Deter Your Labrador From Digging :: 4 Tips

Labrador DiggingStop your Labrador digging :: 4 Tips

Many of us have at some point asked the question: “How can I train my Labrador to stop digging?” The answer, plain and simple, is you can’t. The reason is, a dog digs out of instinct not habit. Instincts are engrained in an animal and no matter what measures you take you won’t be able to remove a natural impulse that has existed for centuries.

While all dogs will dig if given the chance, some canines dig more than others, particularly those bred for hunting. Labradors of course fall into that category, so, chances are, your Labrador is a digger! If it is, you will be pleased to know that while you may not be able to eliminate it, you can help prevent and control the issue.

A Labrador may dig for many reasons including: Investigating something of interest, such as a smell, small rodent, etc.; burying an item, eg. a bone; boredom; trying to find a cool place to lay in the heat; attempting to escape under a fence and so on. It helps to know what their motivation is when it comes to prevention, as well as finding out if there is a particular place where they enjoy excavating.

Here’s how you can stop your Labrador digging holes in your yard:

  1. When you see him digging, tell him to “Leave it” and follow up with the “Come” command. Praise when he comes and play with him to further distract him or bring him indoors.
  2. When it is warm outside keep your pet indoors or make sure he has a dog house and water or a cool place to rest.
  3. If he seems to like pulling up the ground in one spot, place some of his waste in the hole and recover it. Canines that find their own faeces are often discouraged to re-dig in the same area.
  4. Exercise your Labrador on a regular basis and make sure he receives adequate play time and attention from you. Leaving him alone in the backyard to amuse himself does not count as exercise and will result in boredom and increased incidences of your Labrador digging.

Information written by Joe Cheney of Oh My Dog Supplies, check out our cool collection of dog bowl place mats online.

The alternative anatomy of the Labrador Retriever poster - Buy now button


  1. Mike Corbett says

    I read this post a few months back when I had problems with my yellow lab digging holes in the lawn. The feces in his holes worked miracles. Then I was faced with a new challenge…how to stop him from chewing up my drip line (a daily occurrence). I tried the usual, burring, apple bitter and cayenne and nothing really seemed to work. The straw that broke the camels back was coming home to a flooded back yard after he ripped the drip timer off the spigot. I knew it was time for desperate action. I buried his feces along all the drip line runs and for the areas I could not cover, I rubbed them down in his feces. Kind of gross and unorthodox, but I have not had any relapses yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *