Dogs dig for many reasons. It’s ‘bred in the bones’ for some dogs, especially terriers whose name comes from the French word for earth or ground. It is a stress-relieving activity, exercise and mental stimulation for bored dogs. It’s natural for dogs to dig themselves a cool place to rest during the summer months. There are all kinds of neat rodents and bugs that dig little tunnels in the ground tempting most dogs to excavate any area. Digging is an all-round fun activity for many dogs!
If your dog is only outside when you are playing with him, you probably won’t have too much trouble with destructive digging. Without constant supervision outdoors, however, it is very difficult to keep a confirmed digger from digging. Instead, give him an appropriate place to dig.
Select a corner of the yard, dig a hole and fill it with sand. Bury some dog biscuits and chewable toys just below the surface before bringing your dog out to explore it. Praise him for digging in it to let him know digging here is appropriate. For the next five to seven days bury more biscuits and toys before he comes out so he will be drawn to this area, believing where there were good things before, there are bound to be good things again! Eventually you will not have to bait his digging pit as often but it is a good idea to periodically do so in order to keep him digging only in the selected area. To be on the safe side, fence off any area (vegetable or flower garden) that is strictly off-limits to your dog. Some dogs dig to escape. Dogs that need more companionship from their human family may dig out to find social interaction. These dogs should not be left outdoors alone: they need supervision, preferably with someone who will play with them and help them exercise. Unneutered dogs are 94% more likely to roam than their sterilized counterparts. Spaying or neutering is a very effective first step in solving this and many other unwanted dog behaviors.