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Preventing a Dog from Digging Under Fences

Many dog breeds instinctively dig. Others dig out of boredom. Whatever the reason trying to discourage this behavior can be a challenge. This is a page about preventing a dog from digging under fences.


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October 18, 2010

I have two large dogs; one digs out and runs off and the other stays home. The one that runs off is a Lab mix. She digs out under the fence and runs away. I am afraid that she is going to get hit by a car or picked up by the dog catcher, but we walk the fence line fix all the holes and she still always gets out.

I don't want to have to get rid of her, but she will dig under any fence and training does not matter. We have tried to train her to stay in the yard and not dig out over and over again and nothing works. Iis there anything else we can do?

By Megan from FL


October 18, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try laying chicken wire along the bottom of the fence. We folded it into a 90 degree angle so that we could attach it to the bottom and put the other part on the ground. You can either let the grass grow over or dig the soil up and over the bottom part. Dogs do not like to drag their claws over that stuff so they give up.

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October 18, 2010

Does anyone have any great suggestions to prevent dogs from digging under fences? My friend's young dogs constantly dig under their fence gate. The owners even filled in the holes with gravel, but the dogs still dig in the gravel. Any ideas?


Tracey from Westerville, OH


Preventing Dog from Digging Under Fences

Sprinkle cayenne, chili powder, or black pepper in the dirt. That helps a lot, they are too busy sneezing to dig. It work with my large dogs who use to dig tunnels, and it doesn't hurt them, if they start in a new place do the same thing again. (04/05/2008)

By Mary/p>

Preventing Dog from Digging Under Fences

Unfortunately, if the dog's nature is to dig, the only thing I've heard of is to pour cement under the fence line. (04/05/2008)

By Becky Petersen

Preventing Dog from Digging Under Fences

My dog would dig large holes and stick his head under the fence, so I filled the holes with his feces and he stopped. If they dig in another spot, simply put some poo there too. After a few weeks of the switch-a-poo, they will stop. (04/05/2008)

By Katie Mastros

Preventing Dog from Digging Under Fences

Dogs tend to dig out of boredom. If they are outside-only dogs, I would suggest she install a doggy door. Give one special toy each day and take it away at the end of the day. Keeps them guessing. Fill a Kong toy with peanut butter or stuff it with biscuits. Crate training is the way to go. (04/05/2008)


By LuvMyGingerKids

Preventing Dog from Digging Under Fences

The only way to really stop the digging is by way of a barrier. One way is to put down some heavy wire-type fencing, like heavy chicken wire, or leftover chunks of chain link fence fabric just under the soil. It must be anchored well; so that when the dogs dig, they encounter the wire, which prevents them from going deeper.

If they have some nice, big rocks that the dogs cannot dig out, they could also put these in the holes before filling them in.

Since it is at the gate, maybe they can install some paving slabs on each side of the gate. They might have to remove an inch or two of soil (for leveling them so the gate can swing), then put in some of the square paving stones from the home center.

We once had a hole the dog dug under the fence to try to follow a rabbit that came in and out that way; and we drove some wooden garden stakes into the ground at the bottom of the hole, then screwed them to the fence, creating "jail bars" for Buster. (We wanted the rabbit to still be able to come and go and this allowed it to do so, but the dog could not follow.) Since your friends have a problem at the gate, this might not work for them, but elsewhere it is a nice, fast fix. (04/05/2008)


By Jill

Preventing Dog from Digging Under Fences

We did cement all around the areas affected. It's lasted for many many years. It's cheap and just requires some labor. It doesn't even have to look perfect because the grass and dirt will eventually cover most of it. (04/07/2008)

By Me

Preventing Dog from Digging Under Fences

Those cheap pavers, the cheaper ones are 2 inches thick by 8 wide by 16 long. I ran a line of those around the bottom of the fence, they were 80 cents each then, with black plastic trash bags under it so I wouldn't have to deal with weeds coming up between them. I had to laugh when I saw the dog trying hard to dig, on top of the brick, shortening his toenails by himself! He has not tried to dig under the pavers to this day. I took pity on him and put a pile of sand for him to dig in, and he loves to do that. (04/07/2008)

By Kim Churchman

Preventing Dog from Digging Under Fences

(submitted via email)

I had seen a question before asking how to keep your dog from digging under the fence. Go to this website and see if this may be the answer to this problem.



By Sally

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