Do you have an adorable Husky pup that loves to dig up your garden and wreak havoc in the yard?
As a fellow Husky owner, I totally understand your frustration!Huskies were bred to pull sleds for miles across the arctic tundra.
So they have a strong inborn urge to dig and burrow. It’s a natural instinct they can’t easily overcome.While cute, their relentless digging can damage your lawn, garden, and landscaping. And it can allow them to escape and get lost.
I’ll share my proven tips to stop your Husky from treating your yard like their own personal excavation site.
- Why Huskies dig and how to meet their needs
- Smart ways to set up your yard and garden
- Effective training methods to discourage digging
- Tips for exercise, enrichment, and managing separation anxiety
- How to use crates and correction to teach good behavior
With the right approach, you can have a well-trained Husky who only digs in designated areas. So get ready to put away the shovel and enjoy your yard again!
Why Huskies Dig
Digging is totally normal behavior for Huskies. After all, their ancestors needed to burrow dens into the snow to survive harsh Arctic winters. Digging and chewing behaviors are hardwired into their DNA.
Here are some of the main reasons why Huskies dig so much:
Innate Instinct to Dig Dens – Huskies have a natural drive to dig holes and tunnels for shelter, temperature regulation, hiding food, and general entertainment. Their thick coats make them prone to overheating as well. Digging allows them to stay comfortable.
High Energy and Prey Drive – These high-energy dogs have an abundance of energy and enthusiasm. Their keen prey drive fuels their urge to root around in the dirt searching for critters and smells. Digging helps them burn off steam.
Boredom and Anxiety Relief – Chewing, digging, and shredding helps relieve boredom, anxiety, and pent-up energy. It’s an outlet for their needs. Your Husky may dig to self-soothe when stressed or lonely as well.
Territorial Marking – By digging around the perimeter of your yard, your Husky is essentially marking their territory. This satisfies their natural need to protect and claim their space.The key is to understand their motivations and redirect their energy into positive outlets. With the right training, you can curb those digging urges.
Try To Provide Approved Digging Areas
The best way to save your garden is to give your Husky an acceptable outlet for their digging instincts. Provide one or more designated digging areas to satisfy their needs.
Set Up a “Dig Pit”
Designate an area of your yard for your Husky to dig freely. Choose a low-maintenance spot and fill it with loose soil or sand. Bury toys and treats to motivate your dog to dig there instead of the garden.
Hide Treats and Toys
Bury chew toys, bones, treats, and food puzzles in their dig pit. Your Husky will eagerly root around for the goodies. This makes the allowed digging area even more enticing.
Use Verbal Cues
When you catch them digging in the right spot, use a verbal cue like “Good dig!” and reward with praise or a treat. This reinforces where you want them to dig.
Supervise at First
When introducing the dig pit, supervise your Husky at first to redirect any garden digging. Some supervision may be needed until the habit is learned. Be patient and consistent.
Having an approved outlet for digging prevents boredom and satisfies their instincts in a constructive way. With time, your Husky will learn to confine their excavations to the places you allow.
Physical Barriers For Off-Limit Areas
While having a designated dig zone is helpful, you also need to actively block access to landscaped areas you want to preserve. Here are some good barrier options:
Use Fencing – Install temporary fencing around flower beds, gardens, or the perimeter of your yard. Set it several inches deep to prevent burrowing underneath.
Use Pavers or Rocks – Place large paving stones, bricks, or rocks around areas you want to protect. This removes the temptation by covering up the dirt.
Try Chicken Wire – Burying chicken wire under the dirt surface of flower beds can deter digging. The uncomfortable wire will make them avoid digging there.
Apply Gravel or Concrete – Applying gravel or poured concrete around the perimeter of gardens creates a tidy, dig-proof border. This also nicely defines the off-limit areas.
Block Access – Close off porches, crawl spaces, and under decks so your sneaky Husky can’t find an unprotected spot to dig. Restrict access completely. With a little creativity, you can outsmart your Husky and make unwanted digging spots much less tempting. It also clearly defines the boundaries.
Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Sometimes excessive digging is simply due to boredom, under-stimulation, and excess energy. A tired Husky is a well-behaved Husky! Make sure to provide adequate outlets for their needs.
Prioritize Daily Exercise
Huskies were born to run! Aim for at least 60-90 minutes of heart-pumping activity per day. Take them on long walks, runs, hikes, and adventures to tire them out.
Provide Interactive Toys
When indoors, provide food puzzles, Kongs stuffed with treats, rope toys for tug of war, and other challenging toys to engage their mind.
Teach New Tricks
Enroll in a training class, or spend 10-15 minutes per day teaching new commands and tricks. Mental stimulation will help curb boredom.
In a securely fenced area, play energetic games of fetch with balls and flying discs to tap into their high prey drive.
Many Huskies love water! Let them splash around and swim at a beach, lake, or pool for the perfect tired-out activity. Meeting your Husky’s high exercise needs is key to preventing unwanted behaviors like digging.
A pooped puppy is less likely to destroy your yard!
Crate Training Can Help With Separation Anxiety Digging
Does your Husky mainly dig right as you’re leaving the house or when you’re away? Separation anxiety could be fueling their need to dig and escape. Crate training can help.
Crate Prevents Destruction
When you’re gone, keep your Husky in a sturdy crate with a comfy bed. This prevents them from digging up trouble in your absence.
Create a Safe Space
A crate is like a cozy den. Introduce slowly with treats and praise so they see it as their special safe space, not punishment.
