A Husky digging holes is a common problem you will likely have to deal with at some stage.
In this guide, I will explain why Huskies dig holes and go through some training methods and tips to stop your Husky from digging.
This guide covers some important information on why Huskies dig holes that I notice is missing from a lot of other websites.
Make sure you fully understand why your Husky digs holes or else any methods you use aren’t likely to work.
Once you read this guide, find out how to overcome the difficulty of training a Husky in this guide.
Why Do Huskies Dig Holes?
There are many reasons why Huskies dig holes. Understand these reasons or you’ll have a hard time stopping the digging.
The most common reason a Husky digs holes is boredom. A Husky might have too much pent up energy and digging provides an easy and interesting release for them. They could be seeking shelter from the weather. Or they could be ‘hunting’.
Whatever the reason, there is usually a way to combat it and make sure that your Husky doesn’t completely dig up and destroy your yard.
Huskies are curious dogs and need to be mentally stimulated otherwise they easily get bored.
If your Husky doesn’t have something interesting to keep them entertained (like a chew toy or something/someone to play with) then they are likely to focus their attention on alleviating that boredom.
For some Huskies, this can turn them into escape artists as explained in this guide. A Husky who tries to escape and run away is one possible reaction to being bored or a lack of exercise.
For other Huskies, digging can be the cure for that boredom. Through digging holes, they are able to discover new things, while giving them something to do at the expense of your backyard.
Another common sign of boredom is if your Husky is eating grass or dirt. If you noticed ripped-up grass patches or you see your Husky eating grass or dirt, it may be a strong sign they’re not getting enough physical or mental stimulation.
Lack of Exercise
Huskies are renowned for having a lot of energy, which is a trait that stems back to when they were first bred for pulling sleds.
As a result, a Husky that doesn’t get a lot of exercise can become restless and will need to use up all that pent up energy.
For some Huskies, digging holes is the perfect solution to this problem. The act of digging helps to release some of the built-up energy and gives your Husky an outlet for their lack of exercise.
Huskies instinctively enjoy preying on small animals, birds, and insects. Digging can be a great way for them to unearth creatures while hunting.
If your Husky digs under a fence, that’s a sign of their prey drive in action. Any possible animals or people on the other side of the fence could kick-start your Husky’s prey drive and give them the desire to start digging.
If your Husky is indulging their prey drive through digging, you might need to find a different way to satisfy this need.
Staying Cool or Warm
While most people who have a Husky as a pet live in more temperate climates, there are some Huskies that like to dig to provide themselves with a protective den of sorts.
Huskies often dig holes in the snow, where they can curl up and keep themselves warm and shielded from the wind.
They may also dig a hole to provide shelter and keep themselves cooler in warmer conditions.
A way to tackle this is to provide other ways for your Husky to moderate their temperature and keep them either warmer or cooler without resorting to digging holes.
If your Husky is an outside dog, take notice of the different areas your Husky will spend time in during different seasons.
For example, during hot weather, our Husky will lie down on the concrete in the area shown in the below photo.
Not only is this area always under shade and the concrete stays cool, but there is always a constant breeze moving through this pathway. She figured out that this area is the coolest area in our property.
Your Husky will eventually figure out what areas of your property are the coolest and warmest.
If your Husky is digging holes and resting in them, it may be a sign that there isn’t a suitably cool or warm area elsewhere.
Why Has My Husky Suddenly Started Digging Holes?
If your Husky has never had a problem with digging holes before but has recently started to do it, there may be a reason why this has happened.
You need to look at the reasons why your Husky might have turned to this behavior.
It could be a sudden change in routine that is frustrating your Husky or a sign of lack of exercise.
A growing Husky needs increasing levels of exercise, so even if you have been keeping the exercise constant, your Husky may need more than what you’re providing.
Maybe you used to spend a lot of time with your Husky but work commitments have changed the amount of attention your Husky now receives.
Maybe the two walks that you used to take your Husky on have been reduced to one and now your Husky has too much pent up energy that they need to release.
Has the digging happened due to a change in the weather? If your Husky is suddenly digging holes and resting in them, it may be a sign that they need a cool or warm area.
