Are German Shepherds Diggers | Why do German Shepherds Dig Holes

Do German Shepherds dig? For many experienced German Shepherd dog owners, asking this query isn’t essential. They only realize it comes with the territory whenever you select a German Shepherd on your companion canine.

This isn’t to say that every German Shepherd ever lived was a “digger,” because the specialists call it. However, the reality is, most German Shepherds do appear keen on digging.

What’s complicated to many new German Shepherd owners is why many dog breeds don’t appear as inclined to the dog because the German Shepherd dog does. There is an explanation why the German Shepherd is extra vulnerable to digging conduct, and it helps to study them.

are german shepherds diggers

Are German Shepherds Diggers

In this article, we’re going to rise shut and personal with the German Shepherd dog’s identified tendency to dig and discover out why it occurs, what want it fulfills on your dog, and what you can do about it.

Does your canine dig on the ground as if he’s looking for treasure? You may suppose there are some delicious crumbs trapped below the flooring; however, it is simply your dog’s pure intuition to create a den-like environment.

German Shepherds are clever dogs that always tune into their pure instincts. During the day, digging holes originated along with your dog’s canine ancestors.

They have been wild and lived off the land, which generally required them to create a safe environment for themselves at numerous instances of their life.

If your dog attempts to dig holes or has destroyed your yard, the following data will make it easier to uncover the reason for this natural behavior.

Welcome to the German Shepherd Dog Breed

The German Shepherd dog breed was first created within the 18th century in Germany. The breed founder, Captain Max von Stephanitz, was decided to make a breed that was “good” at herding and guarding livestock.

He succeeded brilliantly, and for a few years, German Shepherds faithfully traveled with herds and guarded them against a lot larger and fierce wild predators.

When individuals stopped using herding dogs as a lot, the German Shepherd dog was repurposed for work within the army, police pressure, and personal safety responsibility. Once more, the German Shepherd dog excelled.

What does all this should do with German Shepherds and digging? It means these dogs have been developed and bred to be beautiful athletes with excessive power and unstoppable willpower and focus.

Because the American Kennel Club (AKC) points out within the official breed guideline, the German Shepherd is an energetic and athletic energetic dog breed. If the German Shepherd dog doesn’t get sufficient everyday exercise and activity, they might become destructive.

Digging is a traditional instance of destructive and undesirable canine conduct for many owners.

This tends to carry actual no matter the breed. However, because German Shepherd dogs are so large and robust and decided, digging will be extra destructive when a German Shepherd does it!

Why Do German Shepherds Dig Holes?

So we talked about two of the primary explanations of why your German Shepherd may dig and, in addition, a common cause for why German Shepherd dogs as a breed are likely to dig.

Your German Shepherd needs a job to do

To recap, German Shepherds have been bred to work. These dogs want a job or another approach to burn off their intense power ranges. Shouldn’t give your German Shepherd dog a job or another type of exercise; they may find a path for themselves.

German Shepherds were bred to do specific kinds of jobs

German Shepherds have been bred to work in sure very particular varieties of assignments. Typically, digging is part of these jobs.

For example, everyday canine service work reminiscent of the navy, the police pressure, looking, search, rescue, or bomb detection, German Shepherds are typically even skilled to dig strategically!

However, is there another explanation why your German Shepherd may be pushed to dig? Let’s check out this query now.

Understanding Differences in the German Shepherd Breed Lines

Do you know that there are only two different German Shepherd breed traces at the moment? These are the “show” lines, which interprets to imply companion canine (pet) and competitors (dog shows) and the “working” lines.

This skilled German Shepherd kennel and breeder explains that the two lines have different temperaments and traits.

Let’s take a better look at how the two breed lines differ regarding German Shepherd digging behaviors.

Working German Shepherd dog breed line

A natural working German Shepherd dog goes to have a markedly different temperament than the German Shepherd most individuals preserve as a household pet.

These dogs are intensely high-strung and troublesome to work with. The working German Shepherd dog is undoubtedly a dog for skilled canine handlers and trainers solely!

A few of the traits which are closely related to a working German Shepherd dog include these:

  • High level of aggression.
  • High prey drive.
  • High pain tolerance.
  • Smaller physique size and fewer even confirmation because they’re bred for temperament rather than look.

Homeowners and breeders with accurate working dog German Shepherd breed trace also say these dogs are much less reliable around kids, different pets, and strangers.

Show German Shepherd dog breed line.

The present or companion canine German Shepherd is more likely to look and act like the German Shepherd most people are conversant in.

