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Many seasoned German Shepherd owners don’t even need to consider whether the breed digs. When you select a German Shepherd as your canine partner, they realize that it comes with the territory. This isn’t to say that every German Shepherd ever lived was a digger, but the majority of German Shepherds tend to like digging.
German Shepherds are known to be extensive “diggers” and will dig holes for a number of reasons, including burying items, cooling down, boredom, and following their natural impulses. Digging is considered a completely natural activity for dogs, but there are ways to decrease or eliminate it if it is bothering you.
Continue reading to learn more about whether German Shepherds dig, why they dig, how to stop your Shepherd from digging up your backyard, and more.
Do German Shepherds Dig?
Digging is common among German Shepherds, and there are a variety of reasons why this breed is prone to digging. Digging is a highly pleasurable and even therapeutic activity for a German Shepherd dog, according to canine behavior specialists. However, other experts believe that the German Shepherd’s natural desire to cool off motivates it to dig large holes.
A German Shepherd has thick fur and is more prone to dig a “cooling pit” if left outside on hot days. According to some experts, German Shepherds dig because they are bored.
German Shepherds are a high-energy, intellectual breed that needs to be kept active and engaged. They also need to be well-exercised. If your dog is left outside for an extended amount of time to busy itself, it will most likely do so by digging a hole.
Overall, most people believe that German Shepherd digging is purely instinctive. When you observe your dog burying food and toys, this becomes much more apparent.
What Are the Most Common Reasons for a German Shepherd Digging?
Is Your German Shepherd Digging for Entertainment?
Considering German Shepherds were raised to do strenuous duties for hours on end every day, they need a lot of exercises to stay stimulated. If your German Shepherd does not receive enough exercise on a regular basis, the digging might be an indication that your dog is bored and attempting to create its own amusement.
Is Your German Shepherd Acting Territorial and Burring Their Food?
German Shepherds are highly in tune with their innate impulses and like being in a den-like setting. Their forefathers foraged for food and built environments that provided comfort and safety from predators and severe weather. These tunnels also served as a secure haven for puppies and an excellent technique of concealing food.
German Shepherd dogs dig for a variety of reasons, one of which is to safeguard their food. They would be able to hide their food from predators by digging holes in the earth. It’s possible that your German Shepherd is doing the same thing intuitively.
Can Separation Anxiety Cause a German Shepherd to Dig?
It’s possible that your German Shepherd’s digging is due to the fact that it doesn’t enjoy being left alone and uses digging as a coping mechanism. Other symptoms that this is the case include it becoming worried when you’re ready to leave and engaging in other damaging behaviour while you’re gone.
Detecting a Female Nearby and Attempting to Flee
If you keep your male German Shepherd in the backyard, he may detect the presence of a female and dig holes. When your male Shepherd is willing to mate, especially when it’s their season, this is the situation.
It’s the most challenging difficulty for dog parents since there’s nothing you can do if your dog is sniffing another German shepherd. If you see your Shepherd digging a hole near the fences, it’s possible that he’s plotting an escape. Make sure you don’t misinterpret the circumstance.
Your German Shepherd’s Diet May Be Insufficient in Critical Vitamins and Minerals
Your Shepherd’s diet may be lacking in vital minerals, causing it to seek them out in the soil. German Shepherds consume their feces and dirt for the same purpose. So, if your German Shepherd has a habit of digging holes, you should consider adjusting its nutrition.
Is Digging Considered Beneficial for Your German Shepherd?
While damaging to your yard’s landscape, the need to dig that a dog has is not dangerous to your German Shepherd. You should actually promote it. However, there may be times when you do not want the dog to dig.
If you reside in a neighborhood with a Homeowners Association, for example, you may be subject to regulations and standards that might get you into trouble. Whether or not there are rules and regulations in place, a dog burrowing under the fence into your neighbor’s yard isn’t good for making friends and keeping relations.
How Can You Keep Your German Shepherd from Digging Up Your Yard?
You can do a few things to keep your German Shepherd dog from digging, but it will be challenging. First, examine your Shepherd’s behavior and determine what is causing it. After you’ve figured out what’s causing the problem, you can devise a strategy.
Never Punish a German Shepherd for Digging
When learning how to stop your German Shepherd from digging, it’s crucial to remember not to become enraged if you discover a section of your garden or yard has been dug up. If you become angry, your German Shepherd may become agitated and nervous.
Establishing a Specific Digging Area in Your Yard for Your German Shepherd
The first step is to stop your dog from digging up your yard is to establish a specific digging area for your German Shepherd. This entails locating a suitable location in your garden for a sandpit. Put some tasty bones in this customized sandpit to entice your German Shepherd to dig in this new location.
Suppose your German Shepherd digs in their private sandpit, then lavish, praise, and treat on them. If your German Shepherd attempts to dig anywhere other than the sandpit, simply guide them back to where they belong. Over time, your German Shepherd will learn that digging is only permitted in the allocated area.
If you don’t have enough space for a dedicated digging area for your German Shepherd, make sure you take them to the park or the beach on a regular basis. Your German Shepherd will be able to dig to their heart’s content in these locations without getting into any difficulty.
Another alternative is to dissuade it from digging in places where you don’t want it to by erecting subterranean fences or enclosing the regions with standard fences.
Providing Your German Shepherd with Adequate Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Exercising your German Shepherd is an excellent way to learn how to stop them from digging. When a German Shepherd is fatigued, he will have less stamina to dig holes. As a result, make sure to exercise your German Shepherd on a regular basis to help avoid digging.
If you think your German Shepherd is digging because they’re bored, make sure you provide them more stimulation on a regular basis. Make sure kids have something to do during the day, such as playing with toys or getting enough exercise. The less time your German Shepherd has to dig, the less likely they are to do so.
Created a Shaded, Cool Environment for Your Dog When Outside
If your German Shepherd digs to cool down while it’s hot outside, it’s probably attempting to cool down. If this is the case, allow your German Shepherd to have constant access to a lot of shady locations to keep it from digging. You may also try grooming it more frequently to enable its fur to be more aerated, which will help it stay cool.
Training Your German Shepherd Not to Dig
If your German Shepherd Dog continues to dig despite your efforts, you will need to train him.
When you discover your Shepherd digging outside the prescribed area, teach him the training commands “NO” and “STOP” in a firm and authoritative tone.
It will be vital to be strong and show them the approved digging area at all times. Your German Shepherd Dog will gradually realize that they can only dig in their own area if you repeat these clear directions. As a result, your German Shepherd Dog will dig as instinct dictates, but your garden will be spared.
German Shepherds have a strong prey drive and are quite instinctive when it comes to digging. If your dog is bored, overheated, or attempting to dig their way out of your yard, he or she may become quite destructive. To figure out why your dog is digging in the yard or within the home, you must first observe the dog while taking into account its emotional and psychological state.
Once you have this knowledge, you may devise a strategy to teach them about it, such as providing a separate digging area or a den place. It won’t be simple or quick, but you can achieve success with a little patience and understanding.