How To Keep Dogs From Digging Under the Fence

How To Keep Dogs From Digging Under the Fence

Despite their cuteness, your canine partner has a few annoying habits. Digging is often at the top of that list. As irritating as this might be, the behavior is deeply ingrained and requires attention and proper care to be eliminated.

You will frequently find your dog digging in your own or your neighbor’s backyards and even in the park when you take him on a walk. This habit of his can land you in some serious trouble. Moreover, it also symbolizes loneliness, pain, and the craving for love. Do not ignore this and try to find the reason why they are doing it.

It gets even more annoying when they start digging under the fence. You do all that hard work to build a sturdy framework around your garden, and they slip under the fence to destroy your beautiful garden.

Why Does Your Dog Dig?

Why Does Your Dog Dig?
Image by Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay

Before exploring how to get rid of this habit, you need to know exactly why your dog digs. He can’t just be doing it for nothing. For this purpose, get to know your dog more closely. Follow his tracks and try to find the root cause.

Here are some of the possible reasons why your dog might be digging through your garden.

They Are Craving Love, Attention, And Care

Having a dog is similar to having a baby because they are just as sensitive. They also need a lot of attention and love. In fact, dogs often crave affection.

If you can’t afford to spend quality time with your pet, it is better not to get one in the first place. Don’t let them starve for your love and attention, as these are essential emotional ingredients for their growth.

They Can’t Bear The Heat

Dogs have various natural mechanisms, such as panting, to keep them cool in the summer. However, the heat can often become unbearable for them.

This intolerance of heat leads to digging, as they try to find a cool patch of the soil underneath the earth to soothe themselves.

Your Dog Needs A Hobby

Dogs, like humans, need to keep themselves occupied. Let’s face it; you can’t keep your dog company all the time. It’s hard to simply play with them all night, as you have responsibilities to tend to.

But when you are unavailable, your dog will become bored if you don’t provide them with something to do. This boredom often leads to the development of unhealthy behaviors, such as digging.

They Might Just Be Looking For Food

Now, this does not explain habitual digging, but if your dog digs only occasionally, this could be the cause.

Dogs tend to chase after small animals like squirrels, lizards, and rats. Most of these animals hide under the soil, which may cause your dog to destroy your beautiful lawn.

Maybe It’s In Their Blood

A lot of habits and behaviors in dogs vary according to their breeds. And each one has its unique set of traits. For some, habitual digging may be one of them.

Here is a list of the top dog breeds that love to dig:

  • Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Beagle
  • Dachshund
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Alaskan Malamute

If you can’t bear digging, you might want to avoid getting these dogs as pets. Do a little research before finding your perfect pup.

Ways To Keep Dogs From Digging Under The Fence

Ways To Keep Dogs From Digging Under The Fence
Image by Nate Tribbs from Pixabay

If you own a small garden that borders on the property of another, it could be an eyesore. If your dog has done damage to the turf, or if the grass is growing through the fencing, then a solution may be needed. To avoid costly repairs and damage to your property, there are a few things you can do to keep them away from the damage you want to avoid. This article will discuss three easy ways to keep your dogs away from digging under the fence.

1. Use Poultry Netting

Dogs may simply sneak down the fence to access the soil, so fencing your garden isn’t always an effective deterrent. Chicken wire, a galvanized steel mesh, can provide additional protection since crossing it is difficult for pawed animals.

As an added layer of defense against your pet, you can use chicken wire in your garden. Keep in mind that this will only save your garden and isn’t a solution to your dog’s digging habit. However, it is the ideal answer for landowners who have dogs known to run over small animals.

  • It is hard for pawed animals to pass the chicken wire
  • This isn’t a solution to habitual digging, as your dog might still dig at your neighbor’s garden

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2. Renovate Your Fence

The reason your dog easily passes over your fence could be due to the old and rusty infrastructure of your fence. In this case, you can try getting a renovation. Repair the broken parts or get a new and stronger fence if it is too damaged.

Dogs who love to dig will always remain in search of a loophole in your protection mechanism so that they can continue their digging. Hence, if there happens to be a hole or weak wooden parts, your dog will have access to your garden one way or another.

  • It will act as a barrier between your dog and the garden
  • It can get costly, especially if you opt to replace your fence

3. Use Dog Deterrents

Instead of spending money on costly dog repellent sprays, go for natural substances that emit odors that dogs despise. Citrus fruits, crushed spices, alcohol, and, most significantly, mint are among them.

You can grow mint in any part of the garden. This will provide you with a free mint plant, as well as an outstanding appearance and protection for your yard.

  • It is highly budget-friendly
  • It is improbable that your dog can break this barrier
  • If you opt for a smell that is also irritating for humans, your garden can become unbearable for yourself too

4. Try Spending More Time With Your Dog

As previously said, dogs can dig themselves out of a need for affection and attention. The majority of dog owners do not devote enough quality time to their pets. Ascertain that you are not one of them. Set aside a significant amount of time for your dog.

Play with them, take them on a walk, and train them. In short, make every effort to spend quality time with them. If you’re constantly on the go, teach your dog to play with a toy. Purchase a toy that they can play with on their own so that they are not wholly reliant on you.

