How to keep your dog in the yard: 9 ways to ensure your pup stays put

Dog climbing over garden fence
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wondering how to keep your dog in the yard? It’s a common question amongst pet parents who have a canine companion who’s constantly trying to make a break for it, and the good news is, there are plenty of tricks you can use to ensure your pup stays put.

While the best dog food is enough to keep many of our furkids close to home, for others, no amount of crunchy kibble or tasty treats is going to stop them from seeking out adventure in distant lands at every opportunity. You could have the best backyard in the world and your dog could still feel the need to make sure the grass isn’t greener elsewhere.

Having access to plenty of outdoor space is vital for the health and wellbeing of your pup, but it’s also important that they stay safe and secure. Although purchasing the best dog crates or a playpen for your dog are great for providing you with peace of mind when you’re away from home for short periods, you’ll want to find a more appropriate solution if your pup is a regular escape artist. 

Thankfully, whether you have a jumper or climber on your hands, a digger who’s determined to burrow their way to freedom, or a pup who’s constantly patrolling the border, there are plenty of easy solutions to these common problems.

From landscaping your garden to installing digging deterrents, here’s how to keep your dog in the yard.

Why does my dog keep trying to escape?

Believe it or not, while these hairy Houdini attempts are probably causing you a great deal of concern, trying to make a break from it is a fairly common behavior amongst dogs who are hardwired to want to explore and roam beyond the confines of their backyard. 

Alongside purely wanting to have an adventure and take in pastures new, there are several reasons that may be driving your pup's frequent escape attempts, including:

  • Social isolation
  • Sexual frustration
  • Fears and phobias
  • Separation anxiety

Dogs who are bored and lonely, are not neutered or spayed, are easily frightened by loud noises or who struggle to be apart from their owners are all prime candidates when it comes to performing a disappearing act. 

The good news is, there's plenty you can do to reduce the likelihood your pup will try to escape and ensure they stay safe and sound in the process.

How to keep your dog in the yard

1. Use fencing

Fencing is one of your best friends when it comes to ensuring your pup stays put, so if your backyard isn’t currently well fenced, this is a great place to start. 

We recommend adding an extra section of fence to your current fence, which will extend the height and make it more difficult to jump over. If you’d prefer not to have additional height, simply tilt the new section forward and add chicken wire to create an awning which should deter any further climbing attempts.

2. Install digging deterrents

If your dog is less likely to try to climb the fence and jump it and more likely to try to burrow their way out from underneath it, then installing some digging deterrents will help to put a stop to this behavior. 

You can use an L-footer, some additional fencing or good old chicken wire again to create a barrier between your pup and the bottom of the fence.

Cocker Spaniel sitting in dug out hole

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Pour concrete around the perimeter

Another great option when it comes to serial diggers is to pour concrete right the way around the perimeter of your yard. 

While it will take some hard work and sweat on your part, you could actually take the fence down when you pour the concrete and then sink it into the wet concrete to create an extra barrier rather than having the concrete in front of the fence. 

4. Landscape your garden

For those of you who have been blessed with a green thumb and love nothing more than pottering about in the garden, you’ll be delighted to learn that landscaping can help keep your pup safely and securely in your yard where they belong. 

It doesn’t have to be anything too ambitious or dramatic, but simply adding in a hedge alongside some shrubs and plants or trees can act as a really great deterrent. Just be sure to check that you’re not using any plants that are toxic to dogs. 

Dog looking over fence

(Image credit: Getty Images)

5. Make your backyard a fun place to be

The more fun your backyard is, the less likely it’s going to be that your dog will try and make a break for it. We recommend investing in plenty of the best dog toys and other play equipment to keep your canine companion amused. 

This will reduce the likelihood that your dog will get bored and go off in search of adventure elsewhere. If you’re looking for inspiration on what you can do, check out our budget-friendly backyard ideas for dogs.

6. Remove climbing aids

You’ve probably already discovered that your little escape artist is rather resourceful, so it’s worth taking a stroll around your backyard and thinking like your dog when it comes to objects that may potentially be aiding them in their attempts to break free.

Things such as old tree stumps or piles of wood, boxes, playground equipment or anything else that could be used to give them a boost when it comes to climbing over the fence will either need to be covered when not in use or removed. 

dog friendly landscaping

(Image credit: Getty Images)

7. Buy a coyote roller 

We highly recommend investing in a coyote roller if your dog is regularly trying to scale the fence. As you’ve probably guessed from the name, these long metal bars were originally created to keep coyotes out of people’s yards, but they work equally well for keeping dogs in. 

Because they roll like a rolling pin when they’re stood on, they make it almost impossible for your pup to get the secure footing they need to scale the fence. 

8. Block their view

Guard dog breeds tend to patrol their property rather vigorously and are prone to trying to escape when they sense a threat close by that they think may try to encroach on their territory. With these dogs, the easiest way to deter them from climbing and jumping the fence is to simply obscure their view of what's going on outside of your backyard. 

If you have a chain-link fence, you’ll want to cover up all the gaps using inexpensive material such as bamboo or reed. You can also plant a hedge in front of the fence if you’d prefer a more natural look.

9. Make sure your dog’s ID is up to date

Not exactly a tip to stop them from escaping, but one that will certainly help you to be reunited quicker is to ensure all the information on your dog’s ID tag is current. We also highly recommend investing in one of the best pet trackers if your dog makes regular attempts to escape from the yard. 

These nifty little devices attach easily to the collar and provide up to the second location information that will enable you to quickly and easily track down your runaway. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.