Puppies show a lot of strange behavior in their first few months, and even beyond. But what does it mean when your pup digs in his crate?

Digging is a natural instinct for all dogs, so you will need to make sure that your furry friend has a place to dig his paws into. Some puppies also dig in soil, sand or even their crate when they feel stressed or anxious.

In this article, we explore why your puppy is digging in his crate, and how you can stop him from digging.

Why Is Your Puppy Digging In His Crate?

There are many possible reasons why puppies start digging in their crate, from anxiety to boredom.

1. Digging Is Instinctual

Digging dens and seeking shelter is a natural instinct in dogs. It helps them to create a comfortable and safe space. How often your pup is digging depends on your dog’s temperament and also the breeds tendency to dig.

For example, hunting dogs, such as hounds and terriers, were bred to dig for rabbits and other small mammals. This being said, some dogs simply love digging and they need to receive the right training to control this behavior.

2. Your Puppy Feels Stressed Or Anxious

Digging is not just great fun for your pup but it can also be a way for him to help with stress relief. There could be a variety of causes of stress in dogs, such as separation anxiety or boredom.

Puppies need constant interactions and engagement with their owner or they will end up being bored. This means they will try to find a way to entertain themselves.

If your dog digs because of separation anxiety, then he is trying to channel his negative emotions into something more productive, like the digging.

3. Your Puppy Feels Uncomfortable

Another reason why your new family member might be digging inside his crate is because he simply feels uncomfortable. A crate should be a safe but also comfortable place for dogs to play and sleep.

If you notice that your puppy isn’t sleeping on the blanket or towel you put down, then try something more comfortable, such as a dog bed.

4. Your Pup Wants Your Attention

Puppies are curious and they need frequent interaction with their owners. If your puppy starts digging at his crate, then this may be because he wants your attention.

You need to make sure that your puppy has everything he needs and his crate. Plus, you should regularly spend time with your pup, so you can form a bond with your four-legged companion.

5. Your Puppy Wants Out Of The Crate

If you notice that your puppy is digging near the edges of the crate, then it’s likely that he wants to get out of the crate. You might even notice other signs of distress in your puppy, such as barking or wincing.

While some people advise that you should ignore your puppy’s behavior, it’s important that your pup feels comfortable in his crate. If he wants to get out of the kennel, then he isn’t feeling happy there and you need to do some more crate training.

6. Your Pup Is Feeling Hyper


If your dog is still full of energy or hyperactive, then he will play with his toys inside the crate and even start digging. This behavior depends on the dog breed. Some breeds tend to be a lot more active than others.

However, every puppy should have long walks and lots of play to keep him happy, healthy and fit. Make a note of when your puppy is digging inside his crate.

Most dogs have temporary bursts of energy that you can combat with specific walking or play times.

7. Your Puppy Spends Too Much Time In His Crate

Many dog owners forget that a crate is just one of the many spaces where your dog can go. It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t keep your pup inside his crate for too long.

You don’t want the crate to feel like a locked cage to your dog, so make sure that you don’t crate your puppy for longer than a couple of hours. Plus, puppies need appropriate crate training to extend the time that they can stay inside their kennel.

How To Stop Your Puppy From Digging In His Crate?

When it comes to stopping your pooch from digging in his crate, you will need to find out the reason for his behavior first. Then, you can use the following options to keep your puppy happy in his crate.

Make The Interior Of The Crate More Comfortable

A dog crate should be a space where your dog can feel comfy. It’s important that your crate is large enough for your dog. Your dog should be able to stand up and move around easily.

In addition, place a blanket, towel or dog bed inside the crate, so your dog can rest and sleep.

If you notice that your dog is digging even with a dog bed, food and toys, then try to move some of these things around. Every dog has his own preferences.

Spend Time And Play With Your Puppy

Puppies are hyperactive and they need constant attention. Make sure that you spend as much time as possible with your pup. You should go on walks at least twice a day.

Throw a ball or allow your pup to play with his favorite toy. This will get rid of most of the young dog’s energy, and it should stop the digging.

Train Your Puppy

You need to introduce the crate to your puppy slowly. This means you will need to patiently crate train your dog for a few days or weeks (see also ‘What Is Crate Training For A Dog? (& How To Start)‘). Only close the door of the crate if your puppy feels fully comfortable in his crate.

Final Thoughts

Digging is a natural instinct in many dogs but puppies also dig in their crate because they are bored, stressed or anxious. Make sure that you spend enough time with your pup and provide everything he needs in his crate.