Dogs have been digging for centuries. They dig holes to keep cool, to find food and water, and even to hide from predators.
A dog’s instinctive need to dig can be a problem if it’s not properly channeled.
why do dogs dig on the couch and furniture?
Dogs dig for a few reasons:
Dogs need regular exercise, mental stimulation, and enrichment to keep busy and happy.
If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise or attention, she may find ways to entertain herself, like digging in your furniture or on the carpet.
They want to bury something
Dogs bury things they find that smell interesting or might be good to eat (and most of what we own falls under one of those categories).
This behavior is instinctual — dogs don’t know that they shouldn’t bury things in our house because they aren’t allowed to do it in nature.
If they don’t know what something is that they find, they may try burying it instead of bringing it to you because they’re unsure if it’s food or not.
They’re marking territory
Dogs mark their territory with scents from glands near their tails, which is why many dogs lift their tails when marking a spot or object with urine or feces.
Dogs like to dig because they get cold, so they dig a hole to create a warmer space for themselves.
This is especially true in cooler climates where the temperature can drop well below freezing in the winter months.
In these types of situations, dogs will often dig under objects such as beds and couches, which offer them protection from the cold air outside.
It feels good
Dogs also like to dig because it feels good on their paws.
Their claws get worn down over time and digging helps them trim them back down to size! It also gives them an opportunity to exercise their muscles and stretch out those paws after being inside all day long.
If your dog has access to dirt or sand outside, they may also enjoy digging in those areas as well (just make sure they don’t ingest too much sand!).
What are the ways to curb your dog’s digging habits?
Here are some tips on how to curb your dog’s digging habits:
- Reward good behavior with treats. If your dog digs in one spot and then moves on to another, give him a treat when he stops digging at the new spot.
- Provide plenty of exercises, mental stimulation, and social interaction for your dog. Dogs that are bored often dig as a form of entertainment or boredom relief.
- Use an electronic collar or citronella spray collar if necessary. These tools can be effective tools for discouraging bad behaviors but should only be used by experienced owners who know how to use them properly.
It’s a wonder that so many dogs still love to dig even when we try to discourage them.
The answer is that digging doesn’t cause any real harm, and in many cases can actually be beneficial to a dog’s overall health.
It also releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, which explains why dogs love to do it.
All we can do is teach them how and where to dig and accept their desire to do so as a natural instinct.