How Do I Stop My Dog From Digging Holes – Help!

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Dog Digging HoleAt first, you may think that you’ve got to do whatever you can to stop your dog from digging holes in the yard. But as it turns out, the dog may be doing this for an important reason. Instead of getting upset at your pup, consider why he or she might be making a minefield out of your backyard. Here are some common reasons your dog might dig holes in your yard and how to stop a dog from digging.

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?

  • In classic “dig your way out of prison” fashion, they are attempting to escape the yard.
  • They may be escaping something they fear — neighborhood dogs or natural events such as thunderstorms.
  • Anxiety and separation issues that arose from their general lifestyle, not necessarily from the condition of the backyard.
  • They might hear the sounds of underground creatures and bugs, or smell something buried in the ground, and dig holes to attempt to find them. This will often cause random placement of holes around your yard.
  • To escape the summer heat — if you live in a hot area, your dog may try to dig himself a cool hole to rest in.
  • They could be lacking certain minerals in their diet, and dig holes in the hope of finding them in the soil in your yard.
  • Terrier breeds are natural hunting dogs, and will instinctively dig in the ground for prey or food. There’s no point trying to deny their instincts.
  • Your dog may be digging a hole to stash away food or items of shelter. This is a natural preservation instinct.
  • Female dogs may dig holes as part of their natural mating behavior.

How Do I Find Out Why My Dog Is Digging Holes In Our Yard?

Rhodesian Ridgeback Digging Hole in YardThe best way to discourage digging behavior is to first explore the reasons, listed above, that may induce your dog to dig holes. But most importantly, you should realize that digging is a normal doggie trait. According to a national survey, more than 83% of American dog owners have dogs that dig holes. Furthermore, canine experts affirm that digging is a natural adaptive behavior seen in the wild. In other words, dogs are going to dig holes, for one reason or another, and you shouldn’t put too much effort into how to stop dogs digging. Hindering dogs from carrying out their natural, predisposed functions is not good for their health and well-being.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Digging Holes?

Depending on the reason above, you need to take different approaches to get your dog to stop digging holes in your yard. If your dog is digging random holes throughout the yard, he or she is most likely smelling or hearing something underground and trying to get to it. How to stop dogs from digging, in this case, is you could try digging a larger hole for them in an acceptable location in the yard and try and motivate them to dig only there by burying treats for them to find.

As far as the other reasons are concerned, in most cases, digging is a natural behavior. The most important thing to confirm is that your dog is well taken care of. Make sure they are getting enough food, but not too much (or they may dig a hole to hide the left-overs ;), and make sure they are kept in an appropriately climate-adjusted environment. They should have a place to sleep, be kept up-to-date with their veterinary appointments, etc. These are all things you need to check off your list as a responsible dog owner before attempting to find fault in your dog’s behavior and to stop dog from digging. Even then, a dog’s behavior often has a natural source. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the will to be ill-intentioned, and in the case of digging holes in your backyard they are following a natural instinct or learned behavior that, while annoying to you, is out of survival or need for them. Answering the question, “Why do dogs dig holes?” can be as simple as instinctual.

Watch This Dog Get Caught

This dog is so guilty and watching his reaction after he gets caught is hilarious!

Training Your Dogs To Not Eat Poop, Roll In Poop, Or Eat Dirt

In addition to digging holes, our canine friends have many more habits that are somewhat curious and maybe even a little gross to us humans. There are some simple ways to combat these habits as well.

You know the feeling: Someone ‘forgot’ to scoop after his dog left a little present on the lawn, and the next thing you realize, you have turned around to your own dog sniffing and eating it! Making matters worse, he then wants to come up and lick you, proud of his accomplishments. What to do?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Dogs not only eat poop from other dogs, but they also eat their own feces as well. In fact, this behavior is relatively common, especially among puppies. One of the reasons scientists postulate for this is that animal poop contains nutrients and essential vitamins that the dog lacks in his or her diet. Dogs may also lick poop to smell and taste it to get information about either themselves or another dog. Some further believe that eating the poop after the assessment may be a way to remove the evidence that either the dog himself or the other dog were ever in the area. If you react negatively to the dog eating poop, there is also some behavioral evidence that a dog in want for attention will continue to eat it out of boredom, anxiety or the simple desire to catch your eye.

