How do I fence my yard for dogs who dig??


I would like to know the best way to fence a yard for medium size dogs who dig? Also, how do I make gates they can't get under? I habe horses on the other side.

  5 answers
  • Candice Gollam Candice Gollam on Aug 05, 2018

    This is on the humane society page.

    Here is the link link and below that is what they recommend.


    Dogs may try to escape to get to something, to get somewhere or to get away from something. Your dog may be digging to escape if they dig under or along a fence.What to do

    Figure out why your dog is trying to escape and remove those incentives. Make sure their environment is a safe, appealing place for a dog.

    To keep your dog in your yard:

    • Bury chicken wire at the base of the fence. Be sure to roll the sharp edges away from your yard.
    • Place large rocks, partially buried, along the bottom of the fence line.
    • Bury the bottom of the fence 1 to 2 feet below the surface.
    • Place chain-link fencing on the ground (anchored to the bottom of the fence) to make it uncomfortable for your dog to walk near the fence.
    • For more detailed advice, read our instructions for keeping out burrowing wildlife.
    • Work with your dog on behavior modification to stop them escape efforts.
    What doesn't work

    Regardless of the reason your dog is digging, don't:

    • Punish your dog after the fact. This won't address the cause of the behavior, and it will worsen any digging that's motivated by fear or anxiety.
    • Stake out your dog near a hole they've dug or fill the hole with water.

    ‘’I love my dog. He is a rescue and had 3 homes before he found me. He likes to take his own walks even though he gets them daily. I call him a “runner”. He would miss me if he got lost and I would just die so I can understand your concerns. I hope that this helps.


    • Jenni Jenni on Aug 05, 2018

      Candice, These are some great tips. My dogs are rescues. I later found out who they belonged to and that he got tired of them running away. I'm can tell by behavior that he spanked them when they came back. It's been a long road to teach them that only good things come from coming home. One is also afraid of feet moving close to him.😔 As you can imagine, horse pastures are very tempting to them, but we can't afford to fence that much property for dogs. So the other side of the fence will always be tempting.😊 Thank you for these great tips!

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 05, 2018

    Hi Jenni,

    Candice is right on with her solutions and recommendations of what to do.

    If dogs are left out to just be dogs, that is what they do when left to themselves. It just comes back to you as their behavior and you are not too happy with that, it creates a mess, an inconvenience, and possible menace to others. The courts are full of animal bite lawsuits.

    Take the time to train your dogs and walk them for exercise, play with them and reward their good behavior. They want to please you.

    • Jenni Jenni on Aug 05, 2018

      Candice had some great suggestions. Frankly, I don't really care if they dig. I just want them to be safe. My animals are my babies!

  • Genie Genie on Aug 05, 2018

    If you have horses like I do, you are probably familiar with electric fencing. You can run a wire about 6" above the ground and about 6 to 12" away from the fence they are trying to dig under. There are also "gates" available that have a spring on them for adjusting to the width. They are easy to connect and disconnect, or you can step over them (if you are not accompanied by a horse). There are solar-operated versions, too. I bought my system years ago from a catalog company called "Jeffers", but you could just Google "electric fence" and see what comes up. Good luck!

    • Kathy Kathy on Aug 05, 2018

      I think an electric fence is cruel especially when you have a dog that has been in so many homes. He needs love and stability, not a shock.

      Get your pups some training. If you can't afford training, give positive reinforcement (a treat) every time you call him and he comes.

  • Jenni Jenni on Aug 05, 2018

    I do appreciate both of your responses. I have chosen not to use electric fences with my animals, but perhaps I can apply your idea of a deterrent inside the fence with some other strategy, so thank you both.

  • Genie Genie on Aug 05, 2018

    Electric fences are humane, in my opinion, because once the animal is shocked once or twice (by their own behavior), they learn very quickly to avoid it, and therefore don't have to have any more problems with it. Furthermore, I have come in contact with them myself, and it is not a strong shock; it just feels sort of "fuzzy".

    That being said, I hope that you can resolve your problem to your satisfaction.

    • Jenni Jenni on Aug 05, 2018

      Hey, I get it. In the animal kingdom they learn by being nipped and cuffed. I'm not judging. Just a personal decision, and I appreciate your feedback.