What Can I Put at the Bottom of My Fence to Keep My Dog In?

Dog’s are a lot smarter than they seem. Any long-time dog owner knows that for certain. Not only are they smart, but they’re curious creatures as well. This combination can often lead to them becoming professional escape artists when they really want to see what’s on the other side of the fence. Unfortunately, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

So what can you put at the bottom of your fence to keep your dog in? Well, there are a number of ways you can augment your fence to make sure your dog or dogs do not escape. Chicken wire, more chain link fence, hardware cloth, and concrete are all solid options. There are a number of great ways to keep your dog in the yard where it belongs. 

So which are the most effective ways of keeping your dog in the yard? Are there non-fence options for making sure your pup stays where you need it to? 

How can you stop your dog from digging underneath? Read on to find out more about what you can put at the bottom of your fence to keep your dog in, and other ways to keep your dog in the yard as well. 

What is an L footer?

In order to stop your dog from digging beneath your fence and escaping, the most effective solution is a physical barrier. You’ll want to put some sort of material on the bottom of your fence that goes underneath and extends perpendicularly. This will make it extremely difficult and many times impossible for your dog to get underneath. 

There are a number of different materials you can use to construct an L footer that will effectively stop a dog from digging beneath your fence. 

Chicken wire L footer

Chicken sire is a thin mesh netting used to keep animals confined in a certain area. It is relatively cheap, flexible, and easy to build with, which makes it an attractive option. Although some of the most determined diggers may be able to tear through it, it will work well for most dogs, especially if your L footer is well constructed and placed deep enough. 

Chain link fence L footer

For a similar option to chicken wire, though a bit tougher, you can use a chain-link fence. Adding an extension of chain link to the bottom of your fence will make it basically impossible for any dog to dig through. 

The only way to get past this one is to dig underneath. Though still possible, this will be a lot more difficult and take a lot of work from your dog. 

Hardware cloth L footer

Hardware cloth is another material you can use for constructing an L footer beneath your fence. Hardware cloth is a wire mesh, tighter than even chicken wire, usually made of steel. Although flexible, this material is very tough and hard to tear through. It may not be as durable as a chain-link fence, but it is easier to manipulate and build with, and is cheaper as well. 

Drive Tent Stakes

If you aren’t sure you want to use an L footer, you may be able to use drive tent stakes to keep your dog inside of the fence. In order to do this, you’ll need to drive your spikes very deep into the ground.

Dogs love to dig and they dig a lot, so two or three feet is the recommended depth. Make sure they are close enough together that your dog can’t squeeze through. Place them on a diagonal so that it is more difficult for your dog to get underneath or dig around them. 

Citrus peels

If you are looking for less of a physical barrier, and more of a deterrent, citrus peels may be a good option for you. Many owners claim that dogs hate the smell of citrus, so citrus peels decomposing beneath the fence can keep them away as well as any physical barrier, many say. 

Vinegar

Similar to citrus peels, dogs do not like the smell of vinegar. Create a solution that is half water and half vinegar, and spray it all over the base of your fence. Although this probably shouldn’t be your only solution, it can certainly help keep your dog from digging around the area for too long. 

Concrete Base

If you truly want to make it impossible for your dog to dig beneath your fence, pouring a concrete bass for your fence to sit inside of is the most secure option you have. Although a little extreme and perhaps slightly more work (and money), a concrete base will stop even the most determined dogs from getting beneath your fence. 

Make sure the bottom of the fence is sunk well into the concrete so that when it hardens, there is no way the dog can squeeze underneath or between, or rip the fence out of the concrete either. 

Blocking their view

Many dogs venture outside of the fence because something has caught their eye on the outside. This is often the case with especially curious breeds or breeds that see themselves as guard dogs. 

In order to stop this, install some plastic slats between the holes in your fence. This will make it so your dog cannot see outside, eliminating many of the reasons your dog might try to bolt. 

Invisible fences

Although they are controversial, invisible fences such as electric shock collar fences are quite reliable. This is a choice best left to individual owners, but just know that the option is there. 

Coyote rollers 

If your dog is jumping over your fence instead of climbing underneath, coyote rollers might be the perfect solution for you. Coyote rollers are extensions on the top of your fence that make it much more difficult for it to be climbed, do to the way they slope inwards.

If your dog is managing to jump over the fence instead of climb under (or your dog is getting out and you can’t find holes), perhaps installing coyote rollers would be a good idea.