Dogs dig for many reasons, and sometimes the solutions are quite simple. 

If your dog is a digger, try some of these tips and see if they work for you. Not all dogs will respond to the same methods, so be patient as you experiment until you find something that works for both of you. 

And remember – always reward your dog when they stop digging or take any other desired action, even if it’s just lying down quietly next to the hole. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in training dogs (and humans!). 

Thanks for reading our article on how to stop your dog from digging. We hope this information helps keep your yard safe and free from those pesky holes in the ground!

Remember… Owning a dog should be FUN, not a chore! 

My name is Mark and I currently live in Australia.

I am passionate about educating Doggie parents and helping you to make the best possible decisions to help your dog live a long, happy and healthy life.

As a Dog trainer & behaviorist I have always used The Dog Solution methods with a 100% success rate.
Feel free to contact us, and stay tuned for updates and informative posts on dog care, training, diet, and much more!

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen” – Orhan Pamuk

Mark & Saffron – Founders of Our Dogs World 101

16 thoughts on “15 Ways To Completely Sabotage Your Dogs Digging”

  1. Thank you very much for this valuable detailed post about Dogs Digging. Actually, this is a very suitable post for me. Because both my dogs dig a lot. I cover a lot of holes. But today I found out the real reason why they do that. I need to spend more time with them. Keep posting like this.

  2. Hi Mark & Saffron, hope you are both well. 

    I am such a fan of home remedies. I have used vinegar when my dogs were pups. Garlic is such a great idea too. My pups were so mischief and into all sorts of things. From my plants to the gardens and my pots! Do you think it makes a difference as to the type of vinegar you use? I am just curious as I use Apple Cider Vinegar for most things in my home. Thank you kindly.


    • Hey Shelly I use Apple Cider vinegar as the strong acidic smell is what dogs hate. It is also totally safe and non toxic.

      I also use this for my dog behavioral classes.


  3. Oh I had to smile at your title of sabotaging your dog’s digging. When you have a dog that is continuously digging up your favourite plants, or dig holes in the middle of your manicured lawn, it can become extremely frustrating. 

    One of my dogs (when he was a puppy) kept on digging up a very beautiful, and expensive white camellia, that I was trying to grow. I tried several things, including burying his pooh around the plant and putting a small wire fence around it, but nothing worked and eventually the camellia died. 

    This advice is gold and would have helped me so much then. Using normal household products like spraying vinegar, or garlic water, and sprinkling red cayenne pepper flakes or using pepper, are fantastic. Thank you for sharing these great tips. 

  4. A light-hearted but serious review of what is a problem for many. Personally,  I’m unsure if the problem is with our dog or my wife! I found this article to be really informative and a good read, and will be happy to share the info. In particular, I enjoyed the breakdown of the various reasons a dog may dig. I had no idea there were so many. So thanks again for all of the information.

  5. This post is an informative and all-inclusive solution to dogs’ digging problem.

    Dogs cannot speak so you have to study their behavior and address what you see as not normal.

    It is wonderful to know there can be so many known/unknown problems of a dog digging. 

    Sure, all your solutions could tried and if nothing works, a vet definitely can help to identify the problem and use medication to help out.

    These are precious thoroughly researched solutions that you have written and help dog wonners.

    • Thanks Anusuya, and that’s exactly what we try to do here at Our Dogs World 101, is help people better understand their 4-legged friends!


  6. Thank you for this interesting article. I have a terrier and he digs whenever he gets the chance. I never stop him from digging. I find it cute, he releases his extra energy while digging so I don’t have to take him for long runs or walks, and he just looks like he is having the time of his life while doing it.

  7. Hi Mark – we have a major Digger in our house. I love the coffee idea as we get free bags of ground/waste coffee from our local coffee shop that they leave out for people – can’t wait for a nice lawn again (cross fingers)

  8. I used to have this issue with my pup, Olivia. Whenever she went outside, she either ate the grass or dug holes throughout the whole backyard. It wasn’t a problem for me at first, until I adopted another family member, my cat Sky. Olivia started to dig in Sky’s litter box. That was a huge problem and it took me some time to completely get her to stop doing it. The vinegar and water mix was my go-to solution and I haven’t had to use it ever since. Olivia understood that the litter box wasn’t a good place to dig and now she completely ignores the box.


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