Why Do Dogs Dig? Is Your German Shepherd A Digger?

Is your German Shepherd a digger? So you found your German Shepherd digging in the garden. It can be cute and funny at first – until your GS decides to destroy your whole garden. Why do dogs dig anyway and how can you stop them?

Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Dog Digs

Your German Shepherd Dog Digs To Bury His Food

Before they became parts of our families, dogs were wild creatures — hunting and scavenging for food. Burying things and food is in your dog’s natural instinct to keep his property safe. In ancient times, burying bones and food was necessary for their survival.

Dogs used to live in packs and they had to hunt for their food. Even with their number, hunting often took a lot of time and energy. As soon as they managed to catch their meal, other animals would be going after it once they smelled the meat.

There are times when a hunt would go too well and the pack were simply too full to finish their meal. To save the remaining food, they would bury it. By burying their leftovers, dogs were solving multiple problems:

  • Dogs are preserving the meat since dirt helps maintain the freshness of meat by keeping it away from sunlight.
  • Dirt keeps other creatures from smelling and finding the meat.
  • Burying food means more food for later.

Your German Shepherd Dog Digs Because He Is Bored

They think of it as a game – If your dog is bored and lonely, it’s not uncommon for him to steal and bury things that are valuable to you. This was they get your attention and get you to play with them.

Your German Shepherd Dog Digs Because He Wants To Make His Spot Comfortable

Sometimes Your German Shepherd would dig in your garden to pile up soil and make a comfortable spot where he can rest in.

Digging is also an instinct dogs inherited from their wolf ancestors who dig dens to keep their young ones in. They build these dens to protect their offspring from predators and extreme temperatures.

Training Your German Shepherd To Pee Outside

Other Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Digs

There are more reasons why your German Shepherd or any dog digs. A dog who is digging by the fence may be trying to escape and get to the other side. A curious dog may dig when he senses that something is moving underneath the ground.

How to Stop Your Dog From Digging

The first thing to do is find out why your German Shepherd displays this behavior. So if your German Shepherd digs to bury his food, then the best way to lessen this is to give your dog the right amount of food.

If your German Shepherd dog is digging because he is bored, then walking him to drain his energy is the best thing to do. Provide him with lots of toys to keep him occupied and happy.  Teaching your German Shepherd the command “No” or “Stop” is helpful especially for this situation. It is good to let him know that this behavior is not acceptable.

On the other hand, if your GS displays this behavior to get your attention, then it’s best to ignore it. Giving your dog attention when he does this behavior only encourages him to continue doing it.  Instead, praise him or reward him when he stops digging.

It’s also a good idea to not leave your German Shepherd alone in the garden or backyard.

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  1. Kaz
    • Editorial Staff

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