Moles, gophers and groundhogs aren't the only animals with an innate predisposition for digging. Add Scruffy the burrowing dog to the list. Virtually any dog may find digging amusing, but several dog breeds in particular were selectively bred for their digging qualities.
Meet the Terriers
Deriving from the Latin word "terra," meaning earth, the terrier breed group encompasses several dog breeds selectively bred to chase and kill a vast array of ground-dwelling critters. Not all dogs in the this group are avid diggers, though; the real experts in the field include many short-legged terriers, such as Bedlington terriers, border terriers, Parson Russell terriers, Norfolk terriers, Norwich terriers and Yorkshire terriers, to just name a few.
Another dog breed with a reputation for digging includes the dachshund. With a name originating from the German word for "badger dog," you can't go wrong on this fellow's digging abilities. Indeed, this breed's long-bodied appearance and short, stubby legs makes him perfect for flushing out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals from their hiding spots.
While terriers and dachshunds are the diggers of the dog world, any dog breed may enjoy digging activities. Whether digging for curiosity, fun or frustration, or to hunt, it's just one of those normal traits dogs will persist doing for one reason or another. And purebred dogs aren't the only specimens blessed with this desire; indeed, even the average mutt may enjoy making a mine field out of your back yard.
Dog Time: The Dirt of Dogs Who Dig
Dog Time: Terrier Dogs
American Kennel Club: AKC Breeds by Group-the Terriers
Earth Dog: Earthdog Overview
Arizona Earth Club: Welcome to the Arizona Earthdog Club
Almost Home Rescue: About Dachshunds
Animal Planet: Terrier Dog Breeds
About the Author
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.