Skip to content

How to Stop Your Dog Digging Up the Garden

Dogs can often be a nuisance in the garden, particularly if they have a habit of digging. Not only is this an annoyance, but it can also cause serious damage to your plants and flowers. In this article, we will look at some of the most effective ways to deter your dog from digging up the garden and keep your outdoor space looking beautiful.

1. Identify the Cause

The first step in tackling your dog’s digging habit is to try and identify the cause. Dogs may dig for a variety of reasons, such as boredom, stress, or even to hide a toy or treat. Once you understand the reason behind the behaviour, you can start to address the issue.

Common causes of dog digging include:

  • Boredom
  • Stress
  • Hiding toys or treats
  • Seeking attention
  • Searching for small prey
  • Looking for a cool spot to lie down

2. Provide a Digging Area

If your dog is digging out of boredom, one of the best things you can do is to provide them with a designated area where they can dig. This could be a sandpit or a shallow hole filled with soil. You can also bury toys and treats in the area to encourage your dog to dig in the designated spot.

3. Create a Barrier

If your dog is digging in a particular area of the garden, you can create a physical barrier to stop them from accessing the spot. For example, you could use a fence or some large planters to block off the area. This is a great way to keep your dog away from plants and flowers that they may be tempted to dig up.

4. Provide Mental Stimulation

If your dog is digging out of boredom, it’s important to provide them with plenty of mental stimulation. This could include regular walks, playing interactive games, providing chew toys, and teaching them new tricks. The more mentally stimulated your dog is, the less likely they are to resort to digging.

5. Use Natural Deterrents

There are a number of natural deterrents that you can use to stop your dog from digging up the garden. These include sprinkling the area with cayenne pepper, using citrus peels or vinegar, or spraying the area with water. You should also ensure that your garden is well-maintained and free from any potential sources of entertainment or distraction.

6. Give Praise and Rewards

Whenever your dog stays away from the garden, it’s important to give them plenty of praise and rewards. This will help to reinforce the positive behaviour and discourage them from digging up the garden. You can also use a clicker to help your dog understand the behaviour that you are looking for.

7. Seek Professional Help

If your dog’s digging is becoming a serious problem, it’s a good idea to seek professional help. A qualified animal behaviourist will be able to assess the situation and provide advice on how to address the issue. They may also be able to recommend specific techniques and tools that you can use to stop your dog from digging.


Digging up the garden can be a frustrating and costly problem, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding the causes of the behaviour, providing a designated digging area, creating a physical barrier, providing mental stimulation, using natural deterrents, giving praise and rewards, and seeking professional help, you can stop your dog from digging up the garden and keep your outdoor space looking beautiful.

Related articles