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How To Keep Your Dog From Digging Under Your Fence – 10 Solutions

As much as everyone loves dogs, they have a lot of curious pastimes that give their owners a lot of work to do. From chewing on your valuables to drooling on your hardwood floors, dogs can cause frustration for even the most patient dog owner. One of the most concerning habits that dogs have is digging under fencing.

A dog digging under your chain link fence or wood fence can pose several problems. There’s the obvious risk of your pooch escaping, but a hole under your fence can also let other unwanted critters or any burrowing animal into your backyard and can harm your garden and other outdoor valuables.

Luckily, there are several ways to prevent your dog from digging under your fence and keep them safe and secure. Keep reading for 10 tips on how to keep dogs from digging under fences. 

Why Do Dogs Dig Under Fences?

Before learning how to keep dogs from digging under fences, it’s important to first learn why dogs have this habit. There are several ways to fix it, but finding the motivation will ensure that you’re successful in helping your dog kick this habit to the curb.

Here are a few reasons why dogs dig under your fence line:

  • Boredom
  • Natural instinct
  • Escaping from or trying to protect you from a threat
  • Seeking prey such as a squirrel
  • They hear or smell nearby dogs
  • For attention
  • To bury valuables
  • Anxiety
  • They see other digging rodents such as gophers

Knowing the reason behind your dog’s digging behavior will help you find the perfect solution to the problem. Let’s take a look at the top ways to keep dogs from digging under fences.

Large white dog digging under wooden fence

How to Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fence — Top 10 Ways

The best way to keep your dog from digging under fences is to ensure they understand that what they are doing is not appropriate behavior and guide them to modify it.

That said, stopping your dog from digging under fencing can’t be solved overnight. It takes persistence and determination in order to nip the habit in the bud for good. With the help of a few solutions and potentially additional barriers, you’ll slowly teach your dog appropriate behavior.

To help you out, here are 10 ways how to keep dogs from digging under fences to ensure that your canine always remains safe and secure.

Fill the current holes

One of the first things you should do when figuring out how to keep dogs from digging under fences is to deal with the holes that are currently in your backyard.

These can be holes that were created by your dog previously, holes made by other background critters such as gophers, or any other holes that may be lingering in your yard that you never got around to filling.

The reason that filling these holes is so important is that these holes may encourage bad behavior in your dog. If your pooch sees that there are already a few holes around the backyard, they might think that this is normal. Filling these holes gives your dog a better idea of what the normal state of the backyard should be.

Add an additional barrier

Another great way to keep dogs from digging under fences is to add additional barriers.

This can be done by burying a chicken wire at the bottom of your existing fence, which your dog won’t be able to dig through. Another way to do this is to attach a strip of plastic. However, no matter what type of barrier you choose to add, make sure that it is safe for your dog and that it won’t harm them.

Put rocks at the bottom of your fence

If your dog isn’t going to stop digging under your fence, then you can at least make digging a little more difficult.

In addition to tricks such as chicken wire, rocks are another great barrier to use in order to deter your dog from digging under fences. This is because rocks are heavy, and therefore uncomfortable for a dog to have to move out of their way, especially a pile of them.
What’s more is that rocks can also serve a decorative purpose as well as a functional one. They’re a great way to enhance the look of your backyard, especially if you choose decorative stones.

Use a dog-safe deterrent spray

If your dog is stubborn and determined to get through every barrier you present, then you may need to use stronger methods such as a deterrent spray to prevent them from even approaching your fence.

Fooey! Ultra-Bitter Training Aid Spray is a safe deterrent spray that is unpleasant for your dog but won’t harm them. Made from all-natural ingredients, the spray will make whatever you apply it to taste disgustingly bitter to your dog. Spray it along the bottom perimeter of your fence to deter your dog from digging and get them into the habit of staying away from the area.

