It comes with the territory that our fur friends can sometimes pick up annoying habits, from overzealous kisses to wanting to greet every other dog on daily walks, but digging is one activity that can be down to several reasons. Here we look at the potential causes that give your pooch a penchant for delving in the dirt.
It’s in their nature
The most obvious cause may be as simple as your dog being intuitively inclined to dig. With close ancestral links to wolves, it comes as no surprise that they may be keen on getting their paws dirty. This is understandable and can sometimes be allowed to an extent, it’s only when your pet is in danger of burrowing deep holes or is regularly ruining your flower beds that it should be addressed. Keeping a close eye on them when they’re likely to start pawing will ensure they can be firmly warned and taught respectful behaviour when it comes to creating mud art. It should be noted as well that some dogs were historically bred with such behavioural traits, particularly smaller dogs such as terriers and dachshunds, who were actively encouraged to seek prey. Again, keeping a watchful eye and instilling good behaviour from puppyhood can be helpful in addressing these issues.
I’m saving it for later
Dogs are clever creatures, and with this comes their tendency to keep things for later, particularly treasure-worthy possessions like bones and toys. This can be a perfectly normal part of being a dog, but it can be helpful to pet parents to be mindful of what your dog is hiding. In some instances, if a dog is hiding food for later, it can be a case of them being overfed, and so should be monitored in accordance with their diet. Be mindful that this is sometimes a cause, and so isn’t necessarily a reason to reduce how much you feed your pet. Always take veterinary advice on portion control and check the label of their main meal for guidance on how often and how much they should be eating.
A form of relief
Constant and furtive digging can indicate that your dog may be trying to work through certain emotions, from loneliness and stress to boredom. It can sometimes be the case that your pet isn’t as physically or mentally stimulated as they need to be, and so let off some steam by exerting energy with a good dig. An easy way to counteract this is to ensure they’re properly equipped with toys that entertain them and, if possible, are able to interact with other dogs for companionship and an opportunity to play. Every animal is unique and has their own behavioural functions, so this isn’t the case for every dog, but it can be a good factor to consider when eliminating reasons for digging.
One of a kind
Each dog has their own personality and personal quirks, so while these reasons may strike a chord with some pooches, bear in mind that your own personal furry may just enjoy digging for the thrill of it. Any change in their routine, from diet to discipline, should be discussed with a professional for peace of mind.