Digging is another instinctive behavior for dogs and one that your puppy probably loves to indulge. Terrier breeds and Dachshunds, in particular, are natural diggers since they were bred to “go to ground” to find prey like rodents, foxes, and badgers. But even though your puppy may love to dig, you probably don’t like the holes he leaves in your yard or the flowers he digs up. In some cases puppies and dogs can start digging under fences and escape. Here are some ways to stop your puppy from digging.
Filling in the holes
One way to stop your puppy from digging is by filling in the holes he digs with things that will discourage him from digging there again. Dog owners have found several things to be effective in stopping digging when you back fill your dog’s holes: gravel, dog poop, and dirt covered with cayenne pepper. Using any of these materials to fill in your puppy’s holes in the yard will probably stop him from digging in that place again. Some people even like to place a layer of chicken wire over a filled in hole since dogs don’t like the feel of the thin wire on their paws. The only drawback to filling in holes is that your puppy will probably just go dig himself a new hole somewhere else in your yard.
You can also use sprinklers to deter your puppy from digging. Sprinklers can be particularly effective if you use a manual system so you can turn it on exactly when your puppy starts to dig. Tell him, “No!” and then turn the sprinkler on. This will often stop a puppy from digging, especially if he’s not committed to the idea. However, some puppies and dogs enjoy playing in the water from sprinklers so this won’t stop all dogs. And, it doesn’t solve the problem of puppies or dogs who dig when you aren’t watching them.
One of the best ways to stop your puppy from digging in unwanted places is by giving him his own approved place to dig. You can build him his own sand box. A sand box is easy to make. You can get several pieces or lumber or railroad ties used for landscaping and lay them in the shape of a box. Fill the box with sand such as for a child’s sand box. Make it several inches deep. Then hide some of your puppy’s favorite toys in the sand. Leave the ends sticking out so they will be easy to find at first. Put a bone and some other fun things in the sand. Call your puppy over and start helping him dig and search in the sand to show him it’s okay to dig there. If you keep the sand box supplied with toys, rawhides, and bones, your puppy should stick to digging in the box and leave the rest of the yard alone.
There are several ways to teach your puppy to stop digging but the best one is often to build your puppy his own sand box. If your puppy is getting in your flowers or vegetables you will probably have to fence them off to keep your puppy out of them.