How To Stop Dog From Eating Poop

Puppies generally are thought to out-grow this behavior. The most common piece of advice that veterinarians give for owners of all ages of dog, however, is to simply bring a bag with you and scoop up poop before the dog has a chance to sniff around it. This is a good habit to get into anyway, as most cities require you to scoop your dog’s poop on public property. Although there is little else you can do about your dog eating another dog’s feces, you can take a few precautions to help your dog kick the habit:

  • Do not over-react when you see the dog eating poop. This only gives her anxiety and/or attention.
  • Redirect a dog who is interested in feces to do something else, and reward her for engaging in the new activity. The new activity could be, for example, a jog, a frisbee, a toy or a treat. Offer this alternate activity and reward with treats or petting, and the dog will learn to ignore the poop and go straight for the other, more rewarding activity.
  • Feed your dog a balanced diet, even supplementing with vet-approved vitamin pills if you need to.
  • Make your dog’s own fecal matter unappealing by adding canned pumpkin, meat tenderizer or canned pineapple to his food.

Why Do Dogs Roll In Poop?

Another common dog behavior, dogs rolling in poop can give them a terrible odor, and pieces will stick to the dog’s fur making it very hard, and very distasteful, to have to get out. Unfortunately, most of this behavior is instinct. Dogs make pheromones from glands near their anal opening, and this can give feces a very alluring odor that a dog might want to coat himself in. Dogs also seem to enjoy the activity, and it feels good to them. Some also speculate that dogs roll in the feces of another dog or animal to disguise their own smells.

How To Stop Dog From Rolling in Poop

Unfortunately, not a whole lot in this case. Re-directing and rewarding is a good choice. Also keep your dog away from poop entirely by keeping him on a leash when walking and moving him away from the poop with commands followed by a reward. Placing a fence around the perimeter of your yard to prevent him from going into the woods and rolling in wild manure, and quickly scooping up any poop in your dog’s path are all good alternatives. You’ll probably want to give your dog a bath and if he still smells a little funky, try spraying an odor-neutralizer spray on him.

Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt?

There are many reasons why dogs may eat dirt. Some dogs, just like humans, like eating dirt because of an oral fixation. Dirt is around to be chewed on, so dogs will chew it. Same thing goes for dogs who eat dirt out of boredom: Oftentimes, it is something that is simply there for them to do. Some dogs eat dirt searching for nutrients they lack in their diets, or a dog may simply be underfed and ravenous. Finally, some dogs do it because they are anxious, do not receive enough attention, or are doing it intentionally to misbehave. No matter what the cause, eating dirt can actually have some negative consequences on your dog’s health. Dirt may contain too many nutrients, harmful organisms, fertilizers and pesticides, all of which can make your dog sick. Seeing your veterinarian is advised if your dog is eating dirt.

Stop Your Dog From Eating Dirt

It may take some detective work to figure out the cause of your dog’s behavior, but chances are that you can weed out some possibilities immediately. After that, have your vet help you with the issue. Some common solution to the dirt eating problem:

  • Make sure your dog is eating a healthy, balanced diet. If your dog is overweight, feed her low-calorie food rather than feeding her less of her regular food, since feeding less might be leaving her hungry and desperate to eat something, even if that something is dirt.
  • Play with your dog and give him lots of attention. Pet him, play with him, walk him, feed him, give him treats and sit with him. You do not need to spoil your dog with attention, but just be sure he gets as much as he needs to not feel lonely.
  • Entertain your dog with games and toys to prevent boredom. You can even teach him new tricks, even if he’s old!
  • Provide your dog with chew toys and chewy treats.
  • Keep your dog indoors during the daytime while you are away.

If you have tried all of the above and nothing seems to help, see your veterinarian immediately! Your dog may have a digestive disease or a medical disorder that requires professional treatment.

What behavior is your dog obsessed with?

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Alex's first dog was a dalmatian named Domino, who at the time belonged to his girlfriend (now wife) Michelle. Alex first met Domino in Redondo Beach, California and they quickly became best pals. In North Carolina, a black lab mix, Storm, was added to the family. Domino lived to be 14 years old, and Storm 9, and Alex looks back fondly at all the love and happiness these pups added to his life over the years. Alex now lives happily in Winston-Salem, NC with his wife Michelle and their two dogs Bella (yellow lab mix) and Lily (Brown Carolina dog), and he doesn't take for granted for a second how much meaning canines add to his life, and how many lessons he learns from their love, happiness, and eagerness to live life to the fullest.