Give a dedicated digging spot

If you really struggle to get your dog to stop digging, one of your best options may be to help them channel that urge into one specific spot. This is an especially useful method if you know that your dog digs solely for entertainment and chooses a spot to dig under the fence at random.

You can turn your dog’s digging habit into a gratifying reward by giving your dog one dedicated digging spot and training them to understand that they can dig right there but can’t dig anywhere else in the backyard. This can be another unseen corner of your backyard or the addition of a dedicated sandbox.

It may take time to train your pup to understand that this is their dedicated spot, but in the end, it’s worth it as it prevents your dog from digging in places where they shouldn’t, and it keeps your garden, as well as your entire backyard, intact.

Great Dane happily digging in sandbox

Take your dog for more walks

One reason that your dog may be digging under your fence is because they lack stimulation and physical activity. If you don’t ensure that your dog is entertained, they take matters into their own hands. For many pups, a lack of mental stimulation unfortunately means digging under fences.

However, the good news is that if this is the reason that your dog is digging under fences, it’s one of the easiest problems to solve. If your dog simply needs more exercise, just give them more exercise! Increase the number of walks you take a day, or, when you give your dog time in the backyard, interact with them by playing catch so they stay preoccupied. You’ll eventually notice that your dog loses interest in digging under the fence altogether.

Eliminate digging rodents

As mentioned, if you have other digging creatures such as gophers and moles frequently passing through your backyard creating holes, it may encourage your dog to dig as well. That’s why it’s important to deal with the root of the problem and eliminate these other digging creatures.

What’s more is that these animals may pose a bigger threat to your backyard than just encouraging your dog to dig. They may also be getting into your garden or disturbing your overall landscape. Enlist the help of a pest control expert for the best results.

Add a privacy fence

Another contributing factor as to why your dog may be digging under your fence may be the type of fence you have. Chain link fences in particular encourage under-fence digging more than a privacy fence.

The problem with a chain link fence is that it maintains your dog’s sightline, making it easy for your dog to see prey such as squirrels. If you know that your dog is digging under your fence because they want to get to the other side to catch their prey, then the best way to solve the problem is by eliminating that line of sight.

If you have a chain link fence, consider opting for a privacy fence instead. Not only does it provide more privacy for your backyard, but it also eliminates temptation from your dog’s mind and lets them focus on playing in your yard and not what’s outside.

Pour concrete

If you’re having a lot of trouble figuring out how to keep dogs from digging under fences and nothing works, then you might want to come up with a more permanent solution — such as pouring concrete underneath your fence — to ensure that even if your dog does attempt to dig, they won’t get very far.

This method of keeping your dog from digging under your fence may be a little extreme, but it is as effective of a barrier as you can get. The downside to the solution is the price tag, as this is an expensive process, especially if the only reason is to deter your dog from digging.

What’s more is that concrete may change the look of your backyard and minimize your gardening space, so it’s important to strongly consider other options before choosing this one.

Outdoor supervision

Finally, the easiest way to prevent your dog from digging under your fence is to supervise them while they’re outside. While this isn’t the most practical prevention technique, it’s the best way to ensure that your dog doesn’t keep digging.

While you’re outside with them, be sure to continue to try to train your dog to help them understand that it’s wrong to dig under the fence.

Wrap-up: How to Keep Dogs from Digging Under Fence For Good

To recap, the top 10 ways for how to keep dogs from digging under fences are:

  1. Fill the current holes
  2. Add an additional barrier
  3. Put rocks at the bottom of your fence
  4. Use a dog-safe deterrent spray
  5. Give a dedicated digging spot
  6. Take your dog for more walks
  7. Eliminate other digging rodents
  8. Add a privacy fence
  9. Pour concrete
  10. Outdoor supervision

Perpetual diggers can be a challenge to deal with, but luckily, it’s possible to train your dog to stop digging under your fence and channel their energy to other activities.

Not all hope is lost, and you may be able to instill good habits in your dog that protect them and your backyard. Try the methods described in this article until you find the one that works for you.

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