7 Main Reasons Why Dogs Like To Dig

7 Main Reasons Why Dogs Like To Dig

Author WDF Staff


If you ever caught your dog digging, you probably realized how much fun and joy it provides him. But why is that? Why do dogs like to dig so much? Most dogs will exhibit this behavior, and to better understand your dog, we are bringing you 7 reasons why dogs like to dig.

Digging is considered a behavior problem in dogs, and this behavior can be very challenging to stop. You must understand when to allow your dog to dig and when to stop it to prevent any future digging that could lead to your dog escaping the yard.

1. Fun

The first and most obvious reason why you can catch your dog digging your yard is because it is a fun activity for them. Digging is an activity that many dogs will adore, and don't be surprised if your dog realizes how fun this can be and start digging.

If your dog is one of them, you can safely let him dig. There is nothing wrong with this behavior if the main reason is fun.

RELATED: 6 Tips to Stop Your Dog From Digging Your Yard

2. Instincts

Digging is in the dog's blood, and this behavior dates back – to their ancestors. So when you catch your dog starting to dig up your yard, you must understand that these are the dog's instincts, and in some cases, he cannot help himself.

The best thing you can do is to find a good way to stop this behavior issue before it escalates and create more problems for you and your dog. Depending on your dog's breed, he may have lower or higher digging instincts.

This is mostly connected to specific dog breeds that needed to dig to find prey in the past. It would help if you didn't punish your dog for this behavior but rather find a good way to stop it.

dog digging

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3. Hunting

Certain dog breeds were used and are still used for hunting. There are different types of hunting dog breeds, and while some are used for hunting big animals, others can hunt smaller ones like rabbits or rats.

If you own one of these dogs used for hunting smaller animals, and your dog starts to dig holes, his hunting instincts could kick in. This is in their genes, and it is not something that your dog is doing to defy you.

If you want to stop this behavior, you must understand your dog and his instincts in order to prevent this from happening. It would be best if you never punish your dog for this behavior but rather find the best solution to remove it from happening.

RELATED: Hunting Dog Breeds

4. Boredom

Dogs that don't receive proper physical and mental stimulation can start to develop destructive behavior. If your dog is under exercised, he may start to dig to get rid of boredom. This behavior can quickly escalate, and you will have to stop it.

The best way to prevent your dog from digging if it's connected to behavior problems is to secure enough daily activities for your dog. That way, your dog will be tired and happy and will not seek other activities, such as digging, to entertain themself.

5. Hiding things

Hiding things and treasures is also in the dog's blood. In the wild, to survive, dogs needed to hunt. After finding food, they needed to bury food to save it for later. That said, this is the main reason why your dog could start digging in your yard – to hide things, toys or food.

Again, it would be best if you don’t punish your dog for this behavior since this is written in their genes. Rather you must ensure that your dog is feeling safe and that he has no reason to hide his treasures.

This behavior will usually occur in the multi-pet household, and the dogs will try and hide things from other dogs and pets by burying them.

dog digging hole

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6. Attention

Can you think about the first time you saw your dog digging in your yard? Most probably, you came running and yelling at your dog. Dogs are very intelligent creatures, and if your dog continues to dig holes in your yard, maybe he is seeking attention from you.

He remembers that digging holes will get a reaction from you and that you will start interacting with him. Usually, this will happen if your dog needs to receive the proper amount of daily stimulation and exercise.

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7. Escaping

If you live in a house with a big yard and your dog likes to explore the world more than anything, he may start digging holes to escape. This will be pretty easy to recognize since the dog will usually dig near the fence to create a breakaway path.

As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to secure your dog and not allow him to escape, so if your dog is an escape artist, you must find better fences that go into the ground that will prevent your dog from escaping.

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Should you stop this behavior?

Depending on the main reason why your dog started to dig, you need to decide if you want to stop this behavior. If your dog does it for fun, there is nothing wrong with that, and we don't see a reason why you should forbid him from digging unless he starts to demolish the yard.

Suppose your dog is digging because something is bothering him or he is under stimulated. In that case, you will have to prevent digging from happening by ensuring that your dog receives proper daily stimulation that will include both physical and mental exercise.

How to manage your dog's digging?

Most digging will occur because the dogs are under stimulated and bored. To prevent your dog from digging, you must secure him with enough daily activities. This is especially true if your own high-energy dog breed. These dogs will need different activities to satisfy their needs.

Make sure to play various interactive games with your dog, take your dog on long walks, and to the dog park. This could all positively affect him, and he will not be bored and tempted to start digging.

World Dog Finder team

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