Those with a frisky dog at home know the struggle between allowing your canine some time to run around and play in the yard and knowing they may wreak havoc digging beneath the fence.
You want to keep them safe since that’s the purpose of a fence, but they’re bent on making your yard look like a crater city. It’s stressful to manage!
However, there’s some good news; with a touch of creativity, a lot of patience, and a little hard work, you may be able to reinforce your fence and redirect your dog’s energy. Here are our dog digging under fence solutions.
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Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?
The first step to understanding how to stop your dog from digging under the fence is to figure out why he’s digging. Amongst the most common reasons that dogs dig holes under the fence are the following:
Unfortunately, sometimes the answer isn’t more complex than your dog just likes to dig. That’s it; it’s fun for them!
If your dog gets bored and has found that digging provides enjoyment, he’s inclined to do it each time he goes out to play. Dogs are even more prone to this behavior if they’re alone for extended periods. Without the proper stimulation, your dog is left to his own devices.
Dogs that don’t have toys, another pet, or a human to keep them busy, will get into any and everything. Puppies are notorious for this behavior.
Certain dog breeds, like Beagles, Terriers, and others, are bred this way. They burrow holes into the ground and bury their toys, food, and bones as well. They take pride in being good little diggers.
Hunting for Prey
Animals like rats, groundhogs, moles, and others, will make a dog want to chase them. It’s known as their prey drive; essentially, they’ll go to any extent to pursue and capture the animal they’re hunting. Dachshunds and Beagles are especially known for this behavior.
When it comes to hunting, the digging is usually concentrated in one area, like bear shrubs or by the base of certain trees. However, if the animal comes in and out of your yard through a hole near the bottom of the fence, the dog will mimic the same pattern of digging to chase it.
Just like our children, dogs want attention as well. If they don’t have enough stimulation when they’re out and about, they’ll try escaping underneath the fence or just digging holes in general to get your attention. If this is the reason, they’ll usually do it in front of you to see your reaction.
One of the most fundamental reasons your dog could be digging is simply because they want to get out. It’s not an indication that he doesn’t want to be with you. However, he may be intrigued if he can see other animals or dogs on the other side of the fence.
The desire to roam is even greater if they try to find a mate and get attracted to another dog. Get your dog neutered or spayed if this is why they’re leaving.
Separation anxiety is another factor to consider. When you leave home, if they’re very attached to you, they’ll want to find a way to leave to follow you. It’s hard for certain dogs to cope with these symptoms, so they handle it by trying to escape whenever their owner leaves.
How To Stop Your Dog From Digging Beneath the Fence?
Utilize one or a few of these methods to keep your dog from destroying the yard:
1. Chicken Wire
Of all the dog digging under fence solutions, burying chicken wire beneath your fence is the most popular choice. You’ll have to measure the perimeter of your fence precisely and get enough chicken wire to put underneath the fence so that one side protrudes into your yard.
Make a ditch with enough depth so the wife can fit inside comfortably. The width must be the same size as the holes your dog digs. Completely cover the trench with dirt.
When your dog goes to dig a hole, it’ll run into the chicken wire.
2. Bury the Bottom of the Fence
Does your dog dig under the fence and gets underneath and out of the yard? Ensure you bury the fence panels far down into the ground to keep your little escape artist in the yard. About two feet below the ground should do the trick.
They’ll hit that barrier, preventing your dog from leaving.
The only consideration for this option is if your dog likes to climb as an alternative method of getting out. You could try putting large rocks by the fence to serve as another restraint.
3. Add More Physical Activity
Is your furry companion exercising enough? Your pooch may have excess energy pent up, and providing them with a way to release it may be the best way to get your pet to stop digging.
Here are several ways that you implement more exercise into your dog’s everyday life:
- Take your dog to the dog park and stay there for longer.
- Try to go for longer runs and walks.
- Try some agility activities.
- Think about getting a dog treadmill.
4. Keep Rodents Out
If you suspect your dog is hunting, take humane steps to keep animals from burrowing in and out of your yard. Please refrain from using harmful chemicals to kill them, as this could also harm your pets.
For example, using a substance like a capsicum mixture for rodents can keep them out of your yard while curbing your dog’s propensity to dig after scurrying critters. Additionally, you can bury chicken wire about six inches more or use a chain-link fence to keep animals from breaching your yard’s perimeter.
5. Create a “Dig-Zone”
If your dog loves to dig, you’ll have to find a constructive outlet for this behavior. Even though it’s a natural behavior, if you don’t have a proper outlet, he can continue to ruin your yard and, worst—escape!
Giving your dog a safe digging area will make them happy, and your yard will stay intact.
You can purchase a kids’ sandbox or build one of your own. Avoid plastic sandboxes, as your dog may chew parts off and choke on them.
Getting solid waterproof wood is the best material to procure for this job. Place the sandbox in a shaded area and fill it with soil or loose sand. When you present the sandbox to your dog, make it eventful so that your dog won’t be tempted to go back and dig in your yard again.
Reward your dog with treats whenever they’re in the box and place their favorite toys inside it. If you see them digging in another area other than the sandbox, say no to them firmly, guide them back to the box, and reinforce this behavior with a treat.
Punishment is Ineffective
When you punish your dog after they’ve done something wrong, it’s ineffective; they can’t associate something they did in the past with you punishing them currently. Also, demonstrating what they did wrong to them as you punish them won’t work either.
Since dogs’ brains don’t work that way, you’ll only cause your furry friend stress and anxiety. Additionally, tying your dog up near the hole they dug won’t work, nor will filling the digging pit with something like water.
Dogs are incapable of making the association between their digging and your punishments. Positive reinforcement is always best when trying to stop your dog from digging under a fence.
A dog on a rampage—digging holes every which way is frustrating, to say the least; this is especially true if you have a particular affinity for having a beautiful lawn. Before you set out to stop this behavior, you must first identify the cause of it.
Is your pup hunting? Are they bored? Or are they a dog that is in complete bliss when they’re digging?
After pinpointing the behavior’s reason, you can begin to address the problem.
And remember that positive reinforcement trumps negative reinforcement every time with dogs, so remember to have lots of treats with you.
Hopefully, this list of dog digging under fence solutions helps you to get your dog to slow down and eventually stop with the craters around the yard. Good luck!