If you can work out the reason why your Husky has suddenly started to dig holes, this can help you find a solution to the problem.
Working Out Why Your Husky is Digging Holes
Let’s go through a few examples to see how to figure out why your Husky may be digging holes.
Take a look at the below photo and try to figure out what may be the cause of the digging?
The hole is far too small for a Husky to rest in, so we can rule out being too cold or too hot.
It’s a shallow hole, which means she gave up pretty quickly. If this was due to boredom or a lack of exercise, you would expect the hole to be a lot deeper before stopping.
This hole was due to prey drive. I actually watched her from a nearby window and saw her run over when she spotted a large beetle. She started frantically digging and gave up pretty quickly.
Here’s another example:
Digging under a fence is a common problem and the cause isn’t hard to figure out.
If your Husky is digging under a fence, figure out what might be making sounds or smells on the other side of the fence and motivating your Husky to dig.
In this case, our neighbor brought home a new pet and it grabbed our Husky’s attention.
This was easy to solve because she always dug in the same spot. Simply placing some of her poo in this area was enough to stop her from digging.
The key point to remember: try to look at the context of any holes you find. If you can figure out the context of why your Husky dug the hole, you will find it easier to stop the behavior.
How to Stop a Husky from Digging Holes
The first step in stopping your Husky from digging holes is to work out why they are doing it.
If you can accurately identify the cause of the digging, this will help you to work out the best way to solve the problem.
If you cannot work out the problem, then the solutions won’t work and you will be wasting your time.
For example, if your Husky is digging due to needing an area to cool down, then increasing exercise levels will not stop the digging.
First, you need to work out if your Husky is digging as a result of lack of exercise or if they are digging because they are not getting enough attention.
Below are two methods that can help combat this problem and stop them from digging up your yard.
Providing Adequate Exercise and Mental Stimulation
If your Husky is not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation, they can easily get bored and begin destructive behavior, including digging holes.
Other signs that your Husky may not be getting enough mental stimulation or exercise is if they’re destroying furniture, causing chaos, or trying to escape.
Even if your Husky has never shown signs of this before, it only takes a small change in their routine (like one less walk or less attention) to frustrate them and make them seek a different way of keeping entertained.
You can try to combat this by following the steps below:
- Give your Husky plenty of opportunities to exercise and release energy. If you have the time, try and increase your daily walks so that your Husky gets more tired out and has less energy to spend digging holes.
- Give your Husky some toys to play with that will stimulate their minds and keep them occupied. Toys that they can chew are particularly good, especially if you can hide treats inside them. Your Husky will enjoy the challenge of trying to get to the food hidden within and will have no time to dig holes.
- If your Husky digs when you’re not home, try giving them a bone to chew on as you leave (find out what types of bones are safe to chew on in this guide). If you arrive home and find no new holes, it’s a sign that your Husky needs more stimulation during the day.
Other things that you could do to try and stop your Husky from digging up your yard include:
Give Your Husky a Den
Giving your Husky their own ‘den’ so that they stop trying to dig one for themselves.
This can be a dog house, kennel or sheltered area which provides both shade and protection from the elements.
If your Husky is digging holes to escape the heat or the cold, this could be a good alternative for them.
You can also make sure that they have large ice blocks to lick in the warmer months, or extra blankets in the cooler months to make their special space even more comfortable and inviting.
Set Up a Designated Digging Area
If your Husky has its own specific area that they are allowed to dig in, they will be less likely to dig up other areas of your yard.
You can create this space for them by sectioning off an area of your yard and giving them a sand or dirt box of their own.
Use a different type of soil/sand in this area so they are able to differentiate the area by smell and learn the difference between where they are and aren’t allowed to dig.
The below photo shows the designated digging area we set up for our Husky.
This large dirt pile will be cleared away in the future, so it’s the perfect place for her to dig without issues.
The dirt is soft and is very different to the rest of the backyard dirt, so she can easily tell the difference and know she should only dig here.
You set up a designated digging area by encouraging your Husky to dig in this area.
As you can see below, Sasha loves digging in this spot – but because of the way we trained her, she only digs here when we’re around.
