Lawd help me, I’ve got a digging doodle!
Every single time we go outside on the porch, I’ve got to watch reruns of this same ole show…
Recently this particular episode (which I affectionately call “Life with Jaxson”) occurred with friends and a full blown discussion erupted #hilarious
WHAT’S HE DOING? –
was the first question. Before I could open my mouth someone (without a dog I might add) said with ton’s of confidence…
He’s nesting – all dogs do it!
To which a quick rebuttal response of –
He’s not a SHE – so HE can’t be nesting, that’s only for dogs who are pregnant.
By this time, I lost the power to contain my laughter, because the chatter is getting louder and funnier by the sentence.
At some point, they all stop talking, and ask me to define Jaxson’s behavior – which by the way, had long stopped.
I looked at each of them and as only an expert dog mom could say, I intellectually responded with…
I dunno, digging I guess
BUT SERIOUSLY, WHY –
do they dig?
I really didn’t know!
Much later (after they left) I wrote “digging doodle” on my kanban board because as they were talking I too thought of it as “nesting” which is synonymous with pregnancy and used for both humans and animals.
Jax is a lot of things – but pregnant ain’t one of them #justsaying
I sat down with my main man of information – Mr. Greg Google and here are the questions I wanted to know and the answers I found –
- Why do they do it? – a natural instinct from the days when dogs lived in the wild. They made an area that would be comfortable and also protect them when they slept.
- Is it normal? – Very much so! The digging, scratching and turning in circles for what seems like hours allows them to curl up like a baby and then sleep for hours.
- What is it really called? – Denning.
I also found out how the two words (denning and nesting) get intertwined –
Dogs aren’t ‘denning’ animals, like groundhogs and other species that live underground, but mother dogs do create a maternal den of sorts into which they settle to give birth. It’s a comfort-seeking behavior, deeply ingrained from puppyhood. The digging and scratching gives them a comfortable surface to lie on.Chewy
After being so wrong about my dog regarding another canine habit, I continued to press on and learn more.
ADDITIONAL FACTS –
that I didn’t know –
- wild dogs did it looking for sticks, rocks or other uncomfortable objects to include predators like snakes or scorpions hiding underneath
- some dogs do it to regulate their temperature during both hot and cold weather. Think sled dogs digging holes in the snow to curl up in to trap their body heat
- dogs with arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions may dig trying to find a pain-free position to lay in.
There are oodles of theories about what causes this behavior. No one can say with any degree of accuracy if some breeds are more inclined than others. it’s dangerously easy to fall down the internet rabbit hole with this topic.
Harley is not a Digging Doodle- so I’m inclined to agree with the experts – it’s the preference of the dog!
Hope my porch partners come back soon, I’d love to drop some of this knowledge on them!
Thanks for reading…
They were wolves once, wild and wary. Then they noticed the sofa ❤️