Are you having problems with holes in your yard? This would easily lead to you asking the question of why do Great Pyrenees like to dig holes. Now of course hole digging is not unique to the Great Pyrenees, all dogs can sometimes engage in the behavior. But if it’s taken to a very excessive level where your yard is starting to look like a bunch of moon craters then you have a problem that needs to be solved.
Why do Great Pyrenees like to dig? The reasons are varied but can include anything from boredom to insecurity. Pregnancy could even be a possibility as it’s in the instincts of the mother to dig to try to create a protected sheltered area for their future puppies. Great Pyrenees dig for shelter, entertainment, and simply because of canine instincts.
But if you have a severe digging problem with your Great Pyrenees it can be very useful to have a deep understanding of why they’re doing it. This will vary depending upon each individual dog. But if you know why their digging then you can figure out what it is that they are lacking that you can provide for them to make them stop.
Why Do Great Pyrenees Dig?
I have identified five primary reasons that a Great Pyrenees may feel compelled to dig up the nice grass and soil of your yard. I promise it is not due to any kind of malice or intention to make your life miserable, even though you may sometimes feel that way.
Instead it is likely due to one of the following five reasons:
A Bored Great Pyrenees Will Like To Dig
It’s a proven fact that if your dog spends a lot of time outside on their own then they are much likely to dig more often. Sometimes this is due to boredom. A lack of toys and playmates leaves dogs to their own devices to provide their own entertainment. Not exactly something you want to happen.
Your Great Pyrenees may be digging in order to aleviate this boredom and loneliness. This will be especially true if your dog is very young. Usually around 8 to 18 months old can be the prime time for this kind of digging. They are overflowing with energy and they have the phsyical power neccessary for them to dig.
Great Pyrenees Like to Dig Because of Their Predatory Instinct
Dogs are predators and the Great Pyrenees are no exception to this. They were bred to be livestock guardians which culls some of this instinct but they are still likely to chase after small animals. If your yard has some sort of burrowing rodent, then your Great Pyrenees could actually be trying to defend your property from these rascally creatures. Their digging is actually their attempts to find them and root them out for the good of their family.
One way to tell if your Great Pyrenees is digging for this reason, is to see where it is in the yard that the holes are showing up. If you generally find them next to trees and shrubs in the yard then this is a strong sign that your dog is looking for rodents.
Your Great Pyrenees Could Be Digging to Build a Shelter for Themselves Against the Elements
Everyone likes to be comfortable and Great Pyrenees to wish to be comfortable. A dugged hole can provide rudimentary protection against both cold and heat. When its cold outside then the dog can get into the hole to help shield them from the wind. Likewise, when it’s hot then the barren soil can feel very cooling to a dog.
Now unless you live in a very cold environment then being too cold is not a problem that the immensely fluffy Great Pyrenees is likely to suffer from. But it is far more likely that they might be digging to help them cool off since due also to the fluffy coat they can be prone easily to overheat. Check out our article on Great Pyrenees living outside for more details.
A good way to tell if your Great Pyrenees is digging due to weather reasons is whether they are trying to lay down in the holes after they’ve dug them. this is a surefire proof that its the weather that’s driving your dog to dig holes.
Great Pyrenees Dig Cause They Want to Explore
If you’re finding a bunch of holes alongside your fence. Then you can probably bet with high probability that your dog is digging cause they want to get outside fo the yard. This could be them wanting to visit a neighboring dog or maybe they just want to explore the land around them a bit more.
This a strong reason specifically for a Great Pyrenees to dig. As these dogs like to expand the territory of their pack. To us, their digging in this might seem just like an annoyance. But in their mind, their explore brave new frontiers to conquer in the name of their family. Being a bit silly and thinking of your dog’s annoying behaviors in this way can sometimes make you have more empathy and understanding of the plights that your dog is experiencing.
A Female Great Pyrenees Might Be Digging Because Their Pregnant
One of the key instincts that a mother dog will experience is that of building a shelter to protect their puppies. IF you have a female dog and their digging especially up against some thick wooded areas. Then you might want to take your dog for a check-up to see if they’re pregnant.
They build a shelter for their future puppies by digging a hole usually in a thick brambly area. This serves dual purposes of shelter their puppies from the weather while also helping to hide them from potential predators.
How To Train Your Great Pyrenees To Not Dig Holes
There are many methods to get your dog to stop their digging. Most of them generally have to do with providing your dog with something that they need but their missing. This is usually the ultimate reason that dogs dig holes, its an attempt to fill the holes in their lives of the things they need and want but don’t have.
Make Sure You Give Your Great Pyrenees Enough Excercise
Great Pyrenees really need to be walked for at least 30 minutes every day. This doesn’t just keep them healthy fit driving away from the risk of obesity that can sol easily plague many working dogs living in a comfortable home. But it also tires them out leaving them with less energy to be spent on destructive activiteis such as digging holes.
Dog parks can be a great place to take your Great Pyrenees as well where they’ll have the chance to make friends with both dogs and people. Just hope they don’t decide to start digging their holes in the dog park but with the wonderful sights and sounds available to them, the chance is unlikely.
Never Punish Your Great Pyrenees for Digging Holes
Dogs do not have the longest term of memories. This is one of the reasons you can be yelling at them in one moment with them being sad and ashamed. Then five minutes later their happily licking their face as if nothing ever happened. That’s because for them they probably forgot about it. This one of my favorite aspects of dogs that they never seem to hold grudges even a Buddhist monk could probably take lessons from them about living in the moment.
This can also make punishing them at certain times cruel and ineffective. By the time your yelling and punishing your dog for digging a hole they probably have even forgotten that they dug it in the first place. This means you are essentially punishing them for something they didn’t do or at least that’s how they will see it. Instead of using punishment use misdirection instead. Try to intervene at their digging hole and occupy them with a more wholesome activity instead. This will be much more effective.
Give Your Great Pyrenees Cool Toys To Play With
One of the primary reasons that your dog may be digging holes is to alleviate boredom. So alleviate it for them by giving them great toys to play with that they will love and enjoy. This could be yummy chew bones or their favorite stuffed squeaky toy. Theirs a toy called a kong which is essentially a chew toy with treats hidden inside that your dog has to work to get them out.
Giving your Great Pyrenees a toy like that could occupy them for hours leaving hardly any time left to be engaging in any hole digging.
Give Your Dog a Digging Area
If nothing else is working and your Great Pyrenees just seems too in love with digging. Then follow the old saying that if you can’t beat them then join them. Choose out a part of your yard and fill it with sand or loose soil. You could even use a child’s sandbox for this.
Then hide some food, treats, and bones in the area. Fuss at them when they dig outside that area but praise them effusively whenever they dig there. Hopefully with all the treats and toys they’re likely to find they will focus all of their digging efforts in the approved area instead of digging up your prized petunias.
If none of these things work well for you there is one other thing you could try. Simply bring them inside and have them stay outside seldom. While Great Pyrenees do indeed love playing in their yard they love being with their family more. It’s possible that your Great Pyrenees is just digging cause it brings them attention from you. So go ahead and shortchange that by spending more time with them.
They’re not picky creatures just the chance to lay down by your feet while your watching tv will be enough to make them believe that they’re the luckiest happiest dog in the world. With the absolute best master that they could have ever hoped for.