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Why does my Rottweiler dig holes?

Why does my Rottweiler dig holes?

If your Rottweiler has been digging holes a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Rottweiler like to dig?

The most likely reason is that it is in its nature to dig. Digging would allow Rottweilers ancestors to find shelter in freezing temperatures and to keep their food protected which is why your Rottweiler is likely to have the habit.

However, there are some other possible reasons including to cool down, entertainment, separation anxiety and to get next door. 

And, how to get your Rottweiler to stop digging?

There are a number of things that you can do to get your Rottweiler to stop digging. These include giving it lots of exercise and attention, blocking off areas that you don’t want to be dug, giving it shaded areas, giving it lots of distractions, training it not to with “leave it training” and getting help from a dog behaviorist. 

There are actually a number of reasons why your Rottweiler might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason. There are also a number of things you can do about it.

Possible reasons why your Rottweiler digs

Below are a number of reasons why your Rottweiler might be doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.

To get shelter

One way dogs, in the past, could shield themselves from the elements would be to dig holes that they could lay down in. It could simply be that your Rottweiler has kept this habit and is why it naturally seeks to dig holes.

To protect food

Another reason that dogs used to dig was to protect their food. By digging holes in the ground, they would be able to hide their food away from predators. Your Rottweiler might instinctively be doing this as well.

To cool down

Another possible reason why your Rottweiler might dig a lot is that it’s looking for a way to cool down. If your Rottweiler digs when it is hot outside and it does not have access to shaded areas then the digging could be because the soil below is cooler and it’s looking to lay down in it to cool off.


Rottweilers are a breed that is meant to get daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and to look for ways to stimulate themselves and it might be why yours has been digging. This would be more likely if it tends to dig more when it has not gotten much exercise.

Generally, it is recommended for Rottweilers to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults. If your Rottweiler has not been getting that much it would help to make sure that it does.

Separation anxiety

The reason why it does it might be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it does it more when you are about to leave or when you are away.

To get next door

Rottweilers can be very adventurous dogs one possible reason that it is digging is to escape. If your Rottweiler does the digging near the fence then this could be the reason. If your Rottweiler is digging near the fence then it is something that will be very important for you to put an end to.

Ways to get your Rottweiler to stop digging

Below are some things you could do about your Rottweiler digging holes.

Give it a digging zone

An easy way to mitigate the negative effects if the digging would be to give your Rottweiler a zone where it is ok if it decides to dig there. To encourage it to dig there you can make the soil there looser, using a child-size sandbox and you can block off the areas where you do not want it to dig.

Give it exercise and attention

It would also help to keep it stimulated and less likely to look for ways to stimulate itself. It would help to make sure that it gets the daily amount of recommended exercise which is an hour or more daily for healthy adults. It would also help to give it attention throughout the day by training it and playing with it.

Block off areas

Another option you have would be to discourage it from digging in areas that you don’t want it to. You can do this by putting in underground fences in the areas or you can block them off with normal fences.

Give it shaded areas/keep it cool

If your Rottweiler tends to dig when it’s hot outside then it’s likely that it’s trying to cool down. To prevent this type of digging you can give it access to lots of shaded areas. You can also try grooming it more often since this will allow for its fur to be more aerated helping to keep it cool.

Give it distractions

You could also give it things to be distracted with. Things that you could give it would include bones, toys and puzzle games to play with.

Train it

You could also try giving it positive reinforcement training which is where you encourage the behaviors you want to see by rewarding them.

To use it to get it to stop digging you could reward it when it does not dig and avoid rewarding it when it starts digging. It would also help to train it to come to you on command so that you can call it to you when it does start digging.

You can watch the video below for more tips.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

It could be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to use positive reinforcement training to change its behavior and to try to redirect its attention before it starts digging.

Get help

If you are unable to get your Rottweiler to stop digging, you could get help from a dog behaviorist or trainer. By doing so, you should be able to see why your Rottweiler has been doing it and how to get it to stop.