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Belinda Payson
I have two golden retrievers, one is 4 years old and the other one is 8 months old, and they continue to dig big holes in our yard, not just holes, but big huge holes,and we don’t know how to make them stop,help!
Hannah R
I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much, but he barks A LOT… So, leaving home is always a challenge for us. My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Hannah, here are some articles we have that may help you:
Can A Sonic Collar Stop Your Dog From Barking?
Why Dogs Bark and How To Stop It
Stop Your Dog From Barking With A No Bark Collar
If you’re interested in training, Doggy Dan is a great affordable option for training and he has videos about barking. You can read more about Doggy Dan in our review.
Nice add up.This is one Common Dog Behavior Problem and solution that i learned, i hope this will help..
If given the chance, most dogs will do some amount of digging; it’s a matter of instinct. Certain breeds, like terriers, are more prone to digging because of their hunting histories. In general, most dogs dig for these reasons:
Boredom or excess energy
Anxiety or fear
Hunting instinct
Comfort-seeking (such as nesting or cooling off)
Hiding possessions (like bones or toys)
To escape or gain access.
If your dog digs up your yard, it can get pretty frustrating for you. Try and determine the cause of the digging, then work to eliminate that source. Spend more time with your dog, give it more exercise, and work on extra training. If digging is inevitable, set aside an area where your dog can learn it is acceptable to dig, like a sandbox.
I wonder if they dig to wear off their toenails? Mine doesn’t dig when his toenails are short.
There’s a another major reason why dogs dig — and you can do something about it. Some dogs dig simply because they are otherwise not getting enough exercise. Get them out for more runs, and they won’t dig nearly as much.
Burt Silver
I really like how you talk about ways to keep your dog from digging holes. This is something that I am trying to work on with my dog. He has been trying to dig and get underneath the fence that I put up. Maybe I should look into products and barrier solutions that will prevent him from doing that.
There’s a program ran by a professional dog trainer that has all kinds of obedience training courses from digging to barking and everything in between. it also has plenty of tricks in it you can teach your pet as well. Shed been working on it for 10 years! i tried it on my dog myself and he has no problems anymore.
Alan D. Amado Sr.
she’s about 11/2 yrs and I just noticed she digging more than usual. Mostly her digs are near each otherlike by the garage, along the fence line, some are random holes. around the dog-house I know that’s for shelter but the other holes, I’m clueless. Any suggestions ?
I have pot holes all over my yard. One of them has a small garden statue in it..the others just holes. Some she lies in.She is always dirty.I rescued her when she was going on two perhaps this is about surviving on her own. This is my second Carolina dog and I didn’t have this problem with the first.Though I found dthe first when she was about a month old. Any help would be welcome
Someone please help me. We currently have three dogs. A 5 year old, a 4 year old, and a 6 month old. The 6 month old dog wont stop digging. He was not adopted so i’m pretty sure that his digging is not a way to escape traumatic behavior. He has been digging in two of the same spots (a flower box and the pathway with rocks) and my dad has had enough of the digging and wants me to give him away, which I don’t really want to do. He has enough exercise. We have a big lawn and the dogs all love running and playing with each other. I am mostly at home too and have enough playtime with all the dogs. I dont know how to address the problem anymore. We never had a digging problem with the two older dogs. Please help me.
If you exercise them, then don’t even let them in the back yard or put them on chain so they can only have a section . My dog is doing the same, but when I walked him he didn’t dig. So If we want a nice yard guess we have to walk our dogs.
I’m gonna guess the dogs might be outside farm dogs and not “let out in the yard”, but rather live outside. But it does not specify for sure.
Try redirecting the behavior to fetch. I am having the same problem w my 5 month old puppy and the constructive play redirect has really worked!
I’ve got a Malie who never stopped digging. My honest suggestion is to use the whole to your advantage. Bury their poop in the whole and cover with sand. Do not let the dog see you do this either. As they will continue digging. Otherwise, fix the whole with sand again and put their poop on the top. Worked for me. Again. Don’t let the pup see you.
Reader Questions
I consider myself as a good dog steward, and use positive reinforcement as my training tool…I have never ever heard of using the dogs poop to stop them from unwanted behavior.
I did the same thing for our bullboxer Sophie. It was hilarious to watch her go out to dig in her hole that she started and would be like .. what the what! LoL
Have you taken him to a vet for a good checkup? Tell the vet about the behavior. I have a good friend who is a top vet from the University of Georgia–so there’s LOTS of digging in the red Georgia clay–I know I have a white Golden Retriever who LOVES to dig.

