Are German Shepherds Diggers? Plus How to Stop it

Are you worried about your backyard after getting a German Shepherd? Are German Shepherds diggers? We’ll teach you why they dig and how to stop this behavior.

Are German Shepherds Diggers

Are German Shepherds diggers? 

Yes, German Shepherds, just like most dogs are diggers. Almost every owner of this dog breed complains about the digging behavior of their GSD. Note that other breeds don’t show this behavior at the extreme as the German Shepherd does.

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Why do German Shepherds dig holes?

Again, there are several different reasons German shepherds dig holes. Even the reasons may vary from GSD to GSD.

1. Instinct

Almost all dogs, including German Shepherds, have the instinct to dig holes. The female German Shepherd is more likely to dig holes as compared to the male dog.

By digging, female German Shepherds fulfill their maternal needs, such as keeping their puppies safe.

You will find them digging holes even when they don’t have any puppies. Most of the time, the dog digs a hole just to bury all of its leftover food.

2. To create a den

It is not just female dogs that demand a den but also male German Shepherds for the sake of their safety. If your German Shepherd is not feeling safe, it will start digging a hole to get its own safe space.

3. Coping with temperature

They will dig a hole in hot weather to cool off from the heat. Similarly, German Shepherds dig holes in cold weather to warm up.

4. Smell a female nearby

If you are petting a male German Shepherd, it may smell a female nearby and dig holes. This happens when male German Shepherds want to mate.

5. Trying to escape

Dogs love to escape their backyards and explore what is out there. They will often dig holes beside the fence to escape. 

6. For attention

When there is nothing to do, dogs will show you tactics to grab your attention. Digging a hole is one of your dog’s ways to get your attention.

This can be the case when you are encouraging this behavior unintentionally by giving attention to your dog.

7. Lack of essential minerals

There is a possibility that your dog is not getting essential minerals in its diet, so it starts finding them in the soil.

This is the same reason German Shepherds eat their poop. If you know that your German Shepherd is digging holes, you should try changing its diet.

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8. Separation anxiety

As we know, German Shepherds are a people-oriented and social breed, so it is more likely to suffer from separation anxiety.

Chewing, crying, and digging are the obvious symptoms that your dog is facing separation anxiety. Mostly this is the case when owners leave their dogs alone for an entire day while going to work.

9. Finding buried toys

There is a possibility that your German Shepherd is finding its old buried toys. When you think that your dog is digging without reason, maybe it is in search of its toys or food.

10. Boredom

As mentioned above, the breed is exceptionally social and loves to be busy. So it’s more likely to get bored when you are not spending quality time with it.

Boredom is also a significant reason your German Shepherd digs holes. Digging holes in the lawn is your dog’s way to get entertainment and cope with boredom.

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Are German Shepherds Diggers

German Shepherd digging holes in yard

The energetic and active breeds are more prone to get behavioral issues such as digging holes. German Shepherds dig holes because of many different reasons, as mentioned above.

Why is my German Shepherd digging holes in the yard? Maybe your dog has a mineral deficiency in its diet. Separation anxiety and as well as fear can cause your dog to dig. Dogs dig holes during mating season. Along with this, finding toys, burying food, and trying to escape are the other reasons.

No matter what the reason is, you can stop this behavior of your dog with proper training.

All you have to do is to be consistent and provide the proper exercise, so there will be less chance of your German Shepherd having behavioral issues.

How to stop a German Shepherd from digging

1. Separate digging zone

Give your dog a separate digging area so they can dig as much as they want without destroying your backyard. 

2. Exercise and attention

As we all are aware, German Shepherds are energetic, and they need a lot of exercise to tire them out.

Playing fetch games, walking, and doggy daycare are promising approaches to keeping your dog healthy and away from destructive behaviors.

3. Provide shaded areas

Dogs will dig holes when they want to cool off. To help prevent this give them plenty of shade and water when it’s hot outside.

4. Provide distractions

Distract your dog with toys when they start digging holes. Dog bones that are filled with treats will keep them entertained for an hour and tire them out. 

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5. Teach commands

Teach your dog about some basic commands such as ‘leave it’. As soon as your dog tries to dig a hole; speak this command in a strict and loud manner. Make sure to speak in a way to grab your dog’s attention.

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