Updated on November 16, 2022

How To Stop A Husky From Digging (8 TIPS)

How To Stop A Husky From Digging Pin
How to stop a Husky from digging!

Huskies are an expert at playing dirty; in the literal sense! If it were up to them, they would live their dream of being escape artists, expert diggers and the absolute worst landscapers all day long in your backyard. Unfortunately, that cannot be the case! Training a husky to stop digging can be challenging and can require an enormous amount of patience. Read on for some tips.

Huskies and their innate desire to dig

A Siberian Husky’s inborn desire to dig dates back thousands of years. Living and thriving in the harsh climate of Siberia is definitely not every dog’s cup of tea. Naturally, the Siberian Huskies had a few tricks up their paw to thrive in this climate. Digging was one such survival trick.

Digging shallow holes in the ground helped them seek shelter and provide some amount of warmth in the snowy conditions. Since they also have a high prey drive, they are highly motivated to dig holes to look for other critters.

The most common reason, however, would be boredom. They are high energy dogs who need to engage in stimulating activities to release that pent up energy. Digging is not only fun (for dogs), but also an easy release.

The first and foremost step to train a Husky to stop digging is understanding why they are digging in the first place.

How to stop my husky from digging - Lexa Pin
This is Lexa, our husky following an afternoon of digging! 😂

Getting to the root cause

Every dog has a motivation behind every behavior. There could be several reasons why huskies dig holes and why they love turning your backyard into something that looks like a party place demolished by giant gophers.

  • Temperature – If you live in freezing temperatures and you have an outdoorsy Husky, they may feel the need to dig just to keep themselves warm and seek shelter.  
  • AnxietyAnxiety is the root cause for several undesirable dog behaviors, including digging. Dogs in conflicted or nervous state of mind find solace in performing an instinctive behavior like sniffing, shaking, digging, etc. While training an anxious Husky not to dig, make sure to find out the root cause of anxiety.
  • Bury resources – Burying resources is also a survival instinct adhered to by several breeds. If you happen to stumble upon a bone or a toy buried in your backyard every now and then, you’re dealing with a resource burier here.
  • Boredom – A bored dog is a devil’s workshop!
  • Rodents – If you have rodents visiting or living rent-free in your backyard, your Husky is just trying to help in his own way! 
  • Instinct – We can manage to take some behaviors out of our Huskies, but we can never take instincts out of them. 
  • It’s just fun – Unfortunately, our definition of fun is quite different than our dogs. Some of us may have fun growing and nurturing a beautiful garden in our backyard; on the other hand, our dogs’ definition of fun might be destroying the life out them!
Lexa being funny and digging a puddle of water! 🤪

8 tips to deal with a Husky’s digging behavior

Once you have narrowed down on the root cause of your Husky’s desire to dig, there are several ways to deal with it.

1. Monitor your dog’s play

Control and management is where training and behavior modification begins. If your Husky is likely to perform a behavior in a particular location or situation, watch them like a hawk when they are in that situation. This will help you figure out the precedents of the behavior and possible triggers that may be causing it. It will also help you correct the behavior in time. 

Letting your Husky continue to dig with no intervention whatsoever will only make the behavior worse. 

2. Redirection

Redirection simply means shifting your dog’s focus from digging to something else like playing, running, training, etc. In several cases, your dog may be digging only because they’re getting rid of their pent-up energies. Other forms of play work equally well in doing so. 

If your Husky is habituated to digging in the backyard, be present to redirect the behavior to activities like running, playing fetch, trick training etc. 

3. Provide ample outlets

If your Husky is digging instinctively, it may be tricky to train them out of it. In such cases, providing them with desirable outlets to dig is a better way to deal with the behavior. 

Investing in a sand pit for the backyard, taking your dog to beaches, parks and other muddy areas to dig are some options to consider. If your dog is getting ample chances to harness their digging instincts, it will be easier to stop the behavior from taking place inside the house or in the yard.

4. Block out access

Preventing your dog from getting into situations where they are likely to perform a certain behavior is a sure shot way to set them up for success. If your dog chooses to dig in a certain area in the backyard, consider blocking out that space with a gate or a fence. 

If your Husky is more of a vagabond backyard digger, have them on a leash. This will enable you to stop the behavior before it happens and redirect if effectively. 

Blocking out access along with effective redirection and provision of ample outlets typically work well in combination.

5. Train your Husky to engage alternate behaviors and activities

It may be in our nature to yell and correct when we catch our Husky diffing in an unwanted spot. However, the words “STOP!… No digging!!” is not a behavior. It will not teach them what to do instead of digging. 

That is really up to us. Keep an alternate course of action for your Husky ready when they are not allowed to dig.  

6. OD on mental stimulation activities

Boredom is one of the major underlying causes of destructive behaviors like digging. A Husky needs way more than just 2 walks a day. If you have a high energy Husky, consider investing in a variety of mental stimulation toys and activities like cart pulling, trick training, interactive puzzles, feeders etc. for them. 

A tired dog may not necessarily be a happy dog, but a tired dog is definitely not as destructive.

7. Help your nervous/anxious dog

Once of the reasons your Husky may choose to dig could be their anxiety. There could be a plethora of elements, experiences or entities in the environment that could be making them anxious. 

Separation anxiety, barrier frustration, noise sensitivity are few of the many forms of anxiety your Husky may be plagued with. Consult a professional to better understand your dog’s anxiety and remedies for it. 

8. Get rid of rodents

Your Husky may just be doing a fab job at getting rid of the rodents in the backyard. However, it’s advisable to let the pest and rodent control take over. 

Rodent and critters act as motivation as well as rewards for your dog’s digging behavior.

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Good luck stopping your husky from digging!

It will take patience and persistence to break your dog’s digging habit. Getting to the root cause and finding a method that works for both you and your dog is a win-win.

Did the above tips help stop your husky from digging?

Let us know in the comments below.

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