How to Keep Your Dog from Digging in the Garden

With warmer weather coming and spring showers in the forecast, it is time for your dog to start making a mess of your backyard. While some dogs will only track a little mud inside, other dogs just can’t seem to stop digging up the yard. So, how do you keep your dog from digging in the garden? Here’s some advice:

Why Do Dogs Dig?

There are a number of reasons why a dog might dig up your backyard. Some of these reasons are things that are in your control, while others you’ll have to find creative solutions for.

The main reasons that dogs dig up gardens and backyards are:

  • They have too much energy
  • They are looking for other critters
  • They’re overheating
  • They are trying to escape

How to Keep Your Dog from Digging in the Garden

Help Them Get Out Their Energy

If your dog has too much energy, there are ways you can help them stop digging up your garden. Even if you think your dog has anxiety or is bored, this can work. Bored, anxious, or dogs who just have too much energy can find that digging gives the stimulation they need.

If you find that your dog is looking for an outlet for their excessive energy, there are many things you can do. Simply playing with them can help. Play fetch or tug-of-war with them. Or you can try running some training sessions with them as well. Learning a new skill provides stimulation to the body and mind. Last, simply take them on more walks. Getting them out the house can be great to relieve stress, while the physical act of walking helps them burn off extra energy.

Distract Them

Some dogs dig just because. Digging makes sense for them, and they do it because it’s fun. If this is your dog, you need to provide them with a distraction. Not only will a distraction help take their attention away from digging, but it can help them burn excess energy.

A treat dispensing toy can also help distract your dog from some naughty behaviors. These toys make your dog figure out a puzzle to get a treat out. Because they make dogs work for a reward, it usually occupies them for quite some time.

Keep Toys Indoors

If your dog likes to bury toys, it’s best to keep them indoors. Dogs are often possessive of their favorite toys; this causes them to want to hide them. Thus, dogs like to bury their toys and might do so in the nice, soft soil of your garden. Good rule of thumb: keep dog toys indoors.

Stop Escapes

Your dog might be digging up the garden because they are trying to get out of the yard. They might want to visit their friend next door, or they simply want to go for a stroll. Whatever the case, it’s easy enough to prevent this kind of digging. You can start by placing chicken wire around where your dog is digging. Just make sure any sharp edges are out of reach or your dog may harm themselves. If you don’t like the look of chicken wire, large rocks can be a great looking alternative as well.

Give Them a Spot to Dig

If you’re not having a lot of success with the last few suggestions, you can always give your dog their own personal construction zone. Get a sandbox and fill it with some dirt. Or you can simply designate a certain area of your yard for them to destroy.

It will take some time, but you can train your dog to only dig in the designated spot.

Block Them

If all else fails, you can physically block them from getting into your garden. It’s simple enough to put a temporary fence around your garden or to section off an area of the backyard that’s specifically for your dog. Keeping your dog out of the garden will prevent them from ruining your hard work, though it still won’t stop them from digging completely.

Think Ahead

When it comes to how to keep your dog from digging in the garden, it’s best to anticipate instead of react. It’s tough to break a bad habit, but if you know your dog has an affinity for digging, you can prepare your yard to be a safe place in which your dog can entertain themselves without ruining your garden.

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