Huskies are like giant mole rats. They have an affinity for digging whenever they got the chance to. Whether it’s your fence, flower bed, vegetable patch, or simply an empty lawn – it’s not fully safe from your fluffy digger. Specifically, Huskies like excavating under fences to escape and roam around. In this case, knowing how to stop Husky from digging under fence should be every owner’s priority.
Understanding your Husky’s digging habits is the start of curbing the behavior. You should never punish your doggo for doing so since it will only make the problem worse. Instead, you should read on to understand the digging behavior and what you can do to stop it.
Why does my Husky like digging?
Huskies dig for a variety of reasons. After all, it’s a behavior observed in almost every dog breed, including Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Airedale Terrier, and Alaskan Malamute.
If you’re wondering why your pet is excavating holes under your fence, the following might explain why:
1. Your Husky is bored.
The most common reason why Huskies dig under the fence is boredom. As an active breed, Huskies need ample physical and mental stimulation. If their owners don’t provide this, Huskies will vent their energy on various activities, including digging.
Remember that Huskies are athletic canines that are bred to pull sleds and run. They have an intense energy that needs to be drained or they will become destructive and noisy.
Understimulated Huskies will grow more bored by the day. If your Husky is starting to dig, you should take it as a sign to reassess its activities and exercise needs.
Also, if you can’t provide time and effort in meeting this breed’s needs, you shouldn’t get it in the first place. Huskies aren’t lap dogs or couch potatoes. They are high-energy canines that need an owner who can keep up with their personality.
2. Your Husky is seeing something outside.
If you have a fence that allows your Husky to see outside, the digging might be due to their predatory instincts. Your Husky probably saw a squirrel or another stray animal that it wants to chase.
Take note that Huskies have strong predatory instincts. If not trained well, your dog will dig frantically under the fence just to escape and go after its target.
This is harmful not just to the prey, but also to your dog. If your Husky managed to dig under the fence and escape, it can get lost around the neighborhood. In some cases, the dog can be stolen.
This digging is common for those who have chain-link fences or other types with slits on them where Huskies can peek.
3. Your Husky is burying its prized possessions.
Huskies exhibit a behavior called ‘caching’. It’s a common habit wherein dogs bury their toys, food, and other possessions on the ground. This is an instinct that Huskies trace back to their wild ancestors. In the wild, dogs would bury leftover food for them to unearth and consume later. By doing this, other animals won’t find their stash.
Even in a domesticated setting, your dog can still do this. However, some Huskies may also bury random items in the house like remote controllers, slippers, or small clothing pieces.
4. Your Husky is feeling warm.
Huskies are bred to be sled dogs in freezing conditions. So during summer, they can easily get too hot. And to ease their discomfort, your Husky will dig a hole in your yard to access cooler soil underneath. After digging, your Husky will curl inside the hole.
If your Husky does this, you should help it cool down. This is to prevent the risk of overheating, especially on very hot days. Again, Huskies are sled dogs and they are very sensitive to intense heat.
5. Your Husky is trying to escape.
Lastly, digging under the fence might be your Husky’s way of escaping. This is common among dogs, especially when they are experiencing intense stress or fear.
For example, when there are loud sounds like fireworks, your Husky will get extremely frightened. It will dig and escape in an effort to get away from the loud noise.
In other cases, Huskies will dig and escape if they are neglected and abused in their home.
How to stop Husky from digging under fence
Is your Husky obsessed with digging under your fence? If so, here are easy solutions you can try:
1. Give your Husky more exercise
Boredom is one of the reasons why Huskies dig under fences and all over the yard. To prevent this from happening, you need to increase your pet’s physical exercise.
By doing this, your dog won’t have energy left to direct into digging. It would prefer to sleep or lounge indoors to rest instead of targeting your fence.
You can do this by scheduling longer walks around the neighborhood. If the weather doesn’t permit that, you can play with your Husky indoors to drain its excess energy.
Take note that aside from physical exercise, you should also focus on mental stimulation. As working dogs, Huskies love performing tasks that challenge their mind. At home, this can be as easy as playing fetch, setting up sniff mats, installing tether tugs, or creating an agility course in your yard.
Aside from that, you can give your Husky interactive toys. This will help take the dog’s mind off digging under your fence. For this to be effective, you should cycle different toys each day, so your Husky won’t grow tired of it.
Anything that can distract and occupy your Husky mind is a big help in curbing its digging habit.
2. Make your fence dig-proof
Making your fence dig-proof is an effective way in stopping your digging habits. You can do this by creating a barrier underneath the fence that will block your dog.
For this part, you need a stretch of landscape cloth, chicken wire, and stakes. Once you have the materials, dig three to four inches of dirt on the part of the fence where your Husky likes to excavate.
Next, lay landscape cloth and stake it tightly on the ground. On top of that, you’ll place a layer of chicken wire. Make sure that you stake this as well snugly. Once done, cover it with soil and add top with it large rocks.
The rocks will be the first line of defense against your Husky’s digging. In case your Husky found a way to remove it, the chicken wire will ensure that the digging won’t prosper. It’s because the texture of chicken wire is irritating on a canine’s foot pad.
Those who are planning to install a chain-link fence can do the same method. Simply fold around 10 inches of the fence flat to the ground then bury it. This will make it impossible for your Husky to dig deeper and escape.
3. Utilize safe repellents
If you don’t have the resources and energy to perform changes around your fences, repellents would be the second-best solution. Here, you can use your Husky’s strong sense of smell against itself.
Before digging, dogs sniff the ground first. And if you put a stinky repellent on it, they won’t proceed with their “excavation mission”.
