Why Do Dogs Dig Holes? – How to Curb This Behavior!

by: Two Dog Zoo

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Are you noticing a sudden change In your hairy companion’s behavior and wondering why he started digging all of a sudden? It’s a good time to know a bit more about your pup and his behavioral changes.

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Digging by dogs can be habitual, straight back from their ancestors, can be Inborne (In their genes), or it can be Impulsive, out of some triggers that you might have missed.


If you’re wondering if your dog is stressed or anxious, then a good way to measure this is to play nice soothing music to calm

Getting to know the breeds can help you big time solve this riddle by identifying the cause and how to manage it properly. Some species are bred professionally for their digging proficiency and used for this very purpose; these Include Jack Russel terrier, Dachshund, Siberian Husky, and Alaska Malamute are the top breeds that have this hardwired behavior of digging for different reasons. Some dig for denning and some for prey.

This article will lead to all the possible reasons why dogs dig holes?

1. Pupsters Being Pupsters

Once a digging master is always a digging master; some dogs are born this way; just like howling and barking, they dig for survival, relaxation, and health. Some are experts at it, and some get good with time because their wolf’s ancestors inherited this behavior.

Human plays a significant role in embracing and influencing their innate digging behavior by selectively breeding pups and using it as their help to eradicate pesky and destructive critters from their backyard.

2. Combating Hot Summers

Hot summer days can be challenging not for us only but for perfect fidos too, and this is what compels them to dig holes in your backyard to lay there for hot hours of the day to combat high temperatures.

Depending on the breed you have, your digging master can be a denning master too, so they can feel secure out of the whelping box, somewhere in your lawn.

3. Door to Relief Themselves

These cute, emotional creatures can get gloomy if they are left alone for some time or are not getting their needed time to play with you. If you notice your dog digging when your working hours shift, or you cannot spend more time with them, it’s because they are sad, and digging is serving as a stress-relieving vent for them until you are there with them cuddle again.

4. In Quest of Their Partner

Are you missing out on neutering your pup? If yes, that’s the reason why your dog is digging around your fence or gate as the fence isn’t that deep in the ground, and your escape artist can easily succeed in running. It is a natural phenomenon despite being worried about them, either.

  • Breed a couple so that you might avoid such incidents.
  • Ensure that you neuter your fido at the right age so you and your pup won’t get in trouble.

5. To Hunt Prey

No Animal can ever be tamed enough to turn his nature completely from its wild roots; This can be a good reason why your dog digs whenever he sees a potential prey nearer. They love chasing it and will continue doing it. If that irritates you, get your pup a distraction at the same time when you see him digging, any game that might distract him, and that’s how you will be able to save your backyard from turning into Swiss cheese.

6. Post-pregnancy Anxiety

You might have seen your furry friend being possessive about their puppies, changing their place again and again, or licking more than usual; it’s the stress and anxiousness that’s causing this and can be a good sign for you to understand their condition. Being uncomfortable after pregnancy can lead to not only licking their puppies excessively but also digging too much and laying there along with their little ones.

Make sure to provide them with a comfortable whelping box for their puppies or change the details until they like their puppies to settle in. It would help them get rid of their anxiety and gradually stop digging.

7. Need to Escape

Digging can be a good sign to know that your pup wants to escape. Avoiding this will include the knowledge you must know: the breed must not be a “sports breed” that needs an “active job” or continuous interaction most of the time. Being lonely or just lying in your backyard won’t be enough for them; they will then dig every possible way out of that and escape so they can get into some fun activity or hurdles to cross.

Make sure to avoid taming or limiting such breeds to your homes or lawns, or If you still want to make them your companion, make sure to involve them in purposeful or energetic activity from time to time to calm them down. Tire them enough to avoid digging.

8. Management of This Behavior

Always pet a dog after knowing enough information about that specific breed to take good care of your pup.

  • Understand the canine behavior and response according to the breed. If it’s the sports breed, make sure to provide enough room and your precious time for the activity.
  • Get them involved in the fun distractions whenever they are being lazy or leaning towards digging; tire them out so they can rest and sleep well, saving your backyard as well.
  • Make them a small and cozy warm shelter where they want to sit or spend most of their time; this will decrease their involvement in finding a relaxed position and digging a warm hole for themselves.
  • Put obstacles and hurdles around or close to your fence to avoid any escape that might hurt them or get you in any trouble.
  • Make them a digging spot in your backyard, so whenever you see them digging, distract them towards that place by hiding some treasure there.
  • Hiding any treasure there in front of them will make them curious and feel playful.
  • Neuter them at the right age to avoid any incident or mishappening.
  • Mental stimulation can keep them healthy and active towards other activities but not digging; try to involve them in toys or fetch games.

9. Making a Digging Zone

A digging zone can be made by following simple steps:

  • Identify the safe place in your backyard away from the fence.
  • Surround that with small wooden sticks.
  • Place some of their favorite toys there to attract them.
  • Sit close while they do that as they would love to enjoy doing it with you accompanying them.

Embracing Pupster Nature

We got to know that digging is in pups’ nature and we can not get rid of it completely; why not embrace such behavior by actually making them a digging place and enjoy digging with them?! Makes sense? Giving them a bit of space to enjoy what they want to do would add a glow to their health and your bond. Your furry companions take care of you more than they do of themselves, and they deserve to be accepted the way they are!


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