How to Prevent Dogs from Digging under a Fence

How to Prevent Dogs from Digging under a Fence

To prevent dogs from digging under a fence, bury chicken wire at the base of the fence and create a digging deterrent by using large rocks or gravel along the perimeter of the fence. If you are a dog owner, you may be familiar with the frustration of your furry friend consistently trying to dig under the fence.

Not only can this behavior lead to a potential escape, but it can also damage your property. Fortunately, there are several effective methods to prevent dogs from digging under a fence. By implementing these strategies, you can ensure the safety and containment of your pet while maintaining the integrity of your property.

Let’s explore some practical solutions to address this common issue and keep your dog safely within the confines of your yard.

How to Prevent Dogs from Digging under a Fence


Understanding The Problem

Prevent dogs from digging under your fence by understanding the problem. Discover effective strategies to keep your furry friends safely within your yard.

Signs Of Dogs Digging

If you’ve noticed that your furry friend is constantly trying to escape by digging under your fence, then you’re likely dealing with a common problem among dog owners. Understanding the signs of dogs digging is the first step in preventing this behavior. By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can take action early and stop your dog from digging under the fence.

Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Digging marks along the perimeter of your fence
  • Debris or dirt piling up near the fence
  • Exposed roots or damaged plants near the fence
  • Your dog attempting to squeeze through small openings

Reasons For Digging

Understanding why dogs dig is crucial in addressing the underlying cause and finding effective solutions. Dogs dig for various reasons, and it’s essential to identify the specific triggers that are driving your furry friend to escape from your yard.

Here are some common reasons for dogs digging:

  1. Escape: Dogs may dig under a fence to escape if they are feeling anxious, bored, or seeking companionship.
  2. Boredom: If your dog isn’t getting enough mental and physical stimulation, they may resort to digging as a form of entertainment.
  3. Buried treasures: Some dogs have a natural instinct to bury their toys, treats, or bones in the ground. If they can’t find a suitable spot, they may dig under the fence to create one.
  4. Hunting instincts: Certain breeds have strong hunting instincts, and they may dig to chase small animals or insects that are on the other side of the fence.

By understanding the reasons behind your dog’s digging behavior, you can address the root cause and implement appropriate preventive measures. This not only ensures your dog’s safety but also protects your yard and minimizes potential conflicts with neighbors.

Choosing The Right Fence

Dogs digging under the fence can be a frustrating issue for pet owners. One effective way to prevent this behavior is to choose the right fence for your particular needs. Consider the following factors: height and material. Additionally, you might want to explore the possibility of adding an extender or barrier to your existing fence. Let’s delve into these strategies for preventing dogs from digging under the fence.

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Consider Height And Material

When selecting a fence to prevent dogs from digging underneath, it’s crucial to consider both the height and the material. The fence should be tall enough to prevent your dog from easily jumping over it or digging underneath. Opt for a fence that is at least 6 feet in height if you have a larger, more agile breed. As for the material, choose a sturdy option like vinyl or concrete to prevent dogs from being able to chew or dig through the barrier.

Add An Extender Or Barrier

If your existing fence is not completely deterring your dog from digging, you may need to add an extender or barrier. This can include installing a subterranean barrier that extends a few feet below the ground to prevent digging. Alternatively, consider adding a deterring material to the bottom of the fence, such as wire mesh, to make it difficult for your dog to dig through.

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Creating A Digging Deterrent

Creating a Digging Deterrent is essential to prevent dogs from digging under a fence, which can lead to escape or injury. Implementing effective strategies to deter digging behavior is crucial for the safety and well-being of your dog. Below are some reliable methods to create a digging deterrent for your fence.

Bury Wire Mesh At Base

Burying wire mesh at the base of the fence is a practical and long-term solution to prevent dogs from digging underneath. This method involves burying a wire mesh or hardware cloth at least 1-2 feet deep along the fence line. This acts as a physical barrier, making it difficult for dogs to dig through. Ensure the mesh is securely anchored and extends below the surface to effectively discourage digging.

Use Deterrent Sprays

Utilizing deterrent sprays can effectively discourage dogs from digging under the fence. These sprays are specifically formulated to emit odors that are unappealing to dogs, deterring them from digging in the area. Look for products that are safe for both pets and plants, and apply them to the soil along the fence line. Reapply as directed to maintain the deterrent effect.

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Providing Distractions And Entertainment

Prevent dogs from digging under a fence by providing distractions and entertainment. Keep them mentally stimulated with interactive toys and regular exercise to redirect their energy and prevent boredom-induced digging.

