How to Stop Your Dog From Digging Under The Fence

How do you keep a dog from digging under the fence?

Dogs love to dig. But you don’t necessarily love the holes they leave in the yard. Check out this guide on how to stop a dog digging in your backyard or under the fence.

How to Stop Your Dog From Digging Under The Fence

In this article, we are going to be talking extensively about how to stop your dog from digging under the fence. It is frankly exasperating to look out the window and see your dog digging another hole under the fence. You scream out the window; he may or may not recognize that he has heard something; then back to the excavation. This behavior of the dog has to stop.


Why do dogs dig?

The canine habit of digging is linked to the instinct to hide food in holes that dig, but can also hide an anxiety problem

Those who live with dogs know what it is to find their dog that digs between the cushions of the sofa or on the ground to hide a nibbled bone. But why does the dog scratch? This article explains this curious behavior of the dog, which sometimes reflects an anxiety problem, and describes some notable differences between the claws of dogs and cats.

The action of digging in dogs responds to an ancestral instinct inherited from the wolves. The claws of canids (dogs and wolves) are prepared to scratch soft surfaces in order to tear them. In this way, they can dig holes in the ground to hide the food that is left over.

The nails and legs of the dog act as power shovels prepared to dig

“The canine instinct is so powerful that even domestic dogs, with their food needs covered, look for places to hide their treasures, ” says Miguel Ibáñez, a professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid and animal psychiatrist. In this way, they will be able to enjoy them later, when they are hungry.

But also, in nature, “the wolves dig liberals where to shelter their puppies”, adds Ibanez. The power of its legs and its strong nails – which act as shovels – allow the wolf to dig several meters into the ground to protect its young.

In bitches suffering from a psychological pregnancy (pseudocyesis) a similar phenomenon occurs: they dig to make the nest where to welcome their puppies

Ever stopped to think WHY your dog digs under your fence? (Except to make you angry!). This is the real trick: discovering why they are digging in the first place, the motivation behind the dog’s behavior. Then you can follow training steps to discourage it, redirect that energy and possibly stop it altogether.


Location: dig along the fences and at the door.

Why? He is bored and wants to go out for some action.

Solution: Provide more exercise for your dog, both physical and mental. The more you exercise, the better, according to your dog. A tired and happy dog will rest pleasantly between large exits.

2. I AM HOT!!

Location: dig along the edge of the house, fences or shallow “wells”, especially in the heat of summer.

Why? Chances are that your dog is creating a cool place on the cool earth. If he’s under the porch, he’s creating a den.

Solution: Be sure to provide cool, cold water during the day and night.

Is there adequate shade to protect your dog from the heat of the sun? Is there good air circulation or possibly a nice breeze? Or is the space full of stagnant air?

SEE ALSO:  My Puppy Keeps Biting Me Aggressively - Professional Dog Training Tips

Provide plant life (trees, shrubs) to protect from the sun’s heat. The fresh grass keeps the heat of the soil low.


Sometimes it is the dog breed, not so much the environment. Some breeds tend to be excavators – dogs, Eskimos, malamutes are some examples.

Solution: If this is the case, work with your dog to arrange a place where you can make your own and camouflage it with something like plants or fences.

4. I LIKE!

Some dogs like to dig, and dig, they will, no matter how much you scream or yell.

Solution: Create and help them with the ideal digging site: a sandy combination with hidden treasures that reward excavation in that place. Having a prepared area encourages the excavator to focus the excavation on the configured area in a secluded location. Remember to keep the area supplied with approved trips and toys.


The second part of the story is …

What do you do with the holes that keep reappearing, no matter what you do? Have you filled in the holes dug by your dog only to find them dug again, again and again?

When this happens, the next stage of filling holes is required.

You may think that the next step is to shout at your dog or bang on the window. No. Are you really going to stand and look out the window, hoping to correct the situation while it is happening (which would be the only way to really correct it with this method)?


There are two better techniques to encourage your dog to reconsider digging that hole.

The easiest of the two is to fill the hole until it is almost full. Mix the last portion of dirt with dog poo, pineapples, moth balls or other non-harmful repellent substance. The next time your dog arrives at the big dig, he will quickly discover that the game has changed. Most dogs change their behavior quickly.

The second method consumes more time but is more effective.

  • Cut a section of chicken wire or similar to cover the hole plus 8 inches or more. Dig a hole a few centimeters deep that surrounds the hole and will conform to the shape of the wire.
  • Fill the hole and then press the cable into place and cover it with earth.
  • Pack the area well, particularly around the edges of the cable.

When your dog returns, the cable will stop its digging advance.

If you are along a fence line

  • Secure the cable to the fence along the inside of the fence, a short distance from the ground.
  • When the cable reaches the ground, follow vertically a short distance underground.
  • Then bend the cable so that the bottom is perpendicular to the top (forms an L).
  • Bury the horizontal part underground in the fence, pointing away from the fence.

When your dog digs, the cable stops him and his weight on the ground help keep the cable in place. The result is that the dog gives up in that area.

Very good, huh?!


Humans see that digging is bad dog behavior. Dogs do not, and dig for different reasons. If you can find out why they are digging, you can practice the dog training steps to stop it. Some dogs dig, that’s what they do. Prepare a space to dig and both win!

Try these canine training techniques to change the behavior of the unwanted dog and stop your dog from digging under your fence.