So, how do I go about teaching a puppy to stop digging?
If you love your garden then you're going to need to teach your puppy to stop digging. Terriers, and many of the dogs in hound group are two of the relatively few breeds that digging comes naturally to. These dogs were bred to hunt badgers and foxes, and they would dig furiously alongside the hunters.
Some dog's dig pits to cool off in, others to bury bones and other prized possessions, and some because it's a fun activity. But the single biggest reason for a puppy's digging is boredom, and mental frustration.
If your dog doesn't get too much exercise, you don't spend much time playing with her, and she spends a lot of time roaming around on her own in the garden or yard. Then it's a good bet that your puppy is bored stiff, and you really do need to spend more time on her:
- Take her for interesting walks. Involve her in games that expend physical and mental energy. Pay her more attention.
- If you think that the reason why your puppy is digging up the garden doesn't fall in to the bored to tears category, try out these solutions:
- There is nothing in the world that can stop a dog digging if that's what it wants to do. They only thing that you can do is to deter him, or re-direct him.
- The simplest solution is to keep him under strict surveillance when he's outside. Making sure that you're aware of his movements at all times.
- Failing that: to correct him you'll need to catch him in the act and use the "no" command which is discussed in teaching a puppy no.
- In the worst-case scenario you can shoot him! With a water pistol. You have to catch him in the act, squirt him, and issue the "no" command, all in one fluid movement.
Re-directing your dog's digging is quite a fun solution. Here's what it entails:
- Accept that your dog is a digger- who knows she might be tunneling her way to some exotic destination.
- So why not create her own little quarry? You might want to fence it off, and perhaps, introduce sand in to the area. All dogs love digging in sand- my dogs especially.
- If you take your puppy to the chosen spot, and start digging yourself, trust me your puppy will start digging too. Name the activity-"get digging", reward and praise her when she does it in the desired area, and correct her with the "no" command when you catch her digging anywhere else.
The key in training a puppy is in understanding your dog's own unique personality. Dogs don't pre-plan bad behaviour- they're incapable of that. Virtually all unwanted behaviors are the result of boredom, frustration or being isolated.
Teaching a puppy to stop digging is just one segment of our puppy-training guide.....
So why not find out All About teaching a puppy to fetch.