6 Easy Ways to Stop Your Dog from Digging Under a Fence

Dogs are quite the escape artist. They will find all sorts of creative ways to escape. You need to be just as creative to stop the dog from digging under the fence. Here are some simple ways to do so.

1. Understand the dog’s motive

The foolproof way of stopping a dog from digging under the fence is to find out why they are doing it to begin with. Some dogs might do this because they are bored and not getting enough exercise. Others may dig under the fence because there is something on the other side that they want to chase. Understand the dog’s motive and cut off the reason. Naturally, the dog will stop digging under the fence if they no longer have a reason to do so.

2. Lay chicken wire along the fence

Installing chicken wire is a cheap but effective way to stop dogs from digging under the fence. It will, however, take a bit of effort. You will need to dig up a trench along the side of the fence (we suggest at least 30 cm deep). Place half of the wire in the trench. The other half of the chicken wire should be sticking out. You can then use staples or cable ties to attach the chicken wire to the fence.

3. Interrupt the dog while he is digging

In the short-term, you need to interrupt or redirect the dog’s attention every time he is about to start digging under the fence. This also means the dog should never be in the yard unsupervised. You could toss the dog’s favorite toy or encourage him to dig in a safe zone such as a children sandbox. It’s important to not punish your dog when he tries to dig under the fence. Instead, the best training is to guide the dog towards the right behaviors.

4. Place some rocks along the fence

This could be an alternative solution to the chicken wire method. Dig a short trench along the fence and place some medium-sized rocks. Your dog won’t have as much fun digging once he realizes there are more obstacles to get through. Make sure the rocks don’t have sharp edges. The last thing you want is for the dog to hurt himself while trying to dig against the rocks.

5. Pepper powder as a deterrent

This method requires the least amount of manual labor. Find some hot pepper powder and spread it along the digging sites. Your dog is not going to like smelling the hot stuff as he digs into the ground. It may take a few attempts before your dog eventually gives up and stops trying to dig under the fence.

6. Offer an alternative digging site

Digging is a natural behavior for dogs. The dog could feel quite sad if he isn’t allowed to do his usual dog things. You could find a middle ground by offering a different digging site for dogs. Children sandpits work quite well in this instance. Position the sandpit away from the fences. Use positive reinforcement so that your dog knows it’s considered good behavior to dig in the sandpit.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Char | 27/03/2020

    My dog just licked the chili pepper from the whole perimeter of our yard.

  • MJB | 14/06/2021

    I have a chain link fence. I tried filling in the holes under the fence and that did not work. My dog kept crawling under the fence into my neighbor’s yard. He has moles/gophers/groundhogs (whatever they are called, I’ve never seen them) and they contribute to the holes under the fence. I tried the chicken wire, but that seems to be lifted up/torn up. I am tying the fence down to the ground and using heavy duty stakes to keep the fence touching the ground. Hopefully my dog or the moles/gophers/groundhogs don’t ruin my work and make it easier for my dog to dig under the fence.

  • April | 01/10/2021

    We have taken Welded Wire Fence that’s 4′ tall and pressed a fold in it length wise at 1′. We then fastened the 1′ part to wooden fence with a staple gun, and to chain-link fence with zip ties. With the 3′ section laying on the ground parallel to the fence we used inexpensive metal tent stakes sporadically along the ground (pushing them the whole way into the ground so that both sides of the steak are buried in dirt). The grass will then grow thru the mesh and within a mos. you no longer see the metal on the ground. Dogs can’t dig close to the fence, and if they start at the inside of the mesh then they’d have to dig 3′ go get under the fence.

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