9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Dig + 7 Simple Tips To Stop It

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Digging is one of the more frustrating things your schnauzer can do. It ruins your yard and makes them a mess. Why on earth do they dig? Is there something wrong or is it normal behavior?

Why Do Schnauzers Dig:

Digging is quite instinctual for many dogs including schnauzers. Your schnauzer could be digging for a variety of reasons, such as, being bored, anxious, they find it fun, attempting to get your attention, trying to escape, cooling off, or even wanting to hide something.

In this post you’ll learn about the 9 most likely reasons why your schnauzer is digging as well as 7 helpful tips to reduce or completely stop their digging all together.

Tip #5 is the least talked about yet most effective!

Let’s jump right in.

9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Dig + 7 Simple Tips To Stop It

Top 9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Dig

1) Boredom

A bored dog can be a destructive dog.

If you find your schnauzer is frequently asking to be let outside which results in them digging in the yard, they’re likely digging out of boredom.

Related Reading: 10 Best Toys To Entertain Your Dog | Boredom Buster Toys

2) They Find It Fun

What you find fun and what your pup finds fun are certainly two different things.

And finding digging fun is definitely one of them.

If you’ve ever dug a hole, you KNOW that it’s quite the opposite of fun. 

But for some reason your pup enjoys the activity.

Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures in life.

Related Reading: 9 Simple Steps To Create The Obedient Dog Of Your Dreams

3) Anxiety

If your schnauzer is feeling anxious, digging can be a great distraction for them.

Not only is it an activity that can keep their mind off of whatever is troubling them, they might dig because they feel anxious being alone.

If your pup has separation anxiety, they may dig in an attempt to get to you.

If they’re digging from anxiety or separation anxiety, it’s best to consult with a professional to help them get better. Anxiety is probably the most difficult to train out of.

Related Reading: 7 Ways To Eliminate Your Dogs Anxiety, Shyness Or Fear

4) Attempt For Attention

If you haven’t been giving your schnauzer much attention lately, or as much as they’d like, they might be digging for attention.

Sometimes dogs aren’t concerned about whether it’s positive or negative attention.

They simply want your attention.

And each time they start digging, you come running over shouting their name to stop them.

Unfortunately, this is enough to keep them wanting to dig. The best thing you can do is make it a non-event.

Walk over to them as calmly as possible, don’t shout their name or make any kind of scene.

Simply bring them inside and put them in their crate if they have one.

The less attention they get as a result of digging, the less interested they’ll be in doing it.

5) Escape

Your schnauzer might be digging to escape your backyard.

Whether they simply want to get in the front yard so you’ll chase them.

Or they see a cat, rabbit, or chipmunk on the other side of the fence that they have a strong urge to chase.

Since they’re blocked in by a fence, and it’s too high to jump over, the only way they can get out is by digging.

6) Following a Smell

It’s possible that your schnauzer is following a smell which makes them want to dig.

If your yard has vermin, such as moles, living in the ground underneath your backyard, your schnauzer might be trying to get to them.

Your pup can likely smell or hear them underground and they’re digging to find them.

7) Cooling Off

Since dog’s aren’t able to sweat like people can, they have limited ways to cool off on warm days.

Outside of panting and releasing heat through their nose, your schnauzer also releases heat through their paw pads.

What does this have to do with digging?

Well the surface of the ground will likely be warm, just like the air above it.

But underneath the surface is much cooler dirt/mud.

And this cooler dirt is what your pup is digging for.

Touching the cooler ground helps them cool themselves off.

If it’s a hot day, make sure to give them plenty of water and keep them in shaded areas so they don’t overheat and are less likely to feel the need to dig.

8) Burning Off Excess Energy

A doggo with too much energy will go a little crazy, especially if they’re younger.

If your schnauzer has too much pent up energy, they will look for an outlet until they find something.

And unfortunately the outlet your pup has found is digging.

This gets their heart pumping and stimulates them enough to burn off some of that excess energy.

If you think this is the main reason for their digging tip #1 and #5 below will likely help your schnauzer the most.

