Homepage Pet Behavioral Issues Preventing Dogs From Digging and Tearing Up the Yard

February 21, 2023

Dog digging in the yard with its butt up in the air

Preventing Dogs From Digging and Tearing Up the Yard

Dog digging in the yard with its butt up in the air
Some dogs will dig to China if not properly trained. (Photo: Tim Vrtiska)

With spring nearing and thoughts turning to improving the yard and lawn, let’s discuss how to keep Fido from tearing up all your hard work. First, it’s important to understand why dogs dig. Some do so because they’re bored; digging is something to keep them occupied. If you want to stop the behavior, this type of digger needs to have more interactive time with you; for example, more walks, park time, training time etc. Activities that stretch your pet mentally and physically are best.

Another type of digger might be the one who is trying to go somewhere — either to China or perhaps just to the other side of the fence. This could be breed-related; some breeds are just natural escape artists.

A third type of digger is the one that digs to make a nice cool, comfortable spot to rest in. This dog needs a designated area that is cool and shaded and comfortable, with toys or treats to attract him to these areas.

In Florida, because of the dangers of intense heat to pets, shade is mandatory. A wading pool with cool, clean water makes a good place to rest as well. At my house, my dogs have decided the wading pool isn’t enough and have taken over my swimming pool as well. (So don’t bring your swimsuit to my house unless you like to swim with dogs.)

Fencing around your plants might be the best way to keep your dog out of the bushes. Sometimes, just a low, ornamental fence is enough to establish an obvious boundary and prevent this destructive behavior.

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This copyrighted article first appeared in the Residences section of The Palm Beach Post. It may have been updated since its original publication.