A noblewoman’s favorite ally in the Middle Ages, especially in Italy, the Italian Greyhound is a small breed that has speed, determination, and endurance. However, these days, the Italian Greyhound is a docile family dog whose athleticism and beauty is admired in competitions. If you are planning on getting an Italian Greyhound, you have to be aware that at some point in time, he will start burrowing under blankets. One of the most common questions of Italian Greyhound owners is why do they burrow? For the curious, this is the right place. Let us explore some of the most common reasons.
The Root of the Behavior
According to research, dogs in general, are “denning” animals. It is their instinct to relax or sleep in small and protected spaces that feel safe and warm. This also explains why a lot of dogs prefer their crates when they are alone at home or when they sleep at night. Just try giving your dog a sturdy and comfy bed with a small blanket to burrow in and you will see your Italian Greyhound wrap himself up in no time. Your dog’s ancestors, the wild dogs or wolves, used to burrow to make a safe and warm haven where they can ensure their pups’ safety from extreme temperatures and potential predators. Dogs in the wild also had to fend for themselves and they often did not know when and where they would get their next meal, so they would dig holes where they could hide their food and come back for it later.
It is possible that your dog is burrowing because of anxiety. Try to observe his behavior if it seems excessive. Is he left alone by himself for long stretches of time? Find ways to ease his anxiety. One of the ways you can help your dog is to hire a dog walker or a sitter when you are away. You could also give him more things to occupy himself with whenever you are away. It is also advisable to take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup to make sure that he is in good health. Some dogs prefer to burrow outside so you might end up with a yard that looks like a minefield. Observe him closely when outside and when he starts digging, you can shake a can of pennies and say “No.” The noise made by the coins will break his concentration and will allow you to redirect his attention to a toy.
Encouraging the Behavior
If your Italian Greyhound crawls under the covers with you then it is possible that he is just searching for a safe and comfy place to rest and snooze. If you are the type of person who does not want to sleep with your canine in your bed, then you have to correct his behavior by getting him his very own cozy and cubby-style bed with blankets and put it in the bedroom or his very own space in the house. If he comes back to your bed, you can correct him by redirecting him to his very own place. Another option is to train him to sleep in his own crate. Crate training, when done correctly, will result in your dog being more than happy to be in his own space.
Another option is to get your dog one of those comfy burrow beds that are sold today. Comfy and compact, these burrow-friendly beds will easily become your dog’s new best friend. These beds can help make sure that you have a good night’s sleep without your canine burrowing under the covers and taking up your space. It is a must that you provide your dog with space where they can feel secure, comfortable, and safe. No matter how brave and outgoing he might be, there are times when he needs to feel protected as well. So, if your dog’s behavior worries you, take him to the veterinarian to eliminate injuries or diseases which you may not see.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Exercise is very important if you want to curb your dog’s excessive burrowing. However, if he seems like he wants to go on digging all the way to China, there is a need to investigate further. It is most likely that he could use more exercise, both mental and physical, to tire him out. Make it a point to take him for daily walks and allow him time to run or swim to help burn his energy. Otherwise, he will be spending all of it doing more damage to your yard. Being able to bond with each other is an added bonus of exercising together.
Burrowing may seem cute at times but when it gets to the point when your dog refuses to leave your yard or leave you in your bed alone, it is time to do something about it. With training, consistency, and time, you will be able to get your dog to behave correctly and you will be able to sleep in peace. You will also have a better-looking yard.
By a Chow Chow lover Jhoana Carla de Toro
Published: 04/29/2018, edited: 01/30/2020