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12 Dog Breeds that Dig the Most

Digging Dog

Certain dog breeds tend towards specific behaviors. For instance, Rat Terriers and Border Collies are great breeds for jumping high. Other breeds are good at being home alone. This group of 12 dog breeds are ones that dig the most.

Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier resting in leaves and grass

Originating in the valley of the River Aire, the “King of Terriers” is the largest among all terrier breeds. Although it was basically developed as a farm dog, it has worked in a number of disciplines, including war. Like several other terrier breeds, Airedale Terriers are also very keen to dig.

Not only do they dig to find prey, but they can also make a king-sized hole out of boredom. As a result, it is necessary to keep them occupied if you want to keep your backyard in good shape.


Beagle laying in grass looking at the hole it dug

Beagles are one of the best rabbit-hunting dogs. These scent hound dogs are really good at detecting their prey (underground or above ground). Given the fact that digging is vital for hunting rabbits, they do possess an excellent digging instinct. Having said that, Beagles are equally effective at chasing rabbits above the ground. Considering their love for digging, it is important to provide Beagles with a digging spot.

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier Sanding on grass in park

The name of this breed refers to the place of its origin, Bedlington town. Developed in North East England, this small, lamb-like dog was originally used to hunt vermin. Since then, the ability to dig efficiently has stayed with these dogs as they try to find rats and rabbits in their spare time.

They may look a little weak at first glance but they are anything but that. Other than being a hunting dog, Bedlington Terriers have done pretty well at dog sports and as companion dogs.

Border Collie

Two Border Collies  digging in sand on beach

This energetic dog breed needs an activity to keep them occupied. Hailing from Scotland, they were originally bred to cover long distances. These intelligent and affectionate dogs have succeeded in several different jobs like herding.

In case of anxiety or boredom, Border Collies may end up digging your lawn. In order to avoid this calamity, you should keep them busy. Alternatively, you can provide them with their personal digging spot. Rewarding them for good behavior is another way to prevent random digging.

Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier standing in tall weeds

This breed is one of the earliest working dogs in Scotland. The name of these terrier dogs comes from their initial workplace, the cairns in the Scottish highlands. They used to hunt and chase fur-bearing vermin there.

These cute, little dogs have an abundant supply of energy. Consequently, they need regular exercise and activity to avoid any negative behavior. Digging is one such instinct that can cause some nuisance.


Dachshund standing on the forest floor looking at the camera

Despite their short legs, these German hounds are extremely prolific diggers. Digging is a part and parcel of a Dachshund’s nature. This is because they were bred to follow badgers and rodents in their underground burrows.

The stubbornness of this breed means that it is difficult for them to understand that they can’t dig up your garden. However, proper training and a specialized digging area can help you solve this problem.  

Fox Terrier

Fox Terrier standing on grassy hill

Basically, there are two different sub-categories (Smooth Fox Terrier and Wire Fox Terrier) of this breed. Both of these breeds were developed, in the 19th century, for hunting and chasing vermin. Naturally, Fox Terriers have a lot of energy and need to spend it somewhere to stay calm.

The unavailability of any useful task can make them restless and they may start digging your garden. Having said that, they don’t really have a vendetta against your lawn and you can divert their attention. You can offer them some alternative activities (playing and agility) to counter this negative habit.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier digging in sand

If you have a Jack Russell in your home, you don’t need to have a shovel for digging. They love to dig and that’s the reason why a lot of people consider them number one in this domain. These champion diggers are always looking for an opportunity to launch their paws into the ground.

Given their hunting background, it is understandable that they dig for finding any prey. However, it can go a little too far if you don’t channel their limitless energy into some positive activities. Taking them out for daily walks or agility training can help you solve this problem, to an extent.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer sitting on wooden board with blurred trees in background.

Owing to their first job description, these German dogs are instinctive diggers who can’t tolerate rats on their farms. Even though Miniature Schnauzers have become a popular domestic dog, they still don’t hesitate to chase an underground rodent. This desire to eliminate all kinds of pests enables these dogs to stop any unwanted guests. On the other hand, you may have to deal with a lot of irritating holes in your garden.     


Malamute laying in hole in tall weeds

The basic purpose of developing this freighting dog was to make use of its endurance in the harsh polar conditions. This active breed was also used for pulling sheds due to its resolute strength. In order to stay warm in such an extreme climate, Malamutes make underground burrows by digging.

In the recent past, they have become a popular choice for domestic dogs. Generally, they have adapted well to the warm weather but their furry coat can make them uncomfortable in hot conditions. For this reason, they can use their digging experience to find a comfortable spot in your backyard. Providing them with a cooler, shady place can prevent this mishap.

Does your dog chew on the tree branches in your yard? Check out these 12 Dog Safe Trees for Your Backyard.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky digging in snow

This working dog from Siberia is bred to survive the extreme cold of snowy mountains. In such conditions, they need to rely on digging to find food and shelter. Following these lines, a Siberian Husky may dig for finding cooler spots in hot weather.

In addition to that, these dogs have an extremely active nature and need regular exercise to keep their energy in control. In the case of boredom, they can please themselves by excavating your garden. Hence, it is highly recommended to give Siberian Huskies a digging spot to preserve the beauty of your home.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon laying in grass

Hailing from a Dutch background, this gundog is one of the toughest hunting dogs in the world. It can exhibit great skills in all kinds of terrains, including water and briars. The amazing energy and physical capabilities of this breed make it excellent at dog sports. On the other hand, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons can become destructive if they don’t get proper exercise.

Known as moonlight diggers, these dogs are quite fond of finding prey underground. Lack of exercise can divert them towards this bad habit that can do considerable damage to your lawn.

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