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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, my dog Schnapps is now 15 weeks old. He has a wonderful temperament and is great with everyone. Recently however we have noticed him becoming agitated and aggressive toward anyone who attempts to fill in or even approach the few holes he has dug in the garden! He has not buried anything in these holes and they are quite small. If he becomes aggressive I tend to distract him but he still remains anxious if people approach what he has dug. My question is whether or not this is the beginning of a serious issue or just normal puppy behavior?
 

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How is he when you approach his toys while playing or food while eating?

How are you defining aggressive? What does he do when you approach the holes?

It sounds like it could be resource guarding which is why I am asking additional questions. Without more information, my initial thought is to not let him dig more holes for one and to fill in the ones he has created while he is safely inside and cannot guard them,
 

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In puppy class they suggested crating a designated digging area- put a load of sand in one spot and let him have at it all he wants.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
By aggressive I meant frantic, anxious, barking and becoming generally very agitated. He never does this around food or toys which is why I found it so out of character. His temperament is generally very playful and happy toward others, slightly nippy but he is learning bite inhibition well. I may just fill in the holes when he's not there as was suggested but I am also wondering if this behavior is just common for puppies?
 

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The words you used describe anxiety to me and not aggression which is why I asked how you were defining it. If he were lunging, barking, snapping and not letting you get anywhere near the holes then I'd be worried. But I can't see how reacts so I don't know how extreme it is.

I've never heard of a puppy not letting someone fill in the hole they've dug but it doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. The sandbox idea is usually to keep them from digging up your entire yard.

Really the best way is to curb this behavior is to supervise him when outside and not let him create holes to begin with.
 

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My pup loved to dig. I put a small amount of his poo in the hole and cover it with dirt. He never goes back to it. Kinda gross but it works.
 

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i think he wants you to dig/play with
him.

never leave your dog unattended in the yard.
he could dig himself out from under the fence.

By aggressive I meant frantic, anxious, barking and becoming generally very agitated. He never does this around food or toys which is why I found it so out of character. His temperament is generally very playful and happy toward others, slightly nippy but he is learning bite inhibition well. I may just fill in the holes when he's not there as was suggested but I am also wondering if this behavior is just common for puppies?
 

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never leave your dog unattended in the yard.
he could dig himself out from under the fence.
Think this is key. It will prevent a bad habit from even starting (both digging and the crazy he's doing when you are filling in the holes can be stopped).

I'd WAY up the exercise with your puppy. WITH your pup to replace the 'i'm bored so going to dig a hole' time. Teach him and direct him to do good rather than evil!

PUPPY CLASSES and socialization are a blast!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
hey guys, the behavior has lessened somewhat in that he isn't digging any more new holes and when i go near them now he doesn't get too wound up. my basic tactic was to distract him immediately with a game or play if he got anxious, which worked. regarding exercise; He is now 18 weeks old and over the last month i have been gradually increasing the amount of exercise i give him. i have been sure to socialize him well from a very young age as well, we live in Ireland and there are many great parks in my area which have helped this process. thanks for all the feedback, it has helped a lot.
 

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Please remove the label and the small red cap ring off the plastic bottle when your pup plays with it!

Never leave him alone with this kind of toy. I do use these with my guy though.
 
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