Many pet owners swear by chili powder. Simply sprinkle a small amount on the spots of your fence where your Husky digs. After that, see if your dog will still dig on such spots.
However, if you’re worried that the chili powder may irritate your dog’s eyes and nose too much, you can use lemon instead.
You can try placing lemon slices along your fences, making sure that you squeeze the juice as well. Canines hate the strong citrusy odor of this fruit, which will help fight off their digging obsession.
Others also swear by burying their dog’s poop under the fence. Your Husky will not dare dig through fecal matter, which is a cost-efficient solution.
4. Create a dog run
If your Husky can tolerate just about any repellent and find ways around barriers, a dog run is the best solution.
A dog run is an enclosed space where your Husky can run without having full access to the yard. It’s like a massive cage, which still gives your pet the freedom to enjoy the yard. You can even add features inside the dog run to make it more appealing to your Husky.
When building dog runs, you can use tubular or wooden frames. After that, you can enclose it with chain-link material. Through this, your Husky can still look around the yard but without having access to your fence.
If you don’t have the budget for an actual dog run, you can try installing a cable run instead. This run has a cable tied into two posts or trees, much like a clothesline. A swivel pulley is then connected to this where a long leash will be attached.
With that, your Husky can run around the yard but with limitations. Just make sure that you supervise your Husky while connected to a cable run as the leash could get tangled around its body.
5. Give your Husky a digging area
If your Husky just won’t stop digging, you can give the dog its own dirt box. This way, your canine can still satisfy its digging instincts without ruining your fence or escaping.
You can use a section of your yard as your Husky’s dirt box. Make sure that you use a different soil than what you have in your fence. This way, your Husky won’t carry its digging habits outside its designated area.
You should also make the dirt box appealing to your Husky by adding toys. It would also help to provide treats in the box, so your Husky will get used to staying there.
Even if your dog has its own dirt box, you should still use repellents to be sure. You’ll never know when your Husky will start wandering off the box and back to the fence.
Aside from that, you will need to train your Husky to use the dirt box you made. But for a breed obsessed with digging, this part wouldn’t be that hard.
6. Keep your Husky cool
Keeping your Husky cool during summer will help reduce its digging habits. It’s because Husky digs holes in the ground for cool soil.
It’s best to keep a Husky in an air-conditioned room during hot days. Aside from preventing them from digging, this will also keep them safe from overheating.
Aside from your AC, you can also use a cooling pad for your Husky. Placing marble tiles on the floor is also a good solution since it feels cooler than other surfaces.
Moreover, giving your Husky frequent baths during summer will be a big help. Don’t forget to brush their coat to remove shed hair that could trap body heat.
7. Block the view of your fence
If you have a chain-link fence, it’s important to block the view from the outside. This way, your Husky won’t have any reason to dig underneath.
To do this, you can put up bamboo fences attached to the chain-link wire. You can also use your chosen wooden slats to block the view.
Aside from discouraging your dog to dig under the fence, this covering will also give your property added privacy. And if you have the budget, you should consider upgrading your fence into a taller wooden or vinyl fence.
8. Brush up on training
Lastly, you should refresh your Husky’s obedience training. While this won’t directly stop its digging habits, obedience drills will give you control over its response. So the next time your Husky tries to dig under the fence, you can call its name or distract it from the activity.
Commands like stop, leave it, come, or sit are some of the basic things you should teach your dog. You should also train it to respond when its name is called.
Take note that training shouldn’t be a one-time thing. It must be done continuously to ensure that your Husky is well-disciplined. Besides, proper training isn’t just about combatting digging; it also helps curb other behavioral issues of canines.
Just remember that no matter how frustrating the process gets, you should never punish or use violence on your Husky. Positive reinforcement is always the best approach if you want to get results from training.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does my Husky dig the carpet?
A: Huskies love digging and they would do so just about anywhere. They can do it in your yard or even on your living room carpet. This is their burrowing instinct inherited from their wild ancestors. It’s because Huskies feel warm and safe in a dug hole, especially when they were used as sled dogs in snowy regions.
Q: Why is my Husky frantically digging?
A: While it’s a common habit of Huskies, frantic digging can be due to anxiety or stress. It’s important to address this problem as frantic digging can lead to destructive behavior. Also, your dog may escape and get lost if you don’t stop its excessive digging.
Q: How high should a fence be if you own a Siberian Husky?
A: If you have a Siberian Husky, you should keep your fences at least six feet tall. This height ensures that your curious doggo can’t leap to the other side. Still, you should remove any potential items that your Husky can use to overcome the fence like garbage cans, boxes, crates, and so on.
Q: What smell do dogs hate that will stop them from digging?
A: Huskies hate intense odors like cayenne, lemon, ground spices, and fresh herbs. You can sprinkle these on the areas where your dog tends to dig. But aside from these solutions, it’s also important to train your dog out of the digging habit. This is the only permanent solution to the problem.
Q: Can you train Huskies not to dig?
A: Huskies can be trained to reduce digging. However, since it’s their instinct, you can’t fully erase this behavior. Still, there are many ways to discourage your pet from digging. Just make sure that you always use safe and humane methods to solve this digging problem.
Q: Why is my Husky digging in its water bowl?
A: A Husky may dig in its water bowl if it’s bored. Also, your doggo might be trying to cool itself down by splashing water all over. In this case, it will help to give your Husky a kiddie pool where it can soak its body. This can help solve the problem and prevent the mess in your home.
Knowing how to stop Husky from digging under fence will save you from the hassle of patching up holes all over your yard. Also, it will prevent the Husky from escaping and getting lost around the neighborhood.
Just remember that aside from all preventive measures, regular training is also a crucial part of the solution. Aside from digging, training can also help solve other behavioral problems of your pet.