  • This is the only permanent solution for habitual digging
  • It won’t work if your dog is a hunter or belongs to a breed that loves to dig

Related: Best (Virtually) Indestructible Dog Toys in 2022

5. Train Your Dog

The majority of the strategies listed above will assist you in protecting your garden. However, if you cannot break the long-standing practice, you may have to suffer shame in front of your neighbors or others. To avoid this, you must teach your dog that digging is not acceptable.

Your dog can be trained to stop digging when you tell him to. Remember that harming or reprimanding your dog will not solve the problem. You must establish such a friendly relationship with him that he begins to listen to you.

If you are unable to break his behavior of digging, this will at least assist you in avoiding humiliation in front of others.

  • It will allow you to bond better with your dog
  • It might not work well on some dogs

Related: Easiest Dog Breeds to Train

6. Try Using A Cooling Mat

As mentioned earlier, some dogs dig only during the summer. This digging isn’t deep-rooted and can be resolved with a bit of attention and precaution. Your dog needs something to keep himself cool.

You can either opt for bathing him every now or then or try using a cooling mat. There are cooling mats with gel or water. But you need to be careful, as they are not to be used in the sunlight.

  • It helps your dog stay cool even during the heat of summer
  • You can’t use it in the sunlight

7. If Nothing Works, Just Let Them Dig

In that case, it’s better to let him dig. Either set aside a piece of land or set up a sandbox where he can dig to his heart’s content. Do not force your no digging rule on him. If they so desperately want to dig, just let them do it.

Even if you attempt all of the above ways, as well as some of your creative ideas, you may still be unable to stop them from digging. In such a situation, it’s best just to let the dog dig. Some users who were somehow able to stop their dogs from digging noticed adverse changes in their dog’s behavior.

To avoid this, you can set aside some land or set up a sandbox where he may dig to his heart’s delight. Do not impose your no-dig rule on him. Instead, allow him to dig if he’s that anxious to do so.

  • It will keep your dog satisfied and happy
  • This can sometimes act as stimulation, and he may start digging in other areas too

These were all the best possible ways to keep your dog away from digging or to help you escape the potential consequences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

We’ve provided an in-depth explanation of how you can keep your dog from digging under the fence. You’ve probably gotten the answers to your questions by now.

But if you still have any more ambiguities, here is an FAQ section for you. Keep reading to get answers to your remaining questions.

1. Can vinegar stop a dog from digging?

Vinegar is a powerful dog deterrent, but using pure and concentrated vinegar is not something sane. Take a spray bottle and fill it half with vinegar and half with water. Shake the bottle well and spray it over the fence so that your dog won’t enter your garden.

Vinegar is a highly potent dog deterrent. It will indeed work to keep your dog away from the garden, but the acidity might destroy your plants. Hence, it is better to spray it only over the fence.

2. What can I put on the bottom of my fence to keep my dog out of my garden?

At times, it gets tough to keep your garden’s soil safe from your dog. But there are some ways to add extra protection in addition to the fence. You can use chicken wire, hardware cloth, or a chain-link bar attached to the bottom of the wall.

All these barriers are either hard or impossible for your dog to pass over. Chicken wire is especially effective in keeping pawed animals out of places.

3. How do you stop a dog from digging in the same spot?

If your dog keeps destroying your garden, it is time to take action against his digging habit. There are a lot of ways to deal with it. Opt for the one that suits your and your dog’s situation best.

You can use dog deterrents, fencing your garden, adding additional protection in addition to a fence, and training your dog. Some dogs might also be craving their owner’s attention.

4. Will My Dog Grow Out Of Digging?

It is uncommon for dogs to grow out of their digging habits. You simply have to accept it and take the necessary measures.

This fact relates to the reason why dogs dig in the first place. There are a variety of reasons why your dog could be digging up your garden. You must determine which one your dog is experiencing. Assist him in getting out of this bind.

On the other hand, some dogs are quite fond of digging. Allowing them to dig is the best you can do for them, as long as you take measures to preserve your lawn.

5. Why Has My Dog Suddenly Started Digging?

Some dogs are habitual diggers. They dig because they love to. However, some aren’t tangential to this habit. They might develop it out of their boredom and loneliness. They could also be doing it to escape the emptiness of their daily routine.

You need to keep a check on your dog. This kind of sudden digging could be a symptom of psychological issues, and the best solution is spending quality time with your dog.

6. Is It Okay If I Just Let My Dog Dig?

You should just let your dog dig if you don’t care about the appearance of your grass or garden. For them, this is a stress reliever.

Allowing this tendency to continue unchecked, on the other hand, is not the best decision. You should be aware of the reason behind the dog’s digging.

It’s fine if he’s digging just for the fun of it. However, if he is digging excessively to relieve unneeded tension and worry, you may need to address his psychological issues. This emotional strain may build up to a dangerous degree if left uncontrolled, endangering your dog’s mental health.

7. How Can I Prevent My Dog from Slipping Through The Fence Gate?

Attach an L-footer along the bottom of the fence, facing in. You can use chicken wire, hardware cloth, or a piece of chain-link fence attached to the base of the fence.


Owning a dog can be an exciting experience. You get to watch your dog learn and get better at what he does. You get to spend time with him in the evening after work or on weekends. However, if your dog starts digging under the fence, this can be an uncomfortable situation that cannot be ignored.

If your dog begins to dig or squat near the structure, there are several things you can do to try and get it to stop. This article has covered how to keep your dog safe and clear away from the fence so you can enjoy his company without causing damage or irritation to others.

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