Best Games for Dogs that Love to Dig

best games for dogs that love to dig
best games for dogs that love to dig

If it’s one things so many dogs love, it’s to dig! Luckily, there are a number of ways to let your dog enjoy all the benefits of digging, without completely ruining your lawn. Games are one of the best ways to redirect their digging efforts. So keep reading for our best games for dogs who love to dig! 

While some are more prone to this behaviour than others, most dogs have this instinct. Digging is a normal behaviour for dogs, although they can do so for a number of reasons. However, this can unfortunately mean an unruly state for your lawn! If this sounds familiar to you, then you likely have a dog who simply loves to dig on your hands. Understanding which breeds are prone to digging can also help you to prepare for them digging in the future. This may also help to save your lawn in advance by using these helpful tricks!

Which are the Dogs that Love to Dig?

Many dog breeds love to dig. But the reason for them doing so can be extremely different between breeds. Knowing the reasons for different breeds digging can help to predict if your dog will be a digger when you get it and also the best ways to save your garden! These are the most common reasons for digging and which breeds are the biggest diggers:

To cool down:

Some big dogs dig during the summer to make a comfortable, cool place to lounge outside. Digging a little pit for themselves leaves them with much cooler soil to lie in and is a natural instinct for dogs when they get too warm! You’ll often see them digging before circling in the pit and lying down, especially in summer. Breeds that most commonly do this are large dogs with thick fur such as Huskies, Chow Chows and Malamutes to name a few.


These are one of the most obvious groups of dogs who love to dig. They were often bred specifically to follow prey beneath ground. These typically small dogs such as terriers and Dachshunds were bred to tunnel beneath the ground to find small game. Either digging them out or burrowing, these dogs were used to find moles, rabbits and other small mammals. Because of their history, these breeds tend to have a natural digging instinct!

Scent dogs:

These dogs were bred specifically to follow prey beneath ground. These typically small dogs such as terriers and Dachshunds were bred to tunnel beneath the ground to find small game. Either digging them out or burrowing, these dogs were used to find moles, rabbits and other small mammals. Because of their history, these breeds tend to have a natural digging instinct!

games for dogs that love to dig

Outdoor Digging Pits

With some dogs, no matter what you do, they’ll use any opportunity to dig. The key here is to redirect their digging efforts in a way that doesn’t ruin you lawn! This way they still get all the joy of digging and after all, it’s so much fun for them!

Outdoors you can do this in a few ways. One option is to invest is a digging sand pit specifically designed for dogs. You can bury treats or toys in these and let them dig to their hearts content without them digging up any parts of your actual lawn.

Another cheaper alternative is designating an area in your garden just for your pup to dig! This is for people who don’t mind having an area just for your dog which is likely to look more scruffy but is guaranteed to be great fun for your dog! 

For this one, choose an area where there are no hazards or anything which could hurt your dog in the soil when they play. Create a visual boundary for your dog so they know where they are allowed to dig. This could simply be the edge of your lawn or something similar. Make the soil soft for them by turning it over. 

Next, bury treats or toys under the soil while they watch and let them loose! When they dig in the right area, reward them with lots of praise or a treat! After a few practices of this, your dog should know that this area is just for them!

Indoor Digging Mats

If you’ve ever seen your dog scratching at mats and bedding inside, then you may want to give them a designated scratching mat! Digging at indoor furnishings, often before settling down can, to them, claim it as their own.

If this sounds familiar, try give them their very own blanket to dig at to save the rest of your furniture! To introduce this, get an old blanket and show it to them. Place it in their favourite spot to sleep and pretend to scratch at it yourself, mimicking them digging. This will show them that this blanket is one to be scratched! Let them take the lead and soon they will hopefully directing all of their digging efforts onto their very own blanket!

Another option for dogs that were historically bred to find small animals are sniffing dog mats. These are designed for indoors and can deter them from digging outside if they know there will be a treat waiting for them inside! Treats can be buried and hid in these mats, giving your dog the challenge of snuffling and digging them out. This isn’t only a great way to keep them entertained, but are a great idea for curbing their digging needs!


best games for dogs that like to dig

A trip to a digging friendly place!

Natural places to dig will always be one of your dog’s favourites. And where better than a trip to their very own huge sandpit! Days or walks at the beach are the perfect way to let your dog dig to their hearts content. They’re guaranteed to have an amazing time while giving you a break at the beach to enjoy too! 

You can even take strong smelling treats or toys to bury for them in the find. They will love uncovering their favourite treasure out in the big wide world. Being outdoors and exploring new places makes this a popular activity for dogs that love to dig.

games for dogs that love to dig

Combat their Boredom!

A common cause of digging can be put down to a common culprit- boredom. Dogs get bored just like humans do and digging may be one way that they choose to amuse themselves. The downside of this is that it likely tear up your well kept flower beds and grass!

Dogs with high levels of intelligence or simply bundles of energy include Collies and lots of terrier breeds but there are many more. These dogs in particular need a lot of mental stimulation to keep them happy and are very prone to boredom. This can quickly turn to them digging up your garden to entertain themselves!

Luckily, there are lots of toys and games to keep them engaged for a long time to combat this boredom. Puzzle toys as well as the traditional treat dispensing toys are quickly becoming favourites for intelligent dogs. This keeps them busy by offering a tasty treat if they manage to work out the puzzle. Games like these often have difficulty settings so you can change it if your pup is finding it too easy!


Final Thoughts

Digging is a completely natural and fun activity that so many dogs love. And whatever their reason for doing this, there is no reason they can’t still dig while not completely wrecking your lawn. 

If your dog is an enthusiastic digger, why not try these handy tips for games to redirect their digging energy!

Also, don’t forget to check out our games for dogs with a high prey drive and games for two dogs. If you have to leave your dog at home when you go out, try our tips for how to keep your dog entertained when you’re not home!

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