Dogs are super adventurous creatures who love to find new activities to keep themselves entertained. Digging is one of their most loved form of recreation. As dog owners, we understand your concern about a dug-up backyard full of holes, but your dog never does it to spite you. Digging may be a common problem in many dogs, but you must find the answers to why your dog might be doing it. It can be tricky to stop your dog from digging, but understanding the reasons behind them may help you handle the situation better.
Reasons Why Dogs Like to Dig
Canines dig for many reasons, and the prime reason could be their instinctive behavior. We know that wolves are the ancestors of dogs, and digging is an activity that comes naturally to them. However, there are some other prime reasons why do dogs dig holes, as we can consider to understand your pet’s behavior better.
- Hunting a prey
- To seek attention
- To find comfort
- To get away
Dogs are fun-loving creatures, and it is natural for them to find digging entertaining. However, their playful behavior might upset their owners sometimes. If you have recently dug up your yard for gardening purposes, your dog might be trying to copy your actions. Or sometimes, they find this as a means to release their pent-up energy. Though in most cases, it is due to excessive boredom in dogs. They may resort to this activity if they need to be given more attention.
#2 Hunting a Prey
Many rodents and burrowing animals might be living under the ground in your backyard. And one thing that dogs love the most apart from their owners is digging up small animals. If you catch your dog digging up a particular spot in your yard or sniffing around all day long, that is your cue to know that your yard may be infested. Getting rid of pests and small animals before your dog completely ruins your backyard is wise.
#3 To Seek Attention
As a dog parent, spending time with your furry friend should be your top priority. If you don’t give them enough time and attention, they might start digging around your backyard to seek your attention. They are smart creatures; they know that creating chaos would make you spend time with them!
#4 To Find Comfort
Soil pits are one of the most comfortable places for dogs during summer. Apart from protecting themselves from the heat, they sometimes dig holes to protect themselves from rain, cold and heavy winds. To ensure that they don’t find holes too comfortable, ensure you provide them with the things they need in the house properly.
#5 To Get Away
The urge to be free and mate with other dogs could be one of the reasons that dogs start digging near the fence. It can usually be prevented by taking your dog to dog parks so that they can have a fair chance at socializing and naturally enjoying their lives.
Why Do Dogs Dig in Their Beds?
Digging, scratching the beds, and making rounds on the spot before plopping down on it may be one of the dog habits every dog owner has witnessed. Dog digging in bed for sleep may be habitual and instinctive, or something else entirely. Here are a few reasons for why do dogs dig in bed and such behavior of our furry friends.
Digging at beds is a natural means of regulating excessive temperatures. Because dogs have a limited number of sweat glands, they may dig nests while it is extremely hot outdoors, exposing a bigger surface area of their body to the cool earth. In cold weather, curling up in a self-made pit helps to concentrate available body heat.
#2 To Find their Beloved Toys.
Many pets have a habit of taking their best interactive toys for dogs and bones to bed and hiding them in there for later. So if you find them digging their beds, they are probably just looking for their treasure.
#3 To Mark their Territory
Sometimes dogs dig and scratch their beds to claim their space. They don’t want anyone to intrude into their private place, resulting in their behavioral action.
How to Stop a Dog From Digging Holes?
Dogs will always be dogs. You can not stop them from their habits, but there might be a few things that you could do to prevent them from holding up your backyard or ruining their bedding entirely. Here are a few suggestions on how to stop dogs from digging:
- Take your dog on a walk twice every day. Physical exertion is good for them to release excess energy.
- Keeping your dog indoors could be of great help since they won’t be able to dig up the concrete floor.
- Play with your dog and spend time with them.
- Lay out swings and toys in your backyard for your dog to play with. This way, they’ll be distracted and won’t resort to digging to enjoy the open area.
- Make sure that their bedding is comfortable and is as per their need. This way, they have fewer chances to scratch and dig it.
- Train your dogs smartly, and reward them for their good behavior. Assert through your actions that digging is not something you’d approve of.
If your dog does not stop with its digging habit even after doing everything you can do, it is for the best that you embrace it. Give your dog a designated digging spot to have their fair share of fun. But if you are not comfortable with that, you may invest in a dog sandbox for your pet to dig into.
If you catch your dog digging, it is best that you gently nudge them in the direction of another activity rather than being angry at them for it. If you get aggressive and start punishing your dog for it, it will just become something they are not. So try to be easy on them, as it is not by choice that they do this; there is always a reason behind it.
How to Stop a Dog From Digging Under a Fence?
As we have discussed before, dogs may try to find an escape from their homes to step out into the outer world. They may leave in search of their mates or maybe just for some freedom, but what’s common is that they would start digging around the fence. So if you notice your dog digging under fence, opt for some of these methods mentioned on how to keep dogs from digging under fence.
- Ensure that the bottom of your fence is rooted at least two to three feet beneath the soil and thus such a fence with that height becomes the perfect dog digging deterrent. This way, your dog may have to dig up deeper to escape, and it will give you time to keep a check on their actions.
- You may place large rocks that are partially buried under the fence line and make a dog fence barrier. It would obstruct their digging path, and they might eventually give up on digging.
- Putting chicken wire at the bottom line of the fence has proven to be a successful method. But while you do it, make sure that its sharp edges are rolled away from your yard. So even if your dog digs deeper, it won’t be hurt by the sharp tips of the wire.
- You could put chain-like dog proofing fence around the edges of your fence so that it is slightly inconvenient and uncomfortable for your dog to walk around. This way, they would start avoiding that area.
- Build a healthy relationship with your dog, so they can stay in your company. Work on their behavior with them while trying to understand them better.
- Another thing to consider is to reward your dog with treats and affection. This would minimize their attempts at escaping.
Digging is second nature to dogs. It might be irritating at times as their human friends, but the responsibility falls on your shoulders to ensure they don’t indulge excessively in it. Simply redirecting dogs may be enough to cease their tendency to dig. But to halt the digging activity, use the ‘down’ or settle command if your dog understands it. Or a toy or even a treat becomes helpful. If your dog is destroying your bedding, consider giving them their blanket or sheet to dig at, saving your fine things.
If you have tried every possible method of stop dog from digging home remedy, you should consult a vet or dog trainer. This could become a compulsive habit and could even prove to be dangerous. But such severe behavioral patterns are only seen in rescue pups. Sometimes a little help from trained professionals could overpower your loving words to your beloved pooch.
There are a number of ways to stop your dog from digging. But it will ultimately depend on what is causing your dog to dig in the first place. If your dog is bored or has excess energy, provide them with more exercise and stimulation. If they are trying to get attention, be sure to give them plenty of positive reinforcement when they behave well. And if they are simply curious about what’s underground, try some digging toys for dogs or treats for them to find. With a little patience and effort, you can put a stop to your dog’s digging habits.