Skip to content

Using Positive Reinforcement to Stop Your Dog from Digging

Using Positive Reinforcement to Stop Your Dog from Digging 

Digging is a natural behaviour for dogs, but it can become problematic when it turns your yard into a minefield. Rather than punishing your dog, which can cause stress and confusion, using positive reinforcement is an effective and humane way to redirect this behaviour. Let's explore how to harness this training method to stop your dog from digging. 

  1. Understanding the Behaviour: Dogs dig for various reasons, including boredom, anxiety, hunting instincts, or to escape. Identifying the underlying cause is the first step in addressing the issue. 
  2. Provide Adequate Exercise: Ensure your dog gets enough physical and mental stimulation. Regular walks, playtime, and engaging activities can reduce the urge to dig out of boredom or excess energy. 
  3. Create a Designated Digging Area: If your dog loves to dig, provide a designated spot in your yard where they can indulge in this behaviour. Encourage digging in this area by burying toys or treats and praising them when they use it. 
  4. Use Positive Reinforcement: When you catch your dog digging in an undesired area, calmly redirect them to their designated spot. Once they start digging in the correct area, immediately reward them with treats, praise, or play. This positive reinforcement helps them associate digging in the designated spot with good things. 
  5. Engage in Training Sessions: Teach your dog the "leave it" command to discourage unwanted digging. Practice this command with treats and gradually apply it to digging behaviour. Reward your dog when they obey the command and stop digging. 
  6. Provide Enrichment Activities: Mental stimulation can prevent digging caused by boredom. Puzzle toys, interactive feeders, and training sessions can keep your dog’s mind engaged and reduce the need to dig.
  7. Provide Anipal’s Calm Formula for Anxious Dogs: We recommend you use this product daily whilst training your dog to decrease digging behaviour. Our Calm Formula naturally helps reduce your dog's anxiety levels through supporting their gut brain axis.  With lowered anxiety levels, dogs are more receptive to training, are happier and less likely to dig! 



Stopping your dog from digging requires patience, consistency, and understanding of their natural instincts. By using positive reinforcement, you can redirect this behaviour in a humane and effective manner. Remember, each dog is unique, so tailoring your approach to their specific needs and triggers is crucial. With time and effort, you can turn your yard back into a safe and enjoyable space for both you and your furry friend. Happy training!  


Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping

Select options