13 Ways To Keep Dogs From Digging Under The Fence (3 Must DO NOW)!

An Effective Way to Keep Your Dog From Digging Under the Bottom of the Fence

Dogs have a natural instinct to dig. Learn the best way to improve your dog’s behavior.

Depending on the breed of your dog, some of them have the tendency to do it more often compared to others. 

It may be forgivable if they had done it once with only a small green patch in your lawn getting destroyed. 

It becomes a problem once they start digging deeper near structures like fences. This is especially true if you have a chain-link fence. A dog can be a true escape artist.

Excavated spots near chain-link fences could create security risks to your homes. It can even become an escape route for your beloved pets. And that is the reason why you must stop them from digging near it.

Quick Overview

  • Learn why your dog is diggin under the fence
  • Encourage him not to dig with toys, food and alternatives
  • Add a fence footer or electric fence effectively keep your dog from digging under the fence

In this article, we will give you nine tips and tricks that can help keep your dogs from digging under the fence. We hope this article can help you prevent your dog from repeating this unwanted behavior. 

13 Tips to Keep Dogs From Digging Under the Fence

TIP #1: Check out the Area. Is Your Dog Digging?

Do you think your dog has been digging near your fence? If your answer is yes, then the first thing that you should do is to check the area out.

Once you have confirmed the location of the pit, you now have to determine its size and depth. After that, put up any temporary physical barrier that can prevent your dog from going near it.

This temporary physical barrier could be large rocks or cinder blocks. It can even be any material that you can remove with ease once you have chosen a more permanent solution.

If you have a large garden, you may need to check the entire property. By doing this, you will be able to make sure that there are no other excavated spots near your fence.

TIP #2: Determine Why Your Dog is Digging

Good idea. While it is true that dogs have a natural desire to dig, there may be another reason why they love doing it near the fence. It is important that you are able to identify these common reasons in order for you to come up with the best solution.

Here are 7 main reasons why dogs dig:

  • Boredom. Dogs get bored too, especially when they are alone and don’t have any other things to do. When this happens, they will definitely try to find something to keep them busy
    • This situation worsens when they have a huge amount of excess energy to burn. For that reason, they may resort to digging. 
    • The reason for this is that dogs have a tendency to dig by nature. It may even be one of the first activities that will come to their mind. 
    • And this is the reason why it is important to keep them busy. Dog owners need to make sure that their dog is able to enjoy certain activities so they will not get tempted to dig.
  • Anxiety. Yes, you read that right! Dogs can get anxious, too. Oftentimes, it is separation anxiety, as most of them do not want to get left behind. Good way: If you want to determine if anxiety is the reason why your dog digs, then you need to observe him carefully to determine his digging area.

Check your pet’s behavior whenever someone in the family is about to leave the house. Does he pace, whine, or give any signs that he wants to come along? If your answer is yes, then the reason behind the digging near the fence is so that they can go out and come with you.

  • Neighbor’s dog. A male dog or neighbor dog maybe near the fence. This only fuels their destructive behavior and digging habit.
  • Desire to Hunt. For most dogs, the desire to hunt is innate. This is especially true for hunting breeds. This is why it is important for dog owners to check if there are small animals nearby. It could be anything from smaller dogs to rodents or any animals they may consider prey. The presence of these small animals may be triggering your dog’s desire to hunt. The digging could be because of the pet’s desire to go to the other side of the fence to hunt and catch small animals. 
  • Desire to Escape. Some dogs dig near the fences so that they may be able to escape. This could be because of their desire to go with you whenever you leave the house. Another reason would be their desire to play and have an adventure on the other side of the fence. They may think that the outside of your property is more interesting compared to the inside. If your dogs are rarely taken out for a walk or play, they are definitely going to think this way.
  • Need For Comfort. Some dogs create dens and dig pits during uncomfortable temperatures. It is something innate to them. Dogs find comfort in these dens or pits that they have created because it can help them feel safe. Moreover, these dens and pits can also help them maintain their desired temperature.
  • Consider it a Fun Activity. Because dogs have a natural tendency to dig, many of them just enjoy doing it. They dig it because they think it’s fun to do it.

TIP #3: Increase Your Dog’s Physical Activity.

Increasing your dog’s activity is one of the best solutions you can do to prevent them from digging near your fence. By them getting enough Exercise and playing with your dog can help you bond with him more while burning his energy. You just have to make sure that the activity is something that both of you can enjoy. By increasing your dog’s physical activity, you will be able to address four of the main reasons why he digs. 

These four reasons include:

  • Boredom
  • Aanxiety
  • Enjoyment
  • Desire to escape

Play and exercise can keep them busy and definitely tire them out. This would leave them with no time and energy to think of other destructive things such as digging.

TIP #4: Fence Footer Barrier

We recommend you provide both the treats and the physical barriers.

For the physical barriers, you have two options for this.

  • Installation of an L-Footer barrier at the base of the fence

For this option, you will have to excavate at least one foot from the top of the exposed soil. Then, attach chicken wire to the bottom of your fence.

