Why Does My Dog Insist on Digging their Way Out of the Garden?

Why Does My Dog Insist on Digging their Way Out of the Garden?

Life As A Pet Parent

Some dogs just can’t resist the lure of digging their way out of a garden and will religiously do so every time they are left out there on their own. But why do some of our four-legged friends insist on becoming expert escape artists even though they are in a loving, caring environment where they are extremely well looked after? The answers are quite diverse and intriguing!

Digging or Escaping?

The first thing you need to establish is whether in fact your dog just loves digging up the lawn and your flower beds rather than actually trying to escape out of the garden. Most terrier breeds just cannot contain themselves when it comes to digging holes and will do so on the pretext of chasing down a rodent or two. However, if your pooch always insists on digging under the fence in various places, then quite obviously they are doing so with the end goal being to get out of the garden.

It could be they want to chase something they've caught wind of or it could be they boast high prey drives and just feel the need to find something to chase down. Un-neutered dogs are notorious for digging or jumping their way out of a garden to go off in search of a mate. However, an un-spayed female could just decide to dig her way out when she is in season too.

Dogs with too Much Energy

If a dog has a lot of energy to get rid of and they don't get enough daily exercise, they will find ways of amusing themselves which includes digging their way out of a garden to go in search of a bit of excitement. It's a common mistake to let a dog out into a back garden thinking they will exercise themselves when in fact they need to be taken on an exciting and thrilling walk to expend all that pent up energy. Walks also stimulate a dog's mind because of all the new scents they pick up as they go along. They find all these “messages” quite intriguing and like to know what may be at the end of them.

If you share your home with a high energy dog, you have to be prepared to take them out for lots of walks and to play loads of interactive games with them so you get to tire them out. If you don't, your beloved pooch may decide to dig their way out of the garden to go in search of some excitement and interaction they may not be receiving from you. The rule of thumb with our canine companions is that a tired dog tends to be a better behaved one!

The Boredom Factor

A bored dog can turn into a naughty dog and one that develops lots of unwanted behavioural problems which includes becoming a master at escaping out of the garden. Dogs need to have lots of mental stimulation to keep them happy and content. Without it, they are more likely to start digging in the garden and may one day discover that by digging under the fence they can get out in the big wide world of scents with lots of new things to explore.

You need to make sure your pooch is kept busy by providing them with lots of interesting things to do in the garden when they are out there. It's also a good idea to rotate your pet's toys regularly so they don't get bored with playing with the same ones day in and day out.

Making a Back Garden More Secure

Naturally, you need to ensure your back garden is as secure and as dog proof as possible. You need to reinforce any areas of a fence your dog likes to try and escape out of. You might need to think about placing heavy rocks at the base of the fence to prevent them from digging under it. The other option is to dig some wire into the ground under the fence to a depth of about two feet which is another way of preventing your pooch from escaping. The problem is that if your beloved four-legged friend is determined enough, they will succeed in digging their way out under a fence so you may need to think about another solution which could be to build a low wall and then have a fence erected on top of it.


Some dogs are masters when it comes to digging their way out of a garden and can do so surprisingly quickly. There are lots of reasons why a dog might feel the need to escape, but usually it’s because they are bored and have a ton of energy to get rid of. It’s a mistake to think a dog will exercise themselves in a back garden because the chances are they will want to be on the other side of the fence exploring new smells than chasing around an area they know by heart. Taking a dog out for interesting daily walks will help tire them out so that when you do let them out for a short time in the garden, they won’t try digging their way out!



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