Why Do Australian Shepherds Like To Dig?

Do you have your own garden where you enjoy spending time with your Australian Shepherd? That‘s nice! However, if your dog is one of those who likes to dig, this can quickly spoil the mood for any gardener. In this article we will explain why dogs like to dig and how you can stop it!

Why do Australian Shepherds like to dig? Dogs dig pits for a variety of reasons: hiding bones so they can be dug again later, to cool off on a hot summer day, or to warm up on a cold winter. Dogs also dig the ground to hide, but often do so because they have fun.

5 Reasons Why Dogs Like to Dig

Whether it‘s flowers or lawns – most gardening enthusiasts want to protect them from holes. However, many dogs love to dig the ground with their paws. But why do dogs like to dig in the garden? Here are possible reasons:

  • The dog is bored

Australian Shepherds are active dogs and if you will not give them enough activities, they will find the way to keep themselves busy. Possible scenario – digging your flowers!

Digging in the garden just looks fun. It‘s fun and you as an owner often will give the dog what he wants – attention.

  • He imitates you!

Do you dig the ground to plant flowers? Of course your loyal companion would like to support you!

Gardening is a hobby that also offers many attractions for dogs. if you start digging yourself, it may encourage your Australian Shepherd to dig as well. Freshly loosened soil is particularly attractive for digging. Teamwork is fun, right? Well, at least for the dog!

  • Instincts

Creating a burrow in the ground is one of the primal instincts of many animals. In winter, a burrow protects against the cold when there is snow. On the contrary, in summer it is pleasantly cool. Pregnant females also tend to dig a „nest“. In this case, you may need to check with veterinarian to see if this behavior is due to stress and to make sure that everything is good.

  • Hide snacks

A dog digging in the garden also likes to store food in this way. Some dogs bury the found bones for some time. Others bury the delicacy immediately after receiving it, then dig it up again and chew with pleasure.

Some dogs also hide snacks that they do not particularly like at the moment. Often it becomes interesting only weeks later. Then they dig it up and enjoy it with „additional“ smell

  • Your Australian Shepherd feels like a hunter

Many dogs have hunting instincts in their blood – and there are some animals that live underground (for example Jerboa, dwarf Mongoose and so on). It is true that there are hardly any badger or fox burrows to be found in your garden. But maybe a mouse nest?

The dog first digs its nose into the ground to absorb the seductive scent traces, and then he wants to get closer. He wants to clear the way for the snout and starts digging.

  • Excitement

Some dogs dig because they are very excited. By digging they relieve their stress.

How Do I Stop My Australian Shepherd From Digging?

First option – only one place where your Aussie is allowed to dig

If your Australian Shepherd likes to dig in the garden, a good alternative is to create a „digging corner“. Establish a sufficiently large digging corner in your garden. Whenever your dog starts to dig, take him to his digging corner. You can make the corner more attractive, for example by hiding a small bone or toy.

Also, if your Aussie is digging holes because he‘s bored – he needs more workload. Try to spend more time him, come up with a task, so that he could use his excess energy. Same with excitement, if your dog is very excited, he needs help to relax.

No digging at all!

As soon as your Australian Shepherd starts digging in the garden, use the command „no“ or „stop“. Of course, if you don‘t like digging at all, you should stop dog from digging everywhere in the future. For this option, you have to be patient and consistent in trainings.

Fence protection

If you want to be relaxed in the garden, but have a passionate digger, you can protect your flowers with a fence. Probably to many gardeners, putting up a fence is less of a hassle than patiently maintaining prohibitions.

Dogs Do Not See Your Problems When Digging

For dogs, digging is a completely normal and natural activity. It is often not possible to completely stop a dog from the hobby to dig. However, digging should be controlled as much as possible: do not let your dog dig in public places, try to allow him to enjoy this hobby only in designated areas.

Don‘t Let To Dig In Your Yard

If a puppy is chewing on furniture, shoes and all other items, a common cause is hyperactive temperament. In the yard, such a dog gets used to behaving the way he wants, there are often cases when he don‘t even listen to your commands: the dog is fast, has a lot of energy, does not catch, flees away, etc. The same problems occur at home. Therefore, it is very important to train the dog with the help of proper behavior toys and positive motivation. The dog gets a toy for good behavior, the owner plays with it, for the wrong one – the game is stopped, the dog is ignored.


There are number of reasons why a dog digs holes. Digging has a positive effects as it trains its muscles and satisfies its hunting instinct. Also helps for a dog to relieve stress and at the same time shortens the nails. That‘s why digging should not be completely prevented, but rather steered into a path that is acceptable to both sides. If you don‘t know what to do about excessive or undesirable digging, always good idea is  to seek advice from a dog trainer. This can help you figure out why and train on it.

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