Use Crates Strategically
Use crates whenever you can’t actively supervise your Husky in the yard to manage their digging habits. This includes times you are away.
Never Use Crates As Punishment
Getting a positive association is crucial. Never use the crate to punish your Husky after digging – they won’t understand.
Ease Separation Anxiety
Helping your Husky overcome separation stress makes crating more effective. Consider calming aids, training, and environmental enrichment.
With patience and positive reinforcement, your Husky will be happy to relax in their crate when you’re gone, rather than destroying your yard out of stress. Proper crate training can greatly reduce separation anxiety digging.
Correct Digging Behaviors Immediately
To fully train your Husky not to dig, you need to correct the behavior immediately as it happens. Here are effective ways to do this:
When your Husky first goes in the yard, watch them closely. Being poised to correct any digging quickly is key.
As soon as you see digging, firmly say “No!” or “Eh-eh!” to interrupt the behavior.
Redirect to a Toy
When you correct, redirect their energy by encouraging them to play with a toy instead. Offer praise and reward if they start playing appropriately.
Use Deterrent Sprays
Apply pet-safe citrus or bitter apple sprays on areas they like to dig as an added deterrent.
If your Husky starts digging for attention, walk away and ignore them until they are calm. Don’t reward the behavior.
Correct every single time you catch them digging inappropriately. Consistency is vital when training a Husky.To be effective, corrections need to happen in the moment while the unwanted behavior is taking place.
With time, they will get the message.
Seek Professional Help if Needed
If you’ve tried all the training tips but your Husky’s relentless digging is still an issue, it may be time to seek professional help. An experienced dog trainer or behaviorist can assess the situation and provide targeted recommendations.
Get an Evaluation – A certified dog behavior expert will evaluate your Husky and their environment to pinpoint the motivation behind the digging.
Customized Training Plan – Based on the evaluation, the trainer will design a customized training and management plan to curb your Husky’s digging for good.
Consider Advanced Tools – For tough cases, they may recommend advanced deterrents like remote-activated citronella collars or in-ground barrier systems.
Address Underlying Issues – The pro can also help uncover and resolve any underlying issues like separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or stress.
While hiring a pro trainer costs more upfront, it can save you money and heartache in the long run by quickly solving the problem.
If you’ve hit a wall with your own training efforts, don’t be afraid to call in an expert. With their help, you can finally have a peaceful, dug-free yard again.
Consistency and Patience Are Key
I know it can be frustrating when your Husky keeps digging up your lawn despite your best training efforts. Changing this natural behavior takes a lot of time and patience. But staying consistent with the training is key to success.
Prevent Access – Don’t allow your Husky in the yard unsupervised until the digging habit is broken. Prevention is crucial.
Provide Approved Outlets – Give them a designated digging pit to satisfy the innate need to burrow and dig.
Exercise and Enrichment – Make sure your Husky gets sufficient physical and mental exercise daily to prevent boredom.
Correct Every Time – Be vigilant and correct them every single time you catch inappropriate digging.
Reward Good Behavior – When they dig in approved areas only, reward them with treats, praise, and letting them spend more supervised time in the yard.
Huskies can be stubborn! It takes many repetitions for training to stick. But it will pay off. With a steady training plan, you can curb your Husky’s digging urges. Get ready for a beautiful, dig-free yard!
Dig Less, Wag More: Recap for Stopping Husky Digging
Dealing with a dig-happy Husky can be tiring, but with consistent training, you can curb this instinctual behavior. Here’s a quick summary of the techniques we covered:
- Provide approved outlets like designated dig pits to satisfy their instinct
- Use barriers like fencing to prevent access to off-limit areas
- Meet their exercise needs with long walks, runs, and active playtime
- Use crates when unsupervised to manage separation anxiety digging
- Correct digging in the act and redirect to appropriate chew toys
- Seek professional help if your own efforts haven’t resolved the issue
- Stay patient and persistent with training – this takes time!
While digging comes naturally to Huskies, they can learn where it is and isn’t allowed with structure and guidance.
Set them up for success by managing the environment and giving them outlets for their energy.With consistency and prevention, you’ll start seeing those pesky holes disappear.
Soon you can relax and enjoy your beautiful yard again without it looking like a war zone! Just don’t forget the pooper scooper.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stopping Husky Digging
Why does my Husky dig so much?
It’s in their blood! Huskies were bred to dig dens in the snow. Digging also relieves boredom and helps them regulate their temperature. Their high prey drive contributes too.
How do I stop my Husky digging under the fence?
Bury chicken wire under the fence line to block burrowing. Ensure the fence is secured several inches into the ground. Add pavers or large rocks around the perimeter too.
What smells deter dogs from digging?
Pet-safe citrus or bitter apple sprays can help deter digging when applied to problem areas. Vinegar, ammonia, or cayenne pepper can also repel curious paws.
Should I fill in the holes my Husky digs?
It’s best not to fill the holes right away. Your Husky may view re-digging the hole as a rewarding game. Only fill holes once the behavior is corrected.
What are the best toys for digger dogs?
Offer interactive puzzle toys that dispense treats or kibble as they are manipulated. Or create a DIY digging box filled with dirt, tennis balls, and hidden treats to engage their instincts.
When should I be concerned about excessive digging?
If your Husky is obsessively digging for hours, it could signal an underlying condition like anxiety, stress, or compulsive disorder. Consult your vet or a behaviorist.