How to Stop Dog From Digging Under Fence?

how to prevent dogs from digging

If you think chasing is tiresome work, ask your dogs who find it thrilling. But as a dog parent, you know it is not safe for your pet to go around just chasing everything in the outside world.

Love is not enough when you cannot protect your kiddo. That’s why many owners choose the option of fencing their yard. But what if your pup turns out to be an adventurous or a natural digger? Or he may feel stuck like Rapunzel, and you are her cruel aunt? What if he has a temptation to visit the world beyond the fence? How would you keep your dog from escaping then?

There are many reasons why dog starts digging the fence line. But nothing should stop you from keeping your dog from digging under the fence and inviting danger. So it is not a losing battle, even if he is a natural digger, and you can keep your dog in check.

We have summarized some effective ways to stop your dog’s digging behavior and keep him safe. However, you should also know what makes your dog dig so you can handle the root cause. So let us deal with the causes and their solutions side by side.

Why Do Dog Breeds Dig the Fence Line?

dogs digging under fence

Domestic dogs usually do not dig, and when they do, there is always a reason behind it. There are many methods to help your dog stop digging. First, you need to understand why your furry friend becomes a digger. Then, find the ways and strategies that will deter digging in puppies.

Boredom or Anxiousness

The dogs dig holes to distract themselves from the loneliness and boredom if you leave them alone in the yard for long periods. They may start digging the soil to overcome their boredom and anxiety because they have no other activity or toys to play with. 

Anxiousness is another reason that may seem strange to you that an anxious dog digs through the fence, but it happens. Many dogs are so attached to their owners that they get separation anxiety when left alone. A dog shows his disturbance by digging pit, barking, pacing fast, aggression, and destructive behavior.

Hunting Breeds

Certain breeds have natural hunting behavior and prey drive to hunt burrowing animals and other small insects in the soil. Therefore, no rodent can escape through a hunting dog’s nose. Some of the famous hunting breeds of dogs that love digging under the fence are Dachshunds, Beagles, Terriers, Hounds, and Weimaraners.

The breeds with hunting instincts usually turn to the base of shrubs and trees. They do not only dig the yard but anywhere where they sense the presence of rodents. They can end up escaping if they dig hard near the fence.

Natural Diggers or Escapers

how to stop dog from digging under fence

You cannot stop from digging if it is his instinctive behavior. The digger dogs dig deep holes everywhere for enjoyment and would not bother damaging your flower beds or fence.

But on the other hand, most dogs start digging to escape the fence. It may happen if you do not take the dog out for a long time or if something is tempting it from the outside. It can even be a dog barking from the neighborhood.

Escapers can be a big nuisance because they will find a way every time to dig unless we properly take care of them.

How to Control Dog Digging Behavior?

Now, You know some major reasons that provoke the dog to dig under the fence. Once you know why a dog is trying to escape, take the edges off step by step.

Spend Plenty of Time and Find Exercises for Them

If you notice that your dog’s behavior gets agitated or you get home and discover your yard being turned into lunar crates, you should spend time with your pup instead of punishing it.

It will be best to take your canine out for walks to utilize its energy in running or physical exercise and not on digging fences. You can also give your dog some mental stimulation tasks to keep it busy and entertained. Moreover, You can also consult your dog trainer to recommend enough exercise to keep your pup occupied and relieve the anxiety.

Furthermore, you can reduce your dog’s separation anxiety by leaving your used stuff or your pup’s favorite toys with it.

dog digging under fence solutions

Positive Reinforcement

The dog training and reinforcing him positively are necessary to control its urge to start digging. Most dogs would rebel or fall sick if you rebuke them.

You should spend time with your canine buddy if it digs to catch your attention. But, if he is still digging even when you are spending enough time with it, ignore him. But, on the other hand, give him a treat if he does not dig in the wrong place once you correct him.

In this way, he will learn that digging is useless to him. But it will be rewarded if it listens to its owner. You should leave toys and provide your buddy with enough exercises and activities to keep him busy.

If these methods are not enough to stop a dog from digging, you can use the other methods.

Using Chicken Wire, Chain Link Fence, or Spray Bottle to Control Hunter Spirits

You should bury the chicken wire or chain link fence in a trench six-inch below the bottom of the fence that can effectively stop your dog from digging. So that when your dog follows its prey drive, it will be met by more shields that would discourage the dog from digging.

However, burying the chicken wire or chain fence is not enough if your dog can still dig the existing holes between these wires. So you should fill the holes with tent stakes and cover these with dirt so your dog would not be able to see through them.

