Neighbors Dog Digging Under My Fence (This Made It Stop)

Neighbors dog digging under fence

Your neighbor’s dog, Bruno, is as sweet as can be. That is until he starts leaving you little presents in your backyard because he dug a gigantic hole under your fence. Is there a way to prevent a neighbors dog from digging under your fence though?

Stop your neighbor’s dog from digging under your fence by creating a barrier for the dog. This can either be a physical barrier that the dog cannot dig through or a mental barrier by the use of a deterrent spray or an invisible fence.

The main goal is to keep Bruno from entering your yard again but without hurting him. In this blog post, we’ve unpacked all the best ways you can do this by analyzing which barriers are the most effective and which deterrent sprays are safe for dogs. 

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and other stores. This means Yard Blogger may earn a commission if you make a purchase using any of our links. Please refer to our full affiliate disclosure policy for full details.

Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Keeping your neighbor’s dog from digging under your fence can be challenging, especially if the dog is a pro-digger. 

Here are a couple things you can buy right away to stop the dog from digging under your fence:

1. Grannick’s Bitter Apple for Dogs Spray Bottle – Great for spraying under your fence to act as a non-toxic, natural dog repellent.

2. Chicken Wire Net Fencing – Your best defense for creating a barrier that the dog will run into once he starts digging. 

How Do I Keep My Neighbor’s Dog From Digging Under the Fence?

To keep your neighbor’s dog from digging under your fence, you will need to implement some serious deterrents. This can be a physical barrier or a mental one initiated by deterrent sprays that the dog finds unbearable. 

If you want to start slowly, you can create or buy a deterrent spray. These sprays are designed to smell terrible to dogs and since dogs’ main sense is their smell, they will feel no need to go near the area where the spray is. 

A more extreme solution would be to put a chicken wire under your fence that extends into the ground. When Bruno goes to dig in his favorite spot, he will be met with the chicken wire.

Hopefully, he won’t see this as a challenge and keep digging and instead, go find something else to entertain his adventure streak. 

How Do You Dig Proof a Fence

The most effective way to dig-proof a fence is to add an extension to the base of your fence with chicken wire mesh using the L-footer strategy. Chicken wire mesh is strong enough for dogs to not be able to chew or scratch through, making it the ideal material to dig-proof your fence. 

To install a chicken wire fence, use the following steps:

  • Dig a trench under your fence 12 inches deep and 6 inches wide.
  • Cut the chicken wire into 6-foot long sections.
  • For each section, attach the chicken wire to your fence using either zip ties or staples, depending on your type of fence.
  • Fold the bottom of the chicken wire, that is at the bottom of the trench, into an L-shape facing the L towards you.
  • Place rocks on top of the wire to keep it secure.
  • Fill the trench back in.
  • The dog will now have to dig extra far under the fence, then up, then it will be faced with a barrier it can not even climb through. 

You might also enjoy our post on How to Stop Animals From Digging Holes in Your Yard

How To Prevent Dogs From Digging Under Chain Link Fence

To prevent dogs from digging under a chain-link fence, you can either create a physical barrier underneath the already existing fence or use a deterrent spray that will keep the dog in question away from the whole area.

To create a physical barrier, you can use chicken wire mesh to extend the fence into the ground, eliminating the gap under the fence where the dog crawls through.

  • Use zip ties to attach the mesh to the fence. You can either dig into the ground under the fence and bury the chicken mesh or you can create an L-shape with the mesh and have the mesh run on top of the ground.
  • To secure the mesh, place rocks on top of it. 

If you don’t want to go that route, you can create a deterrent spray or purchase one.

A deterrent spray is a cocktail of ingredients diluted with water that repels the dog from approaching an area because the smell is just so disgusting or too strong for them, such as peppermint.

Spray this mixture underneath your fence as often as you need to. 

Chain Link Fence Bottom Guard

A chain-link fence bottom guard is a barrier that you can attach to the bottom of your fence to prevent animals from digging under your fence, ultimately allowing them into your yard. 

It is made of galvanized metal that you secure to the bottom of your fence. The bottom of the guard then sticks through the ground, creating a much more difficult barrier to dig and crawl under.