Related Reading: 9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Get So Hyper + How To Reduce It

9) Hiding Something

Your schnauzers ancestors (wolves) would dig holes and put their valuables in it in an attempt to prevent them from being stolen.

If your pup has a bone or toy that they’re finished playing with but don’t want to risk it being stolen, they may dig to bury it.

This behavior is largely instinctive as your pup likely doesn’t have to worry about things being stolen.

But they really like the toy/bone enough to want to hide it to ensure they have it at a later time.

Finding it is a whole nother story.

Top 7 Tips To Reduce Digging Behavior In Your Schnauzer

1) Increase Their Exercise

Many schnauzers will dig because they have too much pent up energy and aren’t sure what to do with it.

Increasing their exercise will help make digging much less interesting.

You can do this by increasing the length of their walks, adding another walk to their daily routine or increasing play time.

Doing all of these might be a little too much for your pup, but gradually increasing their physical activity should help reduce their digging.

2) Better/Different Toys

If your schnauzer is digging because of boredom, another way to prevent this from happening is to get them more stimulating toys.

There’s a possibility that their toys are either not interesting to them anymore, or they simply don’t challenge them enough.

There are great mind stimulating dog toys that can help challenge your pup and hold their attention for longer.

If they have toys that last longer or hold their attention for longer they’ll have less time to find ways to misbehave.

Related Reading: The 10 Best Toys To Entertain Your Dog & Curb Boredom

3) Spend More Time With Them

Simply spending more time with your schnauzer can help reduce their digging!

Going for fun adventures like hikes, different routes for walks, dog park visits, etc.

These are all great ways to spend more time with your pup. And the more time you’re spending with them, the less likely they’ll venture off somewhere to dig.

An idle doggo usually results in a mischievous doggo.

4) Find The Trigger

One of the best things you can do to stop your schnauzers digging is find the trigger.

This is definitely easier said than done since your pup can’t speak.

But if when you see them digging you start to notice a pattern, such as, a cat is on the other side of the fence, and they want to chase after it.

Then you know to bring your pup inside if you see that cat.

The point is, if you can find the trigger behind why they want to dig. And you’re able to remove that trigger, you should effectively stop them from continuing to dig.

Sometimes a trigger can be emotional though, which is more difficult to solve. If this is the case it’s a good idea to consult with a vet or behavioral specialist.

5) Soil Their Fun

This is likely the weirdest thing you’ve ever heard about stopping a dog from digging, but it works!

If your schnauzer is digging because they find it fun and isn’t because of anxiety or health reasons, this should work.

It’s based on the fact that dog’s don’t like to go to the bathroom where they live.

Next time your pup digs a hole, collect some of their poop and put it in the hole and then cover it up.

You should find that they are quite repulsed that their poop is where they’re trying to dig the next time around.

This alone might be enough to stop them from digging, if they’ve had a favorite spot to be digging.

However, some might simply go to another spot and start digging again.

If this happens, simply repeat the process with each new hole and eventually they’ll learn digging isn’t fun.

6) Consult With a Professional

Sometimes you’ve done all you can think of to stop them from digging and it’s still not enough.

In this instance, it’s never a bad idea to consult with a professional.

If all these tips haven’t worked and you’ve attempted to train them out of this behavior yourself to no avail, bringing in help is a good idea.

They might be able to help identify the issue within minutes of seeing your pup and likely have a solution that’s worked for many dogs in the past.

Of course this requires you to spend some money. So it really depends on how much you want your schnauzer to stop digging.

7) Don’t Leave Them Unsupervised

Whenever they’re going out in the backyard, or around where they tend to do their digging, keep an eye on them.

Or better yet, go with them so you can stop them in the act.

If they have the habit of digging, the more you leave them alone, the more it’s likely to continue.

If you can be there to stop them right away, they should begin to learn that this type of behavior isn’t okay.

Other posts you might find interesting:

9 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Grunts & Groans + 3 Tips

8x Why Schnauzers Are So Aggressive + 11 Tips To Stop It

7 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Eats Everything + 5 Tips


Separation Anxiety

The right exercise for your dog

Why Do Dogs Dig?

How to Prevent a Dog From Digging