In this article, we’ll dive into some effective strategies on how to stop a dog from digging under a fence.

If you’re a proud dog owner, you know that digging is one of their favorite pastimes. And what’s worse, they often choose to do it right under your fence!

Not only does it make your garden look like a battlefield, but you also risk your furry friend escaping. But, there are ways to tackle this issue.

How To Stop A Dog From Digging Under A Fence

Most dogs are born with an innate love for digging, and that fence in your backyard seems to be the prime target (check out: Why do dogs dig holes in the yard?).

While you might not be able to completely curb their digging instincts, you can certainly redirect their efforts away from your fence.

Let’s dive into some ways to discourage your dog from digging holes under the fence!

1. Train The Dog – How To Keep Dog From Digging Holes

diy keep dog from digging under fence

Sometimes, a stern “no” is all it takes to get your point across. If you catch your pup in the act of digging under the fence, be firm and let them know it’s a no-go zone.

But, hold up! Be mindful that your dog might be seeking your attention, and discipline might backfire. Always remember to shower them with praise when they exhibit good behavior.

Positive reinforcement is the key to teaching them the dos and don’ts of backyard etiquette. If you’re struggling with training, don’t hesitate to fetch help from a professional trainer.

2. Keep The Tail Wagging With Activity

Just like us, dogs need an outlet for their boundless energy. So, make sure you engage in plenty of playtime and take them on regular walks.

But why stop there? Keep them entertained in the backyard too! Stuff the place with chew toys, balls, and food puzzles.

If your furry buddy craves social interactions, you might even consider getting them a doggie playmate. The more fun and activities you provide, the less they’ll feel the urge to play excavation expert under your fence!

3. Patch Up The Dug Holes

If your dog has already left a trail of tunnels under your fence, it’s time for some damage control!

Fill those holes with bricks, stones, or anything they can’t dig through. Take into account your dog’s size; larger pups might laugh off a few pebbles.

Alternatively, you can use their droppings from the garden to fill the holes – talk about a unique solution! Dogs usually steer clear of their own business when it comes to digging.

Landscaping Plan

Unleash your creativity and get your garden a makeover! A well-thought-out landscape can discourage digging ventures. You can lay down a stone path along the fence’s edge or plant some extra bushes.

And if you want to level up the deterrence, try planting some rose bushes – those thorns will send a clear message to your furry explorer.

Not only will landscaping make digging less appealing, but it’ll also give your garden a fetching new look!

4. Designated Zone – Stop Dog From Digging Home Remedy

Here’s a brilliant idea! Set up a designated digging zone away from the fence. Grab a wooden sandbox and fill it with soil or loose sand.

Now, hide some treasures or toys in there, so your furry friend has a blast digging up surprises! Opt for wood as the material, as we don’t want them nibbling on plastic and getting tummy troubles.

Remember, when they’re digging in the right spot, give them a treat or a pat on the head. Positive reinforcement will keep their paws away from your fence and focus on the fun zone!

5. Block The View

stop dog from digging home remedy

Sometimes, out of sight is truly out of mind. If your fence is see-through, consider putting up outdoor fabric or bamboo to block your dog’s view.

This trick keeps them from spotting other dogs or even tempting humans on the other side, which can be a major distraction.

If they can’t see the enticements, they won’t be as eager to dig their way to the other world of excitement.

6. Spray To Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fence

Ever thought about using your pup’s nose against them?

Sprinkling capsicum spray or red pepper powder along the fence’s edge can work wonders. Dogs dislike the smell and might even let out a sneeze or two, which will definitely put them off the digging mission.

Just remember to reapply the dog repellent spray every couple of weeks. You can either buy it from a pet store or whip up a homemade version.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try other not-so-pleasant scents like vinegar or orange peel.

7. Invisible (or Electric) Fences

For a more high-tech approach, consider invisible or electric fences. The electric ones use underground cabling along the boundary line, and when your dog gets too close, they receive a tiny electric shock.

Before you panic, it’s harmless and just enough to deter them from crossing the boundary and initiating a digging mission.

The invisible fences, on the other hand, emit a high-pitched noise that only pets can hear. It’s discomforting enough for them to back off and think twice about their fence-digging plans.

