How to Stop Border Collie Digging Holes

Want to learn how to stop Border Collie digging? This article is for you.

Behaviors such as growling, barking, chewing and digging are what define dogs almost as much as chewing bones and chasing cats do. However, for dog owners, these actions can be pretty damaging. Of course, you can’t stop your Border Collie from being a dog. Instead of making him quit some behaviors, you can encourage him to so things in a less destructive manner.

Border Collie Digging Problems

Border Collie digging is not as big of a problem as it may seem. Dogs like digging because it is a fun activity for them. The disadvantage of the action is that your garden will be left with numerous holes. Moreover, your Border Collie will be covered in dirt, leaving you to clean after him. Although digging may be fun for your dg, the scenario might not be as much fun to you!

If your Collie has digging problems or some other kind of behavioral challenges, check out the Border Collie Owners Guide. The book covers some of the simplest and most effective training methods that will help you train your dog as well as solve his behavior problems.

Why Do Border Collies Dig Holes?

  • It’s a good way for the dog to cool off on hot days
  • It’s a fun activity to do
  • The dog is trailing new and strange scents
  • They love having you chase after them as they dig into your yard or garden

If you want to stop your Border Collie from digging hole in your yard or garden, you will have to distract the dog using other activities. Alternatively, look for a different area for the dog to dig into (preferably somewhere you won’t care about he is done digging holes). Although this sounds easier said than done, it really isn’t because it will take time for your dog to stop the digging habit.

The best way of solving your Border Collie’s digging habit is by figuring out why he is doing it in the first place. If he the dog is only digging while you’re away from, home then it is probably because he is bored. Make sure you always give your dog his chew toys or a bone to play with before you leave. If your dog doesn’t show any interest in the chew toys, give him some tasty chewable treats instead. The treats will surely get his attention.

If your Border Collie only digs during the hot summer days, it means that he is probably hot and is looking for a way to cool off. You can solve this by turning the sprinkler on and letting him play with it. However, this may not be a good idea if your Collie loves to dig. This is because it may be harder to clean up a wet dog than it is to clean a dry one.

If your Border Collie seem to be digging the yard because he is following a new trail of scent, the chances of your dog finding what he is trailing may be slim. The dog might have just picked up the scent of a rodent instead. Try to solve this by focusing your dog’s attention to other activities. But until he can no longer trail the scent, your Collie will continue digging until he finds what he is looking for.

Border Collies Digging Carpet

Border collies are bred to herd and work in fields, so digging is a natural instinct for them. However, digging on carpeted floors is not a behavior that can be attributed to their natural instincts. Instead, there may be underlying reasons why a border collie may dig on carpeted floors. These reasons may include:

  1. Boredom: Border collies are highly intelligent and require a lot of mental stimulation. If they do not receive enough stimulation, they may resort to digging on carpeted floors as a way to entertain themselves.
  2. Anxiety: Some border collies may experience anxiety or stress, which can lead to unwanted behaviors such as digging. Digging on carpeted floors may provide a sense of comfort or security for dogs experiencing anxiety.
  3. Lack of exercise: Border collies are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercise to burn off their excess energy. If they do not get enough exercise, they may resort to digging on carpeted floors as a way to release their pent-up energy.
  4. Medical Issues: In rare cases, dogs may dig on carpeted floors due to underlying medical issues, such as skin irritation or allergies. If your dog’s behavior is out of character, it may be worth consulting with a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues.

Do Border Collies Grow Out of Digging?

The short answer is no, border collies do not necessarily grow out of digging. This behavior is part of their natural instincts, which were originally developed for hunting and herding. Border collies are bred to work in fields and are trained to use their paws to dig up roots or create dens for livestock. This instinct can carry over into their domestic life, and they may dig for fun or to alleviate boredom.

While some border collies may stop digging as they age, others may continue this behavior throughout their lives. The best way to stop border collie digging is to train them to recognize what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

How to Stop Border Collie Digging

  1. Provide Adequate Exercise: Border collies are high-energy dogs that need plenty of exercise to burn off their excess energy. If they do not get enough exercise, they may resort to digging as a way to release their energy. Make sure your border collie gets plenty of daily exercise, including walks, runs, and playtime.
  2. Create a Digging Area: Instead of trying to stop your border collie from digging altogether, create a designated digging area. This can be a small section of the yard where your dog is allowed to dig. Fill it with sand or soil and bury toys or treats for your dog to find. Encourage your border collie to use this area by praising and rewarding them when they dig in the designated spot.
  3. Supervise Your Dog: If your border collie is prone to digging, it is important to supervise them when they are outside. Keep an eye on your dog and redirect their attention if they start to dig in an inappropriate area. Use a firm “no” or “leave it” command to discourage digging and praise your dog when they comply.
  4. Provide Mental Stimulation: Border collies are intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation to keep them happy and engaged. Provide your dog with puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and interactive games to keep them mentally stimulated. This can help reduce boredom and the desire to dig.
  5. Use Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is an effective training method that involves rewarding your dog for good behavior. Whenever your border collie refrains from digging or uses the designated digging area, praise and reward them with treats or toys. This will encourage them to continue the good behavior.


In summary, border collies may not grow out of digging, but there are ways to stop this behavior. Providing adequate exercise, creating a designated digging area, supervising your dog, providing mental stimulation, and using positive reinforcement can all help reduce digging behavior. With patience and consistency, you can train your border collie to recognize what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Leave a Reply