Encouraging your Husky to dig might sound risky, but it sets up digging as a specific activity your Husky is allowed to do in a specific place.
By training your Husky to dig in the designated digging area, you’re likely to find your Husky stops digging elsewhere.
It can help to partially bury some of their toys in the area, or hide small treats underneath the dirt for them to search out and dig up.
This will help to reinforce that this is the only place where they are allowed to dig, and provide them with some fun along the way.
Stop a Husky Digging Under a Fence
The best way to stop a Husky from digging under a fence is to use obstacles or deterrents.
Your Husky is digging under the fence because there is something interesting on the other side.
A deterrent or obstacle can make digging annoying enough that your Husky will give up on what is on the other side.
Deterrents are covered later in this guide.
Deterrents will work in this situation, but not in other situations where the cause is lack of exercise or mental stimulation.
Tip: remember that the above methods will only work if they properly match the reasons why your Husky is digging.
Tips to Stop Your Husky From Digging Holes
The above solutions should work to help stop your Husky from digging holes, but you shouldn’t expect them to work straight away.
Your Husky will need time to get used to these new routines and restrictions, and may still dig in areas they shouldn’t in the meantime.
While this learning transition is taking place, there are some other things you can do to deter your Husky from digging up your yard.
Most dogs don’t like being near their own faeces so this can work as a good deterrent for your Husky.
Bury some of their poo in the areas that they are most likely to dig and hopefully they will quickly move on when they unearth it.
This method won’t solve the digging problem, so use it in combination with one of the proper methods from earlier.
Hide Rocks and Balloons
Burying rocks and inflated balloons in the areas that your Husky digs can stop them from digging there in the future.
Large rocks will become a nuisance to your Husky when they get in the way, while an inflated balloon, if popped, may startle your Husky into avoiding digging in that area.
Just be aware that this could instead cause them to start digging in a different spot. Also, be careful to remove any pieces of broken balloon from the area afterward so they aren’t swallowed.
Again, this tip is to supplement any of the methods from earlier. Don’t rely on it to solve your problems because it won’t unless you deal with the root cause.
Supervise and Divert their Attention
If you are in the yard with your Husky, you should be able to keep them entertained by playing with them.
But if you are otherwise occupied, make sure that you are still able to supervise their actions.
If they start to dig, try to divert their attention with a treat or a toy and praise them when they move away from the digging area. Try and keep them focused on something other than digging and heap praise on them when they stay away.
Don’t Use Punishments
Positive reinforcement is recognized by professional dog trainers as the most effective way to train a dog. It is far more effective than negative reinforcement (punishments).
Your Husky is unlikely to understand why you are scolding them for digging if it happens after the fact, and this will do nothing to discourage them from digging more later.
Even if you catch them in the act, punishing them doesn’t deal with the reason why they’re digging.
Instead, try and divert their attention with treats, toys, and attention. Praise them when they stop digging and come over to investigate what you have for them.
Husky Digging Holes FAQ
Here are some common questions you may have about your Husky digging holes.
Do Huskies ever stop digging?
A Husky will continue to dig until you deal with the root cause of their digging. Once the root cause has been dealt with, they will stop digging.
If your Husky is still digging after your attempts of stopping it, it’s a sign that the root cause hasn’t been properly identified.
How do I stop my Husky from digging holes?
There are several ways you can try to stop your Husky from digging holes. Tiring them out with lots of exercise and providing something to keep their minds occupied is a great way to prevent digging.
Other ways to deter them from digging include burying things that they won’t enjoy digging up, such as their own faeces, large rocks or inflated balloons that will pop and startle them.
Why do Huskies dig holes and lay in them?
Sometimes Huskies dig holes and lay in them as a way of shielding themselves from the weather. When it is warmer, the hole can provide shade whereas when it is cooler, they can curl up in the hole and use their body heat to keep warm.
If your Husky is digging holes to lay in, you should try and provide them with a shelter that they can go into or under that will have the same benefits.
An issue that often comes along with digging is escaping. If your Husky has been trying or succeeding at escaping, read this guide to learn how to stop an escaping Husky.