What if a Puppy Tries to Dig in the Apartment?

by Amy Hunter
    Make it easy for your puppy to follow the rules when he moves into your home.

    Make it easy for your puppy to follow the rules when he moves into your home.

    Russell Illig/Photodisc/Getty Images

    When you get a new puppy, it is important to remember that he doesn't know the rules of the house. So, while you may see his digging as bad behavior, he is probably feeling playful, likes the sound of his nails on your carpet, or hears noise in the downstairs apartment. Regardless of his reasons, you will want to put a stop to it quick, because you will be responsible for any damage to the apartment.

    Provide Plenty of Exercise

    Puppies often dig out of boredom. Puppies do spend a lot of time sleeping, but when they are awake, they like to be active. Puppies raised in apartments may not get as much activity as those who have access to a fenced yard. Play games, rolling a ball or tossing a toy for your puppy to chase, and take him for walks. Spend time grooming him and working with him on basic obedience commands. While he is a little young to expect perfect behavior, the time you spend doing this now will pay off as he matures.

    Correct Him Gently

    When you catch him digging, give a firm no, then distract him so he finds something else to do. This step should stop the digging pretty quickly, because you should be supervising your pup constantly as you do through the housetraining process. While you are watching to make sure he isn't having an accident in the house, you can also keep an eye on him to see if he starts digging. If you can't keep your eye on him, put him in the crate.

    Give Him Alternative Ideas

    Don't simply discipline your puppy when he digs. Immediately move him to a new activity. Living in an apartment can make it challenging to get him outside quickly, but you can get down in the floor and call him to you, jog into another room so he follows you, or do anything else that interrupts his concentration and gets him focused on something else.

    Keep It Clean

    While you may think your puppy is digging at nothing, you may be wrong. Is he digging in the dining room, or beside the couch where you sit and eat while watching television. Even if there is no visible food on the ground, your puppy, who is much closer to the ground than you, and has a much more sensitive nose, may be trying to grab a tempting morsel, or even be reacting to the smell of something that was spilled and not completely cleaned up.

    Photo Credits

    • Russell Illig/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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