How To Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fence

How To Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fence

No fence is dog-proof, and dogs can start digging at any point. Digging is highly connected to the dog's nature or a symptom of their needs. Some breeds are heavy diggers, such as hounds, huskies, and terriers. The bottom line is: digging is in every dog's DNA

Your dog’s digging can also tell of their emotional or physical circumstances. Could they be lonely or too hot? Your dog is not digging out of malice, so don’t be angry with your pup. Instead, study the behavior, find the driving force, and troubleshoot it. 

Your dog's obsession with digging can be an excellent excuse to upgrade your yard too! Plants or landscaping decorations can be a barrier between your dog and your fence. A strong and sturdy fence can also prevent them from digging their way out.

There are various ways to guide them away from their digging addiction. Some methods might take longer, while others you may accomplish in a day. Regardless of your chosen method, you’ll find a solution to keep your dog from digging under the fence.

With nearly 65 million American households having at least one dog, know you are not alone. Here at Northland Fence, we know how frustrating all this digging can be. As a family business, we know how much dogs mean to your home, so we are ready to help you with any of your fencing needs. 


Why Does My Dog Dig and How Can I Troubleshoot Their Behavior?

There are several reasons to explain a dog’s obsession with digging, and the location can be intentional or merely a coincidence, depending on the issue.

  • Relief from hot weather: During hot days, your pup may be looking for some cooler dirt to lay on. Check if the spots your dog likes digging are shady during the hottest times of the day. If you don’t have shading structures, investing in a sun umbrella or a shade sail might be a good idea. Alternatively, spray water in a part of your yard so your dog doesn’t have to dig to find relief from the heat. Other options include a kiddy pool or an elevated dog bed.
  • Anxiety: Digging can be a compulsive act by your dog to soothe their anxieties.
  • Boredom: Digging can be mentally stimulating and physically entertaining. Take your dog for a walk, play catch, or purchase interactive toys or time-consuming treats. Your dog can be lonely if there’s no one home often.
  • Hiding something: This is an instinct tracing back to their wolf ancestors, who dig to hide their food from others. Your dog could be playing a game of hiding and finding with himself or other dogs in your household.
  • Escape: Is your dog curious? On the other side of the fence, new smells and noises exist to explore. Or the pup might not be satisfied with his view of the world being blocked by a solid fence.
  • Hunting: Squirrels or outdoor cats are plentiful at teasing dogs. They can also smell burrowing animals, such as moles or mice, or a night-time visitor, such as possums, skunks, and raccoons. 

What Can I Do to Keep My Dog From Digging?

Let’s say you’ve tried diagnosing why your dog digs, and you had no results troubleshooting the behavior. There are ways to fortify your fence and create obstacles. 

Give your dog a place to dig. Find a spot in the yard or try a sandbox, hide bones and toys, and let the dog do its thing.  

Install wire to the bottom of the fence. There are DIY ways to do that with chicken wire or mesh wire. Be sure to roll away any sharp edges so no one gets hurt. There is also a premade barrier that you can hammer into the dirt. When installing a barrier near or under your fence, be careful not to compromise the fence. 

If you want to contain your dog in the yard, invest in a large enough crate in a shady spot. Make it cozy, and your dog will grow to enjoy his time there. If you have the space, fence part of your yard for the dog to stay and do his thing.

Add landscaping decorations to serve as a digging deterrent. Consider adding a pile of decorative rocks, pebbles, or gravel on the base of your fence.

Natural Deterrents That Will Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fences

A dog’s nose is incredible, so that you can use its super sense of smell against them. Try coffee, vinegar, red pepper, citrus, citronella, or their poop.

Another option is to put your gardening gloves on and plant bushes, shrubs, or flowers. Make sure it’s dog-friendly and child-safe. Don't forget to research species with noninvasive roots to ensure the base of your fence won't be damaged by the plant you choose.  

What Not to Do

Dogs won’t understand why you are scolding them if you miss them in the act, so unless you see them digging, let it go. Also, shouting at your dog doesn’t usually help. It could even create more of the behavior. 

We highly encourage no physical force or objects that may hurt your dog. People who have tried pepper spray always regret hurting their dogs.

Never leave your dog tied up unattended. There are many cases of dogs choking themselves with their leash. Some people fill the hole with water, but that might make the digging even more fun for your dog. Also, the dirt will absorb the water, and continually flooding the base of your fence can create issues on the foundation.

What Types of Fencing Does Northland Fence Provide for Dogs That Like to Dig?

We proudly provide three types of fences constructed with the highest quality materials: ornamental steel, vinyl, and chain link. With different looks, applications, and costs, you'll find your dream fence with us. 

The strength of our ornamental steel fences means that your large dog (or your neighbor’s large dog) won’t damage your fence. Your fence is safe from scratches and dents. Our three-rail ornamental fences come in four and 5 feet. It’s aesthetically appealing and an excellent option for most terrain, including slopes. 

Our vinyl fences come in three heights—four, five, and six feet—and three different color options—white, tan, and two-tone. It creates privacy for you and your dog. Installing a vinyl fence will curb your furry best friend's curiosity. You'll enjoy peace of mind and likely less barking at people walking down the street or wild animals. 

We also offer a sleek black vinyl-coated chain link option which is practical and durable. It’s maximum security to keep kids and pets inside your yard. No one can squeeze through the mesh-like construction. It’s a great option if you are on a tight budget.

Northland Fence offers a ten-year warranty on labor and a fifteen-year warranty on material. If anything goes wrong, we’ll be happy to fix it. We are just a phone call away. Call us at (763) 265-7180 or message us on our website

What can I put on the bottom of my fence to keep my dog in?

You could try chicken wire or commercial dog barriers that stake down. It’s vital to be careful not to damage your fence.

What repels dogs from digging?

You can try different scents your dog may not like, such as citronella, coffee, red pepper, or even his poop.

Why does my dog keep digging holes under the fence?

There’s a variety of reasons, from boredom to instinctual calling. Luckily, there are ways to help your dog change their behavior and redirect their need to dig. 

Get a Free Quote

Whether you’re looking for a beautiful, maintenance-free vinyl privacy fence, a sturdy chain link fence, or a ornamental fence, we’re ready to show you why we’re Minnesota’s highest and best rated fence company.

Use this form to request a free estimate or call us at 763-325-8211.

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