Why Do Shih Tzus Dig: 10 Reasons & Solutions

Shih Tzu owners ask why do Shih Tzus dig, and in this post, we will outline and discuss all the possible reasons why your Shih Tzu may result to digging and how to stop such behavior.

Digging at the base of your backyard, fence or your basement is a behavior that no Shih Tzu owner would not want to live with.

Therefore, for you to stop your Shih Tzu from digging, you have to first figure out the exact cause of the digging, then fix the problem and your Shih Tzu will stop digging.

That been said, let’s look at some common reasons why Shih Tzus may result to digging.

Why Do Shih Tzus Dig

Shih Tzus dig for a variety of reasons, including separation anxiety, play aggression, possessing a lot of energy, getting lonely, wanting to get away, and seeking a cool place of rest. You need to identify why your Shih Tzu is digging and solve the problem quickly.

The best option is to never let your Shih Tzu unattended outside for too long and to keep your Shih Tzu always occupied. 

Dogs have a natural instinct to dig, and there are a variety of reasons why your dog could be digging, none of which involve being cruel.

Here are the common reasons why Shih Tzus dig:

Shih Tzus dig out separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is one of the most common causes of Shih Tzus digging as a means to keep themselves occupied and happy.

Shih Tzus are companion dogs who may develop separation anxiety if left alone for more than eight hours, and some may turn aggressive and destructive.

If you are a very busy person and, you are not always at home, then Shih Tzu is the wrong choice for you because they thrive on human companionship.

Shih Tzus dig to seek owner’s attention

A further compelling reason Shih Tzus dig is to get the attention of their owners at any cost.

Your Shih Tzu adores you and desires your undivided attention at all hours of the day and night.

Your Shih Tzu may try to get your attention by digging in your backyard or bed, whimpering, barking, whining, or howling.

When Shih Tzus are bored or feel ignored, they may act out to seek the attention of their owners.

Because they were deliberately and specifically bred to be a human companion, Shih Tzus crave attention more than most dog breeds.

Shih Tzus dig due to too much stress

Shih Tzus are little dogs who are prone to being anxious and uneasy. This might be related to their size or the breed’s function.

Knowing the indications that your dog is scared, anxious, or sad may help you prevent unwanted behavior and create a happy and healthy life for your dog.

Although stress symptoms are typically evident, your dog’s stress communication might be subtle and unexpected at times.

When a Shih Tzu is overwhelmed and agitated, it may begin digging up your fence or garden to convey its feelings to the owner.

Shih Tzus dig out of boredom, loneliness or hunger

Even with humans, when a child is lonely, bored, or hungry, he or she begins to cry or search for anything to occupy their time; this also applies to tiny dog breeds such as Shih Tzus.

When a Shih Tzu is bored, lonely, or hungry, it might become violent and attack or nip its owners. 

If no one is home to keep them busy they may start digging your fence in a way to escape or to keep them busy and occupied. 

To protect your Shih Tzu from being bored or lonely, give them a healthy amount of mental activity.

Shih Tzus dig due to play aggression

Play aggression is the most prevalent and well-known form of Shih Tzu behavior issues.

Excessive digging of the fence or backyard, growling, snarling, displaying fangs, lunging, and biting are all signs of play aggressiveness in Shih Tzus.

It’s quite prevalent among Shih Tzus since their owners always accept or encourage it because they believe it’s the proper thing to do.

Play aggressiveness in Shih Tzus develops gradually and, if not properly managed, can lead to major problems with your children and your dog.

Find out more about Shih Tzu Barking At Night: 8 Reasons & Solutions.

Shih Tzus dig seeking a cool place of rest

Shih Tzus are tiny dog breeds that are prone to overheating and heat exhaustion in hot environments.

If it’s hot outdoors, your Shih Tzu could dig to provide a cool and comfy place to lay down.

When Shih Tzus dig holes in your fence or backyard, it’s possible that they’re searching for a place to cool down because they’re too hot.

