Like barking and howling, digging holes is not an unusual activity for dogs. In reality, there are plenty of breeds that are great burrowers, including Chow Chows, Dachshunds, Siberian Huskies, Beagles, and more.
While digging is natural for them, your dog may feel the urge to dig due to various reasons, and this should alarm you. Apart from that, you should also worry about the aftermath of your pet’s this behavior.
Your dog digging in your yard can be very disruptive. It could destroy your garden landscape and create a route for your canine friend to escape.
If you’re looking for ways to stop your pup from this behavior and destroying your lawn, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll expose the reasons why your dog is doing this all of a sudden and how you can manage this behavior.
Digging is a Natural Behavior of Dogs
Dogs naturally have the urge to dig because it is ingrained in their DNA. Simply put, it’s normal and natural for them to dig, just as it is for them to bark and howl.
Many breeds are even bred specifically because of their skills in digging. Because of this selective breeding, we now have dogs that are proficient diggers as pets.
While it is natural, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to stop or at least manage your pet’s digging behavior. It is important to observe your dog’s behavior so you can better manage its natural instinct to dig.
Urge to Hunt
Dogs have an excellent sense of smell and hearing. That’s why early dog breeds accompanied hunters when the latter was hunting for prey.
Nowadays, dogs still possess the hunting skills their ancestors had. So, if they hear or smell something underground, their instinct tells them to track or go after it.
If you notice your canine friend suddenly digging in your yard, you may want to check your lawn. There may be critters or small animals in your yard that your dog is trying to alert you from.
Like humans, our furry friends also become bored when they are alone and have a repetitive daily routine. When they repress their energy, they will soon try to find a way to put it to use.
One way they deal with boredom is by running around your yard or barking non-stop. However, troublesome behaviors like digging and gnawing can also be your dog’s coping mechanism against boredom.
If your pet feels alone, lonely, or bored, it may be their way to entertain themselves and release their pent-up energy.
Stress and anxiety may result from different things. This includes separation, the addition of a new dog, and abrupt changes in the environment and lifestyle of your pet. Health problems may also cause your pet to feel restless and stressed.
If you have reason to believe that your dog is anxious, then that probably is the reason for the digging behavior. For them, it is a great outlet to relieve their stress.
Desire to Escape
No animal, even domesticated ones, likes the feeling of captivity. Thus, a dog that is tied or locked in a yard will try to escape and run free.
One way for them to get away is by digging. If your dog is digging near your fence, then it’s probably plotting an escape route.
Your dog is also highly likely to try to dig if they’re in an uncomfortable environment. If you leave them outside when it’s extremely hot or cold, they will start digging to escape or seek protection.
Another common reason why they dig holes all of a sudden is that they are trying to bury something underground. They usually hide toys, bones, and treats that they want to enjoy for themselves.
When your dog is roaming around your yard with something in its mouth, try to observe your pet. If it eventually starts digging, then it’s trying to hide that item.
Consequences of this Behavior
Many homeowners feel frustrated when their canine suddenly digs in their yard. Indeed, digging can damage the garden and lawn you’ve paid and worked hard for. Apart from this, it may also result in the following:
- Your dog escaping from your yard
- Broken nails
- Accidents due to the holes in the ground
- Illness from soil bacteria and parasites
What Can You Do To Manage Your Dog’s Digging Habit?
The best way to control your dog from digging is by determining the reason why it’s doing that and removing it. That way, your dog won’t have the urge to dig and destroy your lush lawn.
Here are some steps you can take to manage your pet.
- Get rid of the source of stress.
- Regularly pay attention to your pet.
- Let your dog play, exercise, and run around freely.
- Give your pet its basic needs, such as food, water, shelter, and a comfortable environment.
- Survey your yard for pests or animal problems.
- If your canine digs near your fence, add concrete or rocks to prevent them from doing so.
- Create a playground for them where they can dig freely.
- Consult a veterinarian for health- and behavior-related issues.
If your dog starts digging holes all of a sudden, it’s probably giving you a sign of a problem. Given this and the disruptive and harmful consequences of it, you should pay more attention to your pet.
By doing so, you can help your furry friend feel at ease and prevent it from resorting to damaging behaviors like digging.