How to Get a German Shepherd to Stop Digging

It's the cat digging holes in the yard.

It's the cat digging holes in the yard.

The German shepherd is a high-energy dog that belongs to the herding group. Your dog may be digging up the yard for attention, a cool spot to lie or because he is bored. Give your dog lots of attention and toys to keep him from digging and rearranging your lawn.

Clip a leash onto your dog’s collar and take him for a walk twice a day. Additional exercise tires your dog out so he has less energy for digging in the yard.

Play fetch will your dog using different dog toys to give him exercise. Teach him to catch a flying disc and bring it back to you.

Teach your dog the basic commands of sit and shake and supply him with dog treats for accomplishing the tasks. Spend as much time as possible with your German shepherd as you can. He enjoys being a member of the family and his inside time with you.

Place you dog’s dog house in a shady area outdoors such as under a large tree. Dog’s sometimes dig up the lawn to get to the cool soil underneath and lie in it. Supply your dog with a large non-tip bowl of fresh water every day while you are away from home and he is in the yard.

Fill a child’s swimming pool about halfway full of cool water in the mornings. Your dog may want to take a swim or just lie in the cool water in the heat of the day. Replace the water each morning with fresh water from the garden hose, because he will more than likely drink water from the pool.

Put several toys outdoors for your pooch to play with. Include puzzle toys with peanut butter or small dog treats inside. This type of toy takes time for him to retrieve the treat inside and keeps him busy for a long time.

Place large rocks in the holes your dog digs in the yard. This will discourage digging in the same area.

Hide dog toys in a sandbox in the yard. This will teach your pet that he is allowed to dig in the sandbox only and play with the toys in there. Giving him a digging zone may supply him with his instinctual urge to dig in an area that does not destroy your lawn.

Items you will need

  • Leash
  • Dog toys
  • Flying disc
  • Dog treats
  • Dog house
  • Non-tip water bowl
  • Child’s swimming pool
  • Large rocks
  • Sand box

Tip

  • Supply your dog with several toys that have different textures to hold his interest. Change out the toys about once a week to others so he thinks he has new ones often.

Warning

  • Do not punish your German shepherd after he has dug holes. If you catch him in the act, tell him "no digging" and redirect his attention to playing with acceptable toys instead of digging.
 

About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing since 2004 and specializes in pets with publications in "Modern Dog" and "Pet Planet." Lougee gained extensive pet knowledge and expertise in care and rehabilitation, built a farm, and cares for rescue animals from small to large. She holds a bachelor's degree in management.

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