How to Stop Pitbulls from Digging? – 5 Helpful Tips

If you have a dog and come home to find out it has dug a massive hole in your backyard, you will be shocked and frustrated. You might also wonder if only your dog or all dogs do this.

The answer is that all dogs love to dig, especially the Terrier breed, of which the Pitbull is a part. Pitbulls love to dig for various reasons, including hunting small underground prey like critters, creating safe dens when nesting, or other reasons.

Continue reading to find out how to stop a Pitbull from digging and for tips to help you.

Why Do Pitbulls Dig so Much?

The most common reason someone gives as to why Pitbulls dig so much is that they are dogs. Well, yes, dogs do love to dig it is not the whole reason why Pitbulls dig so much.

It is essential to understand why your Pitbull is digging so you can better understand its behavior and prevent it from becoming too dangerous.

Let’s take a look at why Pitbulls love to dig:

Hunting Prey

Like all terrier breeds, Pitbulls have a high prey drive. They can typically smell and hear small animals that live underground. You might find your Pitbull digging around in the yard because it’s trying to catch underground prey like critters or rabbits.

Nesting Behavior

Pitbulls often exhibit nesting behaviors when they are about to go into heat or when pregnant and about to give birth. You must keep yourself aware of the heat and birth cycle of a Pitbull if you have a female dog.

Digging is a big part of these nesting behaviors, as Pitbulls tend to dig holes to make a cozy and comfortable den where they can give birth to their puppies and keep them safe.

Safekeeping Valuables

Pitbulls also have the instinct to store valuable things, such as food, bones, or their favorite toys. So, you will often find them digging holes in the ground and burying their helpful stuff to keep them safe.

Temperature Regulation

Pitbulls have trouble regulating their body temperature. They are prone to get overheated and sunburned because of their single-layered, short-haired coats. If Pitbulls are out in the yard the whole day on a hot summer day, and they do not have a cold or shady place to sit in, or maybe they cannot go inside.

The instinct of the Pitbull will kick in, as they will not tolerate sitting or lying down on hot soil, and they will start digging shallow holes in the ground to reveal excellent soil to regulate their body temperatures by sitting in them.

For Fun

Some dogs dig for a purpose, and others don’t. Your Pitbull may be digging for fun or because it enjoys feeling the soft and cold soil on its paws.

How to Stop Pitbulls from Digging?

Since digging is part of a Pitbull instinct, you might be unable to irradicate this trait completely. However, you can take some measures to minimize your Pitbull’s tendency to dig and address some of the problems that make them dig in the first place.

Here are 5 tips you can follow to limit your dog’s digging:

1. Don’t Leave Your Pitbull Alone

It is best to avoid leaving your Pitbull alone in the yard for a long time. If you are not available to supervise your Pitbull when it’s outside, then it’s best to leave it indoors.

2. Redirect Its Attention

If you catch your Pitbull digging, redirect its attention toward something else by asking him to do the trick. You can throw a ball to play fetch with him or play frisbee; try to distract him.

Please do not use harsh discipline methods when discouraging your Pitbull from digging, as this will cause it to feel anxious and ruin its behavior further.

3. Exercise

If you exercise your Pitbull enough, it will not only keep him healthy but also distracted. If your Pitbull has done exercise, he will be tired and won’t have the energy to do any tiring work, including digging.

Exercise your Pitbull for at least 30 to 60 minutes daily, possibly more.

4. Self-Play Toys

Often dogs start digging because they are bored and have nothing else to take their mind off. You need to ensure your Pitbull gets enough mental stimulation to avoid getting bored and destructive.

The best way to stimulate a Pitbull’s mind is to give him a toy to play with and stay entertained. I recommend the Wobble Giggle Ball, which engages your Pitbull’s instincts and curiosity by making noises when thrown or shaken.

It’s double effective as it provides entertainment and exercise for your best friend.

5. Digging Area

Your dog will want to dig no matter what, so if you can’t beat them, join them. What I mean by this is to provide an alternative place to carry out its natural urge without becoming destructive.

For example, you can set up a sandbox or designate a specific area in the yard where the pitbull is allowed to dig. You can also fence the digging site to prevent the Pitbull from digging outside.

You can also take him to the beach and make him understand that he can only dig on the beach at your command and nowhere else. Doing so will associate digging with a trick and your command instead of a natural trait.

You should get a dig-proofer kit if you teach your Pitbull to dig in a sandbox or designated yard area. It is easy to install and highly durable.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Are Pitbulls Known for Digging?

Humans initially bred Pitbulls for dog fighting, bull baiting, and critter baiting. As a Terrier, Pitbull can hear underground creatures; its instinct is to dig after them. So yes, Pitbulls are known for their digging abilities.

Why Do Pitbulls Dig so Much?

Pitbulls are an energetic breed that needs mental stimulation, so if you leave your Pitbull alone for an extended time, it will get bored and try to exert its energy through digging. Other reasons include heat, prey, nesting, hiding valuables, or heritage.

Pitbulls are Terriers, and terrier breeds love to dig up the ground for hunting.

Is Digging an Instinct for Pitbull?

Yes, digging is a natural instinct for Pitbulls as they descend from terriers known for hunting rabbits and critters living underground. To pursue underground prey, terriers, including Pitbulls, must dig up the ground quickly and catch the prey.


Pitbulls love to dig; it is their instinct. You can try to stop them from digging by distracting them, but you will only delay the action. It is best to keep your Pitbull exhausted by exercising or giving him self-play toys.

But the best way is to convert their minds into thinking that digging is a trick rather than their instinct. I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new.

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