How to Stop Your Dog from Digging Under the Furniture and Carpet
Plus, an animal behaviorist explains why they do this in the first place.
Burrowing is instinctive in pups. When you watch your dog digging and scratching furiously at upholstered furniture or the carpeting, you can't help but wondering why this is happening. If your dog keeps returning to a specific spot to burrow, a hidden rodent could be the trigger, says Carlo Siracusa, PhD, associate professor of clinical behavior medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
Another cause may be as innocuous as boredom, and you can satisfy Frenchie's urges with regular trips to the park or beach. Even if there is not enough depth to cover the toy or bone your dog wants to protect and hide in the carpeting, she may dig there as an attempt to bury her treasure. You might still see it plain as day after your dog is done digging, but the attempt to hide something she values is an instinct.
She may be more successful digging at your bedding where there is more to cover it. When you retire for the night, this is why you might find all sorts of things tangled in the bedding. And when you sit down to watch television, you may discover things buried between the couch cushions, another favorite "hiding spot" for a cherished item.
So, how do you resolve this behavior? According to Siracusa, try this: At home, teach her the "off" and "watch me" cues, says Siracusa; use them to redirect her mid-dig, with a distraction like a chew toy (this should curb, if not eliminate, the behavior). Should the digging remain excessive, that can be an anxiety symptom; in that case, it's best to consult your veterinarian.