Asked on Oct 9, 2017

How do I stop a German shepherd from digging up the yard?

ChristinaBijousSandra  Vining


She is digging holes everywhere including the mulch area on the edges. She has torn up the weed barrier under the mulch. She has dug under a huge tree and all over the yard there are holes. We tried putting down various spices and hot pepper flakes but she ate them, then dug more.

9 answers
  • Frances
    on Oct 9, 2017

    Dogs will dig, you know that. I have 15. I have a section of yard that they like laying in and digging. It has sand and in some shade. Also spring and fall they will dig around the yard because of the moles. Then there are the large larvae that they love snacking on that they dig up. SO I will have holes and divets. Nothing really to do but bear with since they "feel" with their paws the motion in the ground under them and dig for it. Walking around with them and using a squirt bottle of water or mix quarter with vinegar and spray when digging may help train not to. Sorry couldn't be much help.
  • Nancy Turner
    on Oct 9, 2017

    Shepherds are natural diggers. If they smell a critter, they will dig to get to it. Try spraying with full strength hot sauce, the hotter the better, where she digs the most and see if that helps. They use their scent of smell very well, that is why they are so good for the police and other agencies to use to scent out drugs, etc., even smell a seizure before a person has the seizure(service dog).
  • Johnavallance82
    on Oct 9, 2017

    That's what dogs do, I'm afraid. Could she be bored?
    • Paige
      on Jun 22, 2020

      You need to train the dog!

      I love my dog so much but it constantly did the things that irked me most. It would chew on things that it shouldn’t or jump up and down out of the blue. Whenever I put on the leash, it would pull on it. Whenever it was out of the house, it would continue digging on the ground - I wish I could tell what it was looking for down there. All the things it did left me feeling depressed as if I failed it monumentally.

      But since I discovered Brain Training for Dogs and applied the system offered, it now behaves the way a beautiful dog I always expect of.

  • You need to train your dog. It is their instinct to dig. I have 6 dogs, all have been trained. Not hard to do. Positive reinforcemennt works best, never be mean. All dogs need to be trained, no matter how little or large, and need to be properly socialized. It is not the dogs fault for bad behavior, it is the owners responsibility. Dogs just want to please you and all they want in return is love and affection. If they are properly exercised every day, long walks, they are less likely to get bored and dig. Here are some links to help you out.

  • Pat16265006
    on Oct 9, 2017

    Jalapeno peppers put in small holes work for moles - worth a try?
  • Robyn Garner
    on Oct 9, 2017

    You can put the dog on a runner with the main cable up high. You can put "stops" on the cable that only allow the dog to go so far. Then, either permit the dog to dig where he can reach OR give him a sand pit to play in. You can train him to dig in the sand pit by burying treats and toys only in there.
  • Sandra Vining
    on Oct 9, 2017

    If you get a anwer to that let me know I have Greyhounds they dig to China I used black pepper no sprays no list go on
  • Bijous
    on Oct 9, 2017

    The dog's bored. Shepherds are herders. I walk early in the morning with a light dog pack several miles and take my dog to the dog park in the evenings. The park has an obstacle course and she works that. Never had a problem. A dog park is great for someone who can't work their dog as I do.
  • Christina
    on Oct 9, 2017

    Somewhere, a long time ago I read that you should bury some blown balloons, carefully, in the area where the dog likes to dig. When she digs it will blow up in her face. No harm to the dog. Cheap solution and it might work.
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