My vet says that 90% of small animal visits (AND with her large animal practice-horses, cattle, goats, etc) are for behavior issues. Shelters say that 94% of the dogs given up to them are for behavior problems.

So go to a good vet to rule out digestive problems, metabolic issues, dental problems (For example if a dog has an abscessed tooth, then digging in cool dirt, chewing on grass roots–especially Bermuda grass and other grasses with multiple roots– may make him feel better!)

Get your rottie to a vet!!

Also maybe adopting another dog will give him the playmate he lost and more distraction–ask the vet for an appropriate replacement–an older, more mature dog may be a good role model for good behavior.

Also do you have burrowing animals in the yard? Look for little holes, mounds of dirt, or part of the yard that “gives away” when you step on it–moles, etc can have tunnels everywhere. (See: “Caddyshack.”)

Enjoy your pup!

Debbie Wheatley
You can stop the digging by putting moth balls just under the dirt. They will run away, they don’t like the smell. Worked with my 3 dogs.
In my case, it would be impossible to put down moth balls in a half acre with woods!

But more important is that moth balls are toxic!

Cats are more sensitive to their toxic effects, but dogs are more likely to ingest mothballs. Long-term exposure to mothball fumes can also harm pets and people. “Ingestion of naphthalene mothballs can cause anemia, lethargy, vomiting, and sometimes kidney or liver damage.

– From VCA animal hospitals

And it is toxic to animals
Karalyn Goldberg
Hello , I am having difficulties with my blue tick hound digging incessantly in our yard , but we have septic tank and I know she is digging all over the yard but you can distinctly tell and distinguish when she is digging in the leach fields… Km worried that she will become sick because she loves to dig up broken up cement and rocks that somebody previously dumped and used as fill dirt. She will also eat all the oak tree roots all throughout everywhere throughout the front and backyard.. I checked all the things on the lists but is this more of a mineral deficiency? She is only about 16 months old . Lots of excersise and play , healthy diet from our vets suggestions and is on prevention for heart worms and fleas, parasites . She is constantly in the dirt though. She loves to eat the rocks , its crazy .. help .
Jessica Dueck
Hello! I have a Rott puppy of 3 months (I had another one that was perfect before but died of illness) and this one spends all day destroying my yard, making holes and breaking grass from the roots. He lives outside, we play almost 1h each day, I leave the door open so he can see me all day and sit close but not inside the house, and then during the night is when he most makes a mess. He has 2 large pet bones to chew, his blanket and a small ball to chase when I’m not with him, but still he goes around running and playing with them, then a few minutes decides to dig and bark at it, then dig, and start eating grass. He also started to ¨play¨ and bark at my hose, he almost flooded my yard during the night because he broke it. I don’t know what to do anymore, I’m very close to giving him away, I work all day and we play too but still not enough. I made all the warnings and options you pointed. My other rott never make things like this, one warning was enough. But this one does what he wants! Help!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Without knowing where you live, there’s a good chance he is digging because he’s too hot. He’s trying to get cooler by digging and laying in the hole. With the USA being in the middle of summer, there’s a good chance this is the reason for his digging. There’s a couple suggestions we have that may stop his digging.

1) Make sure he has an area of shade for all hours of the day. Shade will help him stay cooler.
2) Try giving him fresh water two times a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
3) Consider getting a kiddie pool for him to cool off in. If he can cool himself off in the water he may stop digging.

Let us know if these tips help and best of luck!

