How to Stop a Dog From Digging Under a Fence

photo - a dog who is about to dig under the fence, how to stop a dog from digging under a fence

Asking how to stop a dog from digging under a fence is a common concern among pet owners who witness their canine companions repeatedly digging or even escaping from their yard. Dog behaviour is indeed a complex topic; however, gaining insight into why dogs engage in such actions is crucial for addressing and resolving these behaviours effectively. 

This comprehensive guide is designed to help you understand the underlying causes of why dogs, from the powerful Great Dane digging its way to freedom to the tiny Yorkie sneaking out beneath the barrier, might feel compelled to dig their way out from under fences. 

Here, we'll explore the reasons behind such behaviours and provide targeted tips and strategies on how to stop dogs from digging under fence. This guide will not only explore these scenarios but will also provide practical advice on how to prevent such behaviour.

Why Do Dogs Dig Under the Fence?

Understanding the motivation behind your dog's digging is the first step in preventing it. Here are some common reasons why dogs may feel compelled to break free, which can help you in developing strategies on how to stop dogs from digging under fences:

Seeking Freedom or Adventure

photo - a dog sticking its head out from above a dog proof fence

Some dogs are natural explorers and may dig under a fence to satisfy their curiosity about what lies beyond their immediate surroundings. This instinctual behaviour is especially common in breeds known for their adventurous spirit. 

They may view the area beyond their fence as a vast playground just waiting to be explored. If your dog is digging for this reason, reinforcing the idea of the home being the best place to be can be crucial. Implementing enriching activities within the fence can reduce their desire to escape.

Escape from Fear or Anxiety

Noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks can frighten dogs, prompting them to dig under fences in an attempt to escape the source of their anxiety. For dogs with anxiety issues, providing a safe space within the home or yard, along with noise desensitisation training, can be beneficial. This approach helps manage their fear responses and discourages the need to flee from their safe zone.

Boredom or Excess Energy

Dogs often dig when they have excess energy or if they're bored. This behaviour can be a way for them to entertain themselves or get some exercise. Increasing your dog’s physical activities and mental stimulation is essential to counteract this.

Integrating more interactive games, regular exercise, and training sessions can significantly diminish their digging behaviour. Dogs that are mentally and physically satisfied are less likely to engage in disruptive behaviours like digging.

Seeking Mates

Intact dogs often dig under fences as part of their instinctual drive to find mates. This behaviour can be particularly intense when an intact male senses a female in heat nearby, compelling him to do whatever it takes to reach her. Similarly, intact females may seek to escape to find a male during their heat cycle. 

These urges to reproduce can lead dogs to exhibit behaviours like digging or climbing that can put them at risk of getting lost, injured, or involved in territorial disputes with other dogs. Neutering or spaying your dog can significantly reduce these mating-driven behaviours by removing the hormonal impulses that drive such actions, helping keep your pet safe and secure within your property.

By addressing these underlying causes, you can implement more targeted interventions to how to stop dog from digging under fence. Whether it's enhancing the home environment, offering more exercise, or using strategies like dog proofing fence, understanding these motivations is key to curbing this unwanted behavior. Each approach helps build a more fulfilling and escape-proof environment for your pet, ensuring they remain safely within your yard.

How to Stop a Dog From Digging Under a Fence: Behaviour

photo - dog proof fencing, a happy dog not digging a fence

Addressing the behaviour that leads to digging is essential in ensuring your dog remains safely within your yard. Here are some strategies to modify your dog's digging habits, focusing on preventive measures and active interventions:

Increase Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Ensuring your dog receives plenty of physical and mental exercise is fundamental. Activities such as extended walks, runs, interactive play, and agility training can help how to stop dogs from digging under fence by burning off the energy that might otherwise be used for digging. 

Incorporating mental stimulation through puzzle toys, new tricks, and obedience training keeps their mind engaged. It reduces the likelihood of digging, therefore making your attempts to stop dog digging under fence successful.

Anxiety Reduction

photo - a puppy next to a fence how to stop dogs digging under fence

Anxiety can be a major driver of unwanted behaviours, including digging. Working to reduce your dog's anxiety through training and desensitisation exercises can markedly improve their sense of security. 

Gradual exposure to the sources of anxiety, coupled with positive reinforcement, can help alleviate stress. For instance, if your dog digs in response to loud noises, using calming techniques and positive associations during noisy events can reduce their need to dig.

Training and Supervision

Direct training and constant supervision can effectively curb digging behaviours before they start. Teaching your dog commands such as "leave it" provides you with tools to intervene when you catch them in the act. 

Supervising your dog while it is in the yard is essential. It allows you to redirect their behaviour immediately and consistently, reinforcing that digging is unacceptable. This consistent supervision is key in how to stop a dog from digging under a fence.

How to Stop a Dog From Digging Under a Fence: Practical Tips

Beyond modifying behaviour, implementing practical solutions can physically prevent your dog from digging under the fence:

Dog Proof Fencing

Investing in dog proof fencing is an effective and reliable solution. Systems like the Dog Proofer are designed to secure the base of your fence, ensuring that dogs cannot squeeze through gaps or dig underneath. 

Such products are vital in trying and dog proofing fence. It makes it more challenging for your dog to escape, providing a strong layer of security around your property.

Create a Digging Zone

Allowing your dog a designated area to dig can also mitigate unwanted digging elsewhere. Set up a specific sandpit or section of your yard where digging is encouraged, and make it appealing by burying toys or treats for them to find. 

This strategy is effective in trying to stop dogs digging under fence by satisfying their digging instinct. It’s a great idea to keep it confined to an area where it won’t cause trouble or lead to escapes.

Use Deterrents

Applying deterrents such as cayenne pepper around the fence line can discourage digging due to the unpleasant sensation it creates. Alternatively, installing a physical barrier like a chicken wire at the base of the fence can physically prevent digging. 

Burying the wire a few inches below the surface can provide an effective barrier against even the most persistent diggers. It supports efforts to stop dogs from digging under the fence.

photo - a dog digging sand under the fence

By combining these behavioural and practical approaches, you can effectively find an answer to the question of how to stop a dog from digging under a fence. Therefore, you are ensuring they stay safe and secure within the bounds of your yard. 

This dual strategy not only manages the immediate problem but also addresses the underlying causes of your dog's behaviour. Therefore, leading to a more permanent solution.

Conclusion: Securing Your Yard and Your Pet's Safety

Understanding and addressing the reasons behind your dog's desire to dig are crucial in finding a lasting solution. By combining behavioural strategies with practical dog-proofing measures, you can ensure your yard is both a safe and enjoyable space for your pet. 

For further peace of mind, consider enhancing your pet’s safety with personalised dog collars from Pet Collars AU. Our collars are not only stylish but come equipped with your pet's name and your contact details, ensuring they are always identifiable. Visit Pet Collars AU today to find the perfect collar or custom harness for your dog and put an end to your worries about their safety outdoors.

Don't let your dog's digging habits keep you from enjoying a beautiful, intact yard. With the right approach, you can curb these behaviours and keep your dog safely within the confines of your loving home.

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