Top 3 Reasons Why Your Dog is Digging Holes All of a Sudden

Disclaimer: The content on is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Has your dog suddenly decided that digging holes in the yard is the best thing in the world? The occasional hole here and there isn’t much of a problem but what if the dog is digging to the point your yard is looking a war zone? Here are the most common reasons for this digging behavior.

1. Dog is feeling bored or lonely

Dogs will engage in destructive behaviors when they aren’t getting enough stimulation, both mentally and physically. A bored or anxious dog may start to suddenly dig holes out of frustration. Have you recently made changes to the dog’s daily routine? For example, has the dog not been getting enough exercise the past few days due to bad weather? It’s also important to adjust the dog’s routine as they get older. Don’t expect the same energy level between a puppy and a young adult dog.

2. Presence of rodents and pests

Your dog might be in detective mode. They are digging holes all of a sudden because they have detected some kind of presence underneath the soil. This could be subterrestrial rodents like moles or pests as tiny as ground beetles. Prevention is the best method to stop your dog from digging more holes. Find out what rodents and pests are driving your dog’s curiosity then use the appropriate methods to get rid of them.

It’s not just the movement and noise of underground animals that can cause dogs to dig many holes. It could also be an unfamiliar scent. One pet owner mentioned their dog started to suddenly dig holes after a bout of heavy rain. The soil in the yard wasn’t draining the water quickly and this resulted in some rotten smell from the ground. This caused the dog to suddenly dig holes like crazy.

3. Lying down in cool dirt

During the hot summer, some days may like to dig a lot of holes to rest in. The hole is a lot cooler to lie down in. In this case, you might want to create alternative spots in the yard for the dog to rest and cool down in. Make sure there is plenty of shade to keep the harsh sun away from the dog’s body.

How to stop a dog from digging holes

It depends on the dog’s motive. The first step is to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog. He won’t bother digging holes in the yard if he is too tired.

Digging is a normal behavior for dog. If the behavior isn’t compulsive, you might want to let your dog continue digging but in a safe spot. One simple way of achieving this is by setting up a child sandpit in the yard. With positive reinforcement training, you can teach your dog over time that the sandpit is the only place where you will allow them to dig holes.


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