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

To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

Dog digging hole (caption: How To Stop Dog From Digging Holes?)At 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.

Article Overview

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?

  • Out of boredom or lacking adequate exercise 
  • 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 survey1, 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?

Dog Digging HoleDepending 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 thereby 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.

Video: Tips From A Trainer

Here’s a video from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter about why they do it and some tips on how to get dogs to stop.

Other Odd Behaviors

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.

You know the feeling: Someone ‘forgot’ to scoop after his dog left a little present on the lawn, and the next thing you know, you turn around to find your dog sniffing and eating it! Learn more about why dogs eat poop and what you can do about it. Dogs rolling in poop is another common yet smelly behavior. In addition to digging holes, dogs may like to eat dirt too.

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

What behavior is your dog obsessed with?

Sources: Campbell, W. E. The prevalence of behavioral problems in American dogs. Modern veterinary practice (USA), 1986.

About The Author:

Alex holds BS degrees in Management Science from the University of California at San Diego, and Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is the co-founder of Canine Journal and his first dog was a Dalmatian named Domino. Alex and Domino quickly became best pals as dog walks, hikes, an uncanny sense of what Alex was going through at any particular time, and other canine adventures enhanced Alex's life and well-being.

Alex's experience as a parent to several dogs since then have given him over 15 years of canine insight and perspective that he brings to Canine Journal. While he's been versed in everything from basic dog training techniques, canine diet and health, to pet insurance, the takeaways he holds most dear are the inspiration to live every moment to the fullest, and start each day with gusto and a tail wag.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

Notify of
Oldest Most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
April 14, 2020 7:23 am

my dog digs holes and also chews the fence how do I stop him hes 5mths staffy

Apiffany Gaither Billings
April 14, 2020 5:25 pm
Reply to  haron

Hi, puppies like to chew things and often need something to keep them occupied and busy. Here is an article about toys for chewers as well as an article about how to stop your dog from eating wood.

December 10, 2019 9:32 pm

put round stones in the whole that he digs and cut his nails

Barbara bean
September 10, 2019 8:13 pm

Sprinkle moth balls in the area,doesn’t hurt dog’s,they don’t like the smell.

Janine Taylor
September 8, 2019 3:30 pm

Yes dogs mouths are cleaner than humans also if you can’t yourself and your dog lick your wound healed heal it cos it’s got something on it’s tongue looking network socket antibiotic so it’s quite healthy for your dog to lick you or on your wounds or whatever

Kimberly Alt
September 9, 2019 1:03 pm
Reply to  Janine Taylor

Please DO NOT let your dog lick your wounds. It is very dangerous to allow a dog to lick your wounds. It could become infected and cause more harm to you. If your dog licks your wound, clean the wound immediately and cover it with a bandaid to prevent your dog from licking it again.

Rylee King
July 27, 2019 7:05 am

I have a year old Rottweiler/Pitbull/Mutt that WILL NOT stop digging up the yard. I think it might be due to not enough exercise, but I play with him with a flirt pole and fetch for at least an hour every day, and I can’t take him on walks because I’m in a wheelchair, and he only heels until he gets distracted by another dog or one of the many stray cats in the neighborhood. (he’s given me some nasty bruises by pulling me to the ground) I don’t have the funds for a dog walker, and I can’t spend more time playing with him because it exhausts me too much. He has plenty of toys and chews outside to use to get his energy out, and the other dog I have is too old to want to play (he’s a 14 year old english setter/lab). Any ideas?

September 10, 2019 8:18 pm
Reply to  Rylee King

You try to find a treadmill someone is getting rid of & teach him to walk on it by giving him a treat.It will get him tired and both of you will be happy.

May 29, 2019 9:23 pm

Re: Eating Dirt
I lost my beloved 5 yr old Cardigan Corgi, in Oct, to a parasite called Neospora – eating dirt is one of several symptoms of this evil parasite which causes wasting of healthy tissues- in all the body systems. Sadly, I observed all of the symptoms one by one over the course of 2 yrs but put them down to benign causes. All the while this silent killer was eating him up. It took a specialist 4 months to finally hit the right disease in testing. By then it was too late.

Kimberly Alt
May 30, 2019 8:39 am
Reply to  Paige

I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.

May 18, 2019 10:02 am

My dog is a digger; she has made it worse this year. It is constant and she is destroying the yard. She moves to another spot, then returns to thew old spot,after I have placed new dirt and sod. What can i do to stop this behavior?

July 31, 2019 11:44 am
Reply to  Don

Hi there. Unlike all these ineffectual new-wave dog “experts,” I can give you a real solution. Buy a remote control vibrating/shock/beeping collar (most have all three functions now) and, when you see your dog digging, shock the daylights out of him/her. Did that a couple times with our dog and he’s seen the light.

