2. Give your dog more attention. As many a dog-lover can attest, canines are not all that different from children in many ways, including a desire to get attention by whatever means necessary. Your dog may have learned that digging a hole in your nice garden gets attention from you, even if that attention is of the negative variety.
3. Reduce your dog’s boredom. Dogs often dig for no other reason than simply because they are bored. Your dog may be bored if he stares at fences for a long time, whines, or engages in playful or “hyperactive” behavior, including digging holes.
4. Create safe discouragements. You have to catch the dog in the act of digging a hole if you want to effectively associate your disapproval with the activity. Since most of the digging is likely to happen while you’re not watching, you need to find ways to make the act of digging while you are not around a little bit less pleasurable for the dog.
5. Try more unpleasant discouragements if your dog continues to dig.
If you’ve unsuccessfully tried to discourage your dog from digging the polite way, it may be time to step up your tactics. Here are some less pleasant ways of discouraging your dog from digging.
6. Seek professional assistance as needed. If you are having trouble diagnosing why your dog digs, or in stopping the digging even if you know why it happens, it may be time to call in the pros. Certified dog trainers and animal behaviorists can offer you personalized tips and techniques for addressing the causes and conditions of your dog’s digging.
7. Construct a doggy-digging “sandbox.” This is a designated, defined area of your yard where it is okay for the dog to dig. Encourage your dog to play in this area instead of the restricted area.
8. Create a shaded area for your dog outside. If you don’t have an outside shelter to keep your dog cool in hot weather, he might be digging to find a respite from the heat. This is especially likely if the digging is near the foundations of buildings, trees, or water sources.
9. Eliminate any prey that your dog may be chasing. Some dogs are natural hunters and love the thrill of the chase. If the dog digs at the roots of trees or plants, or there’s a raised path leading to the digging site, it’s possible that your pet has spotted a rodent or other type of animal to hunt.
10. Keep your dog from escaping. Your dog may be trying to escape the premises to get to something, to get somewhere, or to simply to get away. This is the case especially if the digging happens near fencing. If you think this may be the case, try to figure out what your dog is running to or from, and provide incentives to stay put in the yard.
11. Remove temptations. The more temptations the dog has, the harder it is to resist digging. If you create a yard that is less tempting to dig holes in, the behavior will be much easier to keep under control.