The dog would have to create a serious hole to get under the guard. And, since they don’t see a gap to begin with, they may not even try to get underneath it. 

How To Keep Dog From Digging Under Vinyl Fence

To keep a dog from digging under a vinyl fence, there are a few options. They all involve digging a trench under the fence, and then filling that trench in. This creates a physical barrier that the dog will hit when it is digging. Eventually, the dog will learn that digging under the fence will get it nowhere and they will find somewhere else to dig.

You can fill the trench in with chicken wire, concrete, or rocks. The top of the chicken wire can be attached to the base of the fence and then the other side of the chicken wire should face away from the side that the dog is digging on to protect its paws.

You will have to place the chicken wire in an L-shape when it is in the trench. Then fill the trench back in. You can also fill a trench in with either concrete or rocks and boulders then place a layer of grass on top.

This will prevent the dog completely from digging. 

Does Chicken Wire Stop Dogs From Digging?

Chicken wire is a very effective way to stop dogs from digging under your fence. It may not stop them from digging at first, but once they realize they have dug as much as they can and they still can’t get to where they are trying to go, they will eventually learn that digging under your fence will not get them anywhere. The digging disaster will then only be your neighbor’s problem and not yours. 

When you install a chicken wire to the base of your fence, it eradicates the gap under your fence that entices your dog to sneak under. When they see that gap, they see an opportunity.

So, getting rid of the gap by filling it in with chicken wire, will eventually teach the dog that there is no way they can get through that barrier. 

How Can I Keep My Neighbor’s Dog Out of My Yard?

To keep your neighbor’s dog out of your yard, you should first discuss with your neighbors what is happening. They may be unaware of the situation. If they are aware of the situation and don’t plan on doing anything, you can set up physical barriers under your fence or spray deterrent spray around the perimeter of the fence. 

In the best case scenario, your neighbors will be apologetic about their sweet Bruno dropping you off presents every day. But, sometimes we aren’t so fortunate to have such kind neighbors.

If you are caught in this scenario, you can create a physical barrier under the fence to keep Bruno where he belongs. Dig a hole under your fence and pour concrete into the hole.

Bruno may dig to the concrete, but at least he won’t be able to Houdini his way through it. You can also place large rocks in the hole if you don’t feel like buying concrete.

You may be able to find the rocks in your property or the surrounding area to save you money.

How Do I Keep My Neighbor’s Dog From Pooping in My Yard?

To keep your neighbor’s dog from pooping in your yard, you will have to keep the dog out of your yard first. Find out where the dog is entering your yard and then plan a way to deter the dog from using that route again. 

This type of deterrent can be a spray filled with ungodly smells, according to a dog, or a physical barrier, likely under an already installed fence. You can purchase or make your own deterrent sprays.

Spray the cocktail of smells along the perimeter of the fence, especially where sweet Bruno loves to dig the most.

Imagine what you do when you smell a skunk, Bruno will act the same- run as fast as he can in the other direction. 

Since we’re on the topic, check out our blog post about how you can get your neighbor’s dog from peeing in your yard

You might also enjoy our post on Can a Utility Company Dig in My Yard Without Permission?

How Do You Stop a Dog From Digging in the Same Spot?

To stop a dog from digging in the same spot, you will have to use a tactic that essentially discourages the dog from that specific spot. You can use a spray deterrent, either something that smells or produces a loud noise, or a physical barrier. The dog will eventually develop learned behaviors and remember that spot is not meant for digging. 

A spray deterrent can be a cocktail of liquids that smells as bad as hot garbage, but in a dog’s world- hot garbage might smell bad to us humans, but to sweet Bruno, a field of roses.

Or, you could use a motion detecting pet repellent. When Bruno is at least three feet away from the repellent, it will release a quick and loud spray that will scare Bruno off. 

If you want to go more extreme, you can create a barrier where the dog is digging.

Say Bruno is digging a hole in the same spot under your fence;

  • You can fill that hole in with either concrete or large rocks
  • Or you can attach a chicken fence to the bottom of the original fence and then fill the ground in around it.
  • Your neighbor’s dog will eventually learn that his once favorite digging hole to freedom only leads to a dead end. 

