It's frustrating when your pup constantly digs in your otherwise pristine yard. Pet Adviser has a solution: put their poop in the holes they dig before you refill it, which will deter them from coming back to it.
Photo by Leo Hidalgo
I've tried this out myself and it works well. Most dogs don't like to dig up their own faeces. Of course, just because you put poop in one hole doesn't mean the rest of your yard isn't still up for grabs. It's not going to be a replacement for training, but it can really speed up the process of breaking the habit. Pet Adviser calls this step "Management and Setting Up for Success":
When your dog isn't looking, fill those holes and place rocks, your dog's stool or a blown-up balloon about an inch or two below the surface. Dogs often dig in the same place more than once, so when he goes back, he will find it unpleasant and will stop or move to a new location. If he starts to dig in a new spot, make sure you fill those holes within two weeks.
It's essential, though, that your dog does not see you filling the holes. He will assume that since you can play in the dirt, that it is an acceptable behaviour…
Poop isn't going to work on all dogs, so try rocks if the first route fails. The key is to figure out what you can put in the hole that will make it undesirable thereafter.
Remember to continue training as you do this. You still want to redirect the behaviour to something positive, provide safe but effective consequences, and, most importantly, be consistent so your dog understands the message you're sending. Pet Adviser gives the details on all of these steps below.
How to Stop a Dog From Digging in the Yard [Pet Adviser]