Fencing: Keep Your Dog Safe

Farm Dog
Your dog might say "Don't fence me in," but a responsible pet owner knows better. A fenced-in yard is the best way to keep your dog safe. Here are some important considerations when adding fencing to contain your dog.

Wooden Rail

What kind of fencing will best keep your dog contained? That depends on the dog. However, most dogs of any size can slip through rail fences. If you plan to use a rail fence as a dog enclosure, add wire backing to the fence so they can't escape.

A Secure Gate

All fenced yards also need a secure gate with a latch that a persistent dog can’t pop open. Make sure your latches close firmly. Smart dogs might figure out how to open the latches, so position them out of paws' reach.

Fencing a Dog Out

While most fences are designed to keep a dog in the yard, a fence can also keep a dog out of an area, such as a garden. A decorative picket fence looks great as a garden background and will also deter your pet from letting itself in and digging up a flowerbed while innocently burying a bone.

Screen the View

Some dogs, especially herding or driving breeds such as border collies, shepherds, and corgis, might find more inner peace if consistent movement on the other side of the fence, such as traffic or joggers, is blocked. They can’t try to herd what they can’t see.

Invisible Fence

Dogs can be kept safely in a yard without a fence if you install an invisible fencing system. This type of containment system works by burying an electric wire around the perimeter of the yard (or a designated area). The dog wears a collar with a sensor that emits a small electric pulse when it has stepped over the buried wire. Check with your local pet-fencing company for more information.

Pretty Picket

A picket fence creates a barrier that will keep most dogs contained -- and it looks stylish too. Make sure the pickets are close enough together to keep small dogs from wiggling out. Also, the bottom of the pickets should be close enough to the ground that a small dog can’t squeeze underneath. If your dog is a digger, you might need to add wire, buried a few inches under the soil, to the bottom of the fence.

Chain-Link Fencing

Sturdy, impenetrable, and nearly indestructible, a chain-link fence will keep in most dogs. That's why this material is also used to make kennel panels.  

Make Secure Borders

A custom-made white wooden fence makes a beautiful and classic landscape addition. Adding a strip of woven-wire fencing at the base of the fence also makes it escapeproof.

Deck Barriers

If your dog hangs out with you on your deck, make sure the railings are secure and that the spindles aren’t too wide that a small dog could fall through. A strip of wire along the bottom can prevent a small dog from slipping through the cracks.

Pool Safety

Dogs need the same kind of safety precautions around water that children do. Don’t allow your dog around your pool unless you are with it (even if it is wearing a cute doggie life preserver). The main guarantee for your dog’s safety around the pool is you.

Patio Fencing

If you have an outdoor patio, your dog will want to share the space with you. Make sure all gates are secure so that it can’t let itself out.

Rural Dogs

If you live in a rural area, it's tempting to let your dog run free. However, an unfenced dog, no matter how road savvy it seems, can still get hit by a passing car. It's a good idea to be with your dog when it's outdoors if you don't have a fenced yard. Always better to be safe than sorry.


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