Problem solved. Problem staying solved.

July 25, 2019 11:20 pm
Reply to  Don

It’s in the dog’s nature to dig really however annoying. They may have their own natural reasons, perhaps for defense or to exhaust their energy into or feed their curiosity or in readiness to mate or just mere play. Whatever the reasons, never stop loving them as they are our best and loyal friends.

Here are ways I did to curtail such behavior in my dogs. First, I watched them closely in the yard and at the instant they would do some digging, I would right away stop them which gave them an awareness not to. However, since I couldn’t be around watching them all the time, they couldn’t help it but dig…and dig…and dig…until the yard looked like planet Jupiter with all the craters. Poor me – spade, rake and all – has to return the dirt back each time. What seemed to be forever came to a stop when a hired gardener told me to keep the ground always wet. So from then on, digging was kept at bay as my dogs wouldn’t make any attempts at digging hence the feel of wet ground. I do feel sorry though that I spoiled their natural instincts, them being “dogs.” I kind of notice that this natural instinct of theirs may have to do with mating as foremost of the reasons.

May 24, 2019 4:19 pm
Reply to  Don

I have the same issue so I went to a friend who’s in the road construction business. He gave me old worn out shaker mesh. I cut it to size, filled the hole, seeded it and have new grass coming up. She cant dig through the metal, the grass grows up through it. It will eventually sink into the earth so I can mow over it or if she finds a new spot I can move it. Working great. Also works in high traffic areas to keep trails down.

Kimberly Alt
May 20, 2019 9:53 am
Reply to  Don

One idea would be to not leave your dog unattended when she is outside. I know that isn’t an easy solution, but if you are next to her and able to stop/prevent the digging she may start to learn that it is unacceptable behavior.

Rwamahe Kaka
April 22, 2019 12:51 pm

My dog has abig yard to play but he keeps going to the neighbors fence and never return till I pick him,even if I call him he never comes.what can ido and his 9months now his canine

Yah yah
June 22, 2019 11:27 am
Reply to  Rwamahe Kaka

He’s fixed, right? He sounds like he’s getting to a mature age, so if he’s not fixed, I’d recommend doing it right away. He’s probably trying to look for lady dogs. Do him a favour and fix him.

March 23, 2019 4:11 pm

We have two Brittany spaniels. they have a huge area to run and play together and they run and play all the time! They are about 2 yrs old. They are let out about 7am when their whining to go out on cue every morning. They come in before dark every night and have their own very large type Dog cage to sleep in with towels and comfort. We take them out for a while before we go to bed to go to the BR about 11 am. BUT……they are making are yards a disaster……Digging so far down and exposing our irrigation pipes, etc. We live in central Florida and have a huge covered tile porch for them to come back and forth on the front of house and back of the house. The tile is cold and keeps them out of the sun when resting during the day! We have had collies and Aussies and never encountered this! They do not dig to get out of our about 2-acre area for them to run and play all day. We had to finally buy a sport dog electric collar system and put it on mild because they would run like crazy when you would let them out and almost got on the road that runs in front of our farm home!!! Also, we have 80 acres of woods next to our pastures etc and if they got in there looking for birds, etc they would probably never return home! It only took one time of training them “back..back” and backing them up with the leash when they were getting close to the electric fence. The collar vibrates and they were stung once and that was all it took. They will not even get close to it which we are thankful for. They seem happy as larks running all over except near the fences……the electric line is buried under our cattle fences. Another reason we want them to be happy to run around a large area surrounding our home but not in pastures is they are not afraid of our horse or cattle and the horse would kick them and hurt them! Also, Brittanys are bird dogs and they have a natural genetic disposition to flush out a bird when hunting! From the time they were little they would see something…..mostly butterflies and little chameleon lizards and point like statutes……Now they constantly are searching all over the 2 acres for that I guess but they are not terriers…..They definitely get a lot of play time….all day and run like crazy all day. The holes have gotten worse it seems the last 6 months. I am beside myself about this. The female is pregnant with the male Brittany and we don’t want to scare or scold her! Can anyone recommend if these bones from like Winn Dixie would be safe! They chew up our palm tree leaves, bark and our pool area looks like it has been dug up for sod……I love them and just have to stop it some. The hiding the poop thing is weird and it’s just a huge area to be doing that. They would probably eat it!!! I thought about the comment about the holes being filled up by leaves I just read but were not going to have any grass left and now the female keeps digging under concrete walkway trying to get under the walk way. They have fresh water and great areas to cool off….I am just tired of it! We are out there a lot and they run and show off for my husband when he is out there like they are trying to find birds and start pointing! So they have companionship, cool and or warm areas to get under and lay on, fresh water, huge area to run and they do all the time….sleep inside with family and are exhausted and sleep well, are fed well……I just don’t know what to do