Jessica Dueck
Thank you for the quick reply! And we are currently in winter 11º all day and colder in the night so I don’t think is that. And he doesn’t make huge holes, he digs, barks, plays withe the grass he broke and then digs again, sleeps, eats, brakes grass, and so on. I don’t know what is wrong, I play with him a lot but as soon as I leave him alone he goes and runs around playing and digging :/
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
My only other idea is that since he is still a pup he is doing it out of boredom. Perhaps he needs more attention and toys to distract him. Unfortunately, play with him for 1 hour each day may not be long enough. That leaves him alone for 23 hours of the day. That’s time he spends trying to entertain himself. Perhaps see if you can spend time with him at other times of the day in addition to the hour. See if a neighbor, friend or family member can come over and spend time with him if your schedule doesn’t allow. Pups take a lot of time but it’s worth it after you build that bond with them and train them what is and is not acceptable. Let us know if you have any other questions!
Never B4
You know what, I’m with my dogs all day. They go out to play, we go out to play but they mostly live in the house. I have 3 dogs. An Australian Shephard, a border collie hanging tree dog and a palm. My border hanging tree digs a 1 foot hole in seconds. She eats trees, eats leaves, eats well… everything. I have done tons of training and tons or reading. The dog is who she is. Sure maybe more of your time will be the answer. I have come to the conclusion that we all have weird and crazy people in our lives. Hell some of them we call family. Maybe just accept that you got one of those dogs. Maybe try hanging big ropes from a tree, leave lots of toys all over the yard, some with treats in them. I found putting more entertainment outside helped a little. Good luck. Just accept your crazy family member. Also for the eating grass, I started feeding my dog green beans. For the eating the hose, disconnect it. No hose, no chew. It really sounds like the dog needs high amounts of entertainment. It’s hard with big dogs because they can chew on what ever they want. As owners we just need to figure out big things and lots of things it’s ok and safe to chew. The big big chew ropes from a tree really helped us.
Also maybe you can consider adopting a brother or sister for him. We rescued a 2yr old 7lb. boxer last year, “JohnBoy”. We are now both retired, so we are home all day, but we quickly realized that he needed a brother. We were able to adopt a 6week old siberian husky mix, named “Moonshine”. So now we are proud parents of 100 lb. Johnboy and 65 lb Moonshine. We live on 20 acres where we walk them 2x a day, but we have a doggie door that allows the to go outside to our chainlink backyard. The hisky just turned 1, he loves to play on the grandkids trampoline, swim in our pool and chase the birds that fly overhead! They go in and out at their leasure, we keep a continuous water container (so they dont get dehydrated) and they sleep on the foot of our bed with us or next to our bed on their memory foam doggie bed. They also sit in our livingroom and watch tv. (IDK if its the noise or if they actually are watching tv. Lol lol) These 2 guys are like having toddlers in the house again! Just like us humans, they require the same sort of nurturing attention and affection! Maybe give your lil one a buddy to share his life with!
My concern would be: “What “illness” did your other puppy die from? Parvo? parasites? Poisoning?
Parvo can live in soil for years! I just hope your pup is not ingesting something that makes him ill, so he digs, chews to make his tummy feel better?

Another thing to bring up when you visit the vet. Your local agricultural state extension service or exterminators may be able to sample and analyze the soil.

Sounds like he has anxiety. Dogs are not meant to be outside and alone all day and night. most people get dogs for companionship, not to put in the back yard. How would you feel alone in the house day after day and have someone come to see you for an hour a day. He needs more attention. My dog has to sleep in the same room I am in, if I sleep on the couch he comes out and sleeps next to the couch.
Jennifer McCune
Mine too! I have a pitt and my yard looks like that scene in the movie holes!! Mine sleeps in my bed with me. And if I’m not in my bed and I’m on the couch he’s right up there on the couch with me. Mind you I’m usually on the love seat because that’s the one I’m most comfortable and he finds a way to finagle himself up there with me as he’s doing right now. But my dog does dig holes and I play with him every single day before I go to work and after I go to work. I cannot walk him on a leash because he is way too strong for me so I put him on a 25-foot 360 run. He does okay
You need to get rid of your dog. You don’t deserve him. Leaving a dog outside all day all night is cruel. I want so badly to lock you outside like a homeless person.
I have a bulldog that keeps putting huge holes near trees. She’s only three years old. We have had to cut down several trees because she has dug up roots, how can I stop this?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Tia, have you read the article above and tried what we’ve suggested?
Nathalie Burnett
I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. But he digs holes a lot. So, leaving home is always a challenge for us.

My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? Thank you!

