Why Do Huskies Dig Holes? 6 Most Common Reasons

Huskies, like most dogs, will dig holes in your yard without any apparent reason, but why do huskies dig holes?

There is always an underlying reason why your husky is digging holes. This includes a lack of exercise, finding a cool spot to lay, hunting, or simply because they are bored.

It’s important to understand why your husky is digging holes in the first place so you can address the underlying reason to prevent it in the future.

Do Huskies Like To Dig Holes?

Before we get started, we wanted to make it clear that digging is typical dog behavior. Some huskies may prefer (or like) to dig more than others, but there is always an underlying reason for it, and the digging action itself should not be punished.

It is far more effective to work out why they are digging in the first place and address that issue than to scold them after the act. Not only that, but your husky will appreciate your help in trying to fix their problem!

Here are 6 of the most common reason why huskies dig holes, and what you can do to solve each one.

1. Lack Of Exercise

The most common reason why huskies dig holes is that they are not getting enough daily exercise to fulfil them.

Huskies are a very high-energy breed and need around two hours of exercise per day. Many huskies will happily exercise for longer than this if they are allowed to.

When a husky does not get enough exercise, its behaviour will change. You may notice that they try to use up their energy in ways that they normally wouldn’t. Unfortunately for us owners, this usually involves some kind of misbehaviour.

A common way for huskies to use their energy is to dig. Huskies don’t understand that they are ruining the yard – they’re just trying to stay active.

Keep track of how much time your husky exercises for and consider increasing it if you think it may be the cause. Some great options for tiring them out include going for runs, hiking or playing games like fetch.

What To Do

This is one of the most straightforward fixes; you just need to exercise your husky more.

Make sure your husky is receiving at least two hours of physical exercise per day and you should notice that their behavior will change drastically. A lot of people buy huskies and don’t realise just how much work they are, and then they wonder why they have to deal with potentially destructive behaviors.

This can be in the form of walking, running, hiking, or playing games such as fetch.

2. They Are Looking For A Cooler Spot To Rest

If you live in a warm country or a country that experiences warm summers, you might find that your husky likes to dig. Places like Florida or Texas are great examples of this.

It should be no surprise that huskies are perfect for cold weather. Their thick double coats act as the perfect insulation against arctic temperatures. Once the weather starts to get warm, huskies will seek cool and shaded areas to sleep the days away.

If you leave your husky outside during warm weather without a shaded spot, they might dig a hole to lie in. Their natural instincts tell them that relief from the heat can be found in the ground.

This isn’t just a husky thing – all dogs have this instinct. However, huskies are more likely to dig due to being too warm as they will start feeling uncomfortable much quicker than most other dog breeds.

What To Do

When the temperature approaches 70°F (21°C) you should start to take steps to keep your husky cool.

Try to create a shady area for them outside if there isn’t one already. Buying a garden umbrella is the perfect way to provide your husky with a cool spot to relax whilst remaining outside.

On warmer days, be sure to keep your husky cool by providing them with fresh water.

3. They Are Bored

Not only do huskies need plenty of physical stimulation, but they also need mental stimulation. Huskies are an intelligent breed (even if they do some stupid things!) and like to keep their minds active.

There are lots of ways that huskies keep themselves stimulated. From listening to conversations between their owners to playing with toys, huskies can usually keep themselves occupied.

Sometimes though, boredom creeps in. This happens when they are left outside for too long on their own with no toys or treats to play with. If they become bored, digging can become their activity of choice.

What To Do

Try giving your husky new toys regularly – you will soon work out what kinds of toys they enjoy the most.

Make sure to actively play with them to encourage future playtime on their own. You should also let them socialize as much as possible, and consider adding obedience training into your routine as well.

4. They Are Hunting

If your husky is not a frequent digger and digs their holes around the perimeter of your yard, it could be because they are trying to hunt.

Huskies have a high prey drive and enjoy chasing small animals such as birds, rabbits, and even insects.

When they see an animal that triggers their prey drive, their instincts will cause them to chase it for as long as possible. This may require them to dig a hole if the animal burrows underground or if it escapes through your fence.

A husky digging a hole in the woods

Despite having a high prey drive, huskies are nearly always outsmarted by the animals they are chasing. As a result, it might not be obvious that they are digging for this reason as they often won’t have anything to show for it.

Watch your husky’s behaviour after they have dug their hole. If they are reluctant to be led away from where they have dug, it could be because they are still in hunting mode!

What To Do

There is no way to stop a husky’s prey drive. You may be able to prevent them from digging to chase animals by watching them whilst they are in the yard.

If you notice that they are in hunting mode, distract them with their favourite toy or a small treat.

5. They Are Trying To Escape

The vast majority of husky owners have stories of how their huskies have tried to escape. Huskies are simply great escape artists – we think they enjoy the challenge of trying to get away from us.

Before getting a husky, you must make sure your yard is ‘husky-proof’. This means having fences that are a minimum of 6ft tall, having no easily climbable furniture, and no gates that can easily be unlocked.

If your husky realises that jumping or climbing over the fence is not a feasible escape route, they may turn to digging.

They usually won’t get very far – husky-proof fences are dug a few feet into the ground to prevent escape by this method. This doesn’t mean they won’t at least try!

If you are concerned about your husky escaping under your fence, consider placing chicken wire to prevent them.

Chicken wire can be dug into the ground below a fence’s perimeter as a barrier against escape. It’s much cheaper than replacing a fence entirely and will ensure your husky stays secure in your yard.

What To Do

Once your husky realises that they are unable to escape by digging under the fence, they should move on.

Our biggest advice here is to make sure your yard is completely husky-proof and distract them any time you see them trying to escape.

6. They Are Burying Their Belongings

Finally, your husky might not be digging aimlessly but instead burying their possessions.

Some of our previous huskies have been intense buriers. When we give them a new item they will play with it for a short while before taking them to the garden. This happens with toys, long-lasting treats, and bones.

The reason for this behaviour is believed to be due to their instincts. As wild animals, they would have buried food to prevent other animals from taking it.

Be warned if you decide to dig their items back up for them – you may end up with a very grumpy husky!

It’s easier to tell when a husky is digging to bury something, as they will fill the hole back in when they’re done.

What To Do

If your husky is a keen burier, try creating a designated digging spot for them in your yard. We’ve had great results from creating a patch of soft soil that is specifically for them to dig in.

The soft soil makes it an ideal place for them to bury their belongings, and this encourages a husky to switch from their usual dig spots.

In Summary

The key to preventing a husky from digging is to understand why they are doing it in the first place.

Keep watch of their behaviour both during and after digging to try and work out the root cause, and then deal with it appropriately using the tips in this guide.

If you try to discipline your husky as they are digging it won’t be effective in the long term.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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