There are 17 ways to deal with dogs that dig under fences, and only 4 things you should never do.

If you have a hound named Houdini at your house, then you already know from personal experience how difficult it can be to keep your four-legged pal safe and secure while he is spending time outside in the yard. It's undeniably stressful to have to deal with a dog who's always hatching plans to escape from his kennel.  

To your relief, if you have some persistence, ingenuity, and a little bit of hard work on your hands, you should be able to shore up your fence and prevent your dog from digging his way out. Below, you'll find some advice that should be helpful.  

  • There are a lot of different things you can do to prevent your dog from digging under a fence, but in order to have the best chance of success, you need to figure out why he wants to get out. For instance, while some dogs dig under fences in order to escape what they perceive to be a threat, other dogs do so simply because they are bored.
  • Once you've determined why your dog is trying to get away, you can begin developing strategies to prevent him from digging his way out of the yard and into freedom. For instance, if you think your dog is bored and digging because of it, you might want to try providing him with more opportunities for enrichment and entertainment.
  • There are a variety of approaches that you should think about implementing, but there are also certain things that you should avoid doing if you want to prevent your dog from digging under the fence. This includes, for instance, reprimanding him after he has already escaped or employing any strategies that have the potential to cause injuries to him.

Why Do Dogs Dig Under Fences

reasons dogs try to escape

It is imperative that you have an understanding of the reasons behind your dog's apparent determination to dig his way out of the backyard in order to ensure his safety. Your dog may attempt to flee for a variety of reasons, some of which include the following:

  • He lacks excitement in his life. It's possible that your dog is simply bored and looking for something to occupy his time. To maintain their sense of well-being, intelligent dogs need to have something to do, and simply lounging around the yard with the same old toys or none at all does not always meet their needs. Canines like border collies, poodles, and German shepherds, among others, have the potential to compete for the title of most intelligent.  
  • When your four-legged pal sees a squirrel, he is unable to contain his excitement. There are some breeds of dog that have a stronger instinct to hunt than others. Those individuals who feel an overwhelming desire to investigate what lies beyond the fence might make an attempt to break free and pursue their prey. It is possible that sight and scent hounds, in addition to terriers, are more prone to this condition.  
  • He is taking his responsibilities as a guard a little bit too seriously. Protective puppies, especially guardian breeds, have a greater propensity to flee the scene if they identify what they believe to be an imminent danger, which can create a situation in which everyone's safety is compromised.  
  • He yearns for the company of others. There are a lot of dogs who would give anything just to be with the people they care about. Therefore, if you leave your furry friend outside alone for an extended period of time without providing him with an adequate amount of interaction, he may try to find company beyond the fence.  
  • The call of nature Unaltered canines, particularly males, are more likely to make an escape attempt if they detect the presence of a nearby estrous female. The need to mate can sometimes overpower the desire of your puppy to remain contained within the boundaries of your backyard.  
  • He's tense about it. Simply due to the fact that he is confined, an anxious or stressed dog may attempt to flee from a yard. Your canine companion may be experiencing a panic attack due to separation anxiety, or it may be frightened by a frightening stimulus, such as impending thunderstorms or fireworks.   
Invest Some Time And Energy Into Teaching Your Dog New Tricks.

According to an old proverb, dogs will learn whether or not their owners are around to instruct them. Basically, you will need to teach your dog appropriate ways to modify his behavior rather than relying solely on these solutions because they will not always work on their own.

After the installation of a brand new physical barrier, it is essential that you keep a close eye on your dog for a period of time to ensure that he does not accidentally injure himself. Unfortunately, there is rarely a solution that can be implemented overnight to combat habitual digging.

There are 17 ways to deal with dogs that dig under fences.

Without further ado, without further ado, here are some outstanding solutions that will assist you in preventing your dog from digging under your fence: Although some of these procedures require more time to carry out than others, it is undeniably worth your while to invest in these safety precautions in order to ensure the wellbeing of your canine companion.  

1. Plug All of the Existing Gaps

fill in holes dogs dig

It's possible that dogs will be drawn to holes that already exist; for this reason, it's important to patch up any holes as soon as they appear. If there are any "problem spots" that tend to be dug up on a consistent basis, it may make sense to cover up the area with landscaping or other lawn fixtures so that your nefarious digger is discouraged from digging there.  

2. Bury the bottom section of the fence in the ground.

If your dog has a habit of digging under the fence, you should bury the bottom portion of the fence panels as soon as you can after noticing this behavior. This is pretty important to keep in mind when constructing any kind of dog-proof fencing for an escapist. You can bury the fence at a depth of at least one to two feet below the surface to increase the likelihood that your four-legged pal won't be able to escape.