Never B4
Try putting some dog bones under the ground in an area for the dog to dig. Give the dog a designated area to dig. Worked for me. Good luck.
Yes check w grocery store. Winn dixie cuts us about 6-9 bones and when we leave for more than a few hours we give him one or save your steak bones for those occasions keeps them busy for a few hours and then they get tired.,
Liza F
I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. But he digs under a fence a lot. So, leaving home is always a challenge for us.

My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? Thank you!

James White
Hello everybody, I have a big problem. I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. But he digs holes a lot. So, leaving home is always a challenge for us.

My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? Thank you!

I tried filling the holes with dried leafs off the ground. I have 2 beagles and a mutt. So far so good – it’s been 2 weeks with no holes.
Jimmys mum
My terrier Jimmy was BORN to dig. He loves it and although he’s never caught anything yet his enthusiasm for tearing up grass and soil is staggering at times. Quite often he will abandon his tennis ball mid-fetch and start tunnelling like a dog possessed. Once he thinks he’s on to a winner it’s difficult to get him to refocus on the game at hand. I know it’s instinct with him but his recall goes right out of the window when he’s in hunt mode. Does anyone know how I can get him to snap out of it and get his attention back on playing fetch and running about?
Our German Shepherd pounds the ground, looking like a Polar Bear trying to break through the ice in the hunt for a Seal. He listens first then pounds and digs over and over. He leaves holes only a few inches deep and will sometimes bite at the earth. Even if we are playing fetch he will get distracted by something in the earth and away he goes again. I’ve thought about insects and rodents but I don’t know as I’ve never seen any creatures except for spiders in the summer and worms. There is an underground waterway approximately 200 feet down that is our well source. Maybe he listens to the flowing sound of water. One wonders though as our planet has a lot going on in it; affirmed recently by a news report I watched on sink holes in Florida and other places. I suppose one shouldn’t get too paranoid as digging is part of what dogs do. Maybe someone out there could shed more light on the subject. Thanks all!
Tanya P.

I have a Winnie dog that is always digging to get the neighbors chickens. How do we stop that? She has already gotten one. She is well fed, played with, what do I do?


When a dog digs a hole to escape its not always because he's unhappy. Some dogs love to dig and love to have a little adventure. I have 3/4 acre lot in a woodsy area. My yard is completely fenced and our 3 dogs have the run of the place. The Border Collie mix and JRT mix just love to get out and see what the neighbors are up to!  For every hole we patch another appears. 

The Border Collie has a serious digging problem (for me anyhow). He can easily dig 12 craters a day after his regular 4-10 mile hike in the morning. In his case he's trying to dig up every root and irrigation hose.  He and the JRT bring me a root to admire every couple hours


I respect eveyones feelings in the comments and the thoughts of the author. However, I don't think that a dog digging holes is a healthy practice. To me it means the dog has a lot of pent up energy and frustration. If a dog is getting the proper amount of exercise, which means a nice long daily walk at the minimum, he should not be engaging in this destructive activity. Granted, it is a dogs natural instinct to dig. However, so is running free and jumping up on people when they are excited. These are two traits that everyone tries to train out of their dogs because the behaviour is destructive and can be dangerous. I would love to hear some conflicting thoughts.

My 2 Digger Pups

I have two chihuahua / dachschand mix pups. They are more chi than dox. But the first time I let them loose in the dirt at about 3 months, the littlest of the two instantly took to paddling his little paws into the dirt. After a few occasions of doing it, he would then first get a little sprig of grass, leaf or twig in his mouth and then start digging. Never putting the item into the hole, but he'd work at it with focused diligence. Super cute. 

I'm redoing my backyard (which isn't fenced) so when I'm out there, I rope them up in the dirt to hang out with me. And they both are now expert little diggers. They go straight to their existing excavation sites and start working on them, with their little rear ends poking up and their bodies going deeper. lol

It never occurred to me to stop this behavior, which to me seems:

A) good upper body exercise,

B) to keep them mentally/physically occupied,

C) harmless, and

D) very natural (little twigs and leaves held in the mouth while digging? That's obviously instinct).

In fact, I added in my plans to put grass back there, to leave a strip of just dirt for them to dig in. I read the comment in this section that someone's neighbor didn't want the dog digging the grass and saw no compromise, just chaining up. How sad. Compromise was the first thing I thought of.