Wie Maulwürfe: Warum graben Hunde Löcher im Garten?

Temporary mole? 7 reasons why dogs dig holes in the garden

Temporary mole? 7 reasons why dogs dig holes in the garden

Temporary mole?

7 reasons why dogs dig holes in the garden

What are the reasons why your dog suddenly starts digging up your garden? We took a closer look...

Dog digs hole

Has your dog suddenly started digging holes and your garden looks like a whole herd of moles have run wild?

In this case, there are actually a few reasons that could explain this strange dog behavior .

Even if this behavior is a lot of fun for your furry friend, it can have serious consequences . Digging not only visually destroys your garden idyll, but it can also offer your beloved four-legged friend an escape route.

So why is your dog suddenly digging holes and how can you prevent it?

You may be surprised, but there are various reasons why your four-legged friend digs up your garden. All are behavioral, which means you should break your four-legged friend of this annoying habit .

In this article, we'll look at 7 reasons why dogs suddenly start digging holes. You'll also learn how to put an end to this annoying behavior.

Now let's explore the secrets of dog digging:

Understand your dog's digging behavior

Before we get into the reasons why your dog digs, it's important to understand the cause of this behavior. The desire to dig is hardwired into a dog's DNA and is as natural a behavior as howling or barking. This instinctive behavior is normal for our dogs. Many dogs have historically been bred specifically for their digging abilities.

When you realize that digging is a part of many dogs' behavior, you can understand why this behavior requires special attention to stop. But just because it's an instinctive behavior doesn't mean we should just let the dog do it. There are a few successful methods to stop the behavior once and for all.

Now that you know how natural digging is for your dog, let's understand why your four-legged friend digs.

Why your dog started digging

A digging four-legged friend can be quite annoying. Whether he's destroying your yard or planning his escape, digging can cause a lot of frustration for people. So that you can better understand the digging four-legged friend in your life, we would like to discuss the main causes of this behavior below:

1. It's in your dog's genes

As we mentioned, digging is ingrained in your dog's DNA. Although this drive is present in some form in all dogs, the need to dig is more pronounced in some breeds than others. Some dog breeds were bred specifically for their hunting and digging skills, as they were - and still are - experts at driving small animals from their underground burrows.

Humans have largely contributed to dogs' attraction to digging holes. The targeted breeding of four-legged friends who were particularly good at digging resulted in true digging professionals.

That's why the urge to dig is still present in many breeds today. Breeds that love to dig include Jack Russell Terriers, Dachshunds, Siberian Huskies, Beagles, and many more.

2. Your dog is looking for prey

Dog caught prey

Even though our dogs no longer have to work for their food, they still enjoy hunting for potential prey. Animals, such as small mammals, can find their way onto your property and stimulate the dog's prey instinct.

But it's not just a wild animal that can tempt your dog to dig, a certain smell can also tempt him to do so. Animal feces and odor residue can stimulate your dog's prey instinct and cause him to dig excessively in a certain area of ​​your yard.

If you notice an increase in wildlife or animal droppings in your yard, this may be the cause of your dog's sudden digging. Your four-legged friend may also dig excessively near trees, rocks, and other notorious animal hideouts.

3. Your dog relieves stress

Do you have a favorite activity that you do to unwind when you are particularly stressed? Our dogs also have hobbies that they enjoy and that they fall back on when they are anxious, stressed, insecure or overwhelmed.

Many dogs resort to certain behaviors to relieve stress and anxiety. Digging in the garden can be fun for many dogs and also offers them an outlet to relieve stress.

Dogs can experience stress due to various situations. When left alone for long periods of time, a dog may find alternative activities, such as digging or destroying things. Other factors, such as too little exercise, bringing a new dog into the home and much more, can lead to increased stress levels and promote undesirable behavior. If your dog's digging started after a potentially stressful event, this could be the reason for the sudden digging.

4. Your dog is bored

bored dog

Many dogs can be prone to destructive behavior when they are bored. A dog with pent-up energy looks for a fun distraction to keep himself busy, and in many cases that distraction can be sudden digging.

Our dogs rely on mental and physical stimulation every day to stay happy. If these needs are not met, they can become stressed. When their energy levels are overflowing and they're frustrated, your garden can become an outlet for their stress.