If you have a chain link fence and your dog likes to climb it, you might consider placing large rocks or another obstacle close to the fence line as an additional deterrent. This is especially important if your dog is a climber.  

3. Fasten Wire to the Underside of the Fence

The addition of some chicken wire to the bottom of your fence, either by burying it or attaching it there, creates an additional barrier that your dog will be unable to dig through. You can also secure a short section of plastic fencing to the bottom of any do-it-yourself dog fence, which will make it difficult for your canine companion to dig his way out of the yard.

4. Accumulate gravel and place it at the foot of the fence

gravel to stop dog digging

Gravel is difficult for dogs to dig through, so adding a layer of it as a top layer near the foundation of the fence could prevent your dog, Houdini, from breaching the boundary. This is a simple and effective solution, particularly for privacy fences, which can be difficult to alter when using wire.  

5. Place a layer of concrete at the base of the fence.

Because your four-legged pal is unable to dig through concrete, adding this additional barrier is a foolproof method for preventing your dog from escaping through the ground. Having said that, this solution can significantly alter the appearance of your backyard and is a fairly pricey alternative, but it is also one of the most efficient ways to prevent your dog from escaping its enclosure.

6. Dog-Safe Digging Deterrents

If you use a repellent spray that is safe for dogs, it may help prevent your dog from approaching your fence and, as a result, attempting to escape from it. In light of the foregoing, you will need to conduct a test on a small portion on a less visible section of the privacy fences. This is necessary because it is possible that the repellent sprays could discolor the wood or other materials.  

You can also try placing items like vinegar that has been diluted down close to the foundation of the fence to prevent digging. Although not all dogs will benefit from this solution, it is certainly something that ought to be attempted due to the low cost involved.  

7. Provide your four-legged companion with a spot where he can dig.

give dog somewhere he is allowed to dig

A great number of puppies dig for fun, and even more do it simply because it's in their nature. It's possible that giving your dog a secure area of his own where he can dig will eliminate the need for him to dig in areas where he shouldn't. By providing your dog with an area that is designed specifically for digging, such as a sandbox, you can help him stop digging holes in the yard. The act of digging can be a very enriching experience for dogs, and many pet owners find more success in redirecting their dog's digging behavior rather than trying to completely stop it.

Take into consideration that you might have to spend some time guiding your four-footer to the approved digging spot before he fully grasps the concept.  

8. Have your pet neutered or spayed.

If you notice that your four-legged pal is exposing himself in an effort to find a partner, you should consider having him neutered. One of the many advantages of spaying or neutering your dog is the possibility that the procedure will lessen the desire your dog has to go exploring the world beyond the confines of your yard.  

9. Provide More Physical Exercise

Is your four-legged pal getting sufficient physical activity? As a consequence, many dogs may have excess amounts of pent-up energy; as a result, providing more enrichment for your best friend before he or she relaxes in the yard could be the key to eliminating unwanted digging.  

Increasing the amount of physical activity that your dog gets in their daily life can be accomplished in a few different ways, including the following:

10. Eliminate Sight-lines

block sightlines to stop escapes

Consider installing a privacy fence if you notice that your dog is digging in the yard in an attempt to find something to eat. Unfortunately, chainlink fences still provide your four-legged pal with a view of the outside world, which increases the risk that Fido will get into some kind of canine shenanigans. Chainlink fences can assist in the containment of your canine.

By erecting sturdy fences and arranging the landscaping in strategic patterns, you can block any direct lines of sight.  

11. Install an Effortless to See Fence

While it’s always best to opt for physical barriers first and foremost, some owners may be inclined to explore the possibilities of installing an invisible dog fence.  If you are going to go this route, you need to spend plenty of time training your pooch how the invisible fence works to keep him safe  

For an added layer of protection, you might even want to think about installing an invisible fence in addition to a traditional one. It is important to keep in mind that this option isn't suitable for all dogs, and that not all owners are comfortable with the idea of zapping their dog every time it tries to escape the area.

The use of electric fences should only be considered as a last resort.

Because of the anxiety and nervousness that they can cause in dogs, we at K9 of Mine are not big fans of the use of tools such as electric fences.

However, we are aware that there are situations in which the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, such as when an electric fence is the deciding factor in whether or not a dog is allowed more freedom outside.

However, before you resort to an electric fence, we recommend that you try to secure your physical fence or troubleshoot your dog's escape patterns. Electric fences can be quite risky and stressful for your dog, so we recommend that you try these other methods first.

12. Ensure That Your Dog Is Enjoying Itself To The Fullest

give your dog a house for comfort

It's possible that your dog is digging in an effort to get himself cooler or to locate a warmer place to relax. Your dog may benefit from an outdoor dog house or a dog pool, depending on his specific requirements. Both can help keep your dog from digging.

