As you may already know, Dachshunds were bred to get vermin out of underground holes. They would go in, grab the animal, and then the farmer would pull their Doxie, along with his prey, out of the hole. It’s why they have a long, low body and huge claws. Those big nails of theirs are made for digging through the dirt, so you shouldn’t be surprised if your Doxie just loves to make holes in your backyard. Of course, this isn’t very fun for you and it can cause problems if yours digs under the fence. The following are five tips to getting your Dachshund to stop digging.
#1 – Management
While you are working on solving the digging problem, which won’t happen overnight, the easiest way to stop your Dachshund from doing it is to not leave him in the yard alone. This way, he won’t have a chance to practice the behavior. The more he practices it, the more he will continue to dig because it’s rewarding for him.
#2 – More Exercise
Many dogs that take up digging do so because they have a lot of energy that they need to expend in some way. Digging is a great way for them to do that – it takes a lot of energy to dig! Giving your Doxie plenty of appropriate exercise, such as walks, a game of fetch, etc., will leave her with less energy to dig.
#3 – Self-Play Toys
Boredom is another reason why your Dachshund may have taken up trying to dig to China. Providing self-play toys for your dog in the backyard is a great way to keep him occupied. The Wunderball is a great choice because when your dog drops it, it bounces unevenly, encouraging your dog to keep playing. Treat toys, iFetch, Tether Tug, and the like are all good options, too.
#4 – Take Her To Barn Hunt Or EarthDog
Since your Dachshund is bred to get small animals out of the Earth, you should not be surprised she wants to dig. You can help satisfy this desire by taking her to barn hunts or EarthDog training. These safe sports (no rodents are harmed!) will teach your Doxie to hunt on cue and will help curb unwanted digging by giving her an outlet for her instincts.
#5 – A Place To Dig
Finally, your Dachshund digs because it’s self-rewarding. Aside from expending energy, your dog loves the feel of the dirt in his toes and the smells he unearths. He may even be tracking a mole or a gopher. If your dog is like this, you may find the only way to stop him from digging up your entire yard is to give him a sand or dirt box of his own. Use a kid box or build one yourself. Make sure it has a clearly marked perimeter and that the soil inside it is different from your landscaping so your Doxie can learn the difference. Bury toys and treats inside the box (shallow at first) to encourage your dog to dig there and not anywhere else. This is a great solution because it gives your dog exercise and keeps him from being bored while saving your landscaping. And, there’s no risk he will dig himself out of your yard.