Why Is My Dog Digging At My Stomach? (Updated 2023)

Do you ever find yourself wondering why your furry friend doing different behaviors which is confusing sometimes? My dog one behavior that’s left me particularly intrigued is, “Why Is My Dog Digging At My Stomach?”

Well, Many dog owners experience this behavior and it can be confusing and even concerning.

So, If you’re curious about this stomach-digging dog’s behavior and want to explore, keep reading!

Why Is My Dog Digging At My Stomach?

Your dog might be digging at your stomach because of seeking your attention or seeking comfort or any medical issues or it might be an instinctual behavior.

Before trying to stop the behavior, it’s important to identify the underlying reason.

There are a few different reasons why dogs may dig at their owner’s stomachs.

Seeking Attention

Dogs may dig due to a lack of attention or interaction with their owners.

Digging may be a way for some dogs to gain the attention they crave from their owners.

Breeds that are extremely devoted to their owners, like the Golden Retriever or the Labrador Retriever, frequently exhibit this behavior.

It’s crucial to deal with this behavior if it occurs regularly so that your dog doesn’t grow overly reliant on your attention.

Instinctual Behavior

Some dogs dig holes as a natural instinct, which can manifest as digging at their owner’s stomach.

Breeds like the Dachshund or the Terrier, which were traditionally employed for digging or burrowing, are more likely to exhibit this habit.

If your dog is digging at your stomach due to instinctual behavior, it’s important to provide them with an appropriate outlet for their digging behavior.

Consider setting up a designated digging area in your yard, such as a sandbox or a specific area of your garden.

Seeking Comfort or Security

Dogs may also dig at their owner’s stomachs as a way of seeking comfort or security.

This behavior is more common in dogs that are feeling anxious or fearful, as digging can be a calming and self-soothing behavior for them.

If you suspect that your dog is digging at your stomach for this reason, it’s important to address any underlying anxiety or fear issues.

To make your dog feel safer and more at home in their surroundings, think about working with a qualified dog trainer or behaviorist.

Medical Issues

In some cases, digging can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

For example, if your dog is experiencing skin irritation or gastrointestinal issues, it may be digging at its stomach in an attempt to relieve its discomfort.

It’s crucial to seek veterinarian attention as soon as you can if you think your dog’s digging activity may be connected to a health problem.

Your dog can receive the proper care from your veterinarian as well as assistance in identifying and treating any underlying problems.

Also Read: Why Does My Dog Scratch The Carpet?

Is It Normal for Dogs to Dig at Their Owner’s Stomach?

While digging at the owner’s stomach can be a normal behavior for some dogs, it can also be a sign of underlying issues.

Let’s examine some of the elements that may affect whether or not this behavior is typical:


Dogs of certain breeds are more likely to dig than others.

For example, Terriers and Dachshunds were historically bred for digging and burrowing, so it’s not unusual for them to dig at their owner’s stomach.

However, breeds bred for herding or guarding may not exhibit this behavior as frequently.


If your dog digs at your stomach, it may be normal or not, depending on their age.

Puppies, for example, may be more prone to digging behavior as they explore their environment and learn about the world around them.

As they get older, this behavior may decrease or stop altogether.

Attention Seeking

As we mentioned earlier, some dogs may dig at their owner’s stomach as a way of seeking attention.

While some of this behavior may be considered to be typical, it’s crucial to watch that your dog doesn’t become overly reliant on your attention.

If your dog is digging at your stomach frequently or aggressively, it’s important to address the behavior and redirect it as needed.

Anxiety or Fear

Digging can be a sign of separation anxiety.

This behavior can be a self-soothing mechanism for them and maybe a sign that they are not feeling secure in their environment.

If your dog is acting out in this way, it’s crucial to deal with any underlying anxiety or fear issues and provide them with the right care.

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Why Is My Dog Digging At My Stomach

Should You Stop Your Dog From Digging at your stomach?

Let’s examine some of the elements to take into account while determining whether or not to prevent your dog from burrowing into your stomach:

Skin or clothing damage

One of the main reasons to discourage your dog from digging at your stomach is if they are causing damage to your clothing or skin.

While this behavior may seem harmless, it can become problematic if your dog is scratching or biting at your skin or tearing holes in your clothing.

To avoid future harm in certain circumstances, it can be important to redirect the behavior.

Boundary Setting

In some cases, discouraging your dog from digging at your stomach can be a way of setting boundaries or providing a digging zone and establishing yourself as the leader in the relationship.