How Do You Dig-Proof a Fence?

To dig-proof a fence, you will have to attach a barrier to the base of your already existing fence. This barrier can be in the form of chicken wire, hardware cloth, or a piece of chain-link fence. The dog will eventually learn that no matter how much he digs, he can’t get through the barrier.

You can either dig a hole and place the barrier from the base of the fence deep into the ground or you can create something called an L-footer.

An L-footer is created by placing the barrier 90 degrees from the base of the fence, on top of the ground. When the dog digs under the fence, it won’t be able to squeeze through since it will hit its head on the fence on the other side.

The dog will be forced to keep digging forward or retreat, the latter being most likely. 

How To Keep Animals From Digging Under Fence

To keep animals from digging under your fence, you will have to create something that will deter them in the future. This can be a physical barrier or a deterring spray that will eventually correct their bad behavior. 

Dogs learn like most of us, through experience and lessons.

If you create a barrier under your fence or spray a cocktail of ingredients that repel them, they will eventually learn that digging under your fence is not fun anymore, and they will find something else to entertain themselves with. 

​​How To Block Under Fence

The most effective way to block something from going under your fence is to create a blockade perpendicular to the base of the fence. A few options include attaching a horizontal board to your fence, creating an L-shaped footer using wired mesh, or laying out rocks or boulders beside the fence. 

Since it is difficult to prevent a dog from digging, given their natural digging habits, creating a barrier for them to get through once they’ve dug to China is a worthwhile way to keep them out of your yard. 

By creating a barrier that is perpendicular to your fence, sweet Bruno may dig under his side of the fence, but once he gets to your side, he will have nowhere to go except backward.

You can create this barrier by using boards, welded wire mesh, or rocks and boulders. 

Stop Dog Digging Under Fence

To stop a dog from digging under your fence, you can implement two different strategies. The first one is to use a deterrent spray along the perimeter of the fence, especially where the dog enjoys digging. Secondly, you can build a barrier to reinforce the purpose of the fence. 

The deterrent spray will discourage the dog from coming close to the fence since the smell will be so repulsive. Use the spray in the morning and the night to keep the smell strong.

Another option is to create a barrier at the base of your fence either deeper into the ground or perpendicular to the fence.

A barrier perpendicular to the ground is most effective because once the dog digs under the fence, he will be met by the physical barrier once he tries to squeeze under.

The dog will become confused and retreat back under the fence. 

You might also enjoy our post on How to Fix a Muddy Backyard Dog Trail

Spikes To Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fence

Spike fences are an ideal way to keep dogs from digging under your fence and they are not as scary as they sound! They are simply a galvanized fence that goes beside your existing fence and spikes into the soil to essentially extend your fence and eliminate the gap. 

This spike fence, appropriately called the Dig Defense, will give you a better idea of what they look like. They are a great way to extend your fence after you have already installed one.

Because let’s admit, we don’t always consider the curious digging dog next door when you’re putting up your white picket fence.  

Chicken Wire Fence Dog Digging

Chicken wire is an effective way to close the gap under a fence to keep your neighbor’s dog from entering your yard. The chicken wire will attach to the base of your already existing fence and extend into the soil. This will make a quick dig much more difficult for a dog. 

Follow these steps to successfully install a chicken wire fence onto your existing fence:

  1. Dig a trench under your fence 12 inches deep and 6 inches wide.
  2. Cut the chicken wire into 6-foot long sections.
  3. For each section, attach the chicken wire to your fence using either zip ties or staples, depending on your type of fence.
  4. Fold the bottom of the chicken wire, that is at the bottom of the trench, into an L-shape facing the L towards you. 
  5. Place rocks on top of the wire to keep it secure.
  6. Fill the trench back in. 

Cheap Ways To Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fence

One of the cheapest ways to keep dogs from digging under your fence is to create a DIY dog deterrent spray. You can use this spray directly under your fence and when the dog approaches, it will be quickly turned off from the strong scent of the smell that it will walk away. 

