A puppy’s favorite past time is to dig. Particularly young puppies love to dig and this is perfectly natural as digging is an inherent trait in most dogs. This is particularly true for certain breeds associated with sports like the Nordic and the terrier.
Puppies use the act of digging as a way to deal with stress. So whenever a puppy gets anxious by the arrival of a new baby in the house or a stranger or when he feels that he is not being given enough attention he feels stressed out. And he starts digging to relieve his stress and anxiety. Sometimes this digging habit may end up spoiling your furniture, upholstery and carpet. A very simple way to overcome this problem is to give him a safe place to dig which is away from your precious couch or favorite chair.
Some tips that will help you to teach your puppy the do’s and don’ts of digging and clawing are-
- The first thing that you need to do is to find a place where your dog can dig away to his hearts desire. This can be any place in or around your house. Keeping in mind your puppy’s young age I would suggest your back yard as the best place but if you live in an apartment you may want to take him to the park.
- A good way to encourage your puppy to dig is by making the entire digging experience an enjoyable one. The best way to do this is by participating in his little game. Play hide and seek with your puppy by burying his toy or bone in the backyard or in the park. Now start looking for the toy with him and you can do this by digging. Even if your puppy doesn’t start off by digging, when he sees you digging he will want to imitate you and start digging himself. It will be a lot of fun to see your pet imitate you.
- You can teach him to obey your command by taking him to the same spot where his toys were hidden the previous day and ask him to start digging with a command like “Tommy go dig and bring the toy”. You will find your puppy digging and bringing the toy back to you.
If you see your puppy digging and clawing in a place where he is not supposed to, just stop him with a stern “no”. Go ahead and show him the place where he can dig, this will teach your puppy to follow the “no” command. So whenever you find him messing your living room you can stop him with a firm “no”. Gradually he will learn where he is allowed to dig and where he isn’t.
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