If your dog is digging under the fence there is probably a simple reason. They want to escape to go on an adventure. Alternatively, if they are an entire male they may be looking for a female on heat. See below for a full list of why dogs escape.
Know the reason for the behavior is halfway there to finding a solution. With any problem like a dog digging under a fence, there are hard and soft solutions.
A hard solution is a physical deterrent such as some type of barrier to prevent digging. Soft solutions are more about tactics to modify or redirect the unwanted behavior.
Does neutering or spaying a dog stop them escaping
For a male dog, sexual roaming is shown to decrease in 90% of cases. However, if a male dog as a long history of escaping, they may continue to do so even after neutering.
A female dog on heat may also be prone to wanting to escape to roam. With male or female dogs it is usually a good idea to have them desexed. Even if this doesn’t fix the escaping problem it will prevent unwanted puppies.
Other reasons why dogs escape
- Social isolation and frustration. – dogs are social animals and will often escape to seek out interaction.
- Pent up energy – dogs require exercise to release pent up energy. The exercise requirement of a dog varies among breeds and even individual dogs. For a guide to how much exercise your particular dog needs see here.
- Boredom – in addition to physical exercise, dogs require mental stimulation and enrichment. For a guide to keeping a dog entertained in the yard see here.
- To visit places – sometimes a dog will escape because they have a destination in mind. They may want to visit a person or another dog they know or go to a particular place.
- Separation or isolation anxiety – for many dogs that are home alone it is not uncommon for them to have anxiety. In many cases, they will escape as soon as you leave. For information on anxiety in dogs left home alone see here.
- Fears and phobias – a dog many escaping due to fear such as large scary noises. This could include thunderstorms or fireworks.
Dog digging under fence solutions
Here are some recommended solutions to stop your dog from being able to dig under the fence. Often the gate is the easiest location for a dog to dig under as it doesn’t sit as close to the ground as the rest of the fence. If this is the case with your dog you may only need to fix this area.
Bury your dog’s poo in the hole
This may sound strange but it actually works quite well. If your dog has already dug some holes near the fence, simply put some of their poo in the hole and fill it back in. Dogs don’t like to dig where their poo is.
A similar trick is to bury a balloon where your dog is digging. When they hit the balloon it will pop deterring them.
Increase your dog’s exercise quantity
If the reason your dog is digging to escape is boredom try increasing the amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation and enrichment they are receiving. If they are home alone a lot you should provide ways to keep them occupied. For ideas see entertaining a home alone dog here.
Dig Defence Deep Hole Blocker
Dig defense hole blocker are a metal spike type solution that is quick and easy to install. Probably one of the easiest ways to stop your dog digging under the fence.
These Dig Defence are available from Amazon here.
Consider pouring concrete along the perimeter of the fence line and sinking the bottom of the fence into the concrete before it dries. This obviously will require some work but if you have a serious digger this is super effective.
Bricks around the fence line
Another option is to use building bricks to place around the fence base. This may not work as well for a determined digger as they will move the bricks out of the way.
A far more effective way of doing this is to dig a trench along the fence line and bury the bricks. You can also use rocks instead of bricks. Alternatively, you can use a length of timber which you can even screw or nail to the fence post beneath the surface.
Use a dog repellent around the fence
There are many products available either in liquid or crystal form that you can use to deter your dog from digging under the fence.
View the options of dog repellents on Amazon.
Install a dog electric fence
These electric fences work by putting a shock collar on your dog and when they try to cross the barrier it gives them a correction. If they are getting to close to the fence it will make a beeping sound to warn them that they will be corrected if they try to cross the boundary.
There is various type of electric fences for dogs available including even wireless ones. To view the options of electric dog fences on Amazon see here.
Welded Wire Mesh
Install welded wire mesh along your fence line as follows.
- Dig a 3 to 6-inch trench along the fence.
- Attach the mesh to the bottom 18 inches of the fence. With a wooden fence, you can use a staple gun or with a wire fence you can use zip ties.
- The bottom of the mesh sheet will lay in the trench
- Fill in the trench
This video shows you how to do this. You can get the supplies you need here at Amazon.
Summary – dog digging under fence solutions
Your dog may be digging under the fence to escape for many reasons. This can include sexual roaming, boredom, separation anxiety or they are frightened such as by thunder.
The above list should give you ideas of how to stop your dog digging under your fence and staying safe in your yard.