Why Do Dogs Dig? Understanding Your Pet’s Behavior

We love our furry companions, but sometimes their canine behavior leaves us frustrated and confused. One destructive behavior that plenty of dogs display is the act of digging. 

Dealing with holes in your yard alone can be frustrating. Unfortunately, sometimes dogs dig in gardens. Worst still, they can dig under a fence and escape. Let’s examine the causes of why a dog digs and how a housebreaking training program for dogs can resolve this issue. 

Reasons Why Dogs Dig 

Dogs dig for a variety of reasons, including:

A Natural Behavior 

It’s important to recognize that digging is a natural behavior for many dogs. Like sniffing and barking, dogs like to dig, and you can trace this behavior back to the dog’s ancestor—the wolf.

However, certain breeds tend to dig more, and this instinctual activity results in some hunters using specific dog breeds. In addition, selective breeding made this behavior even stronger in dogs like terriers. These breeds are known for their ability to follow prey into tunnels. 

Boredom or Excess Energy 

Dogs like to play and run around, especially when they’re younger. So besides chasing squirrels and chewing on bones or sticks, dogs may resort to a type of digging to eliminate this excess energy. 

Dog owners can help alleviate this boredom by playing with their dogs for longer periods of time or incorporating new toys. 

Relieving Stress 

Like humans, dogs can get stressed, with boredom and separation anxiety being the most common reasons. However, dogs will channel their stress into an activity like digging, which provides them with physical and mental stimulation. 

For Escaping 

Dogs can be incredible escape artists and may quickly discover that they can dig under a fence. By doing so, dogs can create tunnels that transport them off your property. 

If your dog does this, you need to examine possible reasons why. Most likely, the cause relates to separation anxiety or boredom. 

They Like To Bury Things 

Your dog might be tired of playing with a bone, toy, or a different object but doesn’t want another dog to steal it. To avoid this, your dog may dig a hole and bury the item for safekeeping. 

To Cool Off

Sometimes dogs also dig to cool themselves off during a hot summer. They will create a bed big enough to lie in and use the cooler soil to cool off. Training your dog to stay indoors can resolve this. 

How To Stop Your Dog From Digging 

It can be challenging to stop your dog from digging, but you can try some methods to help you curb this behavior. First, consider the reasons why your dog digs in the first place.

Whether because they’re bored or anxious, you should provide a dog with more physical and mental stimulation. Puzzle toys, training sessions, and more time with your dog can promote better behavior. 

The Dan Gentile Training Center can also help; our team has trained dogs for over 40 years. Discover more reasons why dogs dig and how to prevent common phobias of dogs by calling (732)-938-5040!