A very important consideration for a dog friendly yard is keeping your dog out of harm’s way. Dog fences are designed to keep dogs in an owner’s yard, or within a certain perimeter of their home. Similarly, dog fences can be used to keep other people’s dogs out, in addition to providing a barrier for ne’er-do-wells of the two-legged and four-legged varieties …
Keep in mind that a fence is not a fail-safe device as countless dogs have learned to dig under, gnaw through, jump over, or otherwise defeat fences of all types. Before deciding on a fence, think about what you’d like for it to accomplish.
Do you want to keep your pup out of a particular area? Would you like your fencing to be an architectural element in your landscape, or to blend into the background? Of course, there’s always the cost to consider …
Before proceeding with fencing, do your research and keep in mind the following:
1.) Check City and Local Ordinances – to ensure what fence options are allowed in your area. Some subdivisions don’t permit fences…or restrict it to certain types such as wood only.
2.) Consider Your Dog’s Temperament – a fence choice often depends on the individual breed characteristics. A hound most likely won’t do well with an underground or invisible type fence since they are extremely scent / prey driven. I’ve seen them blow right through to chase a rabbit – regardless of the shock from their collars.
If your pooch excels at jumping, don’t put in a short fence they can easily hurdle over with a running leap. Some dogs love to dig or chew. Definitely observe and acknowledge your dog’s respective traits before committing to a containment solution.
3.) Recognize Your Dog’s Size – fence height is another element in the decision making process. Taller fences are excellent for large and energetic dogs, while shorter fences are effective for smaller, older, or less energetic dogs. Also factor in that on occasion, a dog can get excited and leap over a fence it would be unable to scale on a normal day.
4.) Think About Your Dog’s Age – buyers of fencing need to take into account their dog’s age, and keep in mind the estimated full grown size before committing to a particular fence. Remember, large breed puppies are small to begin with, but grow quickly and can soon escape over shorter fences.
When in doubt, it’s usually a good idea to get a more substantial, rather than a less substantial fence solution. A smaller dog can be contained by a larger fence, after all, plus it can keep out local wildlife. Additionally, keeping options open for the next canine member of the family can be achieved by buying a more generous, durable enclosure.
Types Of Dog Friendly Fences:
Wood: Wood has long been the preferred material for fences. The style possibilities are nearly limitless. You can choose the precise height you want, the type of wood, and anything from solid to woven to openwork or a combination. In our neighborhood I would guesstimate more than 80% of the fences are wooden …
But, unfortunately, some dogs can chew through wood, so you must be alert for any covert demolition work. And unless you include a below the ground barrier of some sort, digging is still a possibility. Of course, I always preach…a tired dog is a well-behaved dog. So make sure you exercise your dog daily (preferably regular long walks) to help eradicate problem behaviors …
* Chain Link: Chain-link fences are pretty easy to install and provide a safe enclosure. In my opinion, it isn’t necessarily the most attractive approach. But there are more options nowadays with this type of fence to make them better looking and to blend with your house and yard. Chain link can work for a fully enclosed yard or a dog run in one section of your back or side yard.
This option works well with strong, energetic dogs as a robust fencing choice. It’s less expensive if you have a large area to enclose.
Plastic: Thanks to plastic or composite fencing you can have a “wood”-looking fence without all the upkeep. Plastic fences don’t deteriorate in the elements like wood does, and they don’t burn in the event of a fire. They also aren’t as attractive a target for chewing …
* Electronic / Underground Systems: A lot of folks swear by these…we’ve never had one since our dogs have been mostly scent driven mixed-breed hounds. If your yard is quite large, an underground or electric fence may be a good choice for you and an affordable option. I’d don’t really like the idea of a shock collar… and you need to make sure the batteries are working or your dog may leave the yard …
Many pooches learn their boundaries quickly and don’t challenge them. Most of these type systems warn your dog with a beep first, before they receive a mild shock.
This system isn’t for every dog…especially not for those with a hunting instinct or an exceptionally strong will. Also, it doesn’t keep other animals out of your yard (no physical barrier) which is something to definitely consider. If you live in an area that doesn’t allow visible fences, this may be your go to option …
For temporary protection around new plantings, chicken wire is cheap, easy to install, and though unattractive, will serve its purpose. Remove the wire once plants are established, and supervise your dog’s behavior in the area. Chicken wire also comes in handy to protect young plants and shrubs from nibbling bunnies.
Also a retractable pulley type leash mounted on your house can work to limit your dog to one area of the yard. We’ve used this alternative in the past when we were in a subdivision with a no fencing rule …
No matter what style you choose, make sure it is sturdy enough to contain your family friend and designed so a curious dog can’t get stuck between the boards. The same goes for decking. We had a scare when our lab/hound mix was a puppy and she got her head stuck between the boards of our deck and almost hung herself chasing a squirrel. Thankfully I was outside at the time and ran to her aid.
Dog Fencing Tips:
* By burying part of the fence, dogs can be prevented from digging out of or into the yard. Some dogs are better at tunneling than others, so individual dog and breed characteristics need to be taken into account before any type of fence is installed.
* If you have a physical fence, ensure it is in good condition and free of loose boards or metal that could hurt your pet or allow him to get out.
* Keep benches, tables, and big rocks away from fences; they can be launching points for a dog to jump the fence. A golden retriever in our neighborhood used to jump on to their air conditioner unit then vault over the wooden fence to escape the yard. They finally made the fence taller by adding latticework…coupled with training the high jumper.
Putting up the right dog fence on your property will help ensure that you, your family, and your pet are kept safe and secure for years to come!