How to Stop Your Dog Digging Under the Fence
It can be an absolute mystery to us how dogs escape out of the garden sometimes. Their abilities are incredible and it can often take a while before their owners notice how they are getting out. One common method is tunnelling or digging under the fence. This can be dangerous for the dog as they can make their way out to a busy and unfamiliar road and damage themselves. It can also be dangerous for kids or others depending on the breed and temperament of the dog. So how can we stop this kind of behaviour from our dogs? Here are a few tips to stop your dog digging under the fence.
A very basic way to stop your dog getting out under the fence is to make it unpleasant for them. A little bit of chicken wire running along the base of the fence is sure to stop them as it will hurt their paws when they try to scrape against it. Another way is to give the dog a collar that emits an unpleasant smell when they go too close to the fence – citronella collars are available for this. Shock collars work as well, but are not recommended as they hurt and scare the dog.
These ways are all well and good, but do not address the root cause of the problem of your dog digging under the fence. For real and lasting results, you need to attempt to understand why your dog is acting the way he is. Dogs enjoy digging, and often do it when they are bored. So especially if you are away all day, the dog is likely to want to get out his excess energy in some other way. This can often be digging holes, and getting out under the fence is a great adventure for your dog.
To solve this problem, you should reward good behaviour in the dog and staying away from the fence. Give them treats and affection to try and have them associate positive things with staying in the garden. You should also try and make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Since boredom and excess energy can be the cause of so much of this digging, it is important that they have enough space to move around in during the day and get a chance to go for a walk every day.
Lastly, you should practice obedience training with your dog. If the dog is used to coming to you when called, they are unlikely to try to escape even when you are away, and if they do, will be easy to retrieve. You can also use the come command to stop your dog digging under the fence when you see it happening. To develop this command, start calling them to come at every meal time, standing at their bowl. This will have them associate the command to come with food, and eventually they will come every time, regardless of whether there is food not In the long term, these approaches are far superior to physical measures of stopping your dog digging under the fence.