Being able to provide your dog with safe outdoor space to run and play is incredibly important, especially for highly active breeds. While some breeds can get by with a simple daily walk, others need a great deal more exercise to work off their energy. To make sure that your outdoor space is safe and secure for your dog, you need to have a high-quality fence installed. Not all fences are created equal, though – some are better for dogs than others are, so take the time to learn the basics about your different options so that you can choose the best fence for your dog.
Types of Fences for Dogs
There are many different types of fences to choose from, so here is a quick comparison to help you make a decision.
- Chain Link – This type of fence consists of metal links that may or may not be coated with plastic. Chain link fences are very strong, inexpensive, and easy to install – they are typically the most cost-effective option for large yards. Chain link fences come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose the right height to match your dog’s size.
- Farm Fence – Also called sheep fence, this type of fencing is inexpensive, but it generally does not look very good. It consists of fabric woven through narrow-gauge wire that is installed over brace posts. Farm fence provides a good physical barrier for even large breeds, but the gaps in the fence might allow a small dog to escape.
- Picket Fence – This type of fence consists of wood slats installed vertically along a wooden frame. Picket fences are very attractive and they are very strong. While it can be expensive, picket fencing serves the role of containing your dog while also improving your privacy. You can adjust the spacing between the slats to increase privacy and security for your dog.
- Split Rail Fence – This kind of fence consists of vertical wooden posts installed at intervals with wooden cross rails installed horizontally in between. As it provides an open view into and out of the yard, a split rail fence can be an aesthetically pleasing option. The problem is that a dog can easily squeeze under or between the cross rails unless you weave some fencing fabric through the rails.
- Invisible Fence – This type of fencing consists of a wire buried underground around the perimeter of the property. To make use of the fence, your dog must wear a collar that receives a signal from the wire. When your dog approaches the perimeter, the collar will start beeping and if the dog attempts to cross the line, it will receive an electric shock. This option is good if you do not want the visual encroachment of a physical fence, but it does not provide a great deal of security for your dog. You should only use this option with low-risk dogs, not for large or overly active breeds.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fence
Now that you have learned the basics about different fencing alternatives, you can start to think about which choice might be best for your dog. First, consider the size of the dog – a simple chain link fence might be tall enough to contain a Chihuahua, but a larger breed like a Labrador Retriever might be able to jump or climb over this type of fence. Second, consider whether your dog is likely to chew on or dig under the fence. Large and very active breeds are more likely to try to dig under a fence, so you may need to take extra precautions against this by burying some chicken wire under the fence.
Remember to consider safety as a factor as well when choosing a fence – you need to think about your dog’s safety, as well as the safety of people and dogs on the other side of the fence. If the type of fence you choose provides too many gaps, your dog could become frustrated by seeing people and dogs through the fence without being able to interact with them. If your dog is very hyperactive or nervous around strangers, there is also the possibility that he might bite someone who sticks their hand through the fence. You cannot predict how your dog or other dogs will react in any given situation, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
In the end, it is up to you which fencing you choose – what works for one yard may not work for another. Also, consider factors like your dog’s breed and personality when choosing a fence, rather than thinking only about price. After all, installing a fence is just as much about ensuring the safety of your dog as it is about keeping it from escaping.