Why Is My Dog Digging at My Stomach? [Guide]

The animal kingdom is full of fascinating creatures, but few are as curious and captivating as our beloved canine companions. Dogs’ intriguing and often peculiar behaviors can surprise us, like when they dig at their owners’ stomachs. This unusual action begs the question: what could be the motive behind it? To answer this, we need to explore why dogs dig in general.

dog digging

Why Do Dogs Dig?

Digging is one of the many intriguing behaviors of dogs that have evolved over the centuries. One reason for digging is to find a cool spot to rest in, especially in hot climates. Dogs may also dig out of instinct, a genetic trait inherited from their wild ancestors who used it for hunting or hiding from predators. Even though domesticated dogs have little need for these skills, they still retain their natural tendencies.

Another reason for digging is to alleviate stress or boredom. Dogs may dig to escape confinement or explore their surroundings. This activity can also serve as mental stimulation, which is essential for their well-being. Lastly, dogs may dig to communicate and mark their territory, leaving scent and visual cues that convey information about their presence and dominance.

Why Do Dogs Dig at Their Owners’ Stomachs?

While digging at your stomach may seem perplexing, several possible explanations shed light on this curious phenomenon. Dogs may be digging at your stomach to seek attention, as they are highly social animals and crave interaction with their owners. It could also be a display of affection, similar to nuzzling or licking, to express their love and devotion towards you. Additionally, dogs may find comfort and security by digging at your stomach, especially if they are feeling anxious or uncertain. In some cases, hunger may drive this behavior if dogs detect food or treat hidden in your clothing.

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Q: Is it okay to let my dog dig at my stomach?

A: It’s generally harmless if your dog digs at your stomach as long as it’s not causing any discomfort or injury. However, if you find the behavior annoying, you can redirect your dog’s attention with toys or treats.

Q: Should I be concerned if my dog suddenly starts digging at my stomach?

A: If your dog suddenly starts this behavior and you are concerned, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian. It’s possible that your dog may be experiencing pain or discomfort, so it’s important to rule out any underlying health issues.

Q: Can I train my dog to stop digging at my stomach?

A: Yes, you can train your dog to stop this behavior by redirecting their actions and rewarding them for positive behavior. You can also discourage the behavior by using a firm “no” command and withholding attention when they engage in the behavior.


Dogs’ behavior of digging at their owners’ stomachs reveals their social and emotional needs. As we observe this peculiar action, we are reminded of the diversity of the canine species and the unique personalities that each individual possesses. Although some of their actions may seem inexplicable, they are all part of the complex and fascinating world of dogs. By embracing their quirks and idiosyncrasies, we can deepen our understanding and appreciation of these incredible animals and create a more compassionate and empathetic world for all.