A Digging Interim

In theory, we don’t allow digging. But when I see him begin to go, and I mean really go I’m just in awe of the power in his legs and jaws and nose. Often I am struck dumb by the grace of this dog digging and I don’t stop him. Lucky for our front yard he doesn’t try to dig too often. Maybe once or twice a month and typically I fill the holes back in when he’s not looking.

I know what you're thinking- "where is his head!" It's in the hole.

As far as I can tell he thinks he smells a critter and goes after it with gusto. Tonight I had to sit down and laugh because of his antics. I had no heart to stop the fun. He dug with great heaves of sniffing, emerging with damp dirt covered snout and dust encrusted eyelids that later I had to take a seriously wet wash cloth to (it looked like he was wearing mascara). So back to the heaving. He’s sniffing and digging, and- get this – biting through roots. Literally biting them in half. Well, what he couldn’t break with his claws or pull up with his teeth. He did eventually dig down about a foot or so to unearth what seemed to be a tunnel running from the side of his hole. Mole?

Digging is hard work. Sometimes he had to lay down and sniff and snort a while before getting up and digging again.

(Also- the pics are so different in lighting b/c I could not figure the flash out. Again- camera skills = 0.)

Anyway, in lieu of hiking this weekend (it *is* a holiday after all and I had to work ): I’ll have to settle for this blog of digging interim until we can pick up with hiking. I have no doubt that if we had a fenced in back yard that Whiskey could dig his way out in no more than an hour. But I don’t know that he would dig for that reason, and that brings us to an interesting point. Why do dogs dig? There are tons of reasons. They might have a high prey drive like terriers or huskies and hear and smell things you can’t and they just want at them. Or they could be digging to get cool (also something huskies often do), to escape, to deal with anxiety, or any number of reasons. Knowing why your dog is digging will determine how you deal with the digging. Since I know my dog is digging to get to what he senses underground I am not very worried about stopping him. I would be more concerned in curtailing the habit if I thought it was out of boredom, anxiety, or attempts to escape. Each reason has its own way you can improve the situation and stop the digging.

Whiskey gnawing on some roots. Please note all the broken roots. Gives new meaning to the words root canal.

I’ve heard of other husky owners designating a part of their yard for digging and teaching their dog that this is the only place they are allowed to dig. Apparently this has been successful for many people. Maybe one day we can do that for Whiskey. But for now since he is leashed he’s easily redirected from digging so there is no reason to tell him no. Especially when it makes me laugh so hard and makes me happy to see.

After digging a foot deep hole Whiskey rightfully wears a satisfied expression, and quite a bit of dirt on his tongue and nose!

Some info on the internet about dogs and digging and you can choose to deal with it if you need help with a digger:
Pawprints and Purrs Inc.
WebMD for Pets
Dog Obedience Advice website
Dogtime

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