Why do dogs dig? Digging is one of the most frustrating behaviors a pet owner experience. This is because the garden of the pet owner has been sacrificed to the paws of his digging pet. Besides, it can be a nuisance if it is not controlled and managed.

why do dogs dig

If you are a dog owner and want to control the behavior of your dog then understanding the digging behavior is an important tool. This article will provide you a detailed guideline on why do dogs dig. So to know the reasons keep reading the article till the end.


Genetics plays an important role in the temperament of a dog. Also, the tendency to dig is no exception. Many hunting breeds, such as terriers and small hounds, tend to dig out mine from their dens.


If you have gophers or other small animals in your yard then the chances increase that your dog will dig to catch them. In fact, some dogs just love and enjoy digging to look for prey.

Stress Relief

Digging can be an enjoyment for dogs. Eventually, it turns out a great way for them to relieve stress. There are several reasons for this stress. However, most active diggers are either suffering from separation anxiety or are getting very bored.

Stress Relief

If you leave your dog on his own for too long, without ways to let him remain occupied then he will often turn to dig. Separation anxiety in dogs requires a way to channel their negative emotions into something productive.

Besides, it can turn out to be obsessive about digging. Digging provides mental and physical stimulation to your dog which is necessary to get rid of boredom and anxiety.


Some dogs love to be escape artists. If they are bound not go outside, there is a chance that they are going to dig to escape.


For many dogs, this activity is very helpful. Many people do not have fences that go under the ground. So their dogs can easily dig under them while creating the perfect tunnel to escape through.


Naturally, dogs seek the shelter of dens. You may have not noticed this in your domestic pets. But wild dogs still dig dens. This is because dens are cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather.

Denning - why do dogs dig

So dogs get a shelter they can feel secure in. You might notice your pet digging on his own bed. This is also an instinctual behavior related to digging dens. In short, denning is very natural for dogs and is difficult to change this behavior if your dog enjoys having a self-constructed home outdoors.

Expending Energy

If your dog just tends to get rid of lots of pent up energy then you should try giving him more exercise. Tou must take longer or more frequent walks and try to schedule some playtime including games like fetch that will tire out your digging pet.

Expending Energy - why do dogs dig

Never punish your pet for digging a hole. Even if you bring your pet to the site he digs, he will not be able to associate his digging with the punishment. If you find your dog digging, distract him to another activity and reward him for involving in this new activity instead.

You should try to identify the reason why your dog is digging. Dogs may dig because of anxiety or boredom. This is their way to channel their energy and thoughts. If you find an increase in this behavior then contact a veterinary behavioralist.

I hope you like my post about why do dogs dig. If you have any queries or want to share your opinion then write them down in the comments section. We will be waiting to hear from you. You can also read: