How To Stop A Dog From Digging Under Your Fence

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Dogs might be man’s best friened, but that doesn’t mean they’re friendly towards gardens. A dog that has a penchant for digging can uproot flower beds and also cause his own escape. If your pup keeps trying to dig under your fence, you need to make sure that he knocks it off. But, how can you prevent a dog from digging?

There are several ways to stop a dog from digging under a fence including using chicken wire, getting a fence guard, adding some sandboxes or bushes near the fence, or placing a fence a fence horizontally under your fence. These are easy steps which can help deter any dog digging around your home.

You cannot expect a dog to ignore his instinct. Dogs love to dig. However, there are ways to make sure Fido won’t want to go near your fence. These solutions below will help you find a way to curb that digging while keeping your pup happy.

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How To Stop A Dog From Digging Under Your Fence

Dogs usually dig because they’re anxious, bored, hiding something, or nesting. Knowing this, it’s easy to figure out how to curb your dog’s digging habit. There are two main things that prevent dogs from digging up fences: diversion and difficulty. Most of the solutions that we included below will cater to one or both of these factors. So, let’s get started!

Using Chicken Wire

Chicken wire is known for being one of the best digging deterrents for dogs and birds alike. To use this, just bury some chicken wire underneath the fence. Dogs dislike the feeling of chicken wire on their paws. Moreover, the wire protects them from actually being able to do damage. It’s a win-win.

Make sure that you measure your fence precisely and buy the appropriate amount of chicken wire that will bury underneath, with one end sticking into your yard.

Dig a trench under your fence that is deep enough for you to easily place the chicken wire inside. The trench should be the exact width of the holes your dog has been digging. Then, replace the dirt in the trench so that the wire is completely covered.

Get A Fence Guard

If you don’t like the idea of burying chicken wire, then use a fence guard. These are metal spike railings that are inserted at the bottom of your fence and reach into the ground. For dogs that want to burrow out of your yard, they’re a must.

Add Some Landscaping Near Your Fence

Remember how we said that dogs don’t like to have too many difficulties near their digging spots? Well, that’s where having a little landscaping can work wonders. These items below tend to have particularly good results when it comes to fence digging issues:

  • Sandboxes. If you’re seeking out a diversion for a dig-happy doggo, sandboxes are your best bet. Sandboxes are made for digging and dogs adore them. A small sandbox is more than enough to curb most burrowing dogs, and can easily be turned into a cute garden feature.
  • Bushes. One of the other good diversion options for dogs is to plant some canine-friendly bushes near your fence. Dogs often prefer to hide their items in bushes where they can dig deep without others noticing anything.
  • Stone/Gravel Paths. If you want to make it more difficult for your dog to dig around your fence, you may need to consider getting stone gravel to dissuade them. However, this comes with a caveat. The stones you choose to place near your fence cannot be pea-sized gravel. They need to have some heft to them in order to make dogs rethink their digging habits.
  • Water. Adding a small pond near your fence is a good way to end digging near a certain spot once and for all. This can also help curb digging that’s done as a way to get cool during warmer months.

Try a Fence Under a Fence

This trick functions similarly to the chicken wire method except the fence is hammered into the ground horizontally, as opposed to a 90-degree angle. This option is the greatest solution to prevent your dog from digging tunnels to escape your yard.

For this method, you will only need to acquire the top piece of a wired fence which will be placed into the ground from the inside of the existing fence. This, along with the chicken wire, makes a very effective underground security system that will keep your dog inside the fenced-in boundaries of your yard.

Keep An Eye Out

The best way to curb a dog’s digging habit is to keep an eye out when he’s outside. If you notice your dog starting to root around when he’s near the fence, call him indoors or scold him. The more he gets trained to avoid the fence area, the less he will dig.

Also, playing and interacting with your dog will develop a strong bond and the last thing your dog will think about is digging. You’ll also be able to correct any undesirable behavior, speeding up the learning process.

Could My Dog’s Digging Be A Behavioral Problem?

Remember when we said that dogs typically dig due to boredom, anxiety, or something similar? This means that your dog’s decision to dig up holes in your yard could be a behavioral issue. If your dog seems to be anxious (pacing around, chewing on things) or just very bored, these choices below can help you get better results:

  • Scatter some toys around the yard. Sometimes, all your dog needs is a little bit of extra stimulation to get him away from digging. You’d be amazed at how well this works.
  • Consider making his outdoor time a designated trick teaching time. If your dog feels neglected by you, he may turn to digging as a way to get attention. If you feel this may be the case, take time to watch your dog outside and teach him tricks. The extra bonding time may be enough to divert him from digging.
  • Or, just start playing with your dogs. Playing fetch, doing some tug-o-war, or any other physical activity will help bored dogs wear out their energy.
  • Keep an untippable water bowl outside and give your dog extra shelter. Diggers who burrow as a way to get comfort or safety will find these two items to be a major game-changer.
  • Ignore attention-seeking behavior and praise your dog when they behave well. Some dogs have a tendency of trying to push their owner’s buttons to try to get more attention. If you notice this pattern with your dog, don’t encourage it. Ignore attention seeking and praise them when they don’t dig.

When Should You Call An Animal Behaviorist?

For most pet owners, a simple chicken wire installation and careful monitoring of their pooch will solve any digging problem. However, there’s always going to be one or two cases where the problem is a little more complex. If you’ve tried every method and can’t get your dog to quit digging, calling an animal behaviorist is very reasonable.

Additionally, you should also consider calling an animal specialist in if you notice other signs that something isn’t right with your dog. If you notice your dog becoming increasingly destructive, aggressive, clingy, or skittish, it may be time to call a professional. At this point, there’s a good chance that your dog’s digging is just one of many symptoms of a behavioral issue that needs to be curbed.

Neighbor’s Dog Digging Under My Fence

We’ve already tackled how to keep your dog inside, but how do you deal with the same digging problem on the other side of the fence? One solution would be to construct a secondary fence, or a fence within a fence. Having two fences that are slightly apart from each other will create a space that discourages both dogs, on either side, from digging.

Alternatively, you can speak with your neighbor about possible solutions and ask him/her to implement one of the above methods in their own yard. After all, it is the primary responsibly of the owner to keep their own dog contained.

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Related Questions

What plants are poisonous to dogs?

There are a lot of plants that are toxic to dogs, many of which are common in gardens. If you have a garden that you let your dog roam around in, it’s best to avoid cyclamen, azaleas, bluebells, foxglove, ivy, rhododendron, and day lilies…just to name a few. When planting a garden with a dog in mind, check online references to see if the plant in question is toxic to your pup.

Can I leave my dog in my garden all day?

You should never try to leave your dog outside, unattended for long periods of time. That’s neglectful and can also lead you to losing your dog.

Is gravel bad for dog paws?

Much like how asphalt can burn your dog’s paws on hot days, gravel can place a lot of heat stress on your dog’s paws. If you have a garden that is filled with gravel or have a primarily paved property, you should consider getting your dog some shoes.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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