Why Do Dogs Dig?

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Hi, interesting question and we spent some time researching this...

It seems that wild dogs and wolves would dig dens to raise and protect their young. Dens provide great shelter from predators and extreme temperatures.

Modern dogs still have the desire to seek protection in a den, often circling and digging at the ground before settling. The traditional dog bed with high walls resembles a den quite closely.

Dogs may also dig to entertain themselves, to bury valued items and when hunting animals such as moles and groundhogs.

Digging can be caused by problems such as separation anxiety and confinement so it is important to rule these things out when observing your dogs behavior. | 07.21.15 @ 12:29
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 10.20.17 @ 14:29
J
Answered by Jennifer
Reasons for digging can be:

Boredom

Give your dog plenty of things to do in the backyard. Even with tons of toys, dogs require interactive attention from you. Play with your dog, don't just let them out.

Attempts to cool self

Provide plenty of shade. A baby pool is also a wonderful idea for a hot dog.

Hiding bones and other objects

Provide a digging area for your dog. Dig and hide bones for him to find with him watching and encourage any digging there.. In off-limits areas, you may put lava rocks in holes he has dug and cover them with dirt to prevent re digging there. You can also use landscape hardware wire around plants and in areas you do not want the dog to dig.

Hunting/chasing critters

You will usually see a line of shallow holes left behind as the dog tries to follow the critter.

Attempts to escape - see boredom

Holes made near fences. Your dog needs more exercise and interaction from you. Don't leave him out without supervision. Play lots of games with your dog.

Copying an owner who gardens

Its a good idea to put your dog inside while you are digging around in the dirt if you have a digger for a dog.

If your dog starts to dig, use a positive noise to interrupt your dog. A high pitched woo! or pup pup pup! Then reward your dog the instant he stops digging with a treat or toy. Catch your dog before he starts digging again and call him to you. Reward for listening to you. No yelling or angry voice, this only causes your dog to dig when you are not looking!
The only 100% digging proof plan starts with lots of exercise and management. That means no time outside without you there. Of course, a lovely concrete backyard works as well! | 09.03.15 @ 02:51
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 10.20.17 @ 14:29
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