Do you have a digging dog? Has it ruined your beautiful yard, bed, or couch cushion? Alright! no doubt, we all have been there. Dogs love digging so much, but have you ever wondered why they do that? And how to stop the destructive digging? Alright! Without further ado, let’s find out the answer to “why do dogs love digging?” in this post.
Dogs love to dig mostly because they are bored and alone for a long period of time. Your dog may also dig for its natural instinct, hunting burrowing animals, escaping, or burying things.
Why do dogs love digging a hole in the ground?
Digging is quite common among dogs regardless of breed. Below are some explanations for this behavior.
Before being dominated by humans, dogs were wild wolves. They dig and live in burrows which keep them away from dangerous predators. Over time, they still retain this habit even though they have been tamed by humans, and they can dig in the back garden or around the house to go back to their wolf ancestors.
Searching for prey
Most dogs like to hunt burrowing animals or insects: rabbits, mice… If they find a small hole in the ground, they will try to dig to find the mysterious creatures. A sign that your pets are hunting for prey is focused on a small hole near the root of a big tree, in a path layout rather than the fence of the yard.
To stop your dog from this digging, find and safely exclude the burrowing animals from your yard using safety tools or call an animal control center to have them handled if it is a dangerous animals. Never use chemical products because it can be toxic to your pet.
The most common thing that dogs carry to bury is bones. In addition, they also hide many other objects that they treasure or consider valuable such as toys, prey… This behavior comes from the ancestors of dogs who used to bury food safely and then returned it to eat it later. This may be the case if your dog digs while holding something in his mouth.
Use a fence to isolate areas that are frequently dug. Even a small obstacle is enough to frustrate your dog. Don’t punish your dog because he digs your yard. That doesn’t solve the problem but increases his anxiety. If your dog like burying things a lot, it’s better not to let them take the treats and toys outside.
Finding a cool spot
Many dogs dig up and then lie down, especially in hot weather. They will choose a cool, shady place, probably under a tree, and dig the ground to rest. As estimated by the Journal of Thermal Biology, dogs have a body temperature of around 101 to 102.5°F.
If you want to stop the dog from digging a hole to cool off while letting him do what he wants, then provide an outdoor bed. It’s also important to know that dogs won’t find the digging bed themselves, so you need to redirect them to the spot. Make sure to keep the dog’s coat short in the summer so they can dissipate heat better. In addition, taking a cool bath also helps your four-legged friend to feel more comfortable than digging a hole outside.
Digging will make the dog happy because at least they have something to do and release energy.Dogs digging holes for entertainment are hyperactive dogs or dogs that are left alone in the yard and have no friends to play with. When digging, dogs often have very playful and amused facial expressions. They will continuously refine their hole until they are most satisfied.
Dogs love to explore, and quite often, your yard is not large enough for them, so they always look for a way to escape into the larger space. Especially during estrus, male dogs often dig holes under the wall to look for female dogs and mates.
Take your dog for walks more often. This not only helps the dog satisfy his desire to explore but also gives him an opportunity to exercise a little.
Drawing your attention
Some dogs dig to get their owners’ attention. The manifestation of this type of digging is that they dig and seek your attention. To prevent this, let your dog know that their digging doesn’t bother you. Praise them when they exhibit good behavior. Also, make sure to walk and spend enough time playing with your dog. This will help to solve the problem.
Why do dogs love digging at their beds, carpet, and blanket?
A common act of dogs before sleeping is digging their bed. Why do they do that?
The main reason dogs dig at their beds is to make a comfortable place to lie down. This is like a routine to flatten the blanket and remove objects that cause pain when lying on it.
Dogs can dig beds to mark their territory. This happens when the dog has to share a bed with other puppies in the house.
The next reason your pup scratches its bed is looking for things. It could be some leftover food, a bone, or a toy. The hallmark of this type of scratch is digging combined with constant sniffing.
The bottom line
It is interesting to know why dogs like to dig, isn’t it? Digging can ruin your garden but remember not to punish your dog, but use the methods mentioned above. If they can’t stop your dog’s destructive digging, consider seeking out help from your vet or a professional trainer.
Reference: American Kennel Club: Why is my dog digging