Dog digging in the garden: can you wean it off?

A dog digs in the garden because that is part of his instinctive behavior. Terriers in particular love to dig in the ground, for example to look for prey. You can't really wean your dog from burrowing, but you can prevent it from destroying your beds. "Huuuiii, that's fun," says this dog while gardening - Shutterstock / pittaya

Since you have put so much effort into gardening, your four-legged friend comes and the dog digs everything again. It can be frustrating. However, you shouldn't scold him because the behavior is innate and he doesn't mean it at all. The following tips reveal what you can do instead.

Dog digging in the garden: why is he doing this?

When your dog is digging, he usually acts instinctively. The animals bury important resources such as food in the garden or in the ground in order to hide them and protect them from potential thieves. For some dog breeds like terriers, digging is part of their hunting habits, as they were originally bred to catch small animals underground. A pregnant bitch, on the other hand, lives out her nesting instinct while digging. If your dog defaces the garden in summer, it may just be too hot for him and he wants to cool off in the hole in the ground. Furthermore, it may also be that your dog is digging because he is bored and he is looking for work in the garden.

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Distract digging-friendly dogs instead of weaning digging

Since it is only partly due to upbringing mistakes when your dog is digging, you can only give it up to a limited extent. You can only influence the behavior if your four-legged friend indulges in the "destructive rage" from boredom in the garden. Make sure that your pet is fully occupied by taking enough walks with him, going to dog sports and dog school, and planning daily play hours that are physically and mentally demanding. Then he may not stop digging, but the devastation is limited.

You will make your dog happy if you assign him a corner of the bottle in the garden where he can let his instincts run wild. Do not let him play on the green unattended so that you can intervene as soon as he digs elsewhere in the earth. Interrupt the unwanted behavior immediately with the command "No" or a sharp "Pooh" and lead him to the corner of the bottle. If he starts digging there, praise him. Now and then hide a few treats in the ground to motivate your dog to dig only in this one corner of the garden.

Protect beds and Co. from dogs

In addition, the zones in the garden that should not be dug up by the dog can be protected for safety. You can demarcate flower and vegetable beds with a small fence and teach your four-legged friend that they must not cross the barrier. Instead of bark mulch, the beds can be lined with pine cones - that looks nice and your dog doesn't like digging there because it feels uncomfortable on the paws.

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