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While whippets aren’t the smallest of dogs, they still like to burrow as though they are. Sometimes this behavior can come out of the blue and other times it’s caused by something.
And it’s always important to understand why your pup is behaving the way they are.
Why Do Whippets Burrow:
Whippets like to burrow under blankets because it makes them feel warm, safe and secure. When your whippet burrows under blankets it creates a den-like experience for them and instinctually feels comforting. Other reasons whippets burrow are to be close to you or they’re feeling anxious.
In this post you’ll discover:
- 7 real reasons why whippets burrow
- When your whippets burrowing becomes concerning
- 4 tips to help reduce how much your whippet burrows (Tip #1 is the most important!)
- And much, much more
Let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
7 Reasons Why Whippets Burrow (Under Blankets)
1) Burrowing Is Instinctual
Before dogs were domesticated they lived in dens in the wild.
These dens were small, cave-like spaces that gave them a place to sleep, shelter from the elements and a sense of security.
So when whippets burrow under blankets they’re likely following an instinctual desire.
They may be tired and wanting to rest, wanting to warm themselves up or seeking a form of comfort.
Also, your whippet is a pack oriented animal. And another instinctual desire your pup might have is the importance of choosing where to sleep.
While they don’t need to worry about falling asleep somewhere unsafe since they live in your home, this wasn’t always the case.
Choosing where a wolf sleeps can be the difference between life or death.
So your whippet might not be able to fully grasp that they’re 100% safe in your home which makes them want to burrow for another layer of protection.
2) Lack Of Fur
Whippets get cold much more easily than other breeds.
They don’t have much body fat at all and their fur coat is very thin.
This makes them far less equipped to handle colder temperatures on their own.
Which is one of the main reasons why whippets burrow.
If where you live gets much colder during the winter months, you’ll likely find your whippet burrowing a lot more.
Their best way to deal with the cold when they want to lie down is to burrow under a blanket.
Similarly to how you like to get under the covers when you’re ready to go to bed and want to stay warm.
3) Increased Comfort
When your whippet was a newborn pup, they would have snuggled up closely to their siblings as well as their mother.
Which is a happy memory that makes them feel good when they can recreate it even as they get older.
So when they burrow under a blanket, not only are they getting the added feeling of security, but they’re also getting the satisfaction of feeling like they’re being held or cuddled with.
Doing this can also release happy chemicals in their brain (oxytocin & dopamine) which makes them want to do it more.
And now that you’ve become their family, the fact that the blanket smells like you will also give them a sense of comfort.
If you’re busy doing something and your pup wishes you were spending time with them, cuddling in a blanket that has your scent can make them feel less lonely.
If your whippet is feeling overly anxious it’s not uncommon to see them burrow.
Burrowing can be a way for them to deal with their negative feelings.
While being burrowed under a blanket can give them an increased sense of security, the very act of burrowing can help distract them from whatever’s bothering them.
If there’s loud noises like a thunderstorm, sirens from an ambulance, fireworks or even loud music and you find your pup burrowing, more than likely they’re trying to cope with their anxiety.
Also, if their burrowing becomes destructive, it could mean their anxiety is getting much worse or are even developing separation anxiety.
Whenever your whippet starts to do things to excess, it’s usually a sign that somethings wrong.
So for example, if you also notice them excessively barking, howling, licking themselves, pacing or drooling, there’s a good chance they have high levels of anxiety.
Related Reading: Is Separation Anxiety Common In Whippets? The Truth + Tips
5) Improve Their Sleep
Just like you sleep better when you have a blanket draped over you, so might your pup.
If your whippet burrows for warm and overall comfort, whenever they get the chance to, they’ll burrow in a blanket when they want to take a nap.
It helps them completely relax and warms up any parts of their body that are feeling chilly.
You know how tough it can be to fall asleep if you’re cold!
Related Reading: 9 Reasons Why Whippets Sleep So Much + Helpful Tips
6) Wanting To Be Close To You
One of the more innocent reasons that whippets burrow is simply because they want to be close to you.
In the most literal sense of the word, it makes them feel good to be cuddled up next to you.
Studies have found that simple physical contact between a dog and their owner releases oxytocin in their body.
Oxytocin is known as the happiness hormone that increases feelings of love and trust to anyone who has more of it in their system (body).
So if you often find your whippet trying to burrow under a blanket you’re using, it’s likely because it feels so much better to lie next to you than to lie by themselves.
7) (Pseudo) Pregnancy
Of course this reason is reserved for female whippets, but nonetheless is still a possibility for why your pup is burrowing.
If your whippet is pregnant they may burrow a lot because they’re expecting their litter to be coming soon.
So they’re preparing a comfortable place for their puppies to rest in when the time comes.
However, if your whippet isn’t pregnant, there’s such a thing as a pseudo-pregnancy.
Or false pregnancy.
It simply means your pup thinks she’s pregnant even though she isn’t.
But she’s convinced she is, which is why she’s preparing as though a litter is coming.
If she’s definitely not pregnant this phase will pass when her hormones get back to normal.
4 Tips To Help With Whippet Burrowing
1) Look For Other Symptoms
If your whippet is showing other signs of emotional distress, it’s more than likely they’re burrowing because they’re feeling anxious.
Whenever you find your dog doing anything to an excessive extent, there’s a good chance something is affecting them emotionally.
If your pup has high levels of anxiety you will also notice them excessively barking, howling, whining, drooling, pacing or even shivering.
If their burrowing behavior isn’t occasional and is accompanied by other symptoms they may need some help handling their anxiousness.
In this case it’s a good idea to speak with a professional. Whether that’s a behavioral specialist or a veterinarian.
2) Separate Burrow Blanket
Getting your whippet a designated burrow blanket is an idea worth testing.
If you’re tired of your pup dirtying all your blankets to satisfy their urge to burrow, getting them their own separate burrow blanket can help focus their energy.
Next time you see them burrowing, bring out their designated burrow blanket and replace it with what they’re currently using.
It’s best to have them cuddle with the blanket as much as possible to make them grow attached to it and want to use it to burrow.
And once they’re used to burrowing with this blanket whenever they’re feeling lonely, cold or sleepy they’ll go to this blanket.
Instead of wiping their dirty paws on your nice clean blankets.
3) Try a Den-Like Dog Bed
Some dog beds are designed specifically for pups that enjoy burrowing.
And since your whippet seems to enjoy burrowing, getting them a den-like dog bed will likely be a great match.
They’re comfortable round beds with raised walls and a light blanket over top half the bed so they can easily get in and out.
Which will likely be more comfortable than any make-shift burrowing they do in your blankets or bed.
4) Check In With Your Vet
If your pup is becoming destructive with their burrowing or they’re doing other unusual behavior it’s a good idea to check in with your vet.
You’ll either get peace of mind by finding out nothing’s wrong, or you’ll get the treatment/advice you need to help your whippet get back to normal.
Oftentimes there’s nothing serious going on, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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