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How To Get Your Dachshund To Stop Digging

Destructive digging is a highly common problem for dog owners. If you own a Dachshund, you may be frustrated by the holes you find around your fence and flower beds.

Before you get angry with your dog, consider that Dachshunds were bred to have strong legs and long claws to hunt badgers.

Digging holes is what Dachshunds do, but consistent training can prevent this destructive behavior.

Why Is My Dog Digging?

Digging is in your Dachshund’s blood. Hybrids are also notoriously prone to digging, particularly the Beagle Dachshund mix and Terrier Dachshund mix.

But digging isn’t only about breed and instinct: separation anxiety, trauma, boredom, and hyperactivity also make dogs dig.

Puppies are more likely to dig than adult dogs, but that doesn’t mean your Dachshund will grow out of his bad habit. Try these dog training tips to save your yard.

6 Tips to Prevent Dachshund Digging

1. Exercise Your Dachshund

Excess energy and boredom are two major culprits of digging. Your Dachshund’s lively temperament requires plenty of physical activity.

Walk your pup around the neighborhood every morning and afternoon. You should spend at least 60 minutes each day exercising your Dachshund by walking, jogging, and playing with toys.

Puzzle toys are superior to bones: your Dachshund is driven by instinct to hide his food, so that bone may be buried for later.

2. Maintain A Stress-Free Environment 

Dachshunds with separation anxiety may dig to keep themselves occupied. There are many reasons why your Dachshund can’t tolerate being home alone, none of which have anything to do with you being a bad dog owner.

If your pet shows signs of separation anxiety, avoid leashing him outside for hours. This won’t condition him to overcome his fear! Instead, work with a certified separation anxiety trainer (CSAT) to prevent destructive digging.

The instinct to dig is strong in all Dachshunds, but Dachshund rescues may dig even more often due to trauma. If your dog comes from a difficult background, he may use digging for stress relief.

The longer your dog endured cruel living conditions, the more difficult it will be for him to acclimate to a normal environment. Here are a few ways you can help your Dachshund rescue feel at home:

  • Keep a consistent feeding schedule. Many dogs are food motivated. Build a bond with your Dachshund by feeding him high-quality food on a schedule (but don’t stand too close to his bowl). Follow up treats with verbal praise and a cuddle.
  • Create a ‘bedroom’ for your furry family member. Dogs are territorial animals, but your Dachshund rescue may exhibit exceptionally territorial behavior due to stress. Digging may function as a way for him to mark his territory. Combat this by giving your pup a special space of his own with a dog bed, a favorite toy, and a soft blanket.
  • Make your home as calm as possible. If your Dachshund rescue is anxious and easily startled, encourage your children to use their indoor voices around him. Play music and TV at a moderate volume. Give him commands in a firm but gentle tone.

Warming up your Dachshund to his surroundings takes time, forgiveness, and patience. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks.

If you catch your Dachshund digging, use training methods that avoid reinforcing your destructive behavior. (Pro tip: shouting “No!” won’t help.)

3. Spray A Dog Digging Deterrent

This technique works well for the Dachshund puppy who needs extra reinforcement during training. Combine lemon juice, lime juice, and orange peels in a medium-sized spray bottle.

Fill the spray bottle with warm water and spritz your Dachshund’s favorite digging spots.

The smell of citrus repels dogs and dampens other scents that may trigger digging.

4. Keep Your Dachshund Warm in Winter

Digging holes keeps your dog warm in cool weather.

Puppies and tiny dogs like Dachshunds are especially prone to digging during the winter months because they have less body fat than big dogs. Keep your Dachshund warm with sweaters and dog booties.

You can also try creating an outdoor enclosure or placing a small space heater where your dog sleeps.

5. Use Rose Trimmings or Chicken Wire

If you’ve exhausted all other methods to get your Dachshund to stop digging, try chicken wire or rose trimmings.

Line the underside of your fence with chicken wire or throwing rose trimmings in your Dachshund’s favorite digging spots.

The negative stimulation will discourage future digging. (Rest assured, your dog won’t be harmed.)

6. Make Your Dachshund His Own Digging Area

By their very nature, Dachshunds love to dig and that’s just they way that it is. While you can deter them from digging up your flower bed or your garden, you might want to indulge them a bit.

So, consider building a digging area just for your Dachshund. It will help him satisfy his natural instincts and it will keep you happy cause you know he won’t be digging up your yard or garden.

When you’re ready to build a digging pen for your Dachshund, make sure that you fill it with sand so that it lets him know where his digging area ends and where the forbidden yard begins.

And go ahead and bury some toys for him to dig up when he’s out there – he’ll love it.

Will My Dachshund Grow Out Of Digging?

As you might expect, Dachshund puppies are more boisterous than older dogs and they are more prone to frequent digging.

As your Dachshund ages, it will calm down some and did less frequently than it did as a puppy.

Will Neutering Stop My Dachshund Digging?

If you’re looking for a way to put a damper on the behavior, then neutering the dog might be on your list of possibilities. But will it stop your dog from digging?

Yes, it will stop it somewhat, or at least make it less of a problem.

After neutering your Dachshund, you’ll notice that he is generally calmer than usual, which means he won’t dig as much.

Another benefit of neutering your Dachshund is that he won’t go out roaming in search of female, which means he won’t keep trying to dig his way under the fence to follow a scent.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why Dachshunds dig. Even if you train your Dachshund out of his destructive digging habit, don’t be surprised if you find a hole by your fence every so often.

Dachshund owners must accept that this breed is simply more prone to digging than others; they don’t dig holes out of spite.

The bottom line: no pet is perfect, so appreciate the joy your Dachshund brings to your life.

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National Canine Research Association of America