To make a DIY dog deterrent spray, fill a clean spray bottle up with water, leaving about three inches from the top. Fill the rest of the bottle with vinegar or with essential oils, if you have any.

NOTE: Research your essential oil first to ensure it is not toxic to dogs. Once the ingredients are mixed, spray this mixture directly under your fence and a little bit on the other side if you can. 

What To Put Out To Keep Dogs From Digging?

If you’re struggling with a dog that keeps digging its way into your property, you will have to use a strategy that discourages the dog from digging in the first place. This can be a deterring spray of a cocktail of scents or a motion-detecting spray that emits a loud noise, or even a sprinkler system.

Certain smells can really discourage a dog from approaching an area. You can either create a spray including those scents or you can use physical forms of the scent, such as citrus peels, cayenne, or vinegar. 

You can also use motion-detecting aerosol sprays if there is a particular spot the dog likes to dig.

Once the dog is three feet away from the spray, it will emit a loud noise through an aerosol spritz that will scare the dog and hopefully deter the dog from approaching that area again. 

However, this strategy may require you to purchase a lot of aerosol sprays. A strategy that makes more sense is a motion-sensing sprinkler system, but only if you already have a sprinkler system in place.

You can adjust the sprinkler system to turn on every time the dog comes into range. 

You might also enjoy our post on How to Stop the Neighbors Dog From Peeing in My Yard

Spray To Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fence

Deterrent sprays are a cost-effective way to keep dogs from digging under your fence. You can even make one from ingredients that you likely already have in your house. Or, you can purchase one online or from your local pet shop.

When creating or shopping for a spray, it’s important to research the ingredients to make sure they are not toxic to dogs. Once you have done that, spray the mixture underneath your fence.

The smell will be so strong or repulsive to the dog that they will avoid the area in general. They may be curious about the smell at first, but once they get closer, the smell will be too strong for them to withstand. 

What Is Dog Repellent Spray?

Dog repellent spray is a concoction of ingredients that smell and taste terrible to dogs but do not harm them. They are used to keep a dog away from a certain area. You can either purchase a dog repellent spray or create your own. 

The repellent spray is a helpful aid to correct a dog’s bad behavior. The spray discourages the dog from approaching an area where the spray is because of the strong, unpleasant scent.

However, the scent is usually pleasant to a human, such as a citronella. 

What Is a Good Dog Repellent?

The best dog repellents are natural ingredients that smell and taste terrible to dogs but are not poisonous or harmful in any way to the dog. Some of the best natural dog repellents are chili peppers, ammonia, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and citrus smells. 

You can soak cotton balls with the ingredient of your choice and place them in the area where you are trying to get a dog not to visit.

If you place the ingredient directly on your yard, for example, it may have a negative effect on your grass. 

You can also use a motion sensor dog repellent to save time and money like the Ultrasonic Dog Chaser

How Do You Make a Deterrent Spray for Dogs?

To make a deterrent spray for dogs, fill a spray bottle with water leaving around three inches of room. Add two tablespoons of your desired ingredient, such as vinegar or apple cider vinegar, plus 30 drops of your chosen essential oil, citrus scents being the most effective. 

Spray this cocktail in the area where you are trying to get a dog to avoid. If you are worried about the spray being harmful, double-check if any of the ingredients you are using are poisonous to dogs.

However, the dog will not be ingesting any of the ingredients enough to cause them harm, since it is so diluted in water and it’s also being sprayed, which disperses the liquid.

What Is the Best Homemade Dog Repellent?

The best homemade dog repellent is a concoction that uses citronella oil. Dogs hate the smell of citronella, and it is used by many dog trainers to aid in the correction of bad behaviors. However, citronella oil can be poisonous to dogs in large amounts so use only very small amounts diluted with a lot of water. 

To make this most effective dog repellent, fill a clean spray bottle with water then add 30 drops of citronella oil.

You can spray this at the bottom of your fence if you are trying to keep your neighbor’s dog away from your yard. Citronella oil is a completely natural oil so it will not affect the health of your grass. 

What Smell Do Dogs Hate To Stop Digging?

