How to Dog Proof a Fence

How to Dog Proof a Fence

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Whether you’ve just got a new dog or moved into a new home with a different kind of fence, it’s fairly common to wonder how to dog proof a fence.

As dogs grow, they might also find new ways to escape your yard. Which means that there are several answers to the question of how to dog proof a fence, but hopefully, one of these will work for you.

First Thing’s First: Get Your Dog Chipped!

The first thing you should know about how to dog proof a fence is there’s no way of being completely sure that your yard is inescapable. Your fence might also be damaged accidentally, or someone might leave a gate open.

That means that there’s always a chance that your dog might escape your yard at some point, so it’s best to be prepared if that does happen.

Inspect the Fence for Damage

The simplest way many dogs escape a back yard is through a hole in the fence. So, the first step in how to dog proof a fence is to inspect the whole fence, to make sure there are no holes in wire mesh or loose fence boards. If you do find anything, and it’s a relatively new fence, you can repair just that section.

However, if your fence is very corroded or rotted in places, it might not be safe for your dog, and it’s best to get it replaced completely.

Observe Your Dogs

If there are no obvious signs of damage or holes in your fence, the solution to the problem of how to dog proof a fence becomes a lot more complicated.

Since there are many ways for a dog to go over, under or through a fence, the best thing you can do is try to observe where or how your dog has been escaping your yard. It might be something as simple as moving something that’s located near the fence to prevent escape.

However, if it’s not, one of the following ideas might work.

Add Mesh to the Bottom

If you have an open style fence like ornamental or even a picket-style fence, then the gaps between the infills or pickets might simply be too large.

Some ornamental fence manufacturers do have “puppy panels” with smaller gaps at the bottom. Still, if you’re dealing with an existing fence, the answer to the question of how to dog-proof a fence is usually as simple as adding some mesh to the bottom.

Try to get mesh in a color that matches the rest of the fence and use matching wire or even cable ties to attach it to the bottom of the fence. Usually, if you have small dogs that are slipping through the fence bars, you will only need a strip of mesh that’s about 3 feet high.

Extend the Fence Height

If you have a large dog that jumps or climbs over your fence, then the solution to the question of how to dog-proof a fence might be to extend the height of the fence.

Most fence types can be extended, either with materials from the manufacturers or with third-party and aftermarket options like metal brackets.

If your dog is climbing your fence, it might be an idea to angle your fence extension into your yard, so it’s harder for your dog to climb over the fence. Look for angled overhangs, which are usually at about 45 degrees, and can be of various lengths.

If you are hoping to prevent jumping and climbing, be sure to use safe fence extensions. barbed wire and other fence top security measures are not ideal for animals, and they can seriously injure them!

Prevent Digging

Many dogs don’t go over or through a fence. They go under. Dogs are very effective diggers, and if they want to go under your fence, they probably can.

There are several ways to dog-proof the bottom of your fence. You could bury a strip of rigid mesh like welded mesh. If you have a chain link fence, you can tie the two types of mesh together with wire or hog rings and prevent your dog from slipping out under the chain link.

Other options are to place precast paving slabs under the fence. Or bury some large rocks in places where your dogs usually dig.

Agricultural Electric Fence

Another potential solution to the problem of how to dog-proof a fence, if all else has failed, is to install agricultural electric fence on the areas where your dogs usually escape your yard.

This kind of electric fence is usually “plug and play,” and while it will give them a good zap, it’s not dangerous to animals or people.

Be sure to check if this is allowed in your city or area, though. Some cities don’t allow electric fences at all, while others have special requirements for installing it.

Dog Fencing

So-called “dog fencing” or electric fence collars is another choice. It works by triggering a shock in a special collar whenever your dog goes over a buried cable. Placing this around the perimeter of your yard will discourage jumping and climbing too, however, the jury is out about how humane and effective these systems are.

Or Get a Dog Run

Some dogs are just natural escape artists. When you find one solution to the problem of how to dog proof a fence, they find a new way to get over, under or through your fence.

Sometimes, the solution is to invest in a dog run, which is usually metal panels that clamp together. Some come with a metal mesh roof, so climbers can’t escape, and when they’re placed on concrete or another hard surface, digging is not possible.

Dog runs can be constructed in nearly any configuration, so they can be quite large for large, energetic dogs, and there’s usually a gate for easy access.

Short of never allowing your dogs to be outside unsupervised, this might be the solution you need to solve the problem of how to dog proof a fence.

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