Let's say your dog doesn't get the recommended amount of daily exercise for his breed. In this case, it can be destructive in many ways. If your hyperactive four-legged friend digs at every opportunity, it might be time to increase his mental and physical stimulation.

5. Your dog hides his treasures

Do you have a dog that likes to hide his toys from other animals? Or do you have a dog who takes his treats into another room to eat in peace? Such dogs often like to hide their "treasures" in a safe place so that they are the only ones who can enjoy them.

Some dogs do this by digging holes in their favorite spot in the yard and burying their favorite toy or chewing bone. For these four-legged friends, hiding their favorite toy is a game that stimulates their brain.

6. Your dog is digging a den

Just as some dogs have an innate need to dig, some dogs feel an overwhelming urge to build a den. Our four-legged friends don't need shelter, but their wild ancestors do. This is also the reason why crate training (based on positive reinforcement) is so practical: most dogs prefer a cave to sleep in. Here they have peace and quiet and feel safe.

If you notice your four-legged friend digging a hole in your yard to lie down and rest, he may be trying to create a safe den for himself. But it could also be that he wants to cool himself down on a hot summer day because the ground beneath the grass is cool.

If you suspect that your dog is digging because he wants to cool down, always provide enough cool water, set up a dog pool and offer him a cooling mat.

7. Your dog wants to escape

Some dogs have an insatiable need for freedom and constantly want to explore new places. If your dog digs a deep enough hole, there is a chance that he could successfully escape from your yard. Fences often don't go deep enough underground, so they provide the perfect escape route if your dog digs hard enough.

If your dog is always digging at the base of your fence, he's probably making a plan to escape. This attempt to escape can be dangerous for your dog because he could get injured or get lost forever if he explores the world on his own.

Therefore, design the fence around your garden so that your dog cannot dig a hole underneath it. It is also advisable to train this behavior.

The risks of digging

Digging may be a normal behavior for our dogs, but that doesn't mean it's without risk. Digging poses some serious dangers for your dog, which is why it's important to limit this behavior as much as possible. There are the following dangers of digging:

  • Uproot from your garden
  • Broken claws due to trauma
  • Damage to the garden
  • Increased risk of tripping due to previously dug holes

How to stop digging behavior:

So that you can protect your garden from countless holes, we will now show you the best methods to stop your dog from them:

  • Give your dog more exercise

If the dog starts digging out of boredom, additional exercise may be useful to stop the behavior. If you exercise your dog a little more every day, he will no longer feel the need to behave destructively.

  • Pest control

It's hard for a dog with a strong prey instinct to ignore animals that find their way into your yard. That's why you have to try to keep strange animals out of your garden so that your dog's digging activity decreases. Just make sure that the pest control is safe for your four-legged friend!

  • Offer him shelter

If your dog likes to dig and build dens, it may be beneficial to offer him a sheltered spot in your yard. For example, you can place a cozy dog ​​house where your dog usually digs, giving him a safe place to call his own.

  • Create obstacles

If you notice that your dog is digging near your fence, you need to make it harder for him to dig in that area. You can do this by placing rocks on the fence, planting bushes around the yard, or setting up other obstacles that can stop your four-legged friend from digging.

  • Mental stimulation

One of the best ways to stop your dog from digging is to keep him busy when he's outside. You can do this by, for example, teaching him to retrieve things, hiding a dummy for him to look for, or finding other activities that your dog enjoys that keep him mentally stimulated.

  • Train your dog

Work with your dog on this problem. It may be hard to believe, but with the right training you can do it. For example, if you teach your dog a stop signal , he will stop digging when you ask him to. Once you've told your dog to stop digging, you should reward him - for example with a fun game.

  • Give your dog attention

Can you imagine being locked in a garden all day with nothing to do? You would go crazy. Instead of leaving your dog to fend for himself in the garden for hours, you should keep him busy. Varied walks, hikes or even dog sports such as mantrailing, agility and the like can work real wonders.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many reasons why our dogs dig. Since all behavior has a reason, you must use appropriate training methods to stop or prevent the behavior. The best way to do this is to use positive reinforcement and teach your dog an alternative behavior that he can show instead of digging. Another option would be to offer your dog an area of ​​the garden where he can dig to his heart's content. Of course, you should first find out why your dog digs so intensively. If there is not enough mental and physical stimulation, you need to take measures to keep your dog busy.