Dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs and have a natural ability to dig to pursue moles, badgers, and other burrowing animals, so digging is a natural instinct for them and they do it well. Unfortunately, this can wreak havoc on your carefully planted flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. While you may not be able to completely eliminate this instinctual behavior, there are many steps you can take to minimize it and to reduce the damage for Dachshund does to your yard or garden.
Entertain Your Dachshund Dog
One of the best ways to curb Dachshund digging behaviors is to make sure your pet has plenty of attention and doesn’t get bored. Dachshunds are a highly intelligent and active breed, and require a lot of playtime to burn off energy and reduce problem behaviors. Spend quality time with your dog, grooming and playing together. Be sure to provide a good variety of different types of toys including chew toys, toss toys, and tug toys, and rotate them regularly to keep your pet entertained.
Walk with Him
Since Dachshunds have so much natural energy, you will want to ensure they get a lot of exercise. They should get at least two walks a day. Taking them to interesting places such as dog parks, hiking trails, and walking paths in nature can help improve the quality and enjoyment of their exercise time. Playing interactive games like fetch on these outings offers added entertainment and exercise. The extra activity and stimulation from exploring new areas can go a long way to reduce problem behaviors of all kinds, particularly digging.
Play with Him
You should take care to prepare your yard and garden to protect it from the damage a dachshund can do. Make sure there is a shady, comfortable spot for your dog to enjoy when you are out. You may wish to limit their access to flower beds or vegetable gardens with spiky plants or even wire mesh that your dog won’t want to touch. Strategic use of the sprinkler when you are in the yard with your Dachshund can also be very helpful in protecting certain plants or areas in your yard.
Setting aside a certain area where your Dachshund is allowed to dig is also an excellent technique and you can easily re-direct your pet to this area if needed. You can use a sandbox or a child’s pool to create a special digging playground just for your dog. Fill it with dirt and bury toys and treats and move your dog to this spot every time you catch him digging in the garden. This is an ideal solution because it allows your pet to enjoy his natural behavior as well as providing a safe place for you to redirect his attention. If used consistently each time you catch your dog digging where they aren’t supposed to be, he can learn to prefer his own approved digging area. Make sure to praise your pet and offer treats when he uses the area you have provided for him to dig.
Lastly, there are a variety of pet deterrent sprays that have unappealing scents and tastes to dogs like hot pepper, bitter apple, or citronella. Spraying these on your cherished plants may also help protect your garden, especially if you have also provided another area that is safe for your dog to dig.
Ideally, you will use a combination of these techniques to keep your Dachshund happy and prevent any damage to your lawn and garden. When you catch him digging, you should immediately and firmly tell your dog no, and move him to his digging area, praising him when he uses this area instead. Then, return to the hole afterwards, fill it, and spray the area with repellent spray.
While most Dachshund’s will always love digging, careful and consistent training can help you control the behavior and save your carefully maintained yard.