Harriet Hodges
March 30, 2019 12:42 pm
Reply to  Susie

I’m not sure there’s anything you can do. I’m 78, female. Have farmed, had animals, all my life. But this Doberman 7-month-old puppy defeats me. Like you, we have everything a dog could want. Dog heaven here: huge grassed and fenced lot with shade trees to which she has all-day access. Shelter at will. In and out of the house all day, where she’s well behaved. A nearby 20-acre field to which she’s walked at least 5 times a week and loosed to run to her heart’s content. She is well trained: walks quietly on a slack leash. Obeys commands promptly: sit, stay, no, down. Amply fed twice a day. She shines with vitality. Sleeps quietly in her cage at night. Has a miniature poodle for companionship. And yet: she digs and digs and digs. The 6″ by 12″-inch holes are truly dangerous. We are about to hobble her. If that doesn’t work, what’s left? Giving her away to a farmer with a house far off the highway? Or having her put down? Heart-breaking remedies.

March 16, 2020 12:15 pm
Reply to  Harriet Hodges

Wow! Hobble or put down? Those are pretty extreme alternatives. She may have too much freedom and needs to know where she is allowed or not allowed to do dig. It’s work, but you can set aside an area just for digging. Check it out on google. Or, try a mild shock collar. I have never used one, but my understanding is after a couple of mild shocks, they stop the behavior. It sounds extreme, but it’s better than putting the dog down for being a dog.

Belinda Payson
February 24, 2019 8:44 pm

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!

September 10, 2019 4:00 pm
Reply to  Belinda Payson

Try filling the holes with dog poop on the bottom.

Hannah R
January 30, 2019 9:53 pm

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
January 31, 2019 8:36 am
Reply to  Hannah R

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.

January 22, 2019 12:57 pm

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.

January 8, 2019 1:18 am

I wonder if they dig to wear off their toenails? Mine doesn’t dig when his toenails are short.

December 10, 2018 3:03 pm

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
June 26, 2018 2:17 pm

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.

June 7, 2018 3:59 am

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.
May 29, 2018 10:11 pm

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 ?

January 26, 2018 4:06 pm

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

September 10, 2019 3:52 pm
Reply to  sally

Try filling the hole with poop on the.bottom. Most dogs will be repulsed.

March 20, 2017 9:59 pm

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.

June 1, 2018 6:38 am
Reply to  Ysabel

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.

April 9, 2018 9:03 am
Reply to  Ysabel

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!

April 4, 2017 4:53 am
Reply to  Ysabel

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.

September 30, 2018 4:31 am
Reply to  Jill

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.

Reader Questions
January 27, 2017 8:03 pm

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.

December 11, 2018 7:32 pm

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

January 10, 2017 3:02 pm

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
August 29, 2016 1:51 pm

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.

January 10, 2017 3:07 pm

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

Karalyn Goldberg
November 19, 2018 1:24 am
Reply to  Nuschler

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 .

January 13, 2017 7:02 pm
Reply to  Nuschler

And it is toxic to animals

Jessica Dueck
July 26, 2016 9:41 am

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!

January 31, 2019 1:45 pm
Reply to  Jessica Dueck

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.

April 4, 2017 5:03 am
Reply to  Jessica Dueck

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
March 25, 2018 3:43 pm
Reply to  Jill

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

Harriet Hodges
March 30, 2019 12:10 pm

Get a pronged collar and use it forcefully with enough of a painful jerk to stop him dead, set him back on his haunches. A day or so of this (or maybe much longer) plus a preliminary warning “uh oh,” will teach him to leave the leash slack. Your dog doesn’t know he’s doing wrong until you tell him. I’m a small old woman with a young, powerful Doberman. I must insist on good manners. I’ve been badly injured before by a dog pulling me to my knees to a pavement. Absolutely require good manners from the get-go. That way, even your frail 87-year-old grandfather can delight in walking your dog.

January 10, 2017 3:12 pm
Reply to  Jessica Dueck

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.

Never B4
October 10, 2016 4:12 pm
Reply to  Jessica Dueck

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.

April 4, 2017 6:32 pm
Reply to  Never B4

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!

Kimberly Alt
July 27, 2016 9:17 am
Reply to  Jessica Dueck

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
July 27, 2016 10:20 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

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
July 28, 2016 11:48 am
Reply to  Jessica Dueck

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!

June 28, 2016 11:52 am

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
June 29, 2016 10:33 am
Reply to  tia

Hi Tia, have you read the article above and tried what we’ve suggested?

Nathalie Burnett
February 3, 2016 5:58 pm

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!

April 4, 2017 5:08 am

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.,

Never B4
October 10, 2016 4:22 pm

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.