German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For some reason my 11 months old German Shepherd start behaving strangely. Whenever I take him outside to get some fresh air, he starts digging holes. He has destroyed almost all my garden grass. He is active, running, barking and behaving like other dogs. I tried few dog behavior tips, but had no success. Does anyone know what causes dogs to dig holes and what are some effective ways to stop it?


Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Not sure on the why except that it burns excess energy, but have a few tips to help.

1) Bury a blown up balloon in a spot where he digs often. When he goes to dig the pop will startle him. After 2-3 times he'll learn digging isn't fun.

2) Sprinkle cracked pepper in the hole so when he digs and sniffs at the ground it will cause him to sneeze alot.

Those are the best ones that I know. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,870 Posts
What do you do to exercise and mentally stimulate him?

How long is he outside before he starts to dig holes?

I would make sure I am outside with him all the time. When he starts to dig I would 1. distract him with something else to do like playing with a ball, playing with you, do some obedience with him. Ignore the behavior and replace it with something else can eliminate the behavior you don't want but it takes patience and time. I would not let him outside for a long time unattended that is when most dogs get into trouble so they really shouldn't be outside alone unless watched especially young one.

You can also have an area that you allow him to dig and release his instinct to dig and teach him where he can dig like you would teach a dog where they are allowed to go potty (some people do that have a spot).

Dogs dig for fun, to burn off excess energy, if it is hot they will dig and lay in the hole to be cool, or dig make a place for them just to lay, or they dig out of pure boredom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
I am no pro but I heard that digging is or can be a sign of stress? I think obedience training, maybe try playing fetch (chuckit's work awesome), long walks on leash. Just give him something to do everyday. IMO he just needs to burn off some energy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I used to put my dog's poop in place where he would start to dig and that stopped him from digging a hole but didn't stop the digging in another spot. I then gave him one spot where he was allowed to dig and that worked great to keep him from digging all over the place. Now I have a second dog to keep him entertained and the digging has stopped. I think it is a boredom thing, like chewing on bones. I think Denali is right, if he is starting to dig it's time to bust out the ball, frisbee or leash! 11 Month olds are in that stage where they never want to relax and are always ready to burn some energy. Try food puzzles too. Good luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts
Best way to TEACH and break a bad habit is to be there. As soon as your dog starts to dig, tell them to 'leave it' and take them back in the house.

I know my dog's don't exercise in the yard with out me, they either just lay there and watch the world go by, sleep, or get into trouble!!! Trouble can be digging, barking or chewing on stuff.

Just easier to manage the situation by being there and to teach (and stop) an unwanted behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,553 Posts
Best way to TEACH and break a bad habit is to be there. As soon as your dog starts to dig, tell them to 'leave it' and take them back in the house.
Worked like a charm for me...

Why do they dig? Why does a 5 year old boy jump right smack into the middle of a mud puddle when he knows he's not supposed too? Cuz it's FUN! Jax used to have a blast digging a foot deep hole in the time it took me to turn my back. You need to stop the behavior immediately so you need to be out there like MLR said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
Best way to TEACH and break a bad habit is to be there. As soon as your dog starts to dig, tell them to 'leave it' and take them back in the house.
Yep. I was kind of blessed by living in a condo...lol. I couldn't just let him outside by himself. Therefore, none of my dogs developed the habit because they never got the opportunity.

I found this to be true of garbage ripping. I had a golden retriever who got into the garbage once (totally my fault) and she was a garbage digger for the REST of her life...if unsupervised. My other dog never got the opportunity and doesn't think to do it.

Of course once the dogs have this behavior, it's much tougher to stop it. The dog should never be alone in the yard to dig because that is what he'll do. You have to be right there to stop him every time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Sorry to say this, but there isnt a quick fix for this problem. I am already super fortunate that my dog rarely digs, and when he does its just minor surface scratches. The last time he dug was because he got all excited during Thanksgiving and he secretly went to the back of the yard to dig a hole out of frustration.

The only thing you can do about it is catch him in the act and chastise him for it. Will that stop him from doing it behind your back? Probably not, but he might think about it a bit more next time around. Putting poop in the holes works, but he might just start another hole. Heres the thing. When a dog gets really bored or antsy, he will find something to do. The only things you can do is to keep him always mentally stimulated and physically exercised. To do this 24/7 is almost impossible as we all have things to do too.

Now, my main problem is stopping my dog from ripping up the grass after he potties.. FUUU
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,682 Posts
As always great advice from MaggieRoseLee. Best thing you can do is be there to stop it. Of course keep them mentaly and physically worked but that SHOULD go without saying. The next thing is to be there watching them and make them stop when they start. We never had a problem with our dogs digging but our fosters ALWAYS did. We would have all the dogs in the yard and when the foster would start digging we would give one correction if they did it again everyone got taken back inside. Once inside you saw the other dogs were mad that the one ruined outside fun time so they learned quickly not to dig.

On a side note it was so funny watching the others once inside when the dog the was digging would go to take a drink of water or eat the other dogs would come knock the bowl over and walk away annoying to clean up but funny to watch it was just like kids mad at each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
I really think the OP here was just posting a link (ad). They haven't been back. I flagged their other post the other day....
But this is all great info anyway!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,379 Posts
Here in south Texas it gets really hot. My dogs will dig for a cooler spot to lay in. My Golden will dig till he finds a tree root then play tug with it until he breaks it. If it's a big root, he'll dig around to find another.

I put thier poop in the holes and they'll stop digging for a while. I also built a sand box for them under a tree for a cooler spot to lay in. They can dig in that all day long.

We have black gumbo here and my mini doxie will dig in a wet area (from the rain) and chew on the little dirt boogers she makes. Crazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Our GSD loves to dig too, it was costing hundreds of dollars each month for new dirt and grass seed, so I had all the grass and dirt taken away and now we just have cement. I hate it with all my heart but it looks better then what he was doing to it.
We did everything we could to stop him and nothing worked. We even ran him for an hour before we let him in the yard. I used to spend hours and hours working in my garden and now it's all gone. You can have a dog or you can have nice things, but you can't have both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I have been told that they dig for several reasons by a trainer. I am no dog pro by any means, but this was their reasoning. it could be due to stress, anxiety, cool ground to cool off if its hot and wanting to get your attention. I tried the burying the poo in the hole and she dug that up too. I hope to cure this one day so my mini mud pits will go away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
OMG...my two german shepherds has or is digging a hole in my yard and it's about two feet deep/slanted. HELP!!!! what should I do???????????????
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top