Do Pit Bulls Dig? 5 Reasons Why Pit Bulls Dig and How to Stop Them

Do you have a Pit Bull and a yard? Then, you probably often wake up to find that your yard looks like Swiss Cheese. This kind of behavior can be frustrating for many owners, which causes them to wonder about the reason behind it.

Do Pit Bulls Dig? Pit Bulls dig for many reasons, like instincts or to find comfort, for entertainment, or even to regulate their body temperature. However, you don’t need to worry; once you determine the reason they’re digging, there are many things you can do to help limit this behavior.

Keep reading to learn more about why Pit Bulls dig and how to stop them.

Do Pit Bulls Dig?

a photo of a pit bull in a hole to sho that pit bulls do dig

As a dog owner, you know that taking care of your dog requires you to understand their behavior inside out. Digging is one behavior that is not commonly related to severe health issues for your dog; however, it might be annoying and hard for you to bear.

You might be sleeping peacefully and then wake up the next morning to find your beloved best friend covered in dirt, with a dug-out animal in its mouth, or even to find your backyard filled with holes.

Pit Bulls are energetic and love to explore, so they tend to have an affinity for digging. I have another article about why Pit Bulls like to dig that you can check out here.

Why Do Pit Bulls Dig?

The first step is knowing the reason behind their behavior, whether you have a lovely backyard you want to protect or are unsure of what to do when your otherwise harmless dog acts out at the sight of a diggable ground.

It would be best if you first determined the root of the problem in order to control their behavior or redirect it. So, let’s take a look at the main reasons why Pit Bulls dig:

Their Instincts

To us, digging holes might be a bothersome behavior a dog could have, but the American Kennel Club (AKC) claims that digging is a dog instinct that has been passed down the generations from their grey wolf ancestors.

Additionally, grey wolves would dig tunnels or other types of natural dens to warm themselves and protect their pups from outside dangers. So, it shouldn’t really be surprising that your dog instinctively likes to dig and hide in holes.

There are even some breeds that are more prone to be digging machines than others, and Pit Bulls are not even close to the top of the list.

To Regulate Their Body Temperature

Even if you’re a summer lover, you’re still aware of the way your clothes are sticking to your body from sweating buckets and making you uncomfortable. Dogs feel the same way even if you try your best to shower them with cool water and provide them shade.

Unfortunately, dogs don’t have the sweat glands to help them sweat as much as humans do. They have some sweat glands in their paws, but it’s not enough to help with the problem, so the summer season is incredibly hard for them. 

Their own way of dealing with it includes sticking out their tongue or, yes, you said it, sitting in a hole. If you pay attention, you will find that your dog is more likely to dig holes after a walk in hot weather.

That is to not say that they only dig in summer; they also may dig in winter if it snows or rain. Dogs try to keep their body warm and insulated by digging a hole and lying in it.

I have a full guide on how to help your Pit Bull handle hot weather here as Pit Bulls don’t handle the warmer days very well, and you need to take extra care of your dog on those hot days to make sure they don’t get heat stroke or worse.

To Bury Their Possessions

People keep their valuable possessions in safe places like banks and safeties. Well, your dog does the same. Dogs bury their bones, toys, and anything they love in the ground to be safe from outsiders. 

Dogs are inherently loyal and protective of the things they love, and the safest place for them is a hole they dug themselves. Even domestication hasn’t impacted their protective nature.

They may even try to dig many holes until they find their favorite spot to keep their favorite things, or they may bury a hole and call it a day. After all, each dog’s habits and behavior are different.

For Fun!

Some dogs dig with a purpose, and others don’t. They may dig just because they love the feeling of the soil or plants when they dig them. 

Keep in mind that dogs also dig for hunting. Their sense of smell is 10,000–100,000 times more powerful than the average human’s, and they can detect potential pests that may be hiding in the ground.

So, don’t be very alarmed if one day you find your beloved pet with a small rodent in its mouth, as it’s still an instinct for some breeds to use their nose and dig up an unaware prey.

It Makes Them Feel Secure and Safe

You know when you’re stressed and want to be alone for a second, so you go to your favorite place? Dogs do the same. They find comfort and security in sitting in their self-made holes.

This is the type of digging you have to look out for, as it has negative connotations to it. It may be brought on by separation anxiety.

This anxiety occurs when your tiny companion grows fearful because you left it alone for an extended period. While you’re gone, their only means of coping is digging up your yard and hiding out in their dens.

They may also dig due to other things that stress them out, like loud noises from fireworks or thunderstorms. If your dog suddenly starts digging more, you might want to pay more attention to the reason.

How to Stop Your Pit Bull From Digging?

It’s really challenging to stop a dog from, well, being a dog. However, there are some things you could do to limit your dog’s digging and have your yard not resemble a battlefield.

Consider the cause of your dog’s digging first. A bored dog needs additional stimulation, while a nervous dog needs help gaining confidence. You can more successfully limit the behavior if you can find the cause.

Here are some tips you can follow to limit your dog’s digging:

Don’t Leave It Alone in the Yard

Figuring out how to stop your dog’s digging problem will not happen in a day. However, the simplest approach to the problem is to never leave your buddy alone in the yard so that it doesn’t have the chance to practice this behavior.

Remember, the more you let it dig, the more rewarding it is for him.


Many dogs are energy balls, and digging is their way of releasing excess energy. Your Pit Bull won’t have the energy to dig if you exercise it regularly by jogging for a couple more miles or even climbing a hill.

Self-Play Toys

Keeping your dog entertained by itself is another great idea to limit its digging activity. You could get them a toy to keep them active and entertained.

My recommendation is this Wobble Giggle Ball on Amazon. It engages your dog’s instincts and curiosity by making noises when rolled or shaken. It’s a two-in-one deal as it provides entertainment as well as exercise for your buddy.

Digging Area

Your dog is going to want to dig no matter what, so you might as well provide them with a place to dig to their heart’s content.

Provide your dog with a sand or dirt box and bury their favorite toys in it. Keep doing this until they get used to digging in this area.

You can also fence this digging area. There are fences that extend underground to prevent the dog from digging outside of their designated area.

Check out this dig proofer kit that can be installed on the top of the fence to prevent the dog from climbing or jumping over. It’s made from durable wire that will withstand different weather conditions, and it’s easy to install as it suits all kinds of fences. It also prevents them from digging under the fence.

Related Questions 

What Dogs Are Most Likely To Dig?

The dog breeds that are most likely to dig include

  • Dachshund
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Beagle
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
  • Siberian Husky
  • Malamute
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Border Collie

PitbullsHome Personally-Tested Picks for Pitties:

Helpful Resources

10 Dogs Breeds That Love to Dig

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