Why Does My Dog Dig on Me and How Do I Stop This Behavior?

When some doggies jump in their owner’s lap, they start digging on them. Are you too wondering “why does my dog dig on me”?

This behavior shows that your pooch may be:

  • Sleepy
  • Bored
  • Craving attention
  • Detecting an unusual smell on you
  • Stressed
  • Nesting


Why Does My Dog Dig on Me?

People are willing to put up with their doggies’ weird behaviors because they love them to bits.

So, they often let them do silly things like chasing their tails or thrashing the new toys they buy for them.

However, imagine that you’re sitting on the couch and your pooch suddenly starts digging on you.

If you’ve been in this situation, you’ve probably asked yourself the question, Why does my dog dig on me?

Since our furry friends can’t speak human, they use other techniques to communicate with us. digging on our laps is one of them.

Usually, there’s a hidden meaning behind this odd habit, and now, I will try to decipher it for you.


Dogs and Digging

Even if you are a new dog owner, you may have noticed that doggies love to dig. They are so committed to this activity that they can quickly turn your yard into a minefield.

So, what’s the reason behind this passion? Well, it all has to do with evolution.

digging is a built-in instinct for our four-legged buddies. For the most part, the ancestors of domesticated pooches relied on this instinct to hide their food.

Some primitive dogs would also dig holes in the ground to escape predators.

Although modern-day doggies don’t need to resort to this behavior to survive, they continue to exhibit it. What’s more, it can manifest in new, unusual ways.

For example, you may have seen your furry friend dig on furniture or on the carpet. In the worst-case scenario, it’ll use you as its favorite digging spot.


So, Why Does My Dog Dig on Me?

There are many reasons your pooch may be digging on you. Fortunately, neither of them suggests that it has a medical problem.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the behavior since it often reveals something about the dog’s mood.

As I mentioned, it may also be trying to tell you something important.


It Wants Your Attention

We are our dogs’ entire worlds, and they love to bond and be with us. Since we’re living in hectic times, we humans tend to forget this need of theirs.

Luckily, our four-legged friends will let us know if they feel ignored. They would do anything to tell us, Hey, look at me!

Typically, your pooch will whine or bark to get your attention, but it may turn to other techniques too. Digging on you is just one of them.

Your doggie may do it if it’s been alone in the house during the day. Sometimes, it’ll dig on you to distract you from watching TV so that you can spend more time with it instead.


It’s Sleepy

When dogs want to lie down and sleep, they may dig or walk-in circles on their bedding. If they decide that they want to sleep on your lap, they will do the same thing.

Digging on you is their way to fluff their “pillow” and make their bed more comfortable. In this case, you happen to be the pillow.


They are Bored

When your pooch feels bored but has the energy to spend, it may start to dig. You may now be thinking, Why does my dog dig on me and not on the couch?

The dog has chosen you as its digging spot because you can entertain it.

The couch, on the other hand, can’t. Your pooch wants you to get off your seat and start playing together.


He Can Smell Something

Another reason your pup may be digging on you is if your clothes have an unusual smell. For instance, your pooch will sense when you’ve visited a friend who owns a cat.

Also, it may dig on your clothes when it detects a potent aroma, such as coffee.


It’s Stressed, Afraid, or Anxious

Dogs rarely experience emotions like fear or stress when they are at home together with their owner. Usually, that is when they feel the most secure.

However, if they see or hear something unusual in or outside the house, they may feel threatened.

A puppy or a young pooch can easily be scared by loud noises like fireworks or a thunderstorm. So, it may come to you to seek a sense of comfort and security.

If your doggie is digging on you, it may be trying to hide.


It’s Nesting

Pregnant dogs start to scratch, dig or paw on their bedding before they go into labor. This instinct is called nesting.

If your doggie is digging on you, she’s showing you that she needs a safe place to have her pups. Prepare her a whelping box where she can give birth undisturbed.


How to Stop Your Dog From Digging on You

Although there is something endearing about your pooch trying to dig on you, you must not tolerate this behavior.

At some point, it may become annoying and hard to control. If you have a big four-legged buddy, such as a Bernese Mountain Dog, it may scratch you by accident.

Therefore, it’s not enough to answer the question, Why does my dog dig on me? You will also need to stop the behavior. I’ll show you six different ways you can do that.


Get a Dog Bed

Large Memory Foam Dog BedSee on Amazon

See on Amazon

Buy your pup a bed of its own to end its digging obsession. If it already has one, it may not be comfortable enough.

Consider getting a new dog bed that is spacious and soft. Otherwise, your pooch will continue to use you as its pillow.


Ignore It

One of the best ways to train your dog out of any undesirable behavior is by ignoring it. So, next time it starts digging on you, get up, and leave the room.

Don’t look at your pooch and don’t say a word for a few minutes. That way, you’ll show it that it’s doing something wrong.

Still, don’t expect this trick to work from the get-go. You will need to repeat it until your doggie gets the hint.


Spend More Time Playing With Your Dog

Why Does My Dog Dig on Me

If your furry friend is digging on you because it wants attention, try spending more time with it. For instance, work from home whenever you can, or play together every day.

You can even teach it some new commands. No matter what activity you choose, your pup will be happy because it’ll be with you.


Keep Your Pooch Entertained

Like us, dogs get bored when they have a ton of energy but nothing to do. If your doggie is digging on you out of boredom, keep it stimulated during the day.

Some of the things you can do to entertain your furry buddy include:

  • Buying new dog toys
  • Changing its schedule
  • Taking longer walks
  • Exercising
  • Extending its playtime


Change Into Other Clothes

If you think your dog is digging on you because it’s sensing some unusual odor, change into different clothes.

Do that every time you come home because your dog’s nose is more sensitive than yours.

It can easily smell other pooches’ scent on you and even pick up what you had for lunch.


Train an Alternative Behavior

Dog Training Solution
Another way to stop a dog from digging on you is by teaching it an alternative behavior. When your pooch starts to dig, interrupt it with one of its trained commands like “sit.”

Reward it with a treat every time it listens to you.

Keep in mind that before things get better, they will get worse. So, your doggie’s digging obsession may escalate at first.

However, if you’re patient and consistent, eventually it will go away.


What Not to Do

Trying to stop your pooch from digging on you can be a frustrating process, but don’t get angry at him or her.

You will only make the situation worse if you lose your temper because that will scare or confuse your pup.

What’s worse, it may even try to bite you if it feels threatened.


Final Thoughts

As you can see, it’s easy to answer the question, Why does my dog dig on me? What is hard is stopping the behavior.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of finding the right dog bed for your pooch. In other cases, you may need to pay more attention to it.

The important thing is to stay patient and calm throughout the process. Digging is a dog instinct, and it will take it time to overcome it.

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