Dogs look to their owners for leadership and direction, so if you tolerate disruptive or improper conduct from your dog, it may cause confusion and frustration for both of you.

By redirecting the behavior and establishing clear boundaries, you can help your dog feel more secure and confident in their role as a pet.

Training Opportunities

Discouraging your dog from digging at your stomach can also be an opportunity for training and behavior modification.

By redirecting the behavior to more appropriate activities, you can help your dog learn new skills and behaviors that will be more beneficial in the long run.

This can include teaching your dog to fetch or play with toys, or engaging them in interactive play that doesn’t involve digging or biting.

Also Read: Why Does My Dog Rub His Face On Me?

How to Stop My Dog From Digging at my stomach?

There are several strategies that you can use to redirect the behavior and discourage the behavior in a positive way. Here are some tips for stopping your dog from digging into your stomach:

Redirect the behavior

Redirecting the behavior to a more suitable activity is one of the best strategies to get your dog to quit digging at your stomach.

Giving your dog a chew toy or bone to gnaw on or involving them in interactive play without biting or scratching are some examples of this.

When you see your dog starting to dig at your stomach, gently redirect their attention to the new activity and reward them with praise or treats when they engage in the new behavior.

Use positive reinforcement

Training techniques such as positive reinforcement and redirection can help to stop digging.

Instead of disciplining your dog for undesirable conduct, this entails rewarding them when they exhibit the desired behavior.

When your dog stops digging at your stomach or engages in the new activity you’ve introduced, be sure to reward them with praise, treats, or other rewards that they enjoy.

They will be able to link the new behavior to satisfying memories as a result, which will motivate them to repeat it in the future.

Set clear boundaries

Setting clear boundaries is an important part of training your dog and establishing a positive relationship with them.

You may need to lay out specific guidelines for when it’s acceptable and inappropriate for your dog to participate in behavior like digging at your tummy.

This might entail telling your dog that the behavior is unacceptable using a vocal command or a hand signal and rewarding them when they obey.

Address underlying issues

It is important to address the underlying cause of the problem behavior to resolve the issue.

To stop the habit from happening again, it’s critical to address any underlying concerns that may be causing your dog’s digging activity, such as anxiety, boredom, or other problems.

This may entail giving your dog extra mental and physical exercise, attending to any medical conditions that might be causing the behavior, or consulting a trained trainer or behaviorist to treat the underlying problems.

Also Read: Why Does My Dog Suck On Blankets?

Key Takeaways

  • Although it’s common for dogs to playfully bite, scratch, and dig, it’s crucial to set clear limits.
  • Understanding the causes, such as playfulness, attention-seeking, anxiety, boredom, or other underlying concerns, might be useful in dealing with your dog’s digging behavior.
  • Positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewarding desired behaviors, can be more effective than punishment in modifying your dog’s behavior.
  • Making sure your dog gets enough mental and physical stimulation can decrease the likelihood of digging.
  • Redirecting your dog’s behavior to more appropriate activities through the introduction of new toys or activities, verbal commands, or gestures can be helpful in discouraging digging behavior.
  • Professional behavior coaching can help owners address the root of the issue more effectively.

Final Thoughts

Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key when working with your dog to modify its behavior.

With the right guidance and training, you can teach your animal buddy how to exhibit acceptable behavior and maintain a positive and mutually beneficial connection with your dog.

People Also Ask

Is it normal for dogs to dig at their owner’s stomach?

Yeah, it’s usual for dogs to playfully bite, scratch, and dig at the stomach of their owners.
However, it’s important to establish clear boundaries and redirect the behavior if it becomes excessive or uncomfortable.

What are some reasons why my dog may be digging at my stomach?

Your dog may be digging at your stomach for a variety of reasons, including playfulness, seeking attention, or attempting to establish dominance. The most common cause of digging is boredom, lack of exercise, and mental stimulation.

Should I stop my dog from digging into my stomach?

If your dog’s digging behavior is causing harm or discomfort, it may be necessary to redirect the behavior or establish clear boundaries. However, if the behavior is harmless and playful, you may choose to allow it within certain limits.

What is positive reinforcement?

A training method called positive reinforcement includes praising your dog for doing desired behaviors rather than penalizing them for performing undesirable ones. Providing your dog with a designated digging area may help discourage digging.

How can I redirect my dog’s behavior?

To redirect your dog’s behavior, you can introduce new activities or toys that your dog enjoys, and reward them with praise or treats when they engage in these new behaviors.
You can also use verbal commands or gestures to signal to your dog when the behavior is not allowed and redirect their attention to a more appropriate activity.

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