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Originally Posted On: https://fencingstaples.com/digging-dog-fencing-tips-a-cowboys-perspective/
The reality is that dogs dig under fences for a number of reasons. Whether it be from boredom, anxiety or because it sees a squirrel on the other side of the fence that he or she is trying to chase, it is important to keep your pet safe by coming up with a plan on how to make sure your furry escape artist stays in their designated area.
What about Training Your Dog?
When asked how to prevent a dog with digging tendencies from escaping, several factors came to mind. Why not train the dog to not approach a fence line? Well, maybe the dog flunked out
of obedience training and it’s necessary to “up” the security perimeter, I suppose. Ultimately, my own dog is more than welcome to come along with me, whether I’m working or just strolling around the farm or ranch during the course of the day. He is, however, kept chained to his doghouse for the duration of the night. If I lived in a more urban area and wanted my dog to stay close by, while still having the freedom to roam the yard while I was gone, I would need to devise an inventive solution.
Let’s assume this will be closer to town, but not subject to town rules…
In my thought experiment, I came up with a handful of fence types that might be used to contain a dog, but figured that the average person trying to contain a dog in city limits would be dealing with individual city codes, and for that I’m no expert!
So, for the purposes of this question, let’s assume that the jailbird dog is a country mutt of some sort, and that we don’t have to deal with city ordinances. (Full disclaimer: Due to the fact that I exclusively construct fences for agricultural purposes, I do not have any full-time expertise in building fences that can hold dogs. How’s that for a scientific Cowboy reply?)
Fort Knox, but make the neighbors happy with a decorative concrete fence
The first idea that comes to mind for containing a dog that digs its way out of the yard is to construct a fence made of cement all the way around said yard. (This could be about $4-6 a foot, depending on the local contractors and current cost of inflation. By the time you’re reading this, it might be about the same price as 6 gallons of milk! Be sure to research local pricing…)
Because the property owner will see the yard fence on a daily basis, it is important that it be appealing, and considering that the neighbors also have to look at it every day, it ought to please them. I have no doubt in my mind that contented neighbors make excellent neighbors, especially when it keeps their lawns free of “dog debris”! Be sure to ask your wife if she has any design input, as a honey do-over will be pretty expensive, and the darn digging dog will still be on the loose. While this option might ultimately be “overkill,” a cement footer that is deep should be fairly discouraging to any determined digging dog, except a Belgian Malinois. They eat concrete for breakfast and criminals for dessert!
What is a More Affordable Option?
All said and done, I think that the major requirement for this endeavor is a fence made of fence posts supported by a cement footer that is one foot deep and anywhere from eight to twelve inches wide. If it were up to me, the fencing “panel” materials would be either wood slats or chain link. Both of these can be eye-catching and easy to customize with beautiful stains applied to the wood, or the chain link customized with a metal-safe paint. The broad footer offers the possibility of using a lawnmower to trim the grass all the way up to the fence for a more cleanly-maintained appearance.
If you were to use a weed eater, it would not require much additional effort on your part to eliminate the blades that are growing too close to the fence. The most difficult subterranean obstacle for your Gitmo-bailing, bulldozer dog to overcome would be the footer that is wide and deep. The sheer amount of willpower and time that would be necessary to bypass this obstacle would likely be discouraging enough that Fido would move on to check other “loopholes” in the construction.
The only downside to this is that now that you have contained the dog and prevented him from digging to China or the nearest neighbor, he is likely to try his luck in the high jump category. Even still, this is the best advice I can provide you to control digging dogs. We will cover some techniques to contain a prized “jumping dog” in future blogs, so stay tuned!
We hope this helps corral your critters!
Have any questions for Josh the Cat’s Claw Cowboy? Send them to Chava@catsclawfasteners.com and our Head Cat Collector will send them his way! Also be sure to check out our high-quality fence products at Cat’s Claw Fasteners.