There are six main reasons why dogs dig: comfort, entertainment, hunting, burying items, escape and separation anxiety. Digging is a normal activity for dogs passed down from their wolf, fox and other wild dog ancestors. However, this behavior can be modified if it causes trouble for the owner.
To minimize digging, first determine the reason for the dog's behavior. If the dog is digging a hole for comfort or to keep cool or warm, for instance, provide it with the proper bedding and shelter to meet its needs. If the dog digs for enjoyment or to bury bones and other treats, encourage it to dig only in certain areas of the yard.
If the dog is digging to escape an enclosure, see if you can provide a better living space for it. If it digs for moles, chipmunks and other ground-dwelling animals, humanely remove these animals from the property. As dogs have a hunter's instinct, it is counterproductive to try to teach them not to hunt these animals.
Seek the advice of a veterinarian if your dog digs because of separation anxiety. Even through digging is an instinctual behavior, it is one that can be modified if the owner gently instructs the dog in acceptable digging practices.