The hole truth. Let dogs dig.

Monday, November 15th, 2010 | Blog

There are two schools of thought regarding dogs digging. One is to discourage the behavior entirely, and the other is the acceptance that many dogs find absolute delight in digging and find ways to encourage that joy. I am fully entrenched in the belief that if digging is a joy for your dog, let them dig.

When we had our Irish Wolfhounds we ordered a dump truck load of sand to be delivered. When we told the driver that we wanted the sand in the backyard for our dogs, he just shook his head. We were living in a rural town at the time in an area where it wasn’t uncommon, but still heartbreaking, to see dogs riding precariously in the back of pickup trucks. Paying for a delivery of sand for dogs to dig in was beyond his comprehension.

The dogs loved it. They played King and Queen of the hill for months, and it is a happy memory.

Diamond is more an excavator than a digger. She puts her entire body into the dig. Sometimes both front legs are simultaneously tossing dirt in all directions. She rolls and even digs on her side. So much happiness from a bit of dirt.

If only life were that uncomplicated for us, but perhaps there is a lesson that we can take away. The little things can make us ecstatic if we would only allow them. Dirt may not be that thing, but a sunrise, an unexpected connection to an old or new friend, or a loving lick from your dog. All of that can bring pleasure if we are open to it.

A compromise can easily be made in regard to digging. There are a lot of articles that discuss making a designated dig place, usually three or four feet square, loosening the dirt and even adding sand and toys to be discovered. Diamond must have read this information because, on her own, she devoted a space about that size in the shade of the backyard. When she is done, often she can fit her entire 50 pound body in her hole. It really makes her tail-wagging happy when she sees the shovel and I fill it back in.

And the cycle starts all over.


"Keep digging until you find what you want."
— Diamond —

One Response to “The hole truth. Let dogs dig.”

  1. John Says:

    November 15th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Great article on the whole truth.

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