Outdoor Fences for Dogs? [what Are the Best Types 2023]

Owning a dog means more than petting, playing, and feeding. It almost means you need to provide a secure environment for your furry companion. Having a fence around your yard, or a designed dog area keeps your pet safe and allows it to romp without being on a leash. It also keeps passersby and other animals out of reach and keeps Fido from exploring the neighborhood without your supervision. The size and temperament of your animal will dictate some of the qualities in a fence, and others will be purely based on your preference for design and looks.

One significant hurdle to owning a dog is the cost of fencing. Unless you’ve purchased a house that already has a dog-proof fence around it, you’re looking at a significant investment to install one. Whether you pay someone to do it or are a skilled do-it-yourselfer, you’re probably looking at a few thousand dollars at least to enclose a modest-sized suburban yard. The cost of materials for a six-foot-tall chain-link fence for a 50 sq. ft. yard runs around two thousand dollars. Wood fencing, especially privacy fencing, is considerably more. In our opinion, chain-link fences are the least desirable, and wood privacy fencing is the best choice.

A chain-link fence is fine if all you need it for is to keep your dog from roaming outside his yard. But you also need the fence to protect your dog from the unwanted attentions of passerby, human or otherwise, and to prevent him from becoming overly excited or stressed by visual stimuli such as passing cars, bikes, joggers, dogs, and mail carriers.

What Are The Different Types Of Dog Fences For Outdoor/Backyard?

One of the first things to consider when you design a dog-friendly garden is the type of fencing you need to keep your dog safe and secure. Secure fencing can keep your dog contained within the garden, and also prevent animals and people from gaining access to your garden and your dog.

Whatever type of fencing you decide on, you should ensure that your garden is totally secure before you bring a new dog or puppy home. Once your new puppy or dog has arrived you will be busy with its care. Putting up a fence can be time-consuming, and involves tools and materials that may be hazardous to your dog or puppy.

Wireless Fences

A wireless fence is similar in concept to the invisible fence but uses a radio transmitter instead of an underground buried wire. The transmitter emits a signal within a given area, and when the dog gets close to the boundary, the collar begins beeping and causes a mild shock. Because there is no labor to install the buried wire, this type can be less expensive than the invisible fence, but the transmitter can have blind spots which could leave “holes” in your fence.

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Wooden Fences

A wooden fence is often one of the most expensive options. These fences are usually around six feet in height and may be constructed in several different styles. Since they are tall wooden fences will deter dogs and intruders from jumping over. In addition to being expensive to install, this type of fence comes with regular maintenance chores. Painting or sealing must be done regularly to prevent the wooden pickets from rotting. Depending on your perspective, another possible disadvantage is that they block the view completely.

Chain Link Fences

A chain-link fence has a metal wire netting forming an open mesh that is attached to a top metal tube and stabilized with metal posts every eight to ten feet. Since the fence is entirely metal it is long-lasting and requires little in the way of regular maintenance. Another plus is the durability this type of fence offers since they stand up well to the wear and tear even the largest dogs can dish out.

Keeping intruders out is a hit-or-miss advantage, and a chain-link fence can be expensive to install. Also, some homeowners associations discourage or outright prohibit chain link fences. These fences can be installed in a wide variety of heights with four to five feet being typical but can go as high as twenty-foot.

Picket Fences

The stereotypical white picket fence calls a homey image to most people’s minds. These fences are attractive and provide a good barrier for your pets. However, they do allow some smaller animals to squeeze between the pickets, and people can pass things through the fence easily.

A picket fence is often made from wood, but a number of extruded plastic fences are on the market. Either way, they provide more of a view of the outside world. Maintenance is generally less burdensome with the plastic variety while the wooden fences must be painted or sealed regularly.

Split-Rail Fences

Often seen in ranch settings, a split-rail fence is not a good option for your pet. This fence consists of one to several wooden, or plastic, rails that fit into a row of posts. The fence itself is very attractive but even the largest of dogs can tunnel under the lowest rail, or simply squeeze between them. Some people install a mesh fabric to prevent this problem.

Polymer “Plastic” Fences

A less expensive option could be a polymer fence. This fence is made from a wire mesh fabric attached to a row of posts. This type of fence is very effective with smaller breeds, and with keeping smaller intruders at bay. The main downside to using a snow fence is that they do not last very long

Snow fences consist of pieces of wire mesh fabric attached to a row of posts. It is a cheaper option and can be quite effective in keeping the smallest intruders away. However, it is not as long-lasting as the other options.

Invisible Fences

These fences rely on your dog’s ability to be trained using behavior modification in the form of avoidance. Invisible fences consist of two separate components. The first is a receiver that your dog wears attached to its collar. The second is an electrical wire that is buried underground, around the parameter of your yard or designated dog area. When your pet comes close to the spot where the wire is buried, it causes the receiver to beep or deliver a mild but attention-getting electrical shock.

The collars can get expensive, and dogs seeing something really interesting have been known to ignore the shocks and barrel undeterred through the parameter. Once on the outside, the memory of the shock may keep your pet on the outside looking in. Plus since the receivers are an expensive item, they could become an easy target for thieves.

How To Choose The Right Dog Fence For Your Home?

The type of fence suitable for your garden will depend on your location, the amount of passing foot and vehicle traffic, and the nature of your dog. You may choose a solid barrier that restricts visual access, or a fence that allows those on either side of the garden boundary to see through it.

Some dogs are easily agitated by events outside the garden and people passing by. In such a case, a solid fence that restricts visibility may help to divert your dog’s attention from happenings outside the garden. Solid fences that restrict vision may also increase security. Dogs are sometimes stolen from gardens, and keeping your dog hidden from public view may reduce the chances of this happening.

You should also keep in mind that dogs sometimes get their heads stuck in the gaps between fence posts. Some dogs may be able to dislodge posts and squeeze through surprisingly small gaps in a fence.

How High Should A Dog Fence Be?

Never underestimate your dog’s ability to climb or jump over a fence. Dogs of certain breeds can easily clear a 6-foot fence, and some may climb fences up to 8 feet tall. If your dog is particularly adept at scaling fences, you might want to consider adding an internal overhang to the top of your fence to stop your dog from climbing out of your garden.

Keep in mind that dogs may use other objects and structures in your garden to help them climb out. Garden furniture and outbuildings can provide a ‘step up’ for dogs with a taste for adventure!

How To Prevent Dog Digging Under Fence?

Some dogs may dig their way out of the garden. There are two ways to prevent this: you can dig down and sink your fence a couple of feet into the ground, or you can line the internal circumference of your fence with paving slabs or other hard material. Even If your dog is not inclined to try and dig its way out of the garden, try and avoid gaps at the bottom of fences. A gap at the bottom of a fence can encourage even the most unadventurous of dogs to attempt to dig under and escape from your garden.

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