Dogs dig for a variety of reasons. Instinctive traits, boredom, to bury bones, make a cool pit to lie in or some dogs will even dig to follow the sound of water rushing through pipes.
Dogs dig out of boredom
The dog could possibly be bored during the day so there are lots of toys aside from the digging toys that you may like to get too … there are things like a Kong or food cube that occupies his mind and tummy; a boomer ball that is completely solid and he will not be able to break it etc.
There are various things that you can try … putting their feces into the hole and covering them, putting in water balloons, using Tabasco or Cayenne Pepper etc to sprinkle on an area you want them to stay away from.
Obedience training with diversity keeps a dog’s mind active which reduces boredom (and many times digging). The more unpredictable you are with giving your commands, the more reliable your dog becomes performing the commands. You could also teach him to LEAVE IT (which I find a very useful command and use it with everything from food to other dogs). You must catch him in the act. Just make sure you don’t call him with COME and then tell him off. You will end up with a very confused dog that won’t come back when called.
Create a digging pit
It is similar to a child’s sandpit but is specifically for your dog to use when you go out. To encourage your dog to dig bury a specific toy (or toys) each day of the week e.g. you might bury a ball and a Frisbee or a bone on Mondays … you bury the objects before you go out so there is something new to find. Then take those toys away Monday night or Tuesday morning and put in a couple more different things and so on.
Use Snappy Trainers
You could also use Snappy Trainers … they look like (and are approximately the size of) a mouse trap but instead of the wire, there are big plastic paddles on them so won’t hurt the dogs. When the dog sticks their nose into an area where you have a Snappy Trainer, it will set off and makes a loud snap which is often enough to put a dog off from digging.
No matter what you try, consistency, repetition and persistence are required. On average, it takes 150 repetitions in order to be retained in a dog’s short term memory. So stick will it!