How to Use Chicken Wire To Stop Dog Digging

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Dig, dig, dig — it's what dogs do, of course, but your prized azaleas shouldn't have to suffer, and if your miner in training actually succeeds at tunneling under a fence, he could escape and become lost. The fix could be white chicken wire, which can be placed atop the ground's surface in order to block your pup's access. You might also succeed in keeping squirrels out of your yard, but know that these nimble creatures can climb high and enter your property from the trees. Still, nothing can truly stop a dog from digging as a habit since it's often part of his natural instincts.


Use chicken wire to stop a dog from digging
Image Credit: sanjagrujic/iStock/GettyImages

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Why dogs love to dig

Before you actually use wire mesh to stop dog digging, it's helpful to understand why this practice is so attractive to your canine pal. Understand what's going on behind this rather annoying habit:

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  • It's fun:​ If you've ever witnessed a dog scooping dirt between her legs, you've seen pure joy. Yep, digging is a great time for your pet, which is why some animals do it a lot.

  • It's in her DNA:​ Some breeds, like terriers, were raised specifically to be diggers to catch prey.

  • She's hunting:​ Your pup could be tracking a mouse under the dirt.

  • Digging can cool:​ Do you have high heat in your area? Dogs sometimes dig a destructive hole in order to find relief in the cooler soil underground.

  • She's looking to leave:​ There are some pets who refuse to be penned up and will dig their way to freedom if given the chance — and this is where chicken wire for dogs will come in handy.

  • There's a bone in there:​ That treat or tasty marrow bone you gave her the other day could be stashed under your tulips, and this is why she's digging so intently.


Preventing dog digging

You can't take the terrier gene out of your dog, but you can work to limit the amount of digging your dog performs. Try these smart tips at your house:

  • Sink your fence:​ If the type of fencing you own can be dug deeper into the ground, these extra few inches might deter your frenetic digger.

  • Fight the mice:​ Rid your yard of mice by raking up leaves, sticks, and apples or other fruit from trees. You should also remove piles of dead wood, as these are prime spots for rodents to nest.

  • Offer a kiddie pool:​ On hot days, fill a small, plastic pool so your pup can soak rather than dig.

  • Play more often:​ Your dog might be excavating your lawn because he's bored to tears. Make a point of walking more, throwing the ball, and offering toys filled with yummy treats, like peanut butter.

  • Designate a dig site:​ If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, or so the saying goes. Build a sand box for your pet to dig in or introduce another area to your pet as his special dig spot.


Chicken wire for dogs

If your dog insists on digging in an area where she shouldn't or where she could possibly free herself, the next step is to install reinforced fencing or chicken wire for dogs in this hot spot. Most of the materials you need can be found at big-box stores or home and garden centers.


To start, cover the area where your pet digs with landscape cloth, stake it tightly to the ground with landscape pins, and then top it with white chicken wire or another color found at your hardware store. To finish, spread a layer of mulch over the wire, covering sharp edges, and then secure the corners with rocks or bricks.