A dog digging at your carpet isn’t really such a weird occurrence, even though it makes absolutely no sense to us humans, it is one thing that dogs love to do. Some people may find the sound of the dog’s nails digging at the carpet fibers particularly grating, however there are many reasons as to why dogs do what they do.
The answer may be exceedingly simple, they might just want to dig out a crumb of whatever they were eating that is stuck in the carpet, or perhaps they are trying to make a cozy spot for their daily nap.
Here are a couple more reasons detailed below to help you better understand your canine friend’s digging habits more!
Why do dogs like to dig at the carpet?
There are many reasons as to why our adorable canine friends do this, and while it may totally seem random or illogical to us humans, dogs have quite the reason for their behavior.
They could be digging up crumbs!
As it was mentioned before, even if you are sure that you have vacuumed the place clean, there is still a slight chance that you have missed one or two crumbs and thanks to their powerful canine noses and enhanced smell, they can even sniff that out and will most definitely try to dig it out of the carpet fibers.
One thing that prevails as a fact is that dogs love food and some will do anything to get their paws on even the smallest of scraps. So don’t be surprised when they start digging and scratching at carpets as if there’s treasure hidden in there. If this happens frequently then you should thoroughly clean and vacuum your house to prevent this.
Even though it certainly seems like a tedious job, you should definitely try to be more thorough when cleaning carpets and rugs to remove all traces or crumbs of any treats and food that may be stuck in there. If you notice your dog has stopped digging at your carpet then your problem is solved!
So, to prevent some future digging attempts, you should vacuum your carpet regularly and not let your dog have any treats on the floor. By doing this you will lessen the risk of having any crumbs stuck in your carpet.
They may be making a comfortable sleeping spot
Many dogs like to set up their sleeping spot by digging and then turning around in circles before finally lying down to take a well deserved nap. It may come as a surprise to some to find out that this kind of behavior dates all the way back to when dogs lived in the wild and didn’t really have specially made dog beds. So, in the wild dogs had to make do and make their sleeping area safer and more comfortable by stomping on the grass and digging up the dirt, and then rearranging the surface of the ground.
However more comfortable the living conditions for dogs are in the present day, they still have that instinctual behavior to dig around, as a sort of natural habit even. This may be the reason that your dog is digging at the carpet and if it is, it is recommended to invest in a comfortable dog bed and encourage them to sleep in it rather than on the floor.
To prevent your dog’s carpet digging habit then simply say a firm no and take them to their designated bed. When they actually go to the bed you should praise them and give them treats.
They may be smelling something interesting.
A commonly known behavior in dogs is one when the like to dig and then roll around in a particularly smelly patch of grass or even dirt and if you have observed your dog to do this behavior then they may also try and do the same thing to your carpet if they catch a new and exciting scent.
It may seem weird since you may not even realize that your carpet has any particularly interesting or different smell, however, since dogs have an enhanced sense of smell, they definitely can smell a difference.
Dogs are very curious beings, its in their nature. So, let’s say that you were outside and when you came home you tracked a bit of dirt on your carpet. That specific scent will alert your dog and will entice it to investigate, then begins the digging part.
Like it was mentioned in the first reason, if this is why your dog is digging at the carpet then you should invest in a good vacuum or even a carpet cleaner. It won’t take long to locate the specific spots your dog likes to dig at and scrub at them until they smells are gone.
Once you have done that and all the new interesting smells are gone, your canine friend won’t be as compelled to dig an entire hole through the carpet.
It may be sheer excitement!
Many times, dogs will just dig and scratch at the carpet quite frantically when they get extremely excited about something in particular.
This may seem like your dog is taking out its frustration on the carpet for no apparent reason, but in fact this just means that it saw something and got excited over it. It may have been another dog outside, a bird or even a squirrel, but since they are not able to go outside in the moment, they will release all that pent up excited energy on your poor rug.
So, if your dog is the easily excitable type then you will have to find other ways to redirect their attention away from tearing at the carpet. One way of distracting your dog from digging is to try and play with them or taking them out for a walk.
However, if you are short on time then simply giving your dog a stuffed toy to play with can be a good way of redirecting their attention and keeping them preoccupied with something else than digging a hole through your carpet.
Dogs may just be bored and have nothing else to do.
Hey, dogs get just as bored as us humans do. They resort to all sorts of destructive habits when they are bored, and one of them can be digging through the carpet to find entertainment. So, if your dog is one of those that stays at home alone most of the time and does not have a lot of toys to play with, scratching at the carpet is the easiest way to have some fun while you’re not home.
