Digging won't stop - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Digging won't stop

I have been taking my gs for walks letting him inside playing with him everything I could think of and as soon as we let him out side he starts digging. My daughter is going to have a party in June and my backyard is full of holes. I would like to plant new grass but I am scared it would be a waste of money. Does any one have any ideas on how to get him to stop???
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 04:47 PM
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Speaking from several decades of experience, the only sure solution is to pave the whole backyard.

I do know of people who have set up a designated digging area in their yard and taught the dog that was the acceptable place to dig. Even then, you need to supervise very carefully to stop the dog from digging outside that area.

You might want to try a shock collar, but again, you will have to supervise, supervise, supervise.

A nicely manicured lawn and garden just isn't very compatible with a large dog that likes to dig. My male was the worst. I thought he'd outgrow it. In his senior years, he still persisted (he had some help from my other two dogs) and the holes would get SO big, he'd fall into them and not be able to get out without help.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 04:54 PM
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Fill them with some poop. After a few times of digging up his poop, he may give up on digging-at least mine did.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 04:57 PM
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Would it be feasible to block off an area for him to dig to his heart's content?If not all you can do is stay on top of him and correct him the moment he starts.My dogs love to dig too and have areas where they can dig away happily.If they begin to scratch at something interesting in the lawn,just an EH! Will stop them.It was easy to teach,they understood quickly.It does take constant supervision at first though so they don't backslide into a habit they obviously derived a lot of pleasure from.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 04:59 PM
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It isn't the cheapest solution, but you can roll geogrid across the lawn areas you care about and want preserved.


Grass will grow through it. You need to stake it down at regular intervals with sod staples. Important: you need to be careful when mowing the lawn - if it gets pulled up, you do not want it getting sucked into your lawn mower. Landscape supply/garden centers will stock it in rolls of various sizes, its normal purpose is to reinforce backfill behind walls or stabilize patios for better weight distribution.

I've used this to prevent a number of client's dogs from digging around in newly installed lawn areas. The majority of the time, it has worked.

Edited, to add: I also agree with Dogma's comment above. You can pick a "sacrifice lot" and let him dig in a designated spot. Protect the rest.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 05:42 PM
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I gotta say filling the holes with poop did not work for me at all. Nor did putting down screening. With previous GSDs and Golden Retrievers, it was a training and maturity issue. They were only allowed in the yard when supervised so I could correct them when they dug and as they matured, think the 3 to 3.5 year mark, they eventually stopped the digging. Requires constant supervision. How old is your GSD?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 09:36 PM
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Mine will dig if they think a critter is under the grass or if they are looking for a cool place to lay down. I put gravel under a favorite tree. It won't stop them, just maybe it will make the ground cool enough there won't be a need to dig there. Other than that, keeping an eye on the dogs. Of course they dug a hole right behind me the other day when I was concentrating on trimming the edging of my garden. It wasn't close enough to back into and fall over, thank goodness.

I know someone who used an e-collar. I suppose it would work but I just don't feel right about it.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 01:07 AM
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I'm not sure how old your pup is, but short of constant supervision to stop the digging, you may just need to work through this phase until the pup matures. I wouldn't leave them out to cause any trouble on their own. Phoenix, last season still liked to pluck flowers from pots, and grab (prune) branches from shrubs and low hanging trees, he was fast lol, I was out there the whole time, then two seconds...here he is with a flower in his mouth. And we still have massive claw marks (aka. aerating free of charge lol), he shovels his Frisbees from front legs to back, leaves huge scrapes on the lawn Digging can be a sign that they are under-stimulated...or bored...I'm no expert, but it's something to think about.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 01:52 PM
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try a sandbox for appropriate digging? and supervision outside. my new puppy loves to dig, we redirected him and I let him dig to his hearts content in the sand at the park.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 02:33 PM
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I had a digger and and also had a sandbox enclosed in a wood frame. Taught him to dig in there and it worked out really well.
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