Dogs dig the carpet! It’s one of the weirdest things about our beloved pets, but it’s also one of the most common and the most difficult to train away. Luckily, science has finally discovered why man’s best friend loves to dig so much and has also found ways to get dogs to stop digging the carpet.
Reasons That Dogs Dig the Carpet
Cleaning up after your dog, especially if it’s a high-energy breed like a retriever or collie, isn’t always easy. But is your pup just bored and trying to stretch his muscles—or is he hiding something? Here are some reasons why your dog may be digging in the carpet:
1. One of Your Dog’s Instincts Is to Dig
Dogs have strong instincts that compel them to dig for different reasons. Some breeds, like terriers, were bred to chase and kill small animals, so they need an outlet for their energy and a way to release pent-up frustration.
Others are digging because it’s a natural behavior in their breed—like retrievers who love to bury things to retrieve them later. And still, others may be trying to create a den or make themselves feel safe by burrowing into your carpeting or soft bedding materials.
2. Your Dog Is Trying to Cool Down
Dogs can’t sweat like humans, so they have to find other ways to cool down when they get overheated or overexcited. One way is to lie on a cold surface—like your tile floor or even your nice, soft carpeting—which will help them cool down much faster than if they were standing on a warm surface.
So if you see your dog digging in an area that has been exposed to air conditioning or a fan, he may be trying to make himself feel cooler.
3. Your Dog Is Digging for Attention
Dogs are social animals who crave attention from their owners, and some breeds are more prone to attention-seeking behavior than others. If your dog is digging because he wants your attention, try to ignore him at first so he can learn that digging doesn’t get him what he wants.
You can also give him something else to do—like a chew toy or his favorite treat—to keep him busy while you’re not able to play with him.
4. Your Dog Is Following an Enticing Smell
Dogs are constantly sniffing for familiar scents and new ones, which may lead them to start digging in a corner of your carpet. If you’ve recently added something new to your home—like furniture or flowers—your dog might be trying to figure out what it is by getting a closer look at it with his nose.
If he starts digging at that spot, try moving him away from it so he doesn’t get curious and end up ingesting anything potentially dangerous or toxic.
5. Your dog is excited or anxious
Often, emotions like excitement or anxiety may carry away your dog, making him display some weird behavior like digging the carpet. If you think that’s what’s happening with your pup, try to identify his triggers and help him learn how to cope with them more positively.
How to Prevent Dog From Digging Carpet?
The first thing to do is to become more aware of your dog’s behavior. Observe and learn about what triggers your dog’s tendency to dig and develop a plan for dealing with it. A few basic steps may be enough to solve your problem. For example:
1. Put a barrier in front of an area where your dog likes to dig
2. Distract him by playing games with him or giving him treats when he digs.
3. Use a dog crate as a place to confine your dog when you’re not home. The crate should be big enough for him to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably, but no bigger. If he can move around too much in his crate, he may begin to view it as a playpen rather than a form of confinement.
4. Set up an area where your dog can get some exercise without being able to dig or otherwise make a mess.
In a nutshell, the tendency of your dog to dig the carpet may be driven by various circumstances. The best thing would be to research the exact reason for the behavior so that you can come up with the most appropriate solution to stopping it.