Ever wonder why, when you give your dog a new rawhide, he chews on it for two seconds before finding a place to dig and hide it? What gives!? Turns out this behavior is a hardwired survival mechanism left over from your puppy's earliest ancestors who buried food for later so they could return and reap the benefits when they needed it most. Even when a pup's trying to "bury" the rawhide in the sofa cushions or laundry basket, in his canine mind, it's still digging.
Dogs love to dig for fun, but also for necessity. There are few things more rewarding for a dog than digging - they could uncover a mole, dig out the perfect sleeping spot, find an ideal hiding location, dig up something they had forgotten about, or even nibble on a soil-soaked worm. The possibilities are endless, which is exactly why they love to dig.
Ever owned a dog that didn't dig much when they were younger, but suddenly in their old age they adopted the habit with fervor? Why is that? What about dogs that have normal digging habits up until their owners leave the house, then they dig like crazy? Read on to discover the answers for why dogs love digging holes, and what drives them to dig in the first place.
To bury their food and treasures.
What better way to hide the newest rawhide than to dig a hole and bury it? According to dog logic, burying toys, treats, and even prey is preferable so they can come back to it later. It's a trait thought to be essential to the survival of the species. So the next time Sparky "buries" something in the sofa cushions, remember that's how Sparky's great (x1000) grandfather was able to survive.
To make a comfortable bed.
Dogs often dig holes as a way to find a more comfortable place to sleep, making themselves cozy little beds for napping. They could be seeking somewhere cooler, such as underneath the shade, or even somewhere a bit warmer if the weather is chilly.
To have fun.
Dogs can dig simply for pure entertainment purposes. Some can even develop a habit and enjoy digging for digging's sake. Certain breeds are more prone to this than others, but it can become an issue if digging is what the dog turns to as its method of coping with stressful events and your yard can't take the extra holes.
Most breeds of dogs are hardwired to hunt for ground-dwelling animals that like to burrow, including moles and gophers. Once on the trail of one of these creatures, a dog will dig furiously in an attempt to catch their prey.