If your four-legged pal is suffering from the cold, you should make sure that his dog house is equipped with some warm bedding. In addition, you should dress your dog in a warm coat before taking him into the yard.  

13. Make Sure Spot Isn't Spooked

If you notice that your dog is making attempts to flee out of fear, it is imperative that you determine the cause of your dog's anxiety so that he can feel secure and at ease while he is in the yard. Spend some time observing your dog outside to determine whether or not there are any triggers that cause him to go into a digging frenzy.

You can also use a dog camera to keep an eye on your four-legged pal even when you're not nearby. It's possible that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, in which case you'll need to employ an entirely new set of techniques to help calm him down. If you are unsure what is causing your four-legged pal to be anxious, it is best to consult with a professional behaviorist.  

14. Get Rid of Rodents That Dig Using Equipment That's Safe For Pets

It is possible that your dog is simply following the lead of any digging rodents, such as moles or gophers, that you have on your property or is chasing after them. It may be possible to reduce the amount of digging that your dog does if you eradicate the infestation; however, it is imperative that you do so in a way that is safe for your dog.

It is in your best interest to seek the assistance of professionals trained in rodent control if you want to get rid of rodents in your yard in the most effective way possible while minimizing the risk to your dog.

15. Provide More Enrichment

Flirt Poles for Dogs

Is your best friend simply uninterested? It's possible that some dogs will resort to digging if they have nothing else to do; preventing this behavior and keeping Fido safe can be accomplished by providing your furry friend with more stimulating toys and games. Keep in mind that mental stimulation is just as important as physical activity for many different breeds of dogs.

Some canine enrichment activities your dog may enjoy include:

16. Include New Landscaping Elements in Your Design

Your dog can be more easily contained using ingenious landscaping techniques, such as the strategic placement of rocks, trees, and gravel. Be sure to plant shrubs that are safe for canines, and keep your dog from destroying your newly planted garden by discouraging him from doing so.  

17. Always Keep an Eye on Your Adorable Dog When He's Playing Outside

Certain dogs need to be watched constantly while they are in the backyard, particularly while they are learning proper mutt behavior. It is best to keep a close eye on your dog while he is enjoying the great outdoors until you are certain that he can be trusted on his own for brief intervals of time. This is especially important if your dog is still young or inexperienced. This will also provide you with the chance to divert your furry companion's attention in the event that he begins to dig up the yard.  

4 Things That SHOULD NOT BE DONE in Order to Prevent Dogs From Digging

things not to do to stop dog digging

It is essential to know what NOT to do in order to ensure the safety of your four-legged pal. This is just as important as having the knowledge of how to keep them safe. The following is a list of flawed tactics that you need to steer clear of at all costs:

1. You shouldn't continue to discipline your dog for a long time after an incident.

There are times when we are unable to catch our dogs being bad. It is counterproductive to scold your dog long after the initial digging has taken place. It is appropriate to tell your dog to "knock it off" if you catch him in the act of digging, and it is even more effective to divert him to a more constructive activity. Your dog will only be perplexed and none the wiser for the experience.  

2. Do not give your dog anything that could be harmful to him.

In an effort to discourage digging, you should not make use of harsh chemical repellents or poisons that could easily cause harm to your dog. Also, steer clear of any jagged items or impediments that could potentially cause harm to your cherished canine companion.  

3. Don't Leave Your Dog Leashed Outside Unattended at Any Time

Tethers and dog tie-outs are both unsafe to use in the absence of human supervision. During the time that you are outside with your dog, you can use them in place of a long leash, but you cannot do so when your canine companion is by himself.  

4. Do not pour water into the void in the ground.

The hole won't be filled in permanently by the water, and if your dog enjoys playing in the water and splashing around, it may even encourage him to investigate the area further. Spend the time necessary to properly fill in any holes so that the landscape of the rest of the yard is consistent.  

Be Warned: Dogged Canine Individuals Might Try to Find Other Options.

It may take some time, but you can teach your dog to behave himself and stay safe when he is left outside unattended. Keep in mind that dogs who are absolutely set on escaping may change their strategy if you prevent them from digging.

Once you have resolved the digging problem, you will unfortunately need to investigate any other potential solutions. You won't be able to solve this problem in a single night, but with some persistence and the help of the strategies presented here, you should be able to find a solution that will allow you to keep your sweetheart safe.


Dealing with a person who constantly digs up your past can be very frustrating. You will, however, be able to keep Spot safe while he is outside in the yard if you come up with a few inventive solutions and put in some time training him.  

Does your dog dig underneath the fence when he's outside? Have you found any of these solutions to be successful? In the space below, please share all of the details with us.  

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