When determining what fencing to use for your pets, it is prudent to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will the yard be fenced off to contain the pets (what fence type will be used)?
  • Can you define the areas to which the pets will not be allowed access?
  • Do multiple pets need to be kept away from each other?

Once you have a sense of the above, the following fencing information will assist with the first question (i.e. choosing the right fence for your pets):

Chain link fencing comes with a long list of problems for your dog

Chain link fencing comes with a long list of problems for your dog

Chain Link Fencing

Chain link fencing comes with a long list of potential problems for dogs and other pets. Firstly, the end of the fence where the links are cut often have sharp points, and your pets can cut their faces, body and paws on these points. Worse still, the pets can get the collar hooked on one of the ends as well. Secondly, the holes between the links and the high visibility to the other side of the fence encourage dogs to chew on the mesh or put their snouts through the holes.

This can lead to abrasions to the face and inside the mouth, and with continued gnawing, can lead to the wearing down of the teeth. Being able to fuit their entire nose through the holes can also encourage fence aggression towards people and other animals on the other side as they try to gain access. Thridly, many agile dogs can hook their paws on the wires and climb up the mesh of a chain link fence, significantly hindering its purpose of keeping your dog enclosed in the yard.

Block walls offer permanent protection for your pets and are easy to screen with vines and shrubs

Block walls offer permanent protection for your pets and are easy to screen with vines and shrubs

Block Walls

Its had to find faul with a block wall. They are strong and durable, do not fall prey to dogs that are chewers, and are extremely difficult for a dog to climb.

Block walls also discourage digging and other doggy destruction. In addition to providing some sound attenuation, the solid structure of a block wall offers excellent protection from the outside world.

 

Wrought iron fencing - the difference tighter spacing can make is obvious here, as the dogs head fits through the upper wrought iron bars but not through the lower bars with the addition of more pickets at the bottom or a different cross wrought iron design.

Wrought iron fencing – the difference tighter spacing can make is obvious here, as the dogs head fits through the upper wrought iron bars but not through the lower bars with the addition of more pickets at the bottom or a different cross wrought iron design.

Wrought Iron Fencing

Wrought iron fencing is a good choice for many reasons, it is durable, attractive and immune to chewing. There are some things to consider with respect to your particular dog. The wrought iron is usually constructed with a 4 inch gap between the abrs. This is plenty of room for most small breeds to fit through, and definitely big enough for any dogs face to fit through. Obviously, if your dog can fit through the abrs, then the fence is not doing its intended purpose. Likewise, if your dog can fit even its head through the bars, you open yourself up to a vaiety of problems resulting from access to whomever or whatever is on the other side of the fence. He can easily fence fight with the neighboring dogs or injure people who get too close to the fence (think about little kids and them trying to pat the dog as well…) Even if your dog is not aggressive, curiosity can put him on the receiving end of these problems as he investigates what is on the other side of the fence.

Wooden Fencing

Wooden fences are a bit of a gamble when used to enclose a canine. For most dogs they work perfectly well; they are cheap, and who isn’t looking for cheap fencing, attractive and easy to erect and the slats are traditionally spaced close enough together that paws and snouts dont fit through.

There are a few potential problems that should be considered before selecting a wooden fence:

  • Does your dog like to chew? Wooden slats quickly become the toy of choice for many dogs, resulting in fence destruction and damage to the dogs mouth
  • If you dog is a digger and the wooden fence is placed over grass or dirt, your dog will dig himself an escape hole in no time. This is less likely if the wooden fence is over cement or a similar hard surface, but it is still fairly easy for a power digger to use his paws to pull the slats away from the fence posts and open up an escape hole.

Electric Fencing

Electrical fencing can be used either alone or in conjunction with a structural fence, and can be above ground or burieed below. Both can offer excellent containment and are safe if used correctly. With an above-ground electrical fence, a acharged electrical wire, called a “hotwire” is erected along the perimeter of your property. It emits a shock to any human or