How to Prevent Dog from Digging under Fence in 8 Steps | Pet PRO Advice

How to Prevent Dog from Digging under Fence in 8 Steps

Nothing can quite ruin your day like finding a hole underneath your fence where wild animals and your dog can easily slip in and out of your yard. Once you have noticed a hole, it is a problem that should be addressed as soon as possible before it can get any worse. So, this article will help explain how to prevent dog from digging under fence in eight straightforward steps. They are all not easy, but these steps will guide you to a more peaceful solution for you and your dog.

8. Find the Reason Behind the Digging

how to prevent dog from digging under fence find te reason

When trying to determine how to prevent dog from digging under fence, a good initial approach is to find out why they are digging in the first place. Could they have noticed a rodent and have decided to chase after it? Search for signs of rodents to determine if this is the case. Once that has been done, doing away with your rodent problem may help deter your dog from digging.

Another reason that can lead you toward a resolution is that your dog is simply cold or hot. Dogs can lay in the holes they dig in an effort to find comfort during various weather conditions. To remedy this kind of situation, make sure that your dog has adequate protection outdoors (e.g. a dog house), or bring them inside more often.

7. Create a “No-Digging” Area

There are some simple, humane tactics to discourage your dog from ruining your fencing. A good way is by simply discouraging them away from the spot in the first place. There are a number of ways you can go about this. For one thing, you can install motion sensing features such as sprinklers that go off whenever the dog approaches the “no-digging” area.

Motion-activated sprinklers are a good way to condition/train a dog into understanding that this will keep happening if they continue to approach the fence. It is also less likely to truly scare them or traumatize them, allowing you the chance to politely yet firmly discourage their digging behavior.

6. Run Off Excess Energy

how to prevent dog from digging under fence by exercising

If you cannot find an exact reason for the digging, it could be that your dog is simply buzzing with energy and has nothing else better to do. Dogs just get excited sometimes. There is nothing wrong with that. However, that excitement can lead to them doing some costly things such as digging underneath your fence. To curb the attention of an excited dog, a great thing to do is help them run off that energy.

Make sure you walk your dog at least twice a day. By doing so, you will help them get the exercise they need and can help reduce the chance of behavior problems. Another good energy burner is simply playing more with your dog. A game of fetch or just running around the yard with them can help when looking for ways how to prevent dog from digging under fence.

5. Provide Distractions

So, if running off that energy did not seem to curb your dog’s interest in making their own personal hole under your fence, it is time to examine other courses of action. Maybe your dog is looking around for something else to do? When this turns out to be the case, a good way to learn how to prevent dog from digging under fence is leaving good distractions throughout your yard.

For one thing, let them have some of their toys. Just running around can get too repetitive to the point that your dog is fishing for something else to do. There are numerous of toys you can get, especially ones that are extremely interactive to keep their focus. For example, many people love the IQ treat ball to make them eat and forget about digging under the fence. You can even provide a distraction in the form of a person. Your dog can be lonely and bored, so seeing you or a guest outside ready to play can work as an excellent distraction.

4. Install a Barrier

When you have reached the point where you have tried to learn and resolve why your dog is digging, have helped them contain their energy, and have even provided numerous of toys without any of it doing any good, it is time to take a more hands-on serious approach. However, this requires some work, so it is not a quick-fix solution.

A hands-on solution to working on how to prevent dog from digging under fence is by installing a protective barrier. There are several different tools you can use to create this barrier. This is an excellent method to deter your dog as they usually cannot get past the first line of defense. As an added bonus, it can help deal with any unwanted animal guests if you have them.

3. Designate a Digging Area

how to prevent dog from digging under fence with a digging area

We know we stated before that you can design a “no-digging” area to keep your dog away. That and the physical barriers underground are good deterrents, but sometimes your dog just needs to dig. If so, you can actually build them a safe place to dig to keep them from going to your fence.

A sandbox is an excellent way to grant your dog their own space to dig. You can bury treats and toys throughout so that they actually have something to look for. This way, they are releasing their pent-up energy and sating their curiosity without ever having to go near your fence.

2. Replace the Fence

In case all of the above have failed to provide you with any sort of resolution, you can always take the most difficult (and costly) path of replacing your fence. For those that have chain-link fences that you can see through, it can further compel your dog to dig their way out if they have seen another person, a dog, or any other animal. Installing a solid fence can permanently eliminate that kind of distraction.

Another good idea for a fence replacement is opting for an electric fence. Although some may seem it can hurt the dog, it should be painless as long as you purchase the right one for your dog’s size, weight, and temperament. More importantly, you should understand exactly how to use one before you install the collar on the dog.

With an electric fence, you won’t have to worry about finding ways on how to prevent dog from digging under fence. The electrical fence will provide warning beeps/light shocks when your dog crosses the boundary line. This can be placed well before they are able to do any serious digging.

1. Seek Professional Help

If no matter what you have done just cannot seem to get through to your dog, you can always seek out some professional help with the matter. There are many certified dog trainers and behaviorists that can help you truly understand what is going on with your dog and why they continue to dig holes under your fence.

You can go about this a couple of different ways. Having a specialist personally manage your dog can help resolve the situation. On the other hand, you can always just attend training classes and learn about positive and negative reinforcement.

If you ever catch your dog digging, you can utilize that negative reinforcement to help curb the behavior. At the same time, if you notice your dog playing safely in the yard or even digging through the sandbox if you have one, consider positive reinforcement so they’ll understand when they’ve done something good.


To wrap things up, there can be any reason as to why your dog decides to start tunneling their way out your yard. With these eight steps, however, you should be able to resolve the situation and no longer worry about your dog getting out or letting unwanted animals in. Of course, when you learn how to prevent dog from digging under fence, keep in mind to never do anything that’ll harm them. For more stubborn dogs you can also look at our tips on how to keep them out of the trash. Have you attempted any of the solutions in our list? If so, let us know about your experiences.

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