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How To Combat Your Doggo's Digging Problem

Words by: WAG Team

Published on: March 22, 2022
How To Combat Your Doggo's Digging Problem

Does your doggo love to dig? Are your garden beds constantly under attack?

Let's talk about why this may be happening, as there is no single root cause. Let's delve into this more and learn how to stop dogs digging. 

Why is my doggo doing a dig?

They just took a DNA test, turns out…

...that it is completely normal. Before they sat on comfy beds, ate special WAG treats, or got belly rubs your doggo was a wolf. Their wolf instincts go back to when they needed to dig to hunt underground. 

When it comes to breeds such as terriers, human intervention made their digging worse, on purpose! Terriers would dig for their humans as a way to help them hunt better underground. 

The most important thing to understand is that your doggo is not digging out of spite, they are digging because it is in their DNA, for comfort, for attention, or entertainment.

Why is my doggo doing a dig


Look, a squirrel. 

Your doggo might be digging for critters. Do you often see squirrels, frogs, or rodents in your backyard? Do mice run a riot around your fence line? That might be the exact reason your canine companion is making a mess of your lawn. 

It is a doggo's instinct to hunt for prey or to kill predators and protect their pack (that's you!). This is particularly true for hound breeds, so keep an eye out on your dachshund! 

X marks the spot

Your doggo's digging behaviour might be everything to do with their hidden pirate treasure. No seriously, they are born to hide things. If you ever notice that you give your doggo natural dog treats from WAG, and they run off with it... check those dig holes! The likelihood is, you'll find some of their beloved treats in those holes. 

Nature's air-conditioner

Do you have a big doggo? One with lots and lots of fur? Perhaps a Husky or German Shepard?

The reason those breeds have been known to dig is to find a cool spot. They dig into your cool and watered lawn/dirt to lay their warm bellies on the cool ground.

The ulti-mutt escape

Is your canine companion lonely, bored or feeling trapped?

If so, that is not your fault, doggos are pack animals, they seek other doggos to play with. They might be seeking more space, or chasing smells. But if the dig holes are near your fence, that might be the reason.

So… how do we stop our dogs digging?

how do we stop our dogs digging

Tips for controlling that pesky digging doggo

Toys, toys and more toys

Your doggo's digging habit might stem from boredom. If they spend a majority of their time outdoors, consider getting them a bunch of tougher toys, such as rope toys or chew toys, that they can keep outside and get dirty. Keep a stash of chew toys outdoors for your furry friend at all times.  

You can even opt for long lasting chew dog treats such as bully or collagen sticks, which will keep your canine companion happily occupied for hours on end.  

More playtime and walkies

Is your doggo getting enough walkies and physical exercise? The bigger your doggo, the more exercise and playtime they need with their human friend. If you are already walking your doggo once a day for half an hour and then finding huge holes and craters all over your yard, maybe up their walk time. 

If for whatever reason you find you are unable to walk your furry friend, especially on hot days, consider putting some time aside for playtime at home. Whether it is playing chase around the kitchen, fetch in the hallway, or tug-of-war in the yard, take the time to tire your doggo out.

Chill time, baby

If your canine companion is digging holes and then taking a nap in them, they might be seeking a cool spot to chill in through the hot days. They might feel too warm in your yard and be seeking some comfort. Sadly, those cool spots might be found in your vegetable garden. The soil there will be the coolest as it gets lots of water and attention. 

If this is the case, try investing in a kiddie pool. Fill your pool with ice-cold water, to make sure the hot weather doesn't heat it too quickly. Find areas in your yard with shade all day and place the pool there. This will allow your doggo to stay cool if they are outside for long periods. Read more about ways to keep your doggo cool this summer here. 

doggo cool this summer


Spray away

If your canine companion keeps dig, dig, digging, try using digging deterrents. There are some digging deterrents that you can buy online. Most of the popular ones are sprays and essential oil based granules. However, you can create your own by combining a few drops of eucalyptus, lemon, or cinnamon essential oils with some water in a spray bottle. This mixture will also help with deterring animals from messing with that area. Seems like a win, win. 

Doggo playpen

If you have the space in your yard, try putting a small sandpit there! This will help you have control over where your furry friend can dig, and give them the space to do it. 

If your doggo digs for no reason, or just because they want to, this will provide them with the space to do so. 

Treats and snackos

Try giving your doggo a fun treat to play with to distract them from their digging habits. Bully sticks, chewy treats or big bones are the way to go. 

The bigger and more substantial the treat, the more time your pesky digger will spend chewing and less time destroying your yard.

Check out our range of bones and horns here.

Treats and snackos


Train them up

Use training treats such as WAG’s beef liver to communicate to your doggo  that digging up your precious garden is not okay!

Start slow, when your doggo is in the backyard and not digging, reward them. When they are, be firm with your words and say no, when they stop, reward them. They will soon realise that by not digging they get a little reward and won't do it anymore. 

By spending time trying different strategies, you can help to reduce or eliminate your doggo's digging problem. Just make sure to give them a well-deserved treat to reward them for listening. 

We hope these tips will help you and your doggo, and you can enjoy a hole-free garden!