Using scents that dogs hate is a great way to get a dog from digging into your yard. The following substances are known to get a dog to crinkle their nose: citronella oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard oil, citrus, garlic, and chili pepper, coffee grounds, black pepper, essential oils, cayenne pepper, vinegar and lime, ammonia, and rubbing alcohol. 

If you use any of these scents in a deterring spray, your chances of getting sweet Bruno to mind his own business will be much higher.

When creating a spray, be sure to use only limited amounts of these scents, about 30 drops or 3 teaspoons, to dilute the substances so they are not harmful to the dog. 

Do Dogs Hate Essential Oils?

Certain essential oils repulse dogs which makes essential oils effective ingredients for dog repellent sprays. However, it is important to dilute essential oils in water and only use limited amounts (about 30 drops) to not cause any harm to the dog.

The most effective essential oil is citronella oil. For whatever reason, this scent causes dogs to run for the hills.

Once they smell citronella oil, they won’t care to know if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Other non-toxic essential oils you can use are cinnamon, eucalyptus, and mint. 

Do Dogs Hate the Smell of Bleach?

Dogs do hate the smell of bleach but, even so, bleach should not be used to deter dogs from an area since bleach can be very toxic to dogs. The smell is so strong, even when diluted, that it can damage a dog’s olfactory senses making them nose blind.

If you want to create a dog repellent spray, be sure to make one out of natural ingredients that are non-toxic to dogs. While you want to keep a dog away from your yard, you don’t want to harm the dog.

You may be held liable if you end up harming sweet Bruno. 

Do Dogs Hate the Smell of Peppermint?

Peppermint is one of the most hated scents by dogs, thus, one of the most effective scents to make a deterrent spray with. To make a deterrent spray with peppermint oil, fill a clean spray bottle with water and use about 30 drops of peppermint oil to the water. Use this spray in any area you are trying to get a dog to avoid. 

We all know how strong a scent peppermint is to humans. To give you an idea of how strong it is to a dog consider the number of olfactory senses we both have.

Humans possess about six million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about 300 million in dogs. That’s one stinky difference. 

You might also enjoy our post on How to Clean Dog Paws After a Walk

What Repels Dogs From Digging

The most effective ingredient to repel dogs from digging are any substances that have strong smells. Dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans, so any substance that smells strong to us will smell 100 times more strongly to a dog. Creating a spray using these substances and spraying it where the dog is digging, will discourage them from digging there.

Apart from essential oils, some substances work great to deter dogs from their favorite digging spots. This includes chili powders, cayenne pepper, vinegar, and coffee grounds.

You should dissolve all of these ingredients in water in order to protect the dog’s health in case they ingest it, apart from coffee grounds which aren’t toxic at all to dogs. 

Does Chili Powder Stop Dogs From Digging?

Chili powder is an effective way to stop dogs from digging. The smell alone will discourage a dog from even getting close to the area. If they dare to lick the chili powder, or worse, sniff it, it will likely be the last time they try that. 

Chili powder possesses a very strong scent to dogs. To keep dogs from digging holes, you can sprinkle chili powder in their favorite spot or mix the powder with water to make a spray.

Considering the health of the dog, using a chili powder spray may be the ideal way to deter the dog. Once the chili powder is diluted with water, it won’t pose such a risk of the dog directly eating or sniffing the chili powder. 

Will Cayenne Pepper Hurt a Dog?

Cayenne pepper may not be harmful to a dog but it could cause irritation to a dog’s nose or eyes. If a dog directly sniffs and inhales cayenne pepper, they will be under great discomfort. The cayenne pepper can also irritate a dog’s eyes if they step in the cayenne pepper and then later rub their paws in their eyes. 

To avoid harming a dog but still repelling them from an area, you can create a cayenne pepper spray. To do this, fill a clean spray bottle up with water and then mix about one tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder.

The dog will still be able to smell the cayenne pepper but the chance of it directly ingesting or snorting the pepper is less likely.

Will Vinegar Stop a Dog From Digging?

