Fenced-in feeling has chihuahua digging for freedom 0
We are having a problem with Bess, our 2-year-old chihuahua. We have a totally fenced in big yard with all the freedom she could want yet she constantly digs under the boards and escapes. We put bricks or stone where ever she digs, but she always finds more. What can we do to put a stop to this problem? Should we have her front claws removed? I know this sounds brutal but the constant dog sitting is killing us.
One of the early husbands' need-to-know lessons my wife started me on was to remember that if I ever thought I had a problem with her, I should first carefully think it through because she assured me more often than not I would learn that the actual problem was me.
One of the first discoveries I made was that one of my problems was the "careful thought" department and so occasionally would attempt to bring one of her problems to her attention. As it turned out, as a spouse I'm a slow learner and so she ultimately was forced to escape the yard.
The good news is that the "Who's the real problem" lesson, made me a better dog trainer.
In your situation my ex would suggest that instead of asking, "How do I keep my dog in?", you should first consider, "Why does your dog want to leave?"
All dogs need exercise and mental stimulation. Bess's access to a "totally fenced in big yard" has nothing to do with either. I had a gym membership tag on my keychain for a year. I'm still out of shape. It seems you actually have to use it in some way I never discovered for it to actually provide benefit. If Bess isn't ripping up and down that yard, full blast for 20 minutes straight a few times a day or some equivalent she isn't getting enough exercise and that will impact her overall contentment.
In spite of her diminutive stature, Bess is still a highly evolved intelligent animal and her large, unoccupied mind may be the problem.
Whereas you see a big yard as "all the freedom she could want" Bess on the other hand may wonder, "Free to do what?"
Like many similarly unchallenged dogs, in spite of the quality of the food, accommodation, access to a yard and affection from those guarding her against escape, it amounts to house arrest.
I guarantee the keys to Bess wanting to stick around are exercise and mental stimulation and in the end together they'll take less time daily than you're spending trying to keep her in the yard and out of a hawk's talons.