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How to Use Railroad Ties to Keep Dogs From Digging

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Railroad ties (7 inches by 9 inches by 8.5 feet)

  • Shovel

  • Measuring tape

Railroad ties are the long, heavy wooden beams that are used to construct railroad tracks. Railroad ties are extremely heavy and very difficult to move. Railroad ties will not stop a dog from digging, but they can make it more difficult for your dog to dig in specific areas. If your dog digs his way out of your fence on a regular basis, you can use railroad ties to create a barrier that will help discourage his behavior.

Determine where you want to place your railroad ties; you should place them in the areas where you do not want your dog to dig. Measure the area and determine how many railroad ties you will need to use to block off the area. The number of ties you use will depend on whether you choose to use a single tie in each location or if you want to stack them.

Use your shovel to dig a hole deep enough and long enough to bury your railroad ties either partially under the ground or completely, depending on your preference.

Lay your railroad ties in your hole and then use your shovel to partially or fully bury them, depending on your preference. The railroad ties will create a sturdy, difficult to avoid barrier for your digging dog.


  • Dogs cannot physically dig through railroad ties, so burying the ties along the fence line or in other no-dig areas will be the most effective way to prevent your dog from digging.

    You can also use railroad ties to create an area where your dog is allowed to dig. Place the railroad ties around the perimeter of the digging pit and place soft dirt in the middle. This will create a well-defined area, similar to a child's sandbox, where you can teach your dog he's allowed to dig.