Why Is My Dog Digging Up My Yard?

This question came in via a viewer and we wanted to answer in publicly.

Sharon from Fairfax, Virginia writes, “I am at my witts end. My beagle Dusty is digging up our yard and nothing I have done to deter him has worked. Help!”

Sharon, I am sorry to hear about your trouble with Dusty (appropriate name for a digger, though).

Dogs dig for a number of reasons.

For some breeds it is essentially bred into the dog. Sometimes it is because they want to cool off when it is hot in the summer. Some dogs even do it as a form of nesting just for their comfort. Other dogs are doing it because they are going after some food or something they smell. Some dogs dig because they really enjoy it. Others dig when they have nothing better to do.

To try to discourage digging, if your dog is digging because it is hot you can take him inside or you can present some kind of cool spots for the dog to hang out in, something shaded, something with shelter. If your dog is digging out of boredom then you need to provide an alternative to the digging method; and if your dog is digging this is when the affirm command of “no” or “stop” is necessary. I prefer to keep those commands separate. Use one in every day situations. Use another when it is something crucial such as that horrible moment if your dog starts taking off towards the road when there is a car coming. You want to use a command that that dog knows cannot be disobeyed so your dog will stop dead in its tracks without being injured.

Hopefully there is a little bit of guidance there that will help with Dusty.

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