4 min read


Why Do Dogs Make Holes In The Ground



4 min read


Why Do Dogs Make Holes In The Ground




Understanding your dog’s behavior precedes being able to communicate with your dog well, as well as finding solutions to some of your pet’s unpleasant behavior. A lot of people get a puppy from the pet shop, toss that puppy out in the yard, and just expect the puppy to behave and be a very pleasant creature. However, this does not always happen.

Puppies are like small children, sometimes they are sweet but sometimes they can also be tiny devils. As a responsible pet owner, you need to spend time with them and teach them what is right from wrong. You need to reinforce their good behavior with treats and shower them with praises. Although they sometimes misbehave, you must never hit them or they will only learn to dislike you, not trust you again, or worse, they will become aggressive towards you.

The Root of the Behavior

One of the things which dogs do is to dig holes and there are numerous reasons why dogs do this. Having a dog that is a digger can be frustrating because for certain you will see holes in your garden and you will most likely see your flowers being uprooted. However, a muddy dog who just came in from the yard full of joy from all the digging he has been doing does not have a clue what he is doing wrong.

Dogs dig to feel cool and comfortable and this happens especially in the summer months. When your dog gets hot, digging a hole is the only solace they find. Not only does a hole provide a cooling place for your dog, digging is also so much fun. Some dogs dig holes to escape or to have something to do. Bored dogs can turn into bad dogs. They know that there is a whole wide world out there waiting for them to explore and the thought that they are on one side of the fence without access to such wonder can drive these high energy dogs crazy. A fence just isn’t going to stand in their way, so they dig holes.

Dogs are curious creatures and some dogs just dig holes because they just want to find out what is underneath all that dirt. They dig for entertainment and they dig just for the sake of digging. There are some breeds which are natural hunters and they will start digging when they smell moles or bunnies or other ground dwelling animals.

Unfortunately, your dog might also start digging because of separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety are nervous and they need to deal with their energy and one outlet is to start making holes on the ground. Other symptoms of separation anxiety are destroying the things in your house such as furniture and clothes. 

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Encouraging the Behavior

What can you do to prevent your dog from digging holes and destroying your backyard and garden? Give your dog plenty of exercise! If your dog is trying to escape from your yard or is bored, giving him plenty of time and methods to work out his excess energy is a good and simple solution. Get him new pet-friendly toys and other things to entertain him.

If your dog already has plenty of toys but still continues digging holes, you might want to get a sandbox where your dog can safely bury his toys and treats without destroying your garden. You can easily buy a sandbox or build one yourself. Building one yourself gives you the option to make the sandbox deeper so that your pup can have the time of his life. Encourage your dog to dig only in the sandbox by hiding some toys or treats in the sandbox for him to find. Doing so will make the exercise more exciting for them and encourage them to do it.

One of the things you can do to discourage your dog from digging in a specific area is to fill the hole with poop. Sounds like a very nasty trick to play on your beloved canine but it does help. Dogs do not dig where they poop so just put it on the hole and cover it with dirt.

Other Solutions and Considerations

Whatever you do, you should never bring your dog to a place where he dug a hole before and yell at him about it. He will not understand what just happened and he will not be able to connect the dots and the only things he can take away is that you are not pleased with him because all you did was yell at him. This will only make you feel frustrated and your dog will no longer trust you. Instead, he will learn to fear you and get upset by your presence and these are not good foundations of a healthy relationship.


If you do not want to see holes in your backyard when you go home, you must do your best to give your puppy enough proper and consistent exercise. Proper training, both in the house, as well as in the yard is essential. Always keep in mind that the building blocks or a successful relationship are respect, trust, and love.

Written by a Chow Chow lover Jhoana Carla de Toro

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 02/16/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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