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Digging Toys For Dogs – Can They Prevent Destructive Behavior?

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Dogs love digging. For many breeds, it is part of their natural instinct. So, what can you do when you have a dog that loves to dig? There are two options. You either teach him to stop that behavior completely. Or you find a safe way for your dog to dig. And you can do the latter by getting some digging toys for dogs.

Yes, it is time to find an alternative for your dog’s digging behavior. We will take a look at some toys, talk about this destructive behavior, and explain why dogs dig, and what can you do about it.

Why Do Dogs Love To Dig?

dog toys dig4

Dogs have several natural instincts. Digging is one of them. Among the others, you have instincts like chasing squirrels, sniffing bats, barking at strangers, and more.

There are so many reasons why dogs dig. But to prevent and solve this destructive behavior, you have to understand the core of it. It will also help you understand what type of dog toys will work for your puppy.

It Is Part Of Being A Dog

Sorry, this might not be a satisfying explanation for you. But the reality is that many dogs have natural instincts and digging is one of them. It goes back to their wolf ancestry, which drives them to dig. Back in the day, wolves dig in order to find small prey or create a comfortable spot to relax.

Trying To Hide Something

This is also a natural instinct that dates back to their time in wildlife as well. When you are out in the wild, you need to protect valuable things. So, when dogs try to protect something like a chew bone or a toy, they dig holes.

By burying their valuable things, dogs ensure that predators cannot get to them. Focus on what dog toys entertain your dog.

Boredom And Looking For Something Fun To Do

A lot of times, bad behaviors stem from boredom. If this is the case, you can easily solve the behavior. All you have to do is find something fun for your dog to do.

Boredom is a reason for so many destructive behaviors, not only digging. When your dog is bored, it will try to find something to keep him occupied and entertained, be it digging, chewing, barking, or anything else.

Breed And Genetics

Some dogs were actually bred to dig. For example, terriers were bred to hunt and kill rodents, and that included a lot of digging. Huskies and Malamutes were bred to dig dens to keep them warm during the winter.

Stress Relief

This is another valuable reason to get out and walk with your dog. Digging is a stress-relief activity for many dogs.

So, instead of waiting for your dog to accumulate stress and then start digging, take him for a walk. Do not let your dog on its own for too long.

Is Digging Actually Good For Dogs?

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As you can see, we talked about how digging can be entertaining and enriching for your puppy. Yes, digging can be fun for dogs and it is a good way for them to relieve stress. Your canine companion needs mental stimulation and physical exercise every day.

If you do not provide it, you will be faced with a digging dog.

How To Satisfy Your Dog’s Urge To Dig?

Well, now we are talking about the article’s main point, right, digging toys for dogs. There are a couple of ways to make DIY toys, for example, filling up a plastic pool with plastic balls. Then, hide a dog treat on the bottom and let your dog dig it out.

But any dog owner should get his/her hands on digging toys. Be it a squeaky toy, puzzle toy, chew toy, or any other of your dog’s favorite toy. It is your job to help your dog have fun with the toy.

At the end of the day, you might not want to deny your dog’s urge to dig. It is part of his true self. But for the sake of your garden, floors, and more, you want to redirect that attention and urge to something you can control.

Before you invest in toys that prevent digging, make sure your dog is not digging because of boredom. If your dog is bored, these toys will help, but not to a point where it is a positive experience for both of you.

What To Look For In Toys?

What are some of the best digging toys for dogs? Well, we have a couple of examples. But the more important thing to understand is what to look for in your dog’s favorite digging toy.

That fun toy should check several boxes. For starters, it should provide exercise and mental stimulation. As we said, bored dogs often resort to digging to have fun. So, an interactive dog toy will solve this problem. The idea is your dog should burn some of his energy while playing with the toy.

Another factor is stimulating the hunt. We said before that some dogs dig because they were bred to dig and hunt. That is especially true for terriers. A squeaker toy will simulate the same sounds that prey make, and it will satisfy your dog’s natural instinct.

But most importantly, the toy should be durable and safe. This is not true in most cases for a plush toy or a squeaker toy. I know Milo destroys them quickly. But some toys are quite durable. Some chew toys and interactive toys.

After all, when you pay a lot of money for a toy, you want one that will last, right?

Best toys for digging

Snuffle Mat

snuffle mat

This is the best toy you can get to use your dog’s sniffing and digging as training tools. The good old snuffle mat will completely change your life.

It is a toy that brings enrichment and will let your dog tap into nose work, digging, and many other natural instincts. If you cannot afford to buy one, you can make one at home.

Ball Pit

ball pit

I talked about this one before, right? It is another toy you can make at home. Ball is life for most dogs. And when you have a dog that would rather dig than fetch, get a plastic pool and fill it with plastic balls. Then, you only have to put your dog’s favorite treat or another toy at the bottom, and let him dig it out.

It is a doggie heaven.

i-Dig Digging Mat

i Dig Digging Mat

Digging mats are simple and ideal toys for dogs that love to dig. Most of them come in an easy setup design with a simple orientation.

You put snacks in the mat and encourage interactive fun. It is suitable for any dog, be it small dogs or large dogs. Because it is portable, you can take it on travels with you. Make sure to get one from 100% machine-washable material.

Dig Box


If you have a canine companion that wants the real deal, then get a dig box. Again, you can make it on your own. You need a sandbox or kiddie pool. Rather than letting your dog dig anywhere in the garden, put a designated spot.

Fill the sandbox or kiddie pool with some sand, and you have a spot for digging.

How And When To Use Digging Toys For Dogs?

The good news is that these toys are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. But how and when to use them? Here are some guidelines.

Outdoor Space

If you want to use digging toys outside, make sure to assign a specific digging zone for your burrowing animal companion.

Make borders to keep all the mess within the area. You do not want dirt outside of the area and inside your home, right?

Indoor Space

What about digging inside? Well, does your dog dig on the couch, in the bed, on the carpet, or anywhere in between?

Well, you can give him toys anytime, but again, I recommend creating a digging zone. There will be no dirt, but you want to create a routine.

Dogs thrive on routine, and the more you structure to their life, the better it will be for both of you. When you use a chew toy like a chew bone, make sure to read the instructions. Some of them can splinter and damage your dog’s gums. So, make sure to supervise play.

Do Some Breeds Dig More Than Others?

Yes, as we said before, some breeds were bred for digging. With that in mind, here are some breeds that you have to work on digging behavior.

Those are Jack Russell terrier, Dachshund, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Cairn Terrier, Beagle, Airedale Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, and Fox Terrier.

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