The old adage “Good fences make good neighbors” is especially applicable when the neighbors own dogs. There are many fencing systems available to satisfy personal needs as well as zoning and aesthetic requirements.
Choosing the Right Fence
You don’t have to sacrifice beauty when designing the perfect fence for your dog. Just make sure you consider the following:
- Zoning Code
Solid wood privacy fences can prevent passersby from teasing your dogs and sticking fingers through to possibly get bitten. Some communities and subdivisions zone against this type of fence or regulate the height and the side of the fence the boards must face.
Picket fences consist of narrow slats of wood nailed upright on a solid wood frame. Installed at the proper height for your breed, they are a very strong dog containment system. They can span the gaps in a solid wall or stockade fence. They offer the strength of wood yet don’t totally block the view.
Split rail fences provide a much more open view. They usually consist of wooden brace posts joined by two or more wooden cross rails. This fence looks nice and is often incorporated into professional landscape designs. Split rail fences provide a very strong base, but fabric must be added inside the fence to confine the dog.
Chain link is one of the most common fences. This series of pipe support posts and small diamond-shaped, heavy-gauge wire fabric is very strong. The holes in the fabric are too small for most dogs to penetrate. Most professional kennels use chain link in their fencing and dog runs. It is available in a variety of heights and installing barbed wire arms is easy. Zoning laws seem to allow its use where many other forms of fencing are prohibited. It hardly obstructs the view and is a strong deterrent to intruders. Children can easily tease a dog confined by a chain link fence.
Snow fence is one of the cheaper options. It is composed of low-gauge wire fabric of two-inch by four-inch rectangles. It is available in various heights and is installed on a series of brace posts and t-posts. The fabric must be stretched when it is installed to ensureadded strength.
Bonus Small Yard Tips:
- Emphasize length; a dog run 10 feet wide and as long as possible in your yard allows the dog to run up and down and exercise nicely.
- Try to get a fence before getting a dog. A young puppy raised with a particular fence, even a low one, will likely grow up with a respect for that fence and won’t try to escape even when full grown.
- What about you don’t have a puppy? A new fence should be of sufficient height to discourage jumping. If the fence isn’t high enough, consider a jumping harness that prevents the dog from leaping, or install “barbed wire arms,” those angled steel extensions for the top of the fence. String the arms with plain wire or fence fabric instead of barbed wire, and the dog can’t jump or climb up, over, and out.
- To prevent digging under, bury the bottom of the fence several inches in the ground or fill a narrow trench along the perimeter of the fence with concrete. If the dog digs holes along an established fence, fill the holes with concrete or patio blocks.