6 Fencing Options for Your Dog | Living the Country Life
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6 Fencing Options for Your Dog

Keep your dog on your property with cleverly constructed barriers and ongoing training.
  • Man's Best Wanderers

    The mention of “farm dog” might conjure up certain familiar images of a mutt napping happily on the front porch or a livestock guardian racing across an open field. But truth is, this dog might be just as apt to wander off when no one is looking. Keeping dogs on your property—and safe from harm—requires dedicated training and/or secure fencing.

    “Most dogs like to explore and aren’t aware where their properties end and the rest of the world begins,” explains Melissa Pezzuto, CPDT-KA, dog trainer and behavior consultant team lead at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. 

    Date Published: March 25, 2019
    Date Updated: March 27, 2019
    Tags: Dogs, fence, Fencing
  • Who Let the Dogs Out?

    Roaming dogs are at greater risk of getting into fights, killing livestock, or being hit by cars, and in some areas, owners can be hit with big fines for letting their dogs run loose.

    Although fencing an entire acreage might not be a practical (or affordable) option, there are a number of options for keeping dogs close to home.

    Date Published: March 25, 2019
    Date Updated: March 27, 2019
    Tags: Dogs, fence, Fencing
  • Invisible Fencing

    Don’t want a fence to ruin the view? An invisible fence—an electronic fence hidden underground that delivers a mild shock to the dog via a special collar— might be the solution.

    Pia Silvani, CPDT-KA, CCBC, director of behavior rehabilitation at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) warns, “Your dog might be contained [by an invisible fence], but other animals can easily come onto the property, potentially causing injury or even death to your dog.”

    Breeds with high prey drives—we’re looking at you, beagles and terriers—might bolt across the perimeter to chase cars or small animals and might not want to risk a shock to return to their yards.

    Date Published: March 25, 2019
    Date Updated: March 27, 2019
    Tags: Dogs, fence, Fencing
  • Traditional Fencing

    The same fences that work in suburban neighborhoods —chain-link, panel, or picket fences will also keep dogs from leaving rural properties. You can choose to fence a large area or just enough space for your dog to do its business or relax in the sun.

    When choosing a fence, it’s important to know your dog, Silvani says. A German shepherd might leap over a 4-foot fence that successfully keeps a dachshund close to home. Even a 6-foot fence might not contain an enthusiastic jumper.

    “Some dogs do fine with a [privacy] fence that blocks their view and others can become frustrated, resulting in attempts to dig and chew their way out,” she says. The right fence is less about breed and more about individual behaviors.

    Date Published: March 25, 2019
    Date Updated: March 27, 2019
    Tags: Dogs, fence, Fencing
  • Tethering

    Chaining a dog in the yard is a less than ideal solution for keeping him at home, according to Silvani. Dogs that live on the end of a chain can become anxious or aggressive and may face risks like getting tangled in the tie-out.

    “If your dog must be tethered for some reason, make sure it is only for very short periods,” she advises.

    Tethered dogs should wear snap-and-release collars that fit well, not choke chains; a pulley run attached to a clothesline is a much better option than a chain attached to a stationary object. Be aware of local tethering ordinances that may place restrictions on the length and types of tethers and collars/harnesses.

    Date Published: March 25, 2019
    Date Updated: March 27, 2019
    Tags: Dogs, fence, Fencing
  • Training

    For some well-trained dogs, no fence is no problem. Pezzuto recommends placing flags around the perimeter of the acreage and using positive reinforcement training to teach your dog to respect those boundaries.

    “Dogs that are traditional working breeds like cattle dogs and heelers tend to have an easier time with this training,” she says. Regardless of breed, expecting your dog to remain on your property without a physical barrier to contain it requires dedicated and ongoing training. A fence-free acreage also comes with risks.

    “Training might help keep your dog home, but it doesn’t protect it from [other animals or people] coming into the yard,” Pezzuto says. Unaltered males might roam and unaltered females can attract potential suitors, resulting in unwanted litters. Determined dogs search for escape routes, rendering even sturdy fences useless. Try these tips to keep your dog on your property.

    Date Published: March 25, 2019
    Date Updated: March 27, 2019
    Tags: Dogs, fence, Fencing
  • Deter Diggers

    Some dog breeds, such as beagles, Siberian huskies, and miniature schnauzers, are more likely to dig than others, but many dogs have the propensity to dig their way out of a property.

    To prevent dogs from digging, Melissa Pezzuto, CPDT-KA, recommends burying chicken wire several feet underground from the base of a fence to create a dog-escape barrier. For a less labor-intensive option, place concrete blocks along the inside perimeter of the fence. You may also want to provide a safe place—like a kiddie pool filled with sand—for your dog to dig.

    Date Published: March 25, 2019
    Date Updated: March 27, 2019
    Tags: Dogs, fence, Fencing
  • Limit Leapers

    If you have a dog who likes to climb, avoid using a chain-link fence, which offers plenty of footholds. To prevent agile dogs from climbing or leaping over any type of fence, add a panel on top that tilts inward.

    This barrier can be constructed from wire, barbed wire, or lattice. You can also place PVC pipes on a wire along the top of the fence to create a roll-bar fence. The PVC pipes will roll when touched, making it difficult for your dog to escape.

    Date Published: March 25, 2019
    Date Updated: March 27, 2019
    Tags: Dogs, fence, Fencing

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