Why Do Dogs Burrow?

When you find your dog burrowed under a pile of blankets or nestled into a cozy corner, it’s hard not to smile at their adorable antics. But have you ever wondered why dogs have an innate tendency to burrow and snuggle? In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind this behavior, uncover the instincts that drive dogs to burrow, and explore the various ways they find comfort and security in this simple act.
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A Comforting Instinct: The Origins of Burrowing Behavior

Dogs share their lineage with wolves, and this ancient connection plays a significant role in their behaviors, including burrowing. In the wild, wolves would dig dens and burrows to create safe and secure shelters for themselves and their young. This behavior helped protect them from harsh weather, predators, and other potential threats.

Reasons Why Dogs Burrow:

1. Instinctual Behavior: The burrowing behavior in dogs is a remnant of their wild ancestors’ survival instincts. Creating a cozy space by burrowing provides dogs with a sense of security and protection.

2. Temperature Regulation: Burrowing under blankets or cushions helps dogs regulate their body temperature. Just as wolves dug to escape extreme weather, dogs burrow to stay warm in colder conditions.

3. Comfort and Security: Dogs have a natural desire for warmth and comfort. Burrowing allows them to create a snug and enclosed space that mimics the feeling of being in a den, providing a sense of safety.

4. Stress and Anxiety Relief: Burrowing can be a soothing coping mechanism for dogs experiencing stress or anxiety. The confined space may help them feel more secure and reduce feelings of vulnerability.

5. Bonding and Social Behavior: Burrowing under blankets with their humans or other pets can be a way for dogs to bond and express affection. It’s a form of seeking closeness and companionship.

6. Scent Preservation: Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and burrowing may help them preserve their scent in their chosen resting spot. This behavior could be related to marking territory or signaling their presence to other dogs.

Understanding the Quirks of Burrowing:

1. Snuggling Under Blankets: Dogs burrowing under blankets is a common behavior that combines their love for warmth and security. The sensation of being cocooned can create a comforting environment, particularly during cold weather or when they’re feeling anxious.

2. Tunneling and Nesting: Some dogs display tunneling or nesting behaviors by scratching, pawing, or digging at their bedding before settling down. This mimics the actions of wolves creating a den and helps dogs shape their sleeping area to their liking.

3. Seeking Body Heat: Dogs often burrow close to their human or other pets to share body heat. This behavior reflects their social nature and their desire for physical closeness.


Q1: Why does my dog like to burrow so much? Burrowing is an instinctual behavior rooted in dogs’ ancestry. It provides them with a sense of security, warmth, and comfort.

Q2: Why do dogs try to burrow under me? Dogs burrow under their owners or other pets as a way to seek closeness, bond, and share body heat. It’s an expression of their social nature.

Q3: Why do some dogs burrow under blankets? Burrowing under blankets is a way for dogs to create a cozy and secure sleeping environment. It helps them regulate their body temperature and feel protected.

Q4: Do dogs like to sleep with their owners? Many dogs enjoy sleeping with their owners because it provides them with companionship, warmth, and a sense of security.

Q5: Is it OK for dogs to sleep under blankets? Yes, it’s generally safe for dogs to sleep under blankets as long as they have enough space to breathe comfortably. Monitor your dog to ensure they don’t become too hot.


Dogs’ instinctual behavior to burrow is a charming reminder of their connection to their wild ancestors. Whether they’re snuggled under blankets, tunneling in their beds, or seeking warmth from their human companions, burrowing brings dogs a sense of security, comfort, and companionship. As responsible pet owners, providing cozy spots and encouraging these natural behaviors can contribute to our furry friends’ well-being and happiness. So, the next time you see your dog happily burrowing, you can appreciate the ancient instincts that guide this endearing behavior.
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