Puppy Behavior Problems: Barking & Digging

Training a Puppy with Barking and Digging Problems

Barking and digging is perfectly normal for any puppy, but it should be considered a problem if it becomes excessive. Most dogs bark at strangers who pass by, and this is to be expected. However, you must teach your puppy that while some barking is okay, excessive barking is not.

Allow your puppy to bark two or three times when someone rings the doorbell, approaches your house or passes your garden. Do not let your puppy bark frantically until the person finally leaves the area.

Let’s start to overcome excessive barking digging of your puppy!

A simple anti-barking routine

Train your puppy not to bark excessively, be consistent and plan ahead. Ask a friend to come to your house and ring the doorbell. When the doorbell rings, your puppy will probably run to the door and bark.

At that moment, hold on to your puppy’s collar, say his name and then the keyword ‘Be quiet’. If he listens to you and stops barking, praise him warmly. After several practice sessions, your puppy should begin to understand.

Once your puppy has learned to react reliably to the soft keyword in your house, you can start the outdoor training session in your garden. Ask friends and neighbors to help you train by walking past your property or doing whatever else makes your puppy bark.

Also remember that bored dogs bark more than those that get enough stimulation. If your puppy is barking madly at everyone who walks by the house, he may need more exercise and stimulation. This way he won’t feel forced to create his own distractions.

Is it ok if your puppy is digging

The burrowing instinct is strongly pronounced in most dogs and often begins already in the puppyhood. If your puppy starts digging up the garden, you must intervene before your garden starts to look like a minefield.

The best way to control your puppy’s digging urge is to give him a place in the yard where he can dig to his heart’s content. This could be a place where you’ve seen him dig before, if you don’t mind him digging there. Or you might want to entice him to dig in an area that is off the beaten path and not visible from most parts of your yard.

If you catch your puppy digging in a place that is not allowed, correct him with ìNO DIG!î and take him to his allowed spot. If he digs at this designated burial site, praise him to let him know he has the right idea.

Even if he has his own grave site, you may find that your puppy still likes to dig in places where he shouldn’t. Protect these areas with a temporary fence (e.g., wire mesh) until your puppy gets used to dig only in his assigned spot. At some point, you should be able to remove the fence and allow him to run the yard.

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