Why Do Dogs Dig The Ground?

Why Do Dogs Dig The Ground?

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Dogs that dig could be a total hassle. Dog digging may be quite frustrating for their owners, whether they are trashing your yard or planning their escapes.

For several dogs, digging is a subject of immense excitement. Have your dog left trenches in your back garden? Did your gardening resemble a rodent plaintiff? When your dog digs underneath the fences to escape the backyard, this could be difficult and troublesome to avoid. Knowing the causes of your dog's burrowing helps adequately prepare you to deal with and tolerate these natural tendencies.


It's important to comprehend the underlying cause of a dog's activity while we "delve" into causes of this conduct. A dog's innate drive to burrow is as established in their Genetics as their need to growl or bark. This article has covered several other reasons for this instinctive behaviour, including boredom, trying to flee, denning, and hunting for bunnies.



My German Shepherd dog, Smart has always been a playful dog and God so good we were blessed with a large compound, to me have taken Smart’s digging as his hobby because of him he had to granite-floor half of the compound, leaving the remaining half for vegetation but even with this Smart didn’t stop digging, all paws and claws dirty and clumpy all day long. Anytime, Smart sights rabbits or giant rodents enter a hole, he’s digging kicks off again, although at the long run, he do capture his prey but its so disturbing and at times, Smart could just go hide a bone or a random item in the yard buried in the ground. I’ve tried converting this instinctive behaviour of his to my advantage such as diverting his attention by going for walks and exercises and it has been a success, now he doesn’t dig anymore but I was told in my absence he still digs but its minimal.



We have identified seven major factors that contribute to the digging activity, which are listed below.


As we previously stated, excavating is a behaviour that is embedded in a dog's Genes. All canines might have some degree of this urge, even though some species have a greater urge to burrow over others. Since canines were skilled at pursuing small animals into underground tunnels, certain dog varieties have all been developed expressly for its foraging and burrowing prowess.  The most passionate diggers are Terrier Dogs, Dobermans, Alaskan Husky, Greyhounds, and other breeds.

Prey Hunting

Despite being far removed from their untamed origins, our furry buddies still take pleasure in pursuing possible prey. On yard, animals like little rodents and pests can wander in and pique a dog's prey instinct. A dog may excavate not just in an effort to locate a moving creature, but also in response to their fragrance. A dog's desire to seek may be stoked by dog faeces and lingering odours, which may cause compulsive burrowing in some locations.  Additionally, you could see your dog burrowing a lot in the vicinity of pebbles, bushes, and other known animal hideouts.

Anxiety Relieving

Do you possess a favourite pastime that you like to engage in whenever you 're feeling really nervous? Even our pets have interests, and many of them are things dogs do whenever they feel stressed. Excavation could be an enjoyable pastime for several canines and provides them with an avenue for their ongoing challenges. Several circumstances might cause stress in dogs. If a dog is unattended to for an extended amount of time, they might start to dig.


Many dogs will engage in reckless activities if they become bored. Dogs with excess enthusiasm might seek out enjoyable activities to occupy themselves, and spontaneous excavation is frequently one of these activities. Every day, our dogs require psychosomatic activity to stay happy. If these requirements really aren't addressed, they may even get stressed. Your yard might suffer the worst of the tempest if their frustration and elevated amounts of excitement get out of control. If your dog doesn't receive the appropriate activity daily, you might notice a variety of disruptive behaviours in their regular activities. 

Storing Valuables

Do you own a dog that enjoys keeping its things hidden from other pets in the house? What about a dog who consumes its treat in quiet space? These kinds of dogs frequently take pleasure in concealing their "prize" as only them could use it. Some dogs accomplish this by excavating ditches in their preferred garden location and hiding their favourite objects there. These dogs frequently regard the act of burying their favourite item as a brain-stimulating pastime. Many dogs may carry their favourite object around in their mouths while they look for the ideal digging spot in the garden. 

Building a Den

Certain dogs have an overwhelming drive to build a home, similar to how these dogs have had an established impulse to burrow. Our tamed dogs might not have to build shelters, but their wild counterparts undoubtedly did. That's also the reason why cage confinement works and where the majority of dogs choose to stay in cage. In order to shelter oneself from the weather and provide their offspring with a cosy place to seem protected, stray dogs will dig tunnels in the dirt. Due to this impulse, you might observe your dog sifting through his blanket as they settles in because this is a normal component of their comforting routine.

Wanting to flee

Some canines are compelled to roam free forever. An getaway art could choose to go underneath a barrier if they are unable to leap it over. A dog could be able to successfully escape out of its domain if it can create a tunnel that is long enough. Whether they were persistent that much in their burrowing, walls which didn´t frequently penetrate very far beneath will provide them with the ideal getaway passage. Your dog might be attempting to outrun if he is constantly burrowing at the foundation of your fences. This getaway strategy poses a particular risk to your beloved pets because they are prone to suffering a variety of negative outcomes.

How To Eliminate this Attitude

Increase the exercise: Incorporating additional activity could be sufficient to stop digging habit if it develops whenever the dog is lonely.

Pest Management: A dog finds it very difficult to overlook animals that find their entrance onto their territory. As a result, you frequently must get rid of the pests as to reduction in your dog's burrowing tendencies.

Pose challenges: You might have to start making it harder for them to burrow if you observe any digging close to the edge of your fencing. You could accomplish this by adding rocks to the fence's bottom, growing shrubs all around house's boundary, or creating some other impediment that will drive your dog back.

Cognitive Exercise: Giving your dog alternative outdoor activities is among the greatest methods to discourage them to dig. This could be achieved by engaging them in activities besides burrowing, such as chase, tussle, and other similar games.


As seen, there are a variety of motives behind why dogs engage in digging. You'll have to employ various skills and techniques to prohibit or deter the unwanted behaviour since each cause is supported by a distinct line of reasoning. You ought to be able to permanently stop this bothersome activity by using the tips provided in this article.

Dr Marvelous Ibiniyi, DVM

A pet enthusiast and young veterinarian in the making, who loves writing and giving educative information about pets especially dogs and cats. Dr Marvelous has a German Shepherd dog named Smart and likewise a Persian cat named Rolex.

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