Why do huskies love digging so much? It’s a great question and one I receive much more than I thought I would! This article explains the behavior and what you can do to stop it (if you want to).
Reasons why huskies like digging so much:
- It reduces boredom
- It’s entertaining & fun
- It’s part of their natural instincts
- They are trying to escape
- They are burying or hiding toys or food
- They are searching for a cool spot to lay
I will cover all of these in complete detail below.
Why Do Huskies Like To Dig?
Understanding why your husky digs holes will give you a better chance of stopping it in the first place. Your husky can be digging holes for different reasons, each of which will require a different approach.
It’s likely that your husky is digging holes due to at least one of these reasons:
1) Not receiving enough exercise or play.
Huskies need a lot of stimulation, they’re a high-energy breed that needs intensive exercise. Huskies are often regarded as the ultra-marathon runners of the dog world. This says a lot about their energy!
Without this exercise, it’s almost guaranteed that your Husky will be understimulated. Over time, this will build up and your Husky will likely resort to some kind of destructive behavior. In this case, digging.
2) Searching for a cooler spot to lay.
Do you live in a hot country, or are your summers hot? If so, this is quite likely to happen if you leave your Husky out in your yard.
It’s easy to stop him if you’re there, but there will be many times you venture back inside, only to come back out and see him underground!
This is commonly seen with all breeds and isn’t just a Husky thing. If a dog is too hot, they will seek all the ways they can to cool themselves down.
3) Natural instincts
Have you ever seen a Husky try to catch an animal buried under the snow? it’s quite fascinating to watch, despite them rarely ever succeeding!
Anyway, his natural hunting instincts come in to play and if your Husky can smell or even hear something underground, he’ll definitely go for it. If this means digging, that’s not a problem for him.
This can also include him burying things from food, treats, bones, and even toys.
This again comes from his natural instincts. The act of burying is often seen in the wild as a way to prevent other animals from taking food.
By burying it, it’s much harder for other animals to find, and whoever buried it, will always know where it is.
4) Trying to escape
Huskies are escape artists. They are the Harry Houdini of the dog world.
If your Husky hears, smells, or sees something beyond your fence, it’s likely he will try to jump over to investigate.
Hopefully, your fences are over 6ft so this likely won’t happen, but your Husky won’t stop there.
Huskies are cunning, and if flying isn’t an option, he will think like a rabbit, and dig his way out, or at least try.
Don’t underestimate your Husky’s ability to escape. It sounds bizarre but Huskies do really dig under fences, even with their medium to large size.
How To Stop Husky Digging Holes | Quick and Easy Method
1) More Exercise
A well-exercised husky is a happy husky. It’s very cliche to say and you’ve probably heard it all before, but exercise really is so crucial to any Siberian husky.
Due to their history of being a working dog in Siberia, huskies have a lot of energy and need high-intensity exercise to be stimulated. Huskies would pull sleds across the snow for miles in arctic conditions.
They crave this kind of exercise and if they don’t receive it, their energy will likely get channeled elsewhere… like your lawn.
Ideally, you should be exercising your husky twice a day, for at least 1 hour each time. This should be running, hiking, agility training or throwing their favorite ball in the park.
You will notice a big positive difference in his temperament if you increase his daily exercise.
Always remember that a well-exercised husky is a happy husky. You may find our post about exercising your husky particularly useful!
2) Supervise Your Husky In Your Yard
Limit the time your husky spends in your yard when you aren’t. If you are there to intervein, you can start training him that digging is not allowed.
A simple but effective way of training would be to intervein when he starts to dig.
Be firm, loud and assertive and say NO. Distract him away from digging with a toy (and the location), and then if he stops digging, reward him with a treat.
Huskies learn the best through repetition, so with patience and a lot of intervening, you can train your husky to refrain from digging.
This can definitely work, but will likely take longer than the other methods.
3) Create a Dedicated Digging Zone
This is extremely effective and is likely the best way to tackle the problem. This method is favored by many famous dog trainers all over the world.
If you have the extra space in your yard, create a small section that you allow your husky to dig holes in if he wants to. Just make sure this section is away from fences that he could bury under.
Tell them “NO” when he tries to dig somewhere else, and physically take him to his designated spot.
You can encourage him to dig in the correct area by burying one of his bones or toys in the spot.
He’ll pick up on the scent and of course, start digging. Whenever he tries digging elsewhere, you need to inform him it’s wrong, guide him back to his area to dig in that spot specifically.
If he remains focused there, it’s ok to go ahead and praise him.
4) Use Natural Dog Repellents In Previous Holes
There are many things that your husky will not like the smell of. You can use things like lemon peels, vinegar, coffee ground, spices, and even his own poop works. This generally works for all breeds. source
When your husky digs a moon crater for you, try out some of these repellents in the hole and fill it back up. The smell will come through the ground enough for your husky to smell but not you and will deter him to dig there again.
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Is Your Husky Trying to Escape?
Something else to consider is if your husky is trying to escape. More than likely, large holes will be dug right next to your fence panel if this is the case.
Huskies are escape artists. They’ll climb, jump or dig their way out from anywhere for many different reasons.
If this is the case you should act immediately and keep your husky indoors, until you husky-proof your yard.
So, how do I stop my husky escaping under the fence? The best way is to use a section of a metal cage, which you push deep into the ground running alongside and up against your fence panel. This quick video demonstrates it perfectly. source
One Important Tip to Remember
When it comes to any kind of behavior issue, some form of training will always play a part in resolving it. It’s important to remember that whenever training a Husky, it should be positive reinforcement-based training only.
This type of training means you reward him when he gets it right, and if he gets it wrong, you guide him in the correct direction. Positive reinforcement involved no reprimanding.
Your Husky will learn so much quicker when you guide him away from where he’s digging, take him to his special dig zone, encourage him to dig, and then reward him when he does so. Repeat this all the time and your Husky will build the association very fast.
This is great because you’re not actually stopping your Husky dig, you’re allowing him to, but only in a certain area.
These kinds of compromises are the best way for Huskies to learn, and to be honest, it’s not that much of a compromise! Your Husky will be having the time of his life!
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding as to why your Husky is digging holes, and what you can do to help him stop, or at least change location!
If you have experience with your husky always digging holes, comment below and give us your tips!
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