How To Stop A Dog Digging Under Your Fence

Some dogs are born diggers. Whether they’re burying bones, seeking out a cool spot in the garden, or simply having fun, sometimes our four-legged besties can’t help themselves!

But while it’s fun for Rover, digging can be hugely problematic for our outside spaces – including our fences. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide on how to stop a dog from digging under a fence.

Protecting you, your dog, and your neighbourhood

Keeping your dog secured on your property is hugely important for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, it’s the best way to keep your dog safe – whether that’s from cars, other dogs, or even people.

Stopping your dog digging under your fence also keeps the home safe, as it reduces the risk of damage to the fence itself. In addition, damage caused by your dog might not be covered by your insurance.

If you have a regulated dog – a dog that is deemed restricted or dangerous by the Queensland Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 – keeping your dog on your property in an approved enclosure is a condition of ownership. If it escapes, you’ll likely face fines – and if someone gets hurt, the consequences would be even more severe.

Why is your dog digging under the fence?

Before testing out any of the solutions below, it’s certainly worth considering why your dog is digging in the first place.

It may be that they need more stimulation and could benefit from interactive toys, longer walks, or even their own designated digging zone, but it could also be a sign of something more serious, such as separation anxiety. Whether or not your dog is desexed might also be a factor, and you might need to look at what’s happening on the other side of the fence too – is your dog reacting to people or other dogs walking by?

Understanding why your dog is habitually digging and working on training them out of the habit is a great long-term solution that benefits you, your home, and, of course, your dog. There’s plenty of online resources to get you started, or you could hire a professional trainer.

How to stop a dog digging under your fence

Of course, training a dog takes time, and you’ll likely need a fix while your pooch is still learning. Here’s a few suggestions to help you out.

Cover any gaps

If your dog is reacting to the outside world – such as people or other dogs walking by – filling any gaps in the fence and blocking their line of sight might help deter them from trying to dig their way to the other side of the fence.

You might also consider adding a barrier to the bottom of your. While bigger (and more determined!) dogs might still try and dig their way through, smaller dogs and puppies may be deterred by the extra material blocking their way.

Chicken wire is fairly cost-effective option, but if you find that your dog is reacting to something on the other side of the fence, an opaque material like wood will have the added bonus of blocking their vision. You could also use rocks or large stones to block access to the bottom of the fence.

Extend your fence

For a long-term solution, you might consider extending your fence down under the ground. This provides another obstacle for your dog to get through. An extra two feet is a great place to start.

You may want to call in a professional to help with this.

Concrete

Adding concrete to the base of your fence is no small task, but if you’re looking for a long-term and permanent answer to the problem, especially if it feels like training your dog might not be working, it’s worth considering. This is another option that might require professional help.

Deterrents

A quick online search will show no shortage of deterrents and repellents designed to keep your dog away from the fence line. Many of these come in a spray form, usually with a scent that dogs don’t like and will try to avoid.

Cayenne pepper or vinegar mixed with water can also be used as a natural repellent – and you may already have them in the kitchen!

Deterrents like these won’t work for every dog, however, and some dogs may get used to the scent over time.

Hidden fences

For the more tech-savvy dog-owners, hidden dog fences, or e-fences, might be an attractive solution. A transmitter placed near the fence will send a warning beep signal to a receiver on the dog’s collar whenever the dog gets too close. If the dog continues to get closer, a safe stimulation will happen – the stimulation is harmless, and you can set the level to one you’re comfortable with.

Are you worried about a different type of critter?

We’ve also got some handy guides on how to stop possums walking on your fence and how to snake-proof your yard!

References

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