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Are German Shepherds Diggers?

Are you planning on getting yourself a German Shepherd, or do you already have one, and you are wondering if it is the type to dig up the yard, beds, or couches and if it is normal if it does. Well, the answer to your question is Yes! A German Shepherd will dig into anything it can find for comfort and protection.

Digging is a natural and common behavior for most dog breeds, including the German Shepherd. However, we have provided you with more reasons why German Shepherds dig and how to control it if it gets worse and more destructive.

Are German Shepherds Diggers?

Yes, German Shepherds are diggers. They have a lot of energy to burn and might channel it into digging. They dig holes for so many reasons which are all tied to their instincts as dogs.

Do German Shepherds Like To Dig?

Yes, German Shepherds and many other dog breeds like to dig because it is natural for them.

Why Is My German Shepherd Digging?

Your German Shepherd might be digging for so many reasons. These reasons might include;

  • Genetic background 
  • Excitement 
  • Looking for shelter from cold or sun
  • Boredom 
  • Fear
  • Perceiving rodents or other things underground 
  • Need to exercise or burn out energy 
  • Anxiety
  • Burying things 
  • Creating nests – this usually happens with pregnant dogs.
  • Need to cool off excess heat

Should I Let My Dog Dig?

Yes, you should let your dog dig as it is a normal and natural behavior like eating and scratching and also a means of exercise for most dogs.

However, make sure the digging is supervised and controlled. To do this, provide your dog with a digging area to prevent it from digging all around the yard.

How Do I Get My German Shepherd To Stop Digging?

You can stop or control your German Shepherd from digging by adopting one or more of these methods;

  • Provide it with a digging station. For example, an artificial digging pit filled up with sand.
  • Ensure it gets adequate and proper training
  • Fill the area with a strong and repulsive odor, for example, cayenne pepper.
  • Restrict its movements
  • Place a digging barrier like a wire mesh on the ground. Your dog won’t be able to dig through it.
  • Spray it with water whenever it starts to dig
  • For a noise-sensitive German Shepherd, scare it off its digging spots with balloons that give a loud noise when it bursts.
  • Take it on walks and make sure it gets enough exercise 
  • Provide it with treats or play toys to distract it from digging.
  • Use a thick layered coarse cover like gravel, pebbles, or wood chunks that will be difficult for it to dig in.
  • Help it to overcome separation anxiety and boredom 
  • Your German Shepherd might be digging holes because it is pregnant and trying to create a cozy spot for its puppies; in this case, providing it with a comfortable space.
  • Provide it with a dog house placed away from the sun.
  • Keep it cool during hot days.
  • Remove soft soil from your yard.
  • Get rid of rodents that might be hiding in your yard.
  • Do not leave it all by itself for too long.

Why Does My Dog Keep Trying To Dig Me?

One of the reasons why dogs dig is to find warmth. This might be the reason why your dog is trying to dig you, it wants to snuggle close to you and get warmth from your body temperature.

Why Does My German Shepherd Dig At Blankets?

Your German Shepherd is digging into its blanket to either prepare it for sleep, or it is just marking its territory. This behavior is normal and due to its natural digging instincts to make its sleeping area cool and comfortable.

Why Does My German Shepherd Get Into Everything?

The reasons why your German Shepherd is getting into everything, destroying and eating everything it comes across can be a result of any of the following factors;

  • Its herding nature 
  • Boredom and frustration 
  • Teething in puppies 
  • Separation anxiety or fear
  • Inadequate or lack of training and exercise 

Why Do Dogs Dig On Beds And Couches?

Dogs dig on beds and couches as a pre-sleep routine. It is their way of tidying up the beds and couches to make them more comfortable.

Do Dogs Ever Grow Out Of Digging?

Dog’s growing out of digging depends on their breed. While some dog breeds will stop digging when they attain old age, some others, like the Cairn Terrier, will continue throughout their lifetime.

What Breed Of Dogs Like To Dig?

Terrier dog breeds are the ones that like to dig the most, and this is because they were originally bred to hunt vermin and to dig out and kill burrowing rodents. The ten most popular terrier breeds are;

  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier 
  • Jack Russell Terrier 
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier

Do Dogs Dig When Happy?

Yes, sometimes when a dog is happy, it might channel its happiness and excitement into digging into the ground. Dogs usually have a lot of energy, so they dig to release this excess energy.

Are German Shepherds Diggers? Conclusion 

German Shepherds aren’t known to be intense diggers, and this digging instinct varies amongst each dog. You need to know the reason why your German Shepherd is digging to determine what method you should adopt to reduce it. 

Stopping your German Shepherd might be difficult if it is just reacting to its instinct and no other underlying factors are involved. In this case, you can provide it with a special digging spot.

However, if the digging is caused by any of the other factors listed above, you can easily stop it by getting rid of those factors.


  • Rob

    Hi! I welcome you to my blog, where I discuss German Shepherds. Cheers to your GSD's welfare. And I hope you have a good time surfing my posts. Rob

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