You're not alone if your dog happens to be a digger. Many dog owners have returned home only to find their puppy's head deep in a hole, bum in the air and dirt spraying behind them. The earlier you address digging habits, the better, or it worsens over time.

Simply pulling them away from the hole won't do the trick. Neither is bribing them with treats (which might reinforce the wrong idea). This guide provides the best ways to stop dogs from digging and turning your backyard into a mess. Some tips may work better than others depending on your dog, so ensure you experiment to learn what works best for them.

Early Training for puppies prevents them from digging

The earlier you address digging, the better. The key is training your dog and implementing activities that keep them entertained. 

Daily exercise

Puppies are full of boundless energy, so daily exercise and walks are one of the most efficient ways to put their energy to good use. Most dogs will fall asleep after their walks. Aim to do your exercises and walks in the morning so they've calmed down by the afternoon and early evening. Large active breeds like Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds may require a second walk in the late afternoon to exert extra energy.

Use toys to provide diversion

Toys like chew toys and tug toys are all excellent tools that keep dogs and puppies occupied for the day. Giving them something else to concentrate on will prevent them from resorting to digging to pass the time.

Provide a designated digging area

This may be counterintuitive, but it's a helpful solution if you've exhausted other options. Build a sandbox and bury their favourite today in the spot. Bring them to the area using treats and as soon as they start digging, enforce the behaviour by giving lots of praise. Eventually, they will understand that the sandbox is a digging area.

Stop dogs from digging using a home remedy dog dig repellent

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, so liquids like vinegar may help them avoid the area. Create a mixture of 1:1 vinegar and water, then spray it on the areas your dog digs. While this might help prevent digging, it may only work for some dogs as the scent eventually fades.