Make sure that the chicken wire reaches the bottom of your excavated pit. Then, fold it in such a way that it resembles the shape of the letter “L”.

The horizontal part should extend to at least one foot as well. Also, make sure that this horizontal part is on the side of your property.

Finish this L-footer barrier by covering the horizontal part with soil and dirt. You may also choose to add other landscape elements, such as plants and rocks.

TIP # 5: Install Invisible Fence (Electric Fence)

An invisible dog fence could either have wires or be wireless. You can also select either of them based on the size of your property, the number of your dogs, and their breeds. This kind of fence features a new kind of technology that will only be effective if your dog knows how to respond to it. 

For the invisible fence to work, you will need to make your dog wear a receiver collar. This collar can detect and send back a signal whenever your dog approaches the boundaries of the invisible fence. Flags and wires are often used to mark the extent of these boundaries.

While the concept of an invisible fence sounds complicated, it is actually quite easy to install. Also, there are already many DIY kits that are available in the market.

Below are our Top 2 Recommended DIY invisible fence kits that are available on the market. These two kits also have the highest positive reviews on Amazon where you can buy them. 

We included their Amazon links in this article in case you want to know more about them.

If you compare these two items, you will notice that they are quite different from each other. 

The first one is wireless and is suitable for smaller properties.

The second one, however, makes use of wires and can cover larger properties. Even the smallest version of Extreme Dog Fence can still cover more property compared to the one offered by Pet Safe.

TIP #6: Clean the Fence and Fill the Digging Spot

After you put a temporary barrier around the hole, you’re going to have to check and clean both the fence and the digging pit. 

Check if the fence posts & fence has any damage that you can repair. If there is, you have to repair it first. Then, you may now attach and install the L-footer barrier. Once you have done that, you can now fill the hole with loose soil again, then compact it. If you want, you can add and bury scented objects in the hole before filling it. 

Make sure the scent is strong and somewhat repulsive. Since dogs are not fond of objects with strong odors, these will keep them from coming back to the area to dig again.

TIP # 7: Set Up and Install a Camera. 

Installing a camera outside your home can help you watch over your dog’s activities in the yard.

It can also help you identify the location of the new hole if your dog was able to do it again. You are also going to be able to catch him doing the deed.

By being able to see your dog’s activities outside the house, you will be able to identify the reason why he is digging. This can help you address the situation better. And thus, prevent your pet from repeating this unwanted activity.

TIP #8: Install Redundant Fences or a Secondary Physical Barrier.

One of the most effective ways to keep your dog from going near your fence again is to install a secondary barrier.

This secondary physical barrier is usually made up of rocks, wood, and chicken wire. It can be a low, solid wall or a see-through one. And, you can build it a couple of feet away from the main fence. The height and materials that you can use will depend on your preferences. 

The important part is that it is built well enough to prevent your dog from going near the main fence again.

 TIP #9: Consider Canine Companions. 

If you only have one dog, then this could be one of the best solutions for you. Getting your beloved pet a canine companion can help you address at least four of the main reasons why dogs dig.

This includes boredom, anxiety, need for comfort, and desire to escape. This is especially true since having a canine companion could mean fun for them.

It means more physical activity and less time to think of any other things, such as digging. They could also snuggle beside each other in times of cold temperatures.

And whenever your dog is feeling anxious, the canine companion can help them calm down. Keep in mind that you will need to choose a breed with a temperament that is suitable for your dog.

TIP #10: Work With Large Dog Breeds.

Large dog breeds tend to be easier to handle and more stable. These dogs are also kinder and calmer than their smaller counterparts. That is why if you want to get your dog a canine companion, you should consider large dog breeds like golden retrievers.

They are easier to handle and train, and they can help calm their smaller brothers down. Since they are more stable and kinder, they may be able to help reduce the boredom and anxiety of your smaller dogs. They will be able to keep them in line without hurting them.

TIP # 11: Consider it a Fun Activity.

Because dogs have a natural tendency to dig, many of them just enjoy doing it. They dig it because they think it’s fun to do it.

TIP # 12: Dog trainer.

A dog trainer will help your dog calm down and will help your furry friend and determined dogs from digging at the bottom of the fence line & learn good behavior.

TIP # 13: Use concrete blocks then conceal.

After you fill in the holes your dog has dug you can put bricks or concrete blocks to prevent them from digging any further. You can conceal the bricks or blocks with mulch, portable pots or garden signs.

Keep Your DoG From Digging Under The Fence Summary

Dig, Dog, Dig!

If fido were an Dr. Suess book then it wood be funny, but having holes under your fence is no laughting matter.

In order for you to be able to address this, you have to first identify the reason why they do it. By knowing the reasons, you will be able to identify the right strategy to handle this situation. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a one solution fits all cases.

And more often, dog owners may have to use several of the above-mentioned tips. The combination of which will depend on what best suits your situation. We hope this article helps solve your problem! 

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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