10 Dog Breeds Who Love to Dig

Imagine you have four legs, sharp claws and a plot of land beneath your paws. What are you going to do? Dig, of course! Digging is often a natural and instinctual behavior for dogs, but certain breeds are more likely to do it than others — especially members of the Terrier group.

From the Jack Russell Terrier to the Siberian Husky, these dog breeds are likely to leave a few potholes in your yard if left to their own devices.

Dogs That Were Born to Dig

Jack Russell Terrier Digging

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Jack Russell Terrier

Go ahead and put your shovel back in the toolshed; the Jack Russell Terrier has your gardening needs covered. He’ll be happy to “help” with that flower bed and may even dig a few extra rows, just in case. Need a swimming pool? No problem. All kidding aside, this breed can be a champion digger and is likely to practice his favorite activity — whether you want him to or not. Instead, try channeling his energy into something less destructive, like regular walks or agility training. 

Siberian Husky With Blue Eyes

Leesia Teh, Animal Photography

Siberian Husky

As a breed who originated in the tundra of Siberia and probably had to dig to find a meal or make a shelter, it should come as no surprise that a Siberian Husky could excavate your entire yard if given the chance. It may be best to give him one spot in the yard where he can dig to his heart’s content under your close supervision.

Dachshund Howling

Nick Ridley, Animal Photography


Don’t underestimate this breed’s little legs. Digging is in the Dachshund’s DNA — he was bred to follow prey into underground burrows and tunnels — and he’s capable of using those instincts to landscape your garden.

Cairn Terrier

Karin Newstrom, Animal Photography

Cairn Terrier

Toto may not spend much (or any) time digging in The Wizard of Oz, but his breed, the Cairn Terrier, often enjoys putting his excavating skills to good use — especially if he’s going after a critter.

Side view of Alaskan Malamute dog breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Alaskan Malamute

Like the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute’s prime digging and climbing skills mean he usually can’t be contained in a fenced-in yard. You wouldn’t want to leave him alone in the backyard anyway, unless you want it to look like the surface of the moon.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Maybe Elmer Fudd would’ve had more luck if he’d had a PBGV by his side. The French scenthound was built to hunt rabbits and usually loves to dig and bark.

Smooth Fox Terrier

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Fox Terrier

When the Fox Terrier isn’t barking at the neighbor or chasing a squirrel, you’ll probably find him digging a nice, large hole. Thankfully, he can usually be convinced to move on to other activities, like agility, playing fetch with his favorite toy or learning new tricks.

Lagotto Romagnolo in Autumn Leaves

Eva-Maria Kramer, Animal Photography

Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto’s job is to hunt truffles, the highly esteemed fungi prized by chefs and foodies. So don’t be surprised if he does a thorough investigation of your backyard in search of the pungent delicacy.

Airedale Terrier dog

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier isn't called “the king of the terriers” for nothing. He’s a Terrier through and through and is capable of creating a king-sized hole in your backyard.

Norwegian Lundehund

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund is capable of digging a hole so large that he fits in it, and doing so in a matter of minutes. Well, the fact that he has six toes on each foot and can contort his flexible body into small places may give him a bit of an advantage.

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