How To Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fence

Have you ever wondered what’s on your dog’s mind when they start digging furiously, especially near the fence?

Maybe they’re playing, maybe they’re bored, or maybe they’ve got a case of wanderlust.

But here’s a little secret: your dog might be digging for reasons we humans often overlook.

Let’s dive into the world of our four-legged pals and their digging habits and get to know how to keep dogs from digging under fence.

Why Do Dogs Dig?

It’s Just What Some Dogs Do!

Believe it or not, some dog breeds are natural diggers.

Ever heard of the Dachshund?

It’s a small dog with a big passion for digging, thanks to its history of hunting badgers underground.

Your dog might not be hunting, but their ancestors did.

Sometimes, they might just be curious about the grass being greener (or the squirrel being squirrelier) on the other side.

Find Out Where They Dig

Spot The Favorite Places

Before you can tackle the digging, you need to know where it’s happening.

Dogs often choose specific spots because the soil is softer, or maybe they’ve caught a whiff of something interesting.

The spots close to the fence are especially tempting – it’s like the gateway to Narnia for them.

Watch And Learn

Here’s an insider tip: Dogs often have a routine.

If you watch closely, you might notice they dig more at certain times of the day, perhaps when it’s cooler or after they’ve had their meal.

Jotting down these patterns can be super helpful.

Tricks To Stop The Digging

Toughen Up The Fence Bottom

Here’s something not every dog owner knows: a ‘digging deterrent’ like chicken wire buried a foot or so below where your fence meets the ground can be a game-changer.

When your curious dog starts to dig, they’ll feel the wire and often decide it’s not worth the effort.

Make The Ground Unappealing

Citrus peels!

Dogs typically dislike the smell of citrus.

Scatter some lemon or orange peels near the fence.

It’s natural and a win-win since it also repels some pests.

Or consider planting rosemary or lavender – dogs usually steer clear of these, and your garden will smell delightful.

Their Very Own Digging Spot

Now, this is fun.

Think of it like giving your dog a little sandbox.

If you set aside a particular spot and even bury treats or toys there, you’re guiding them to a “designated dig area.

“Over time, they’ll learn that’s their place to dig, and the fence is off-limits.

More Fun, Less Digging

A tired dog is a good dog.

Often, dogs dig out of boredom.

Did you know that puzzle toys filled with treats can be a great distraction?

If they’re mentally stimulated, they’ll have less energy to think about digging escapades.

Tires And Obstacles

Big rocks, old tires, or even thick tree branches laid out by the fence can be a physical barrier.

It’s kind of like how we might avoid walking through a messy room – if it looks too tricky, dogs might decide it’s not worth the effort.

Bury Toys Away From The Fence

This is like a treasure hunt for your pooch.

If they’re busy digging up their favorite toy in the center of the yard, they’ll be less likely to bother with the fence.

Teaching And Training

The “No Dig” Rule

Have you ever watched a toddler, with their curious little fingers, trying to touch everything they see?

Our furry pals aren’t that different.

When they’re eager to dig, they might not understand why it’s not okay.

Teaching them the “No Dig” rule is like teaching a child not to touch a hot stove.

When you catch your dog in the act, raise your voice just a bit (not too loud to scare them) and say, “No Dig!”

And here’s a secret tip: Dogs really want to make us happy.

When they listen to you and stop digging, show them you’re pleased!

Give them a pat or a treat.

It’s like getting a gold star in school; they’ll start connecting good behavior with rewards.

Over time and with patience, they’ll dig less.

Keep Them Busy With New Toys

Remember when you got a new toy as a kid, and you couldn’t put it down?

For dogs, toys are their treasures.

But just like we get bored of toys after playing with them too much, dogs do, too.

So here’s a nifty trick: rotate their toys.

Today, give them a rubber bone. Tomorrow, a squeaky toy, and the next day, maybe a ball.

This way, every day feels like they’re getting something new, and their attention stays on the toys and off the fence.

Did you know there are puzzle toys for dogs?

These are fantastic because they engage the dog’s brain and keep them super busy.

There’s no time for digging when there’s a puzzle to solve!

Asking Experts For Help

Alright, let’s be honest.

Some dogs are just born diggers.

It’s like their superpower.

If you’ve tried the tricks, given them toys, and they’re still aiming to dig their way to the other side of the world, it might be time to ask for expert help.

Think of dog trainers as the teachers in a school, but just for pups.

They’ve seen all sorts of dogs and know tons of techniques.

Some trainers even have classes where dogs learn alongside other dogs.

Imagine your pet going to school!

Always Check Your Yard

Fence Check-Ups

Your home is your castle, and the fence is the moat.

To keep the castle safe, the moat has to be in top shape.

By regularly walking around and inspecting your fence, you’re making sure your little adventurer doesn’t find an escape route.

Did you know that weather can weaken certain parts of a fence over time?

Or that some naughty critters (like raccoons or squirrels) can create holes that dogs might try to expand?

Regular check-ups help you catch these issues early on.

Doggy Behavior Notes

Our furry buddies are fascinating.

One day, they might be obsessed with a tree.

The next a flower pot.

It’s essential to stay observant.

If suddenly they’re digging in a new spot, maybe they heard a new sound, or perhaps there’s a scent they’re curious about.

Dogs have a way of communicating; we just have to learn their language.

And remember, the Internet has a treasure trove of dog communities.

If one trick doesn’t work, someone, somewhere, has probably found another method that might be just what you’re looking for.


To wrap it up, dogs are a bundle of joy, energy, and mystery.

They might dig for fun, out of habit, or just because they smelled something interesting.

As their trusted humans, it’s up to us to guide them, teach them, and ensure they’re safe.

And always remember every little challenge, like digging, is an opportunity to understand your dog better and bond with them even more.

The journey with your furry friend is filled with moments of laughter, surprise, and tons of learning.

Embrace it all, and happy digging.



Or, hopefully, less digging!

Before You Go…

Now you know how to keep dogs from digging under fence.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.