Generally, you’ll find these traits in a German Shepherd that comes from a show breed line, even when that dog will not be competing in dog reveals:

  • Gentle and calm once skilled.
  • Easy to share a house with if their everyday exercise wants are met.
  • Somewhat trainable and dedicated to their people.
  • More significant body dimension with even different conformation (appearance).

These German Shepherds are a well-liked alternative to protect and defend a family as soon as skilled, and they’re reliable even around babies!

That is related to why your German Shepherd dog could also be extra vulnerable to digging. It can be significantly related to how efficiently you may retrain your dog from exploring.

In case your German Shepherd dog comes from a working line. However, your dog’s willpower to dig can be greater than a match on your determination to coach them not to dig!

Right here, it may be good to contemplate working with an experienced canine (think K9) coach to study efficient strategies to work along with your dog. Involving your German Shepherd dog in aggressive athletics like Schutzhund also can provide the expertise you want.

why do german shepherds dig holes

Different Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Digs

Even when your German Shepherd dog has extra of a pet dog/show dog temperament, you should still end up engaged in an influence wrestle whenever you attempt to discourage your dog from digging.

As this German Shepherd proprietor discussion board reveals, many German Shepherds begin to show digging behaviors early and by no means outgrow this urge.

However, you may also learn several heart-warming tales on this forum, together with the story of how an owner was burying their beloved pet dog and their new German Shepherd dog puppy jumped in to help dig the grave!

On that note, let’s take a better look at different common reasons why your German Shepherd might decide to dig.

Strong prey drive

German Shepherds primarily work using their noses. Dogs generally have extremely acute sniffers. Some dogs with excessive prey drive might feel irresistibly drawn to trace or dig if they scent something intriguing.

While you most likely won’t scent something unusual on the dig website, your German Shepherd dog could also be following a scent path that’s so apparent as to be unmistakable.

If this occurs to you, you could need to set up a webcam to see if neighborhood cats or wildlife are maybe sneaking into your yard and marking their territory. Your German Shepherd dog could also be responding to their scent path by digging up your yard.

Loneliness and boredom

The German Shepherd dog is such a robust and devoted worker that many people miss seeing that these dogs dwell with individuals.

If your dog is routinely confined to the yard and left alone even within the firm of different dogs – you may count on to see some destructive behaviors showing up.

How to Stop Your German Shepherd from Digging Up Your Yard

As this brief dog coaching video explains, there are several different easy techniques you should use to cease your German Shepherd from digging up your yard.

Designate one area as the “dig zone.”

Like most fashionable home dogs, German Shepherds have retained their wild wolf ancestry in some methods.

Digging a small shallow space to rest and conceal in is one wolf conduct many dog breeds exhibits. You need to use this to your benefit by designating one-yard space as a “dig zone.”

Make the yard less appealing.

Citrus peel or essence and deer repellant-type sprays and crystals could also be an approach to make the yard a much less exciting place to dig.

Change the yard itself, so it isn’t very “diggable.”

Add a unique top layer reminiscent of concrete, gravel, or brick that daunts easy digging.

Give your dog another job to do!

That is the simplest way to discourage energetic digging. A tired German Shepherd is way much less prone to dig!

Have you ever found a creative approach to cease your German Shepherd dog from digging? Tell us within the feedback part right here below.

The Root of the Behavior

Dogs dug holes for many causes within the wild, including defending themselves and their puppies or hiding their meals. Dogs foraged for meals and sometimes discovered it and needed to reserve it later.

So that they dug holes to cover it from different dogs and animals; this allowed dogs to have nutrition and eat after they wanted it. Due to their intuition, dogs love den-like environments, and DNA craves it for various causes.

If your dog is digging up the yard, he may be attempting to chill off from the recent climate, heat up from cold weather, find a protected place to sleep or hide food for later. You will find out the trigger that results in the conduct by observing your canine when he digs holes.

Some dogs have emotional anxiousness from being separated from their proprietor all day while they’re at work, whereas others dig holes to cover from thunderstorms.

When observing your dog, strive to look at the whole image. What occurred? Is he feeling emotional? Is he scared? All the time, consider your dog’s feelings when attempting to get to the basis of the difficulty.

Your dog may be a cheerful, playful dog that loves the sensation he will get when digging a hole. This implies he may be digging holes for fun and as a hobby.

You should also take discover if he tends to dig holes and tries to cover his toys, treats, or meals within the holes. This conduct stems from his ancestors and symbolizes attempting to outlive his luxurious life as a domesticated dog.

