Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?

Digging brings so much joy to so many dogs.

Depending on the reason, you will need to employ various measures to prevent your dog from digging in the yard.

While this may appear to be a straightforward solution, understanding why your dog digs are the first step in protecting your landscape.

If your dog is digging, whether it’s a hole in the yard or an escape route under a fence, it’s crucial to figure out why your dog is performing this type of behavior.

Reasons That Dogs Like To Dig Holes

  • Digging is part of your dog’s behavior and you can afford it to some extent. If your dog isn’t destroying anything, or if this is just a way to have fun, then you can just leave it alone. 
  • Some dogs just love to dig and usually do so to keep warm or cool, as digging a hole or resting burrow can protect them from the heat or cold. 
  • Some dogs dig holes because they are more comfortable under cooler ground, while others can dig holes because they are trying to hide. 
  • Digging for a pleasant or protected place to sleep is not such highly harmful canine behavior as it is a natural reaction for any animal.
  • Long-term digging is mostly a sign that your dog isn’t getting adequate exercise or intellectual stimulation. Hence, keep them busy.
  • If your dog digs holes in your yard at randomness, it’s most possibly sniffing or detecting something underneath that it’s attempting to reach.
  • If your dog is digging holes at the edge of your property or other boundaries. Such as a fence, it may be curious about what is behind the lawn and is trying to plan an escape.
  • In a backyard infested with parasites like moles, dogs can dig like crazy to find what they can hear and smell.
  •  Dogs love to dig outside in mud, mud, snow, grass, mulch or sand, and may even try to dig in plants, tree roots, or landscapes. Some dogs get so wild they dig in the ground that they can rip up an entire yard or worse, they might even bring the dog to your new couch.

When to Worry?

A dog that digs holes can destroy your yard, track dirt and grime back into your home, and force you to give it a bath after every outdoor visit. Even worse, if your dog is digging a tunnel under the fence to escape, it could put your dog in danger.

It can be difficult to prevent and dangerous if your dog digs under the fence and runs out of the yard. Even though you’re not a gardener and also don’t mind the odd hole in your yard, if your dog is digging alongside the fence, you must intervene as quickly as possible.

How to Stop the Dogs From Digging?

Dogs Need to Stay Active

As discussed earlier, without frequent play and long walks, your dog will get bored and dig to relieve the boredom. 

While you probably can’t stop your dog from digging holes at all, you can get him to stop digging so much by making sure your dog gets a lot of exercise and attention. If you can give your dog the stimulation it needs, it won’t feel like digging that much.

Additional games, training, and exercise may be required to control digging behavior, especially if your dog is young and very active. 

When the owner is away, dogs that continue to dig may need extra stimulation to keep them busy. Providing your dog with a regular and abundant daily life can greatly help prevent problems such as digging (see abundance, predictability, and planning).

If your dog hasn’t been digging for the entire day, you might consider whether keeping them at home is the best option. When a dog is left alone for an extended period, it may begin digging.

Make an Exclusive Space Only for Digging

Some dogs just like to “dig well” and there is often no difference between digging in barren and muddy areas or in the vegetable garden you have worked so hard on. Some people designate a certain area in the yard, usually hidden, where the dog can dig as he pleases.

In this case, digging a larger hole where they are allowed to dig may prevent them from digging in the yard. 

Consider Dig Proof Gardens

Kindly ensure that even if you decide to use the trap in the pits, your dog will simply be discouraged from digging and it will not be injured. While your dog is unlikely to be completely dig-proof, you can make your garden dig-proof to minimize damage and maximize your dog’s safety.

Once you understand that digging is just part of the job for many dogs, you will understand why this behavior requires more attention to stop it. Before you can even think about breaking the habit, it’s important to understand why your dog is digging at all, because its behavior can be very easily explained. 

Digging Can Be Routed in Right Directions

Even if you try everything to keep your dog from digging, the impulse to dig can still kick in. Then why not accept it? Figure out how to make it work for you if it makes your dog happy.

 The simplest method is to provide your dog with a digging area. In this regard, a sandbox can be beneficial. Hide rubber bones and other toys in the sand for your dog to discover while exploring. As a result, the excavating area will be more gratifying than the rest of the yard. 

Whenever your dog starts digging somewhere outside the desired digging location, gently redirect them and encourage further digging there.

Dog sports are yet another method to redirect your dog’s natural inclinations into something positive.


Digging is often not hazardous unless it is destroying your yard. You and the canine will be pleased if you can redirect your dog’s digging impulses towards more beneficial and lesser disruptive tasks.

Even after trying all the strategies if your dog does not stop digging, then you can contact a behavioral expert for training. 

About the author

Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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