Why do Dogs Dig Holes

A digging dog can destroy your garden, drag mud and dirt into your house, force you to throw away everything to give them a bath. Worse, if your dog digs a tunnel under the fence to escape, it can put him in danger. If you are fed up with your dog’s behavior, read on to find out how to stop a dog from digging.

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?

An orange Shibu Inu dog is digging in the garden. Understanding why your dog is playing is important to reducing this behavior. This is the main reason why dogs play.


Digging is a natural behavior that dogs inherited from their wolf ancestors, points out the American Kennel Club (AKC). All dogs dig to some extent; it comes to them as humming or wagging their tails. Even if your dog is not a problem digger, you may find him “digging” in his bed or bed before laying down.

Seeking Prey

Dogs with large carnivores can dig underground to eat rodents or other animals they hear or smell underground. This is especially true for terriers and small dogs like dachshunds, which are bought to hunt mice and small game.


During hot weather, dogs sometimes dig themselves in the dirt to lie down and cool off. The AKC says that large, coated dogs bred for cold weather, such as the Siberian husky, are more prone to this behavior.

Boredom and Anxiety

One of the most common answers to why dogs dig holes is that it’s fun. For dogs, digging is a great way to relieve fatigue or distract from stress, says Spruce Pets. Often, chronic digging can be a sign that your dog is not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation.

Hiding Treasure

Some dogs like to bury treasures, such as treats or favorite toys, to keep them safe. Unfortunately, they don’t always remember to make treasure maps, which leads to more digging when looking for their hidden caches.


If your dog feels compelled to leave your yard, it’s often easier to dig a tunnel under the fence than to find a way out. Usually, this type of tunnel behavior is caused by a desire to reach something on the other side of the fence, such as another dog.

How to stop a dog from digging

  • A medium-sized dog with a red collar stuck its head in a hole in a clump of green grass. Because digging is ingrained in dogs, it is unlikely that you will be able to completely stop it. But you can reduce that behavior and minimize damage to your garden by following these tips.
  • Place blocks and blocks where your dog likes to dig. This may include placing chicken wire around the fence, placing rocks or stones in garden beds, or planting trees around the perimeter of the garden. If your dog is an escape artist, pulling him by the hand will reduce his desire to roam. Choose a place where your pooch can play. A sandbox can work well if your dog likes to dig for fun.
  • Provide an outdoor bed and shade for dogs that like to dig to keep them cool. Move them here when you see them digging.
  • If you have a dog with a large prey, controlling the size of rats in your yard will help reduce their tendency to hunt. Avoid using poisons, which can be passed on to your puppy.
  • Don’t let your puppy take treats or toys outside if he likes to bury them.
  • Provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation to help reduce the need to dig. Energetic dogs like terriers need at least 30 minutes to an hour a day of activity and exercise, which can include walks and games like you get, says Spruce.
  • Although it is not possible to take care of your dog all the time, try not to leave him unattended in your garden for longer than necessary. If your dog is playing for relief from separation anxiety, consider preparing him to stay in a crate while you’re gone, with some toys to keep him occupied.

    Although it is unlikely that you will completely protect your dog from digging, you can protect your yard from digging to reduce damage and increase your dog’s safety. By turning your dog’s playtime into a productive and non-destructive activity, you and your dog will be happier.

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