How To Dog-Proof Your Fence

Whether your pooch is a star jumper or a first-rate digger, here are some tips and tricks to dog-proof your fence and successfully keep Fido safely inside your yard.

Basic Safety Guidelines

1. For Diggers. If your pooch is a digger, it’s quite simple to dog-proof the fence around your house. Because it is typical for dogs to dig in areas of the fencing that are easiest to dig out underneath, it is wise for owners to focus on spots that surround the gate, or anywhere that there’s a slight gap between the fence and the ground. And, any areas of soft, easily diggable soil.

After identifying the areas where your dog is most likely to dig her way out, it’s time for preventive measures. Try getting several bricks or any concrete blocks, and then dig your own hole under the fence. Dig deep enough for the blocks to be buried at least an inch down from the ground surface. As soon as the holes are dug, start putting the bricks or concrete blocks in them, and then cover them with dirt. This way, your dog-proofing will be hidden from view, but will still be effective. With this method, when your dog does decide to dig, she’ll quickly learn she’s not getting very far! For smaller dogs, or those that are less aggressive in their digging, simply burying a strip of chicken wire across the length of the fence may be sufficient to halt any escape attempts.

2. For Jumpers or Climbers. Preventing these kinds of dogs from escaping is slightly more difficult than diggers. There are a few preventative options you can choose from. First, you can replace your fence with a taller or a wooden hurdle. If Fido can climb a chain link railing, use a wooden fence instead as this will keep him from climbing out of the yard. If your pet can jump a three-foot fence, then swap it out with a six-foot barrier. Consider adding an extra layer of protection by attaching a short fence to the top of your existing fence, and angling inward, toward the yard. This way, if he can get to the top of the fence, he’ll need to defy gravity to get over it!

Another effective option for jumpers or climbers is for you to add a second fence by putting a cheap chicken wire or any other simple fence approximately six inches inside the main barrier. This should help to keep Fido from jumping over the outside railing.

Tips and Warnings
If your dog does happen to get outside, don’t forget to praise your pooch for coming back to you each time you call him, even when you are a little upset because he has gotten out of the fence. You want your pet to continue on coming to you whenever you call him, right?

Now, to prevent small dogs from easily fitting through the fence cracks, make use of chicken or rabbit fencing. Although electric fences may be effective for some dogs, it is nonetheless not a reliable means to keep your dog inside the yard.

Sometimes, even our best efforts aren’t enough to contain our dogs. Keep in mind that there’s always a chance of escape, no matter how solid your fence is. Make sure your dog wears a properly fitted collar with an identification tag and that he is microchipped, should his collar be lost.

Do you have any other tips for dog-proofing your fence? Share them with our readers below!

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  1. Sarah Hochschwender 06/15/2012

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