Dogs are naturally curious and energetic creatures, making it essential to provide them with distractions and entertainment to prevent them from digging under the fence. This not only helps keep your furry friend safe but also saves your yard from getting ruined. Here are a few effective methods to provide distractions and entertainment for your dog:

Install A Sand Pit

Installing a sand pit in your yard can be a fantastic way to redirect your dog’s digging instincts. Dogs love the feel of sand beneath their paws, and by providing them with a designated area to dig, you can discourage them from venturing under the fence. Choose an appropriate spot and surround it with sturdy borders to contain the sand. Fill it up to a suitable depth, making sure the sand stays soft and loose to mimic the natural texture dogs enjoy digging in.

Provide Interactive Toys

Interactive toys are an excellent tool to engage your dog’s mind and body, ensuring they stay occupied and less likely to dig under the fence. Look for toys that offer mental stimulation and physical activity, such as treat-dispensing puzzle toys or toys that require your dog to work for their reward. These toys encourage problem-solving skills and keep your dog entertained for hours. Additionally, consider interactive toys that make noise or have appealing textures, enhancing their level of engagement. Remember that each dog is unique, so finding the right distractions and entertainment may require some trial and error. While some dogs may enjoy digging in a sand pit, others might prefer interactive toys. Observe your dog’s preferences and behavior to determine the most effective method for preventing them from digging under the fence. With consistency and patience, you can provide the right outlets for their energy and curiosity, ensuring both their happiness and the safety of your yard.

Training And Positive Reinforcement

Training your dog to stay away from digging under the fence requires patience and consistent positive reinforcement. By teaching your furry friend commands and appropriately rewarding their good behavior, you can effectively prevent them from digging under your fence.

Use Commands And Rewards

Commands and rewards are essential tools in teaching your dog to avoid digging under the fence. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Start by teaching your dog a strong “Leave It” command. Using a firm but gentle voice, say “Leave It” when your dog approaches the fence.
  2. If your dog shows any interest in digging under the fence, immediately redirect their attention with a favorite toy or treat. This positive reinforcement will help associate leaving the fence alone with rewards.
  3. Practice the “Leave It” command in different scenarios, gradually increasing distractions. Rewarding your dog each time they obey the command will reinforce the desired behavior.
  4. Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Boredom often leads to destructive behavior, including digging. Regular physical activity and engaging playtime can help divert their attention from the fence.
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Seek Professional Help If Needed

If your dog continues to dig under the fence despite your efforts, seeking professional help might be the best solution. A certified dog trainer can provide expert guidance tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

A professional trainer can assess your dog’s behavior, identify underlying causes of digging, and create a personalized training plan to address the issue. They can also teach you effective techniques for redirecting your dog’s behavior and reinforce positive habits.

Remember, training and positive reinforcement are key to preventing dogs from digging under a fence. With patience, consistency, and, if necessary, professional assistance, you can keep your pup safe and secure within your yard.

How to Prevent Dogs from Digging under a Fence


How to Prevent Dogs from Digging under a Fence


Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Prevent Dogs From Digging Under A Fence

How Can I Stop My Dog From Digging Under The Fence?

Preventing dogs from digging under the fence can be achieved by installing an L-footer or a barrier underground. Giving your dog enough exercise and mental stimulation, providing alternative digging areas, and ensuring their needs are met can also discourage this behavior.

Why Do Dogs Dig Under Fences?

Dogs may dig under fences for various reasons, including boredom, escape attempts, seeking entertainment or attention, temperature regulation, or trying to reach something on the other side. Understanding the underlying cause can help address the behavior effectively.

What Are Some Effective Deterrents To Prevent Dogs From Digging Under Fences?

There are several deterrents that can be effective in preventing dogs from digging under fences. These include burying chicken wire or rocks near the fence, using scent-based repellents, burying PVC pipes, installing motion-activated sprinklers, or using pet-friendly training devices like ultrasonic repellents.

Are There Any Dog Training Techniques To Stop Fence Digging?

Yes, dog training can help stop fence digging behavior. Techniques like positive reinforcement, redirecting their energy to alternative activities, providing chew toys or puzzle games, and consistent boundary training can all contribute to discouraging dogs from digging under fences.


Preventing dogs from digging under a fence is essential to ensure their safety and the security of your property. By implementing the strategies discussed in this blog post, such as reinforcing the base of the fence, providing adequate exercise and mental stimulation, and using deterrents, you can successfully curb this behavior.

Remember, consistency and patience are key when training your furry friend. With these tips, you’ll be able to maintain a dog-friendly yard without the hassle of constant digging.