Why Do Dogs Dig? Insights To Understanding Why Dogs Love Digging Holes

Have you ever had your dog dig in your garden? Maybe you arenโ€™t a pet owner, but I bet you may have seen holes around dog homes in your vicinity. Given a large enough plot of land, every dog will eventually find itself lying in the dirt, pouncing at clouds of dust as it tries to excavate something with its snout. But why do dogs dig?

Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and they like to explore the world around them. Dogs dig holes for many reasons. They can be trying to cool off, looking for something interesting to chew, or just having fun. They may also be trying to keep themselves busy when they are bored and alone at home.

You may be curious about the different reasons your dog is digging and how you can stop your pooch from digging. I have covered extensively everything you need to know about dogs and their digging behavior in this article. Read along to learn why your dog is digging and what it means when your dog is digging.

Why Do Dogs Dig?

Image from Instagram:@dilly.and.daisy

Digging is an instinctive behavior that dogs exhibit for many reasons. Knowing why your dog digs can help you determine how to solve the problem. Dogs dig for a variety of reasons, which may change based on their stage of development.

Puppies and adolescents dig to find and play with the mother, while adults typically dig out because they have found something of interest underground and want to investigate. Below are some of the reasons why your furry friend might be seriously digging holes around.

As A Form Of Exercise

Digging holes provide dogs with opportunities to exercise their muscles. When a dog is digging a hole, it works out many of its muscles and burns calories. Digging can even help dogs to relieve stress and anxiety.


Searching for food is one of the main reasons dogs dig. If your dog has a habit of digging in your yard, the chances are that your pooch is trying to find something delicious. Some dogs go after grubs and other insects while others dig around for rodents.

Cooling Off

Dogs who live in warm climates dig holes in the ground in an attempt to cool off during the heat of the day. The deeper they go, the cooler it gets when they burrow inside.

So if you find your dog digging deep into the earth on a sunny day, then your pooch probably might be looking for a cool place to relax and probably sleep off.

Burying Toy Or Bone

Some dogs enjoy burying their favorite toy in the dirt. If your dog consistently buries its toys in the same place, it could be trying to hide them from you or other animals in the house.

Dogs also dig to bury their bones with the hopes of getting them back later. When this happens, it usually shows that your dog is trying to protect its belongings.

Hunting For Other Animals

Dogs are great hunters, and they always have the instinct of hunting for other animals. If you have rodents around your house, the best bet is that your dog will be seen digging for the rodent at all times.

To Keep Themselves Busy And For Fun

Another reason you may find your dog digging is nothing else than just to have fun. Whenever your dog is bored and feels frustrated, one thing that first comes to mind is digging, having fun, and playing around. Sometimes they are just trying to vent out their frustration, and they do this by digging.

Dogs also love getting dirty. A dog may dig because it is attracted to the smell of the dirt and wants to taste it. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and they may want to investigate whatโ€™s buried at the bottom of the hole.

What Does It Mean When Your Dog Is Digging?

Dogs dig for many different reasons, and when you see your dog dig, it could mean a lot of things.

If you find your dog digging, it might be that your pooch is feeling the heat due to the sunny weather, and it is just trying to cool off somewhere. It can also mean that your furry friend is bored and is trying to do a few things to keep busy and pass the time.

Your dog may also be searching for a rodent or insect, and that can be the reason your pooch is digging profusely. Additionally, your canine might just be having fun digging and burying toys and bones only to dig them up later.

Why Do Dogs Start Digging In The House?

Image from Instagram:@rio_laro

Dogs have a natural instinctive behavior of digging up holes. They usually find it difficult to control themselves from digging, and even when they are at home, they will want to dig the carpets. 

Another reason your dog is digging in the house is that your pooch is trying to create a safe and comfortable space to sleep in.

What Breed Of Dog Likes To Dig Holes?

Although most dogs love to dig, certain breeds are fond of this behavior. The Dachshund, Bedlington Terrier, Cairn Terrier, BeagleMiniature SchnauzerSiberian Husky are breeds that enjoy digging a lot.

Some of these breeds possess strong, dogged legs that help them to burrow deep into the soil. These breeds include the Australian Shepherd and Alaskan Malamute.

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes And Bury Things?

Dogs are intelligent animals, and they are always protective of their belongings. Dogs dig and bury items because they are trying to protect themselves from other animals in the house, and they feel satisfied knowing that their property is safe.

Dogs are also famous for marking their territory. When a dog buries a bone or toy in the ground, the dog is saying, this is my territory, and no one should come close.

Do Dogs Dig Holes Before Dying?

No! Dogs do not dig holes before dying. You may have heard a few times that dogs dig holes before they die. This is a hoax and is entirely false and misleading.

Dogs do not dig their own graves, and your dog digging a hole does not mean it is about to die. You do not have to panic when your dog is digging a hole. Your pooch is just having fun and trying to cool off.

Image from Instagram:@cecilie_cholewa

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Digging On The Carpet?

If you find your dog digging on the carpet, it might just be that your furry friend is anxious or overexcited and is trying to put that energy to use.

Sometimes your dog is frustrated, and the only way to vent it out is by digging furiously into the carpet, especially when your pooch is not allowed to go outside.

Your canine may also dig in the carpets as a way to get your attention.

Why Does My Dog Dig At The Carpet Before He Lays Down?

Dogs try to create their own comfort zone most of the time.

If you notice that your dog digs in the carpet before laying down, the chances are that your pooch is just trying to create a safe space that is comfortable to lay in. Your furry friend may also dig the carpet to hide from other animals you have around the space.

Image from Instagram:@alice_indoggoland

How Do I Stop My Dog From Digging?

Trying to get a dog to stop digging is not easy unless youโ€™re able to train them not to dig in the first place. Itโ€™s easier to prevent your dog from digging than it is to break the habit once itโ€™s been established.

Walk And Exercise Your Dog Regularly

Walking and exercising your dog on a regular basis is a great way to ease off stress and take away the excess energy in your dog. This helps to keep your dog busy and to prevent your pooch from digging.

Designate A Digging Spot

Some dogs naturally want to dig no matter how hard you try to stop them. To save yourself the stress, you can get a sandbox where your dog is allowed to only dig in there. This is a great way to control your dogโ€™s digging habits.

Set Up Other Fun Activities For Your Dog

Setting up other fun activities such as fetching the ball and racing is another way to get your canine to stop digging. Call your dog and throw a ball or toy for your pooch to fetch whenever you catch your dog digging. This will help to distract your dogโ€™s attention from digging.

Image from Instagram:@boerenfox_rover

Bring Your Dog Inside

Keeping your dog inside is another way to reduce your poochโ€™s digging habit. If you arenโ€™t around home, you can leave your dog inside the house to prevent her from digging outside your home.

Provide A Cool Shade For Your Dog

For dogs who love to dig due to the hot weather, you can stop their digging habit by providing a shade where your dog can rest and cool off when it is sunny and the environment is hot.

Keep Rodents Away From Your Home

As natural hunters, dogs love to hunt and kill rodents. This will usually result in them digging up the root of trees and searching for rodents. You can stop this habit by evacuating all rodents around your home entirely. It will prevent your dog from digging.

Avatar photo
Pete Decker