How To Choose The Right Fence To Contain Your Dog In Your Backyard

If you are a dog owner and lover, one of your main concerns is probably the safety of your dogs. Letting them out for a little fun in the sun in an unfenced yard can pose serious dangers to your dogs and may encourage them to invade your neighbor's property. Fencing in the yard will give your canine pals free run of the backyard, where they can socialize with family and friends in a safe environment. But, not just any fence will do. To keep your dogs contained and safe, you need the right fence to do the job. Follow these tips for choosing fencing to keep your dogs from escaping the yard.

Height: While some dogs are perfectly happy to respect your fence as the border of their free rein, others eagerly perform amazing feats to scale a fence much taller than you may have guessed. A 3- to 4- foot fence is adequate to contain most small dogs, like toy poodles and terriers, but medium to large dogs may defy your attempts to contain them and scale fences with ease. Consider these high jumper records set by competition dogs.

  • Kelpie: 9 feet 6 inches
  • Greyhounds:  7 feet 10 inches
  • Belgian Malinois: 8 feet 4 inches
  • Borzois: 5 feet 2 inches
  • Russian Wolfhound: 4 feet 11 inches
  • Ibizan Hound: 5 feet 4 inches

According to the German Shepherd Rescue of New England, an active German shepherd requires a 5-foot fence, but beware. If a German Shepherd is set on getting over a fence, he can also use his brute strength to help him over the fence.

Consider the size, breed and activity level of your dog to help you determine the correct height for your fence. If your dog is not full grown, consider his expected size at maturity when selecting a fence.

Spacing: Fences with large spaces increase the likelihood that your dog will use them as a foothold in his attempts to jump the fence. Although he may not be able to clear the fence in a single leap, he may be able to scale the fence by propelling himself over the top with his body strength. If you suspect your dog will be motivated to jump or scale the fence, choose a solid fence instead of one with an open weave. Likewise, small dogs can squeeze through gaps in the fence and make an escape.

Ground Clearance: The amount of space between the bottom of your fence and the ground should also be considered. Small dogs can squeeze under the fence, while diggers will make quick work of clearing the soil to create a space large enough to wiggle under the fence. According to I Heart Dogs, some dog breeds that are known as diggers include:

  • Terriers
  • Dachshunds
  • Basset Hounds
  • Beagles
  • Bloodhounds
  • Siberian Husky
  • Chow Chow
  • Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
  • Alaskan Malamute

While these breeds are known as diggers, other breeds may dig under the fence as well. If you have a dog with a tendency to dig, consider a fence that is buried into the soil by several inches to deter their attempts to dig under your fence.

Other Considerations: Dogs can also use features in your yard to their advantage if they are determined to get over the fence.  Check that you do not have objects near the fence, such as a picnic table, a children's playset or yard equipment that your dog can climb on and gain access to the top of the fence. Beware of patios and decks within a few feet of the fence, as your dog may be able to leap over the fence from there.

Talk to your fencing contractor about any concerns you have about your dog escaping the fenced-in area. He will work with you to install the appropriate fencing to meet your needs. Click here to read more about your fencing options.