Why Does A Dog Dig Holes In The Ground?

Camilo Walker

Sometimes the behavior of a dog becomes a mystery to its owners: for example, a dog spins and tries to catch his tail, or stares at one point on the wall for a long time, or is ready to dig up all the land in the yard. The latter, by the way, often becomes a very bad habit, especially if the dog lives in the countryside because such “hooliganism” suffers from the lawn, flowers, and the whole territory. Why does the dog dig the land? The desire of a dog to dig up land is not just another whim of a pet. It’s a natural need, which is due to his instincts. Thus, the distant ancestors of pets, including ornamental pets, escaped from the heat, hid from other predators, breed offspring, and get food for themselves. Why are dogs digging holes today?

Reasons for this behavior:

Photo by UMUT DAĞLI on pexelsPhoto by UMUT DAĞLI on pexels

1. The first reason why a dog digs holes in the yard is because of hunting instinct. This is especially true of the terrier breeds. The name itself is derived from the Latin word “terra” – “ground”. The specialization of terriers is hunting for burrow animals: badgers, foxes, marmots, and many others. The main method that these dogs use in their “professional” activity is digging. Therefore, the descendants of hunting dogs, even those with poor working skills, still like to “dig up” game at times.

2. Another common reason to rummage through the ground – boredom. If a pet is not given enough time and attention, he starts to entertain himself. And then all the tools go into business: the owner’s shoes, and furniture, and such an interesting land. Digging up the roots of the plants, ripping out a piece of lawn, and scattering it around is a real pleasure for a four-legged friend.

3. Why does your dog dig in summer on a hot day? It’s simple: He’s trying to cool down. He tearing up the top layer of soil and laying it on the fresh, cold ground.

4. When your dog is not hungry and you’ve given him a treat, be prepared for a hole in the yard. The pet will probably decide to hide the bone for later. And sometimes they’ll hide it just in case.

5. Pregnant dogs often dig holes in preparation for childbirth – it’s also an ancient instinct.

If it’s more or less clear with the digging in the yard, the question remains: why does the dog dig bedding or the floor in the apartment?

Pay attention to the character of “digging”. If he’s digging for bedding when he goes to bed, his instincts are likely to be triggered. That’s how wolves and wild ancestors of dogs used to pin down grass before they went to bed.

On the other hand, when he’s nervously digging his favorite spot, struggling to lie down, he shifts from one side to the other. He’s likely to suffer from health problems such as arthritis.

What should you pay attention to?

Photo by Viktorija Stankevičiūtė on pexelsPhoto by Viktorija Stankevičiūtė on pexels

1. Spend more time with your dog by walking, playing, and running. If your dog is sitting in an enclosure or on a chain, make sure he’s allowed to stretch out in the yard.

2. In summer, make sure he doesn’t overheat. Always make sure he has constant access to shade and cool water.

3. If he just likes to dig holes, give him a corner of the yard. You could, for example, pour sand or clay in there. Bury your dog’s favorite ball and suggest you find it; when he does, be sure to praise and give him a treat. Play more often this way on your dog’s playground and use positive reinforcement.

4. Don’t forget negative reinforcement: if you notice your dog digging a hole, chew him but don’t shout.

See also 23 interesting and fun facts about dogs