In addition, why should you restrict only your dogs when the burrowing animals are equally at fault? Capsicum spray gets into the nasal cavity of the rodents and disturbs their breathing, keeping them away from the soil. Also, it does not harm them, but many dogs hate its smell and avoid digging under the fence.

stop dog from digging under fence

Strengthen your Fence

If your fence is weak, try using two fences at some distance. Plotting another fence at some distance from the existing fence is redundant fencing. Chain link fencing is mostly used for this purpose. The extra fence is placed on the ground horizontally so that the dog has double fencing to face, reducing the dog’s digging enthusiasm. This technique of placing another fence at a 90-degree angle with the primary fence is known as L- footing. 

The pet carers can also use chicken wire as the new fence. You should cover the sharp edges of the chain fence or chicken wire so that your dog does not get harmed when it comes near the wire. If you are still afraid of using wires, we suggest putting large rocks or bricks beside the boundary line to cease your dog from digging it.

Double Fencing is best if you have two dogs separated at some distance; yours and your neighbor’s dog. The extra security will stop a dog from fence fighting with other dogs because they would not see each other. Moreover, it will protect your dog from the bad influence of other dogs.

Sandbox

The digging behavior is in the instincts of dog breeds. No one should suffer from this intuitive behavior of dogs. Instead of stopping your dog from digging, you should provide it with a safe digging zone.

You can use a sandbox to create a digging area for him. But you should make sure that the sandbox should be of sturdy waterproof wood because your dog would be able to damage a plastic box.

The dog owners should fill the box with sand or loose soil and train the dog to dig in this particular digging zone. Moreover, bury the dog’s favorite toys or treats in the soil for more effectiveness. Make him learn that digging in the right place is good for him.

Training may take time, but you need to be patient. When the canine digs in the wrong place, rebuke it with a loud noise to catch the dog’s attention. Then, remind the dog that it has to stay in the sandbox, the only place where it can get the treats even after digging.

keep dogs from digging

Landscaping

Landscaping means using revised methods on the primary fencing to make these inaccessible for dogs.

You can cover your yard by placing rocks on it. It will not leave any place for the dogs to go digging. Then, if your dog is aiming for the fence, again and again, you can plant repellent yet dog-friendly bushes by it. Some dog-friendly bushes are Crepe Myrtle, Tropical Hibiscus, Bamboo palm, Hawthorne, Oregon Grace, etc. These bushes are antiallergic to your dog but repellent enough to make them stay away from that area.

Moreover, if your dog has successfully converted your land into the moon and your yard has holes everywhere, you may fill a hole with water or stones of various sizes. Also, place large rocks in the yard where you cannot allow your dog to dig.

Once your dog is trained enough not to destroy the yard and stay in its specific areas, you can design attractive landscaping and remove the dog hurdles.

Underground Fence

A physical fence would always be a problem, and your dog will find some hole beneath it for digging and escape. The best way to deal with this annoyance is using an underground fence. For this purpose, you can use a GPS fence, an Electric wire fence, or other underground fences.

When the dog would not see the fence, he would not be able to escape it through digging. A SAVAGE PLAN INDEED!

Spraying or Neutering

Mating is an intense reason for male dogs to breach any fence or dig through holes. They would pass any barrier when they want to breed, and there is a female heated dog outside.

If you do not want a breeding dog, then get him sprayed or neutered. Otherwise, plan the robust defense systems discussed above and provide a pet for your buddy to mate.

Conclusion

If you find your dog digging under the boundary or anywhere in your yard, it is time to spend time with your doggie and understand him because no dog starts digging without any reason.

Maybe your dog is bored or afraid of being alone. Probably, he loves digging, or worst, he is leaving you. Yet, every cause is mendable if checked in time.

We have jotted down some strange behaviors and effective ways to control your pup’s digging habits. We hope that this article helps you understand your little pup and find the best method to better him.

Let us know if you have any queries regarding the above-listed techniques. Also, let us know which way suits you and your baby because it will be a pleasure for us to know that we helped.   

Noah Tess
Noah Tess is a mother to a baby girl, two adorable huskies, and a toy poodle. When she's not busy taking care of her family, she's blogging about the newest pet trends and products. She's a member of the team here at dog cafe, a blog devoted to giving pet parents the best information on keeping their fur babies happy and healthy. When Noah's daughter was born, her world became infinitely more precious. Her baby was saved by the rescue huskies, she knew she owed them everything. That's why she does so much research into finding the best diets for her toy poodle "toffee" and her huskies, Jack and Snowball. Noah has a unique perspective on life that comes from being a mom - it's amazing!

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