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Digging is an instinctive behavior in dogs. The behavior is more pronounced in some breeds such as Dachshunds and Terriers. These dog breeds dig out otters, badgers and other game animals. You dog may take to digging even if he does not fall under any of these breeds. Let us take a look at why dogs love to dig.
To stay comfortable
Your dog may dig in places that are either more warm or cool than the surroundings. For instance, your dog may dig the soil to find some relief from the scorching heat during summers. You probably want to build a place that offers good shade to your pet when he is outdoors, so he does not find the need to dig up the yard.
Dogs may resort to digging simply because they do not have anything else to do. Digging up the soil gives them a chance to pull out roots , chew them and eat dark soil. If your dog has taken to digging, you may want to build him a sand pit to dig in; it is much more hygienic as it does not have fungus and molds like soil. You can bury his toys or a couple of treats to get him interested in playing in the sand pit.
Some pet owners even come home to find that their dogs have dug holes in the yard or elsewhere. This could be due to separation anxiety. Make sure your dog has toys and other activities to divert his attention when you are not around, so he stays occupied.
If you find your dog digging by the fence, it is pretty evident that he wants to get to the other side of the fence. There could be a number of reasons for this behavior. He may be digging by the fence because he wants to play with someone on the other side, or because he feels confined in the backyard. Sometimes, dogs resort to this behavior when they spot another dog to mate with. You may want to spay/neuter your pet if you do not have plans of breeding them.
Dogs like the idea of saving treats and bones. Their ancestors buried food that was in excess to keep them out of reach of scavengers, and then comes back for it later. Domesticated dogs continue this practice even today; you may find your dog burying treats in the yard, or its favorite under a pile of clothes or the carpet. Here again, it helps to keep your pet busy, whether it is by taking him out for walks or spending more time training so he expends energy.