8. Chicken Wire – DIY Keep Dog From Digging Under Fence

Looking for an affordable solution? Burying chicken wire in a ditch along the fence line will put a stop to your dog’s digging endeavors (you may also be interested in checking out what to plant along fence line).

Just be careful during the installation to avoid any accidental pet injuries.

Alternatively, you can lay down chain link fencing on the ground and anchor it to the fence’s bottom. Walking on this prickly surface won’t be pleasant for your pup, so they’re likely to avoid the area altogether.

Why Has My Dog Started Digging Under The Fence?

Before we get into the solutions, it’s essential to understand why your beloved canine companion is digging in the first place.

The reasons can vary depending on the breed and the environment they are in. Knowing the underlying cause will help you address the problem more effectively.

1. Anxiety Alleviation

Just like humans, dogs can experience anxiety when left alone for extended periods. This unease may lead them to engage in destructive behaviors like digging holes under the fence. They might be trying to escape or simply seeking comfort.

To address this, consider leaving your dog with comforting items, like their favorite toys or blanket when you have to be away.

Creating a cozy environment can help ease their anxiety. If the problem persists, consult a professional dog behaviorist or a veterinarian for further guidance.

2. Boredom Busters

Imagine being cooped up for hours with no one to play with and nothing to do – boredom can be maddening! Well, dogs feel the same way.

When they don’t get enough physical and mental stimulation, digging becomes an appealing outlet for their pent-up energy. Especially in lively pups or younger dogs, this restlessness can lead to fence-digging adventures.

To prevent this, make sure your dog gets plenty of playtime and exercise. Engage them with interactive toys or set up play areas in the garden to keep their curious minds occupied.

3. Curiosity And Exploration

how to keep dog from digging holes

Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and if they spot something fascinating on the other side of the fence, they’ll dig their way toward it. It could be anything from the scent of a neighboring female dog or a passing squirrel.

To counteract this, ensure that your garden provides enough mental stimulation and visual barriers. Add some engaging features, like safe distractions or toys, to keep their attention away from the fence.

4. The Hunter’s Instinct

For certain breeds like Dachshunds and terriers, the call of the wild is hard to resist. They have a natural inclination to hunt critters and other insects, making your garden a treasure trove.

While you may want to eliminate these pests, be cautious about using chemical-based products that could harm your furry friend.

Moreover, other animals might leave scent trails that attract your dog to dig in specific spots. Keep an eye on your surroundings, and if possible, make those areas less enticing for potential prey.


1. Do coffee grounds stop dogs digging?

Coffee grounds may deter dogs from digging due to their strong scent, but results can vary among dogs.

2. Will cayenne pepper stop dogs from digging?

Cayenne pepper can act as a deterrent for some dogs, as they dislike the spicy smell and taste.

3. Will vinegar stop a dog from digging?

Vinegar’s strong smell might discourage dogs from digging in certain cases.

4. Why is my female dog digging?

Female dogs may dig due to natural instincts, boredom, seeking a cool spot, or nesting behavior.

5. How to keep dog from digging under chain link fence?

To keep a dog from digging under a chain link fence, use deterrents like burying chicken wire or rocks, or consider adding a barrier along the fence line.

6. Are there stakes to keep dogs from digging under fence?

Yes, there are stakes and barriers designed to prevent dogs from digging under fences, such as ground stakes or dig guards.

7. What is the best dog digging repellent?

The best dog digging repellent can vary depending on the dog’s preferences, but some common options include citrus-based sprays or commercial pet deterrents.

Conclusion: How To Get Dog To Stop Digging Under Fence

To stop a dog from digging under a fence, try adding a barrier like chicken wire or rocks along the fence line, use deterrents like citrus sprays, provide more exercise and mental stimulation, or create a designated digging area for the dog.

We all adore our furry friends, and their safety is a top priority! Those unsightly fence holes not only ruin your garden’s charm but also pose risks to your dog’s wellbeing. Each dog and yard is unique, so it might take some trial and error to find the perfect solution for your pup (here’s how to keep a dog from jumping the fence).

But, with a little perseverance, you’ll discover the perfect method to keep your four-legged buddy happy, healthy, and safe – free from fence-digging shenanigans!

By Robin M

Robin remains an active participant in the skilled trades community. His hands-on involvement in projects, coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for helping others succeed in their home improvement pursuits, reflects his commitment to empowering readers with the knowledge they need to tackle projects confidently.

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