Your first instinct might be to get angry with your dog, and no doubt a pet who un-does all the hard work you’ve done in the yard can be frustrating. But try to understand where your dog is coming from. He’s not trying to irk you on purpose.
The fact is, some dogs dig because it’s in their blood – it’s either a defining characteristic of their breed, or just part of their disposition.
Digging can also be evidence of anxiety or isolation, or a dog’s desire to escape.
Digging might also be as simple as something smelling good to your dog in a particular spot.
Dogs don’t know their hole-digging is a negative behavior, so they don’t know they’re supposed to stop.
The folks at DogTrainingSpot.org suggest several ways of clearly communicating to a dog that digging holes in the lawn is unacceptable.
One way is to place something the dog doesn’t like inside a hole. Lure the dog away from the hole, and drop the offending object in the hole when he isn’t looking, so it’ll be there when he returns. (Think about a particular object or toy that freaks them out.)
If your dog is burying things, such as food or bones, you might dig up those items when he isn’t looking, so they won’t be there the next time he digs. After a while, he may get the point that digging provides no reward, and stop.
You can also reward positive behavior – such as issuing a treat when the dog roams around the yard without digging. Good boy! The important thing is to be consistent.
For more information, check out our article on MoneyPit.com called “Dog Digging Holes in Your Lawn? How to Stop Him.”