If you own a pug, then you’ve probably witnessed occasional bouts of digging and may have wondered “why do Pugs dig?” Well, they could be doing it in the dirt, in the carpet, or in their own beds! Whether they are actually creating a hole or not, many pugs seem to go nuts for this strange and amusing behavior.
Why Do Pugs Dig
Dogs in the wild need to dig holes to survive for reasons like sleeping, hiding, or sheltering from extremely hot or cold weather. The impulse to dig is just one of several wild instincts that remain in domesticated dog’s today.
This instinct isn’t limited to pugs. Digging behavior can be seen from a wide variety of breeds, all thanks to the ancestral dogs of yore. The behavior was important for their survival, so it’s no wonder that most domestic dogs have retained the urge to dig.
Our indoor pets may not have to build an underground den-like their wilder counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they’re digging without purpose. If your pug loves digging as much as mine, here are some possible reasons why.
He’s Marking His Territory
All dogs have scent glands in their feet and digging deposits the dog’s scent in the environment. Considering this, your dog might be digging to claim ownership of his favorite spots, like the couch or the back lawn.
He’s Making His Bed
Like humans fluffing their pillow at bedtime, some dogs like to have their bed just so before curling up to sleep. They may dig around their blanket in search of a cooler or warmer spot, or they might be fluffing up their nest.
He’s Too Hot or Cold
Our pugs can’t adjust the thermostat like us, so their only option is to dig a hole. To seek relief from a warm day or a chilly breeze, many dogs will burrow into blankets or the dirt outside.
He’s Investigating Something
With their superior hearing and sense of smell, pugs can notice things that humans can’t. If your pug starts digging in the couch, he might be smelling forgotten crumbs under the cushions or hearing a strange squeak from old springs. Whatever it is, pugs are constantly curious, and sometimes they just can’t help digging to get to the root of what’s going on.
He’s Trying to Hide His Stuff
Just like the classic image of a dog burying his bone, some dogs feel an urge to hide their favorite treats and toys. Your pug could be digging to stash his things in an effort to keep them safe for a later visit. If you’ve ever found a random rawhide chew or well-loved toy in your couch cushions, this is why.
Some dogs dig in an effort to catch burrowing insects or animals that may be living in your back yard. If this is the case, you’ll notice the digging is focused in one area, rather than a bunch of holes everywhere in your yard.
You’ll most likely see the digging at the roots of trees or shrubs in your yard.
Some dogs dig just because they enjoy it, and there’s a strong evolutionary benefit to this type of enjoyment. When the digging mood strikes, the primitive part of a dog’s brain urges her to practice an important skill. Once that itch emerges, the only way to scratch it is to dig!
If you suspect your female pug of being pregnant, one of the first signs to look out for is frequent digging. Wild dogs dig to create warm, safe dens for their pups. Thanks to hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy, your pug’s instincts may spur her to dig more often and in more places.
I’ve put together an article of signs to look for when you suspect that your Pug is pregnant.
Should I Worry About My Pug Digging Too Much?
Digging is natural in all dogs. Therefore, it’s normally a harmless behavior. Most pug owners shouldn’t have to worry if their pug seems to enjoy digging a little too much.
You should only be worried if your pug’s fun hobby becomes destructive. It’s not cute or funny if your pug’s digging so much, he’s tearing up your furniture and yard. Luckily, you can train out digging just like any other unwanted behavior—as long as you have patience.
How to Stop Destructive Digging
First and foremost, ensure your pug isn’t digging out of boredom. Try adding more exercise to the daily routine or introducing more toys. If that fixes the problem, then you know your pug is a smartie who gets bored easily.
Outdoor digging could be your dog’s way of trying to stay cool. Ensure your pug has access to shade and water when he’s outside, which should eliminate his need to dig away from the day’s warmth.
Getting your Pug to stop digging may be a simple as telling her to stop. You don’t want to hurt your Pug’s feelings by yelling or rubbing her nose in the hole. Instead, keep telling her “no” and you may even want to consider using a handclap, or an air horn to get them to stop digging. Then praise them when she stops digging or give her a toy or treat to replace the unwanted behavior.
If the digging persists, use a combination of deterrents and distractions to redirect your pug’s attention. Block off unwanted areas in the house or yard where your pug’s been known to dig. Outdoor fencing, baby gates, and other tall barriers make great pug deterrents.
At the same time, give your pug a designated digging spot, like a sandbox or a pile of old blankets, where he can indulge his habit without guilt. For even faster results, hide his favorite treats and toys to encourage her to dig in these spots. The goal is to make it appealing and fun to dig in that spot in particular rather than someplace else.
Final Word On Pugs And Digging
Your pup has no clue they are doing something you don’t like. It’s up to you to train your pooch about what’s right or wrong.
It will take some time, but before you know it your pup will stop that destructive behavior and you won’t find holes in your backyard.
References And Further Reading
Petfinder – How to Stop a Dog from Digging