Why Do Dogs Burrow in Blankets?

By John Martin - May 12, 2021

Dog burrowed in a blanket

A perpetual yet nonetheless amusing activity, to watch your dog gleefully shuffling around under a blanket, doing his best to find that right spot to nestle in.

You closely watch the mound circling for a while and then curling up after the mission has been accomplished. And you wonder, do all dogs express such burrowing behavior? And if so, why?

Impressions Of The Genes

To understand the innate behavior of dogs digging and burrowing around, which is a common complaint of many pet owners, it is important to understand the factual conditions that have conditioned them to be as they are today.

There exist pools of different dog breeds, groomed to hunt terrestrial animals like foxes, moles, rabbits, and such by digging them out, in equally diverse environments.

Similarly, dogs bred in colder climates tend to dig into the ground, searching for optimal conditions to keep themselves warm.

Objectively looking at dogs, they do not have the necessity or facility for clothing themselves and piling up layers of warm blankets and sweaters to beat the chill. It is their instinct that allows them the luxury of staying warm or not, as required.

Does Every Dog Harbor The Tendency To Burrow?

Putting instincts aside, what about the dog breeds who were groomed to be play pals? You have the toy breed of dog, with spirited personalities and never-settle-down energetic attitude. What do you think their reason is to keep burying around, digging under the cushions, and making a mess of everything?

Well, the only reason you will find in their case is the need to expend all that bubbling energy in one way or the other. Of course, if they ever get anxious, the burrowing that once seemed playful and charming will turn bothersome all too soon.

Related: Why Do Dogs Chase Squirrels?

Dogs Who Take Their Burrowing Seriously

Besides excess energy and a desire to carve their own niche being a reason to keep burrowing endlessly, there are some breeds that interplay genetic-habits with everyday fun to keep their passion burning strong.


Sometimes lamb-like and other times all furry, these active and compact little earth dogs have a deep-seated penchant for digging around in lawns and gardens, seeking rodents in the soil.

They are vigilant little creatures with a single-track mind to hunt down any vermin they can possibly lay their paws on.


Huskies are known for their spirited personalities, always wanting to run around and dig up something not worth their time.

Just as they dig up the snow-filled ground seeking a warm asylum, they also dig up the summertime earth seeking cooler patches.

Related: Are Huskies Smart?


A versatile breed of herding dogs, collies are known to thrive in active environments. They need to forever keep moving to keep themselves engaged.

Give them a patch of your garden, and you may be happy for the weed-extermination, but ensure you keep a lookout and stop them from digging up your healthy ground.


Featuring short tenacious limbs, this hound breed can dig up tunnels to accurately implicate the underground festering rodents.

They are preferred even today for their infallible sense of smell and instincts in eradicating and driving out badgers and moles.


Precise trackers, the beagles usually dig around following the scent of rabbits or similar rodents, looking for some fun while hunting.

You can sit and watch them chase a butterfly all day or dig up the ground for bones and oddities, doing their best to hone in on the vermin in the process.

Related: How to Tell If Beagle is Purebred


These tough hunting beasts make for a favorable companion on any sporting expedition. Their eagerness to keep active enables them to excel in all sorts of terrain.

Of course, the situation turns grim when they channel all their drive into burrowing into the tight spaces in your house and out in the yard.


Their deep-seated tendency to dig into the ground and drive out rodents is what keeps them engaged even indoors.

Owners may be satisfied with their rat and mice-free houses, but the eventual swag leads to messy and muddy homes after a successful dig out under the afternoon sun.

But Why The Blankets?

Dogs lead a simple life. They eat, scurry around, sleep, poop, eat more, create trouble, cuddle with their owners, and bring joy to our lives. Maybe they don’t lead a simple life.

The point here is, as, with any living being, there is an intrinsic feeling of security that we must fulfill in order to feel satisfied and safe. With us humans, it could be physical, spiritual, psychological, or emotional safety that we seek to satisfy.

We go about it in various ways, but generally speaking, who does not relish the warmth of cuddling in a blanket and the sense of comfort it brings us?

Dogs, cats, hamsters, even birds (spoiled due to the owner’s influence) tend to cuddle under blankets to satisfy their comfort needs.

Also, if you look at the past living conditions of dogs, they have forever been den or kennel animals. Not that they love sleeping in such enclosures, but their attachment to enclosed spaces, that are snug and tight, seem to bring them relief and contentment.

Blankets are simply another area of their interest where they can burrow to their heart’s desire and seek that perfect body orientation and temperature to catch a good night’s/day’s sleep.

Earlier, it was holes and crevices that served as safe sanctuaries for dogs in the open. With the gradual change in housing circumstances, dogs prefer a familiar warmth that they find in the confines of a well-tangled blanket.

Related: Why Do Dogs Lick Their Beds?

Accepting A Heritage That Once Served Our Purposes

The natural reflex of burrowing, that we observe in our pets today, was once a trait we humans ingrained into them for our survival purposes back in the yore.

It only makes sense to accept them as they are, with their brimming personalities and eclectic characteristics.

Although, it doesn’t seem a difficult task to accomplish, what with many of us willing to burrow up with them and cuddle ourselves beside their warm little bodies. A mutually symbiotic relationship, if nothing else.