Does your dog digs holes all the time? is it causing you too much inconvenience? Digging is a natural behavior of our dogs. It seems like it’s one of their playtime activities. Often times they do it when they are bored and do not have toys that they can play with. At the same time, digging is also listed as one of the top behavioral problems in dogs and one way to distract them is by giving them a toy that would shift their attention. However, sometimes this can cause an inconvenience to us especially when they do it frequently. Now, let’s find out the motivators of our dog’s hole-digging behavior.
As I mentioned above, our dogs dig holes when they are looking for fun because they have no one or nothing to play with. They find this action entertaining especially if they are an active breed. When they do this, they tend to dig holes not only in a single part of the yard but in many different spots.
If our dogs dig holes because of boredom, then giving them something that would get their attention or would entertain them, such as toys, is the best way to get them to stop digging. We can also give our dogs a sandbox where they can bury their toys and dig them out. This would let our dog dig on the same spot rather than on the different parts of the yard as it gives them a much rewarding feeling.
Especially during the hot season, we can see our dogs dig holes and lay in them. They want to create a cool and comfortable spot to rest. German Shepherds is one example of a breed that digs more. Their thick furs make them even feel hotter which instinctively motivates them to dig a “cooling pit”
If we think our dogs feel uneasy because of the hot weather, then it’s best to keep them in a much cooler place where they can relax comfortably. Other than that, a soft, cool bed is also suggested especially for dogs that have thicker coats. Take note: this breed of dogs is more likely to experience overheating and heatstroke due to excessive heat and humidity that their body can’t bear. So, remember if we are feeling too hot, so are our dogs- cool them down.
This situation only happens when our dogs are locked up or fenced and they want to escape. Probably, most of us have seen this scenario with our dogs. They usually do this in the yard, tunneling under a fence to run away. They can even dig a very deep hole enough for their body to slip through when they are compelled to escape.
The American Kennel Club has given some expert advice on how to avoid our digger dogs to escape such as pouring a concrete footer and attaching an L-footer along the bottom of the fence, facing in. In that way, it will be impossible for our dogs to dig a hole under the fence and escape.
I remembered my dog digging a hole with a big bone in his mouth and suddenly buried it with his nose when the hole was deep enough to hide it. Our dogs protect their treasures (e.g. bones, toys, etc) by hiding them anywhere and a hole is one of the perfect hidden spots for them. Dogs are really protective creatures and tend to safeguard everything that they treasure.
In the first place, if he’s hiding some of his toys then that could mean that he has a lot of them. Yet, it can be inconvenient for us as owners that they may get those toys dirty and we clean them again. Otherwise, our dog can also be hiding his stuff because he finds someone or something as his competition. If so, we can assure them that no one is taking their things away from them.
Though hole-digging is an instinct to dogs, we should also be aware of these above-mentioned motivators for us to know what to do the next time we see our dogs do this thing. Also, it can be an indication of stress and anxiety, and hole-digging is one of their outlets. We need to keep them physically and mentally stimulated to avoid these to happen. After all, whatever they do and whatever happens to them is our responsibility.