Digging is totally normal behavior in dogs. However, it can quickly become a nuisance if it constantly leaves your yard in ruins or if your dog makes an escape from the yard by digging under the fence. So, how can you stop your dog from digging?
The best solution to stop your dog from digging under the fence is to bury chicken wire under the fence. This will make it impossible for your dog to dig under the fence. Giving your dog enough exercise and blocking their view of the outside are also effective, but there are many other ways of deterring your dog from digging, including…
16. Addressing Underlying Emotional Issues
Digging behavior in dogs can sometimes be caused by stress and anxiety. If this is the case, most of the other solutions will not work until you address the underlying issue.
If your dog is dealing with stress and anxiety, the digging will be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as howling and barking, chewing, drooling, pacing, and excessive panting. If your dog is showing any of these signs, take them to a vet.
15. Neutering Or Spaying Your Dog
If your canine buddy is intact, the desire to find a mate is a very powerful incentive that could drive them to dig under the fence in a bid to escape from the yard.
The best way to prevent this is to have your doggo spayed or neutered. Aside from ensuring you won’t have to deal with any unexpected pregnancies, spaying or neutering your pooch makes them easier to control.
14. Filling Existing Holes With Brick
If your dog has already dug some holes under the fence, filling them up with dirt won’t be of much help since your dog will dig up the hole again.
In such situations, the best solution is to fill up the holes with cinder blocks or dirt. This will discourage your dog from digging up the same place, and after filling up a couple of holes, your dog will eventually stop digging new ones.
13. Providing Cooler Spaces In The Yard
When temperatures get too high during the day, it is normal for dogs to dig a hole where they can hide from direct sunlight.
If you suspect that your dog is digging because of overheating, you will need to provide some cooling, shady spaces in your yard for your doggie to cool off. Planting some shrubs or building a kennel for your dog will work just fine.
12. Getting Your Dog More Toys
Sometimes, dogs turn to the digging behavior because they are bored and don’t have anything else to do. In this case, digging becomes a fun activity to keep your dog distracted.
You can prevent this kind of digging by providing your dog with enough toys to play with. Toys like tennis balls and puzzle toys will give your dog something to stimulate their mind, so they won’t have to turn to digging.
11. Limiting Unsupervised Access
You can also prevent digging by limiting the amount of unsupervised access your dog has to areas where they tend to dig.
For instance, you can allow your dog out in the yard only when you’re with them and can watch what they’re doing. Alternatively, if you notice that your dog prefers to dig in a specific area, you can use dog-proof fencing to limit access to these areas.
10. Creating A Digging Spot
Some canines just love digging, and regardless of how much you try, you cannot really stop them from digging. If this is the case with your doggo, what you should do instead is to provide a digging spot where they can dig safely away from the fence.
A digging spot is a designated area without any grass or landscaping where your dog can dig their heart out without causing any damage to your yard.
9. Using Landscaping Rocks
Placing rocks along your fence line can act as a physical barrier to prevent your dog from digging under the fence. There’s one problem, however. Placing rocks along the fence can make your yard look ugly.
The solution here is to use decorative landscaping rocks, which will act as physical barriers while at the same time beautifying your yard. Alternatively, you can place heavy planter beds alongside the fence.
8. Using Invisible Fences
Invisible fences are useful devices that allow you to easily control your four-legged buddy without making any unsightly additions to your yard.
An invisible fence consists of a perimeter control system and an electronic collar that goes on your fido. The collar produces a high-pitched tone any time your dog goes near the perimeter threshold, thus preventing the dog from going beyond that point and, in effect, keeping your dog away from the actual fence.
7. Giving Obedience Training
You can also stop your dog from digging under the fence through obedience training. From an early age, teach your puppy to respond to a command like “stop.”
Every time you see your dog trying to dig, give the “stop” command in a firm voice. With time, your dog will realize that you don’t want them to dig, so they’ll eventually stop trying. However, this only works if your dog has mastered the command.
6. Getting An Exterminator
Sometimes, you’ll have some small animals who live in your yards, such as squirrels and moles. These animals can provide your dog with an incentive to dig under the fence in an attempt to either escape the yard and chase them or dig them from the ground.
If this is the case with your dog, your best option is to get a professional exterminator to help you get rid of these animals.
5. Using Deterrent Sprays
Using deterrent sprays along your fence is another effective way of stopping your canine buddy from digging under the fence. Deterrent sprays contain scents that dogs hate. These scents make it uncomfortable for your dog to stay in that area long enough to dig.
Dog deterrent sprays are made using substances like vinegar, capsicum, cayenne, or citrus peels. You can also make your own homemade dog deterrent by applying pepper and chili powder along the fence.
4. Installing Motion-Activated Sprinklers
Motion-activated sprinklers are a great deterrent against dogs who hate being sprayed with water. What you need to do here is to install the sprinklers near the fence. When your pooch approaches the fence, it’ll get sprayed with water.
Note, however, that these sprinklers could also spray you with water unexpectedly if you don’t switch them off when going into the yard. In addition, these sprinklers won’t work if your dog loves playing with water.
3. Blocking The View
If your dog loves digging under the fence in a bid to escape from the yard, there is a high chance there is something beyond the fence that they want. Blocking their view of the outside will remove their motivation for wanting to go across the fence.
If you have an open fence, an easy way to block the view is to cover the fence panels with a tarp or an attractive landscaping fabric.
2. Giving Your Dog Adequate Exercise
Sometimes, your pooch digs simply because they have some pent-up energy that they want to release. Digging provides them with a great way to release this energy.
You can prevent this by making sure that your dog gets enough exercise every day. Take them out on hikes and jogs, or play a game of fetch. A dog who is exhausted from all this exercise will hardly have any time to go digging.
1. Burying Chicken Wire Under The Fence
This is the most effective way, and probably the least expensive, to keep your pooch from digging under the fence.
Get some chicken wire, fold it into an L shape, and bury it under the fence, with the bottom of the L facing the inside of your yard and the top attached to the bottom of the fence. When your doggo tries digging under the fence, the chicken wire will act as a physical barrier.
Why Does My Dog Keep Digging Under The Fence? Most dogs keep digging under the fence in an attempt to escape from the yard. This happens because there is something beyond the fence that your dog is interested in. This can be a potential mate, food, or small animals that your dog wants to hunt.
What Breed Of Dogs Like To Dig? Some breeds of dogs that like to dig include Dachshunds, Terriers, and Beagles. These dogs have an innate predisposition to dig because they were bred to hunt moles, gophers, and other burrowing animals. To hunt these animals, these dogs had to dig them out, so these dogs have a natural instinct to dig.
What Dogs Do Not Dig? Some dog breeds that are not very keen to dig include Labrador Retrievers, Greyhounds, and Newfoundland dogs. However, do note that digging also depends on your dog’s personality, so it is possible to have a dog from one of these breeds which still likes digging under the fence.