So, if it’s scorching outdoors and the atmosphere is too hot, make sure they have a cool, shaded area to go.

Shih Tzus dig when trying to escape out of frustration

Shih Tzus may be digging holes in your fence or backyard to get away from anything that is bothering them.

If your dog is afraid of or anxious about something, it may dig to try to get away.

This might be the case if they are simply excavating along your fence line, basement, or backyard.

If you have an open place where other dogs or animals may come in and attack your Shih Tzu, this can happen.

Shih Tzus dig out of curiosity

Dogs have a natural instinct to dig, and there are a variety of reasons why your dog could be digging, of which curiosity is one of them.

Shih Tzus are small breeds of dogs that always want to know what is happening in their environment, which makes them curious.

Your Shih Tzu might be digging out of curiosity to find out why the small hole in your fence is there, to find out if anything is in the hole.

Your Shih Tzu might dig after any rodent that tries to come in or go outside its environment.

Read more about What Makes Shih Tzus Happy: 23 Shih Tzus happy Hacks.

Shih Tzus dig to burn off excess energy in them

Shih Tzus are a tiny, energetic breed of dog that is always looking for something to do in order to keep busy.

If your Shih Tzu doesn’t get enough walks or plays with you, they could dig up your yard to burn off some of their pent-up energy.

You must establish and follow a daily schedule to ensure that your Shih Tzu is always entertained.

If you don’t find a method to keep your Shih Tzu occupied or burn off some of his energy, when he becomes bored, he may dig.

Shih Tzus dig because they enjoy digging

Although Shih Tzus are not major chewers, they do like digging and may engage in nuisance barking due to their small muzzles.

You may see excavating the fence or the backyard as a nuisance, while your Shih Tzu sees it the other way around.

Shih Tzus like digging all day because it is enjoyable for them to dig up cold soil and roll around in it.

Digging will not be an issue for you and your Shih Tzu if you provide adequate training and mental stimulation; simply tell them what to do.

Read more about why Shih Tzus cry and how to fix them from crying!!!

How to stop Shih Tzus from digging

Here are some common steps or tips on how to stop Shih Tzus from digging:

  • Make the digging spots unattractive.
  • Interrupt the behavior by distracting them.
  • Playtime and exercise should be increased.
  • Create and stick to a daily routine that keeps your Shih Tzu busy all day.
  • More chews and toys.
  • Provide lots of mental stimulation activities
  • Encourage people not to dig in places they don’t want to be.
  • Digging deterrents should be included.
  • Get a second pet for your dog.
  • Getting rid of rodents is a must.
  • Take your dog for an evening stroll.
  • Assist your dog in cooling down.
  • Use solid concrete at the base of your fence.
  • Always use positive reinforcement.
  • Desensitize your Shih Tzu.

Read more about Shih Tzu Eating Problems: 13 Causes & How To Fix Them.

Why Do Shih Tzus Dig in the Bed

Shih Tzus dig their bed for a variety of reasons, which includes to warm up their beds, to find a more comfortable sleeping position, out of boredom, frustration, anxiety, to regulate body temperature, as part of an exercise to keep themselves occupied.

How to stop your Shih Tzu from digging its bed

Here are some common ways to stop your Shih Tzu from digging on its bed:

  • Use the counter conditioning method.
  • Trim your Shih Tzu’s nails
  • Invest in a more durable and comfortable bed.
  • Desensitize your Shih Tzu
  • Provide lots of interesting and interactive toys.
  • Encourage your dog to sleep in her area, praise her and offer her treats.
  • Only reward good behaviors.
  • Don’t associate digging with a good behavior.
  • Don’t shout at your Shih Tzu if you catch him digging his bed, instead try to distract him.
  • Provide more chewing toys.
  • Walk your Shih Tzu when you are less busy.
  • Create and stick to a daily routine to always keep your Shih tzu busy at all times.
  • Keep your dog bed close to the area you can supervision him.

I hope your question about why do Shih Tzus dig was answered!

Read more about: 10 Common Causes Of Shih Tzu Shaking You Should Know.