Vinegar smells terrible to dogs making it a great repellent to keep dogs away from your lawn. To do this mix one part of vinegar with one part of water into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture around the area where you are trying to get the dog to avoid. 

Sweet Bruno will get an unexpected whiff of this vinegar next time he tries to come over for your yard and will run the other way. Although this mixture may not be the ultimate cure, it is still worth trying.

Some dogs are die-hard diggers and will withstand even the stinkiest of scents, but again, it doesn’t hurt to try. 

Is Vinegar Toxic to Dogs?

Large amounts of vinegar can cause gastrointestinal disturbances to dogs, the same as it can to humans. But small amounts of vinegar will not cause any harm to a dog, especially if you dilute the vinegar in water.

Vinegar is actually a great way to repel dogs if you are trying to keep a dog away from your yard. You can mix one part vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle and spray the mixture in whichever area you are trying to get the dog to avoid. 

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Repel Dogs?

Apple cider vinegar is a great, all-natural ingredient to repel dogs. The smell of apple cider vinegar is offensive enough to dogs, let alone the terribly sour taste if they are brave enough to lick it. You can combine one part apple cider vinegar with five parts water to create an easy DIY dog repellent spray.

Ah, apple cider vinegar. Just when you thought of all the ways it can be used, there is yet another use, for a dog repellant spray.

Spraying a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water around an area that you are trying to keep dogs away from, will certainly do the trick. 

Do Coffee Grounds Deter Dogs?

Coffee grounds are one of the most effective and safest ways to deter a dog without harming them. Dogs detest anything that tastes bitter, and since coffee is bitter to humans, I’m sure you can imagine how bitter it tastes to dogs. 

Simply sprinkling either fresh or used coffee grounds around your fence will have those unwanted dogs searching for another yard to explore. You can sprinkle coffee grounds as often as you need to.

They are great because they naturally blend in with your yard, look like soil, and even promote the growth of grass.

Related Questions

Do Invisible Fences Work?

The efficacy of invisible fences is, well, on the fence. They used to be very popular but throughout the years, they have been found to be only 70% effective. Of course, this all depends on the strength of your dog. 

Invisible fences tend to work well for smaller dogs who like to spend their time outside. But for larger dogs who are able to dig a lot or jump over the fence, invisible fences don’t tend to work very well.

The larger dog is also able to withstand the shock if the reward is worth it, which results in them getting used to the shock and overpowering the system. 

Why Is My Dog Digging Under the Fence?

There are several reasons why your dog may be digging under your fence. The most common being that they are simply bored and digging holes entertains them, they are hunting for prey, they are looking for attention, or they are trying to escape your yard. 

A great way to keep your dog from digging under your fence is to divert them to a designated digging spot. Dogs like to dig, naturally. Ever taken your dog to the beach?

As soon as they don’t get attention for two seconds, they start digging to China.

Having a designated digging spot, for example, a sandbox will provide them with the entertainment they need and stop focusing on anything outside of your yard.

What Can I Put On the Bottom of My Fence To Keep My Dog In?

Chicken wire is one of the most effective apparatuses you can put on the bottom of your fence to keep your dog in your yard. The chicken wire will create a barrier that your dog will face as soon as it starts digging in its usual spot. It may not prevent the dog from digging, but it will prevent the dog from escaping. 

The easiest way to install chicken wire to your fence is to create an L-footer. To do this, attach the top of the chicken wire to your fence with either zip tags or a staple gun.

Run the chicken wire to the ground, filling in the gap underneath your fence, and then run the wire on top of the ground. Secure the chicken wire with rocks or boulders.

Your dog will now have to dig under the chicken wire all the way under the fence, which is much more difficult than simply digging under the gap of the fence. 

Final Thoughts

By now you should have many ideas running through your head to keep your neighbor’s dog out of your yard.

Try to find solutions around your house, such as DIY repellants you can make, to use first before you go out and buy concrete or chicken wire.

A simple spray of some disgusting scents (to dogs) may be just enough to keep sweet Bruno’s gifts to himself. Or someone else’s yard. 

Can My Neighbor Record My Backyard?
Can My Neighbor Record My Backyard?

Similar Posts