Dogs dig holes for a cause, and it is going to be pretty easy so that you can determine when you observe your dog’s conduct. As a pet father or mother, you’ll be glad to study this conduct will not be dangerous to your dog.

Encouraging the Behavior

This conduct doesn’t have to be inspired since it’s a pure intuition. However, some pet parents may need to discourage the behavior, whether it is frequent or causes harm to the home and yard.

That is particularly necessary to pet parents who live in a neighborhood with a House Owners Affiliation (HOA). The seen holes your dog digs may trigger neighbors to complain about the look and get the HOA concerned.

If you have a problem with neighbors or the HOA, you’ll want to attempt to prevent the opening digging conduct. That is usually reasonably troublesome to attain since it’s a natural intuition, and your dog is hardwired to dig holes.

However, there are a couple of steps you may take to forestall your dog from digging holes in your yard. First, you’ll want to decide the reason for the digging. This may make it easier to create a training plan. It’s additionally helpful to consult with an expert dog trainer.

In case your dog is hiding meals within the holes, chances are he may feel like he isn’t getting sufficient vitamin and desires to reserve it for later. Discussing your dog’s food plan with a veterinarian will pinpoint or rule out a dietary concern.

Other Solutions and Considerations

More often than not, German Shepherds that spend a lot of time indoors prefer to sleep below the couch or different furnishings due to it appearing like a den.

Should you don’t think about this conduct, you may encourage it by making the extra world comfortable with your dog. You can add a dog mattress, blanket, and toys to assist your canine in feeling additional particular within the house.

This shall be your dog’s go-to place to sleep and feel protected. Don’t be stunned if he runs and hides within the house when he feels overwhelmed with noise or excitement.

German Shepherds are sturdy dogs that lack worry; however, they typically want some peace, and a den-like environment is perfect.

What Should You Avoid Doing?

There are specific belongings you’re additionally going to need to keep away from doing when your german shepherd is digging.

Should you do any of the next, it will improve the conduct. Or, in some instances, cause worse behavior to happen.

Don’t Hit Them

There’s by no means a circumstance the place you need to hit a canine. While you hit a dog, you’re not going to coach them in any respect. The one factor you will show them is fear, anxiousness, aggression, and distrust.

Should you hit your dog, then it’ll harbor destructive emotions. These emotions can construct up and build up till your dog lashes out.

Don’t Give Them Consideration

You shouldn’t provide you with a german shepherd any form of consideration after they dig both. As discussed beforehand, when your german shepherd is digging, they might be doing it to get your reference.

They usually rather have you ever shouting at them over ignoring them. If you’ll want to get, them to cease then, call them and move them to one thing they need to be doing.

However, do it in a monotone voice. Don’t reward them in any approach. Inform them to cease after which transfer on. Once they’re doing one thing they need to be, then you may consider them.

Attempt Not To Leave Them Outside When Different Dogs Are Nearby

At first, if there are different dogs close by, you shouldn’t depart your pup alone. Should you do, they’re going to do no matter what they can to get to the opposite canine. And also, you won’t be there to cease them.

That is much more prone to occur if a male german shepherd attempts to get to a female. This won’t be a problem as soon as they’ve been skilled correctly. However, to start with, it’s finest to maintain them inside.


As you may see, there are many causes that your german shepherd could also be digging. However, there are additionally numerous options. Listed here are a number of the foremost issues to remember:

  • Your german shepherd could also be digging attributable to intuition, to create a den, to flee the temperature, they’ll scent a female close by (for boys), they need to get out, for consideration, they’re missing minerals of their diet, separation anxiousness, curiosity, and lethargy.
  • You possibly can cease your german shepherd digging by exercising them extra, spending extra time with them, giving them a sandpit or paddling pool, being sure that they’ve obtained loads of shade, a warm shelter, giving them numerous leisure, rewarding good conduct, and following a robust training program.
  • The very best training program you should use is Brain Training For Dogs.
  • It’s best to avoid hitting your dog, considering them, and leaving them alone when a female or different dogs are close by.

Should you appreciate this text, ensure you leave a remark and look at the remainder of the website. In any other case, have an excellent day!

Final Thoughts

Watch out for moments when your german shepherd dog hides in his den but seems unhappy or whining. That is usually an indication of sickness or harm.

Canine search consolation of their den, making them feel protected and safe. It’s similar to people sleeping below a mountain of blankets after the flu.