If you think that this is the reason that your dog is displaying this destructive behavior then you should really invest in some fun doggie toys or to try some simple exercises with your pooch. If you don’t really have the time to engage actively with your dog, then getting some stuffed or chew toys will do just the trick to keep them entertained and having fun while you are away or busy.
If you have the extra budget, then you should really consider hiring a doggy walker to take your dog out for a walk when you can’t do it. This is a great solution for those owners who work long hours or are simply busy, so by the time you are home from work, your dog will be peacefully napping away.
Dogs may be experiencing separation anxiety.
Another reason why dogs start digging into the carpet is to relieve their anxiety and stress when they are left home alone. So, if your dog does that frequently, especially the floor and carpet near the front door, then you may be dealing with a dog that has developed separation anxiety.
Failing to notice the signs of separation anxiety in your dog may result to the point where your dog has already teared up part of your carpeting or even left scratch marks on your hard wood flooring. This is typical since most dogs that have separation anxiety usually lean to destructive behaviors to find some kind of comfort or even to forget that their owners aren’t home at the moment.
If the reason why your dog is digging into the carpet is the fact that they have separation anxiety then it is recommended that you immediately make a plan and take some steps towards treating your canine friend’s anxiety. However, keep in mind that making your dog get over its anxiety isn’t going to happen overnight, and your dog may need some professional help and prescription medication.
But no matter how hard the road may seem, taking things one step at a time and being patient is the key.
They may be hiding things
While many types of carpets are not thick enough to be able to hide anything from plain sight, your little furry friend may still try to dig into it and hide something they deem valuable enough. This is in fact rather instinctual to dogs, hiding things of value in holes that they’ve dug, such items may be toys, treats, bones or even food!
The sheer fact that nothing the hide is ever really hidden and you can clearly see a chew toy poking out of the carpet won’t dissuade your dog from continuing their efforts in digging and hiding more toys and treats. If you suspect that this is the reason for your dog’s behavior then the only way to stop it is to train them.
So, the best way to train your dog to stop digging into the carpet is to use some positive reinforcement techniques. This means every time your dog wants to attempt to bury a toy into the carpet, ask them to bring it back to you. Afterwards praise and play with your dog for a couple minutes so that they can see that by bringing back the toy they will get more rewards and positive results.
For canines in general, digging is a natural behavior and something that virtually all of them do to some degree. This behavior manifests in dogs simply because they are direct descendants of wolves, which had to dig up their dens so that they would have shelter for them and their offspring in the harsher weather.
So, if your dog is digging into the carpet, they may be feeling a bit to hot or cold, and by doing so are trying to regulate their bodily temperature. And digging up a cozy den is just the thing that their ancestors would do so that they could cool off or fend off the cold.
Most dogs will typically resort to digging holes in the dirt in the yard to control their body temperature, however, when no dirt is readily available the carpet will do the trick. If this is the case, and if you suspect that your dog is feeling too hot or too cold then try to adjust the temperature of your household to ultimately make them more comfortable.
In the hot summer months, you should turn on the air conditioning and make sure that your dog has clear access to fresh and clean water, while during the winter months or on particularly colder days, you should dress your dog up in a sweater, get a heating pad or even add an extra blanket to their bed so that they can keep warm.
They may be wanting your attention.
If this has been happening for a long time, and you have visibly responded to your dog’s previous attempts at digging the carpet, then they may continue doing it for the sole reason of getting your attention. So, when and if your dog is feeling ignored and just wants to have some play time with you, they may attempt to dig into the carpet just to get some kind of reaction out of you.
Since your dog knows that you will definitely say something, or interact with them in one way or another, they will get exactly what they want – attention. If you have long working hours or even a busier schedule than the average person that have kept you from interacting and giving attention to your pooch, now is exactly the time to make some time for them.
You can take your dog for a walk or even a jog, make some time to play with them, or have a quick training session to show them that you have time for them in your busy life. To completely stop your dog from digging into the carpet, you should set out a time every day to interact, play or even cuddle with your dog.
So, after all of this, how do you stop your dog from digging up your carpet?
The best and most efficient way to prevent your dog from digging into your carpet is to clap your hands or make some kind of noise when you catch them doing it to divert their attention immediately. However, don’t yell or do something that will startle your dog, as this will ultimately be counter productive.
After you have gained your dog’s attention, try to redirect their behavior by just asking them to do a rather simple task such as to sit, or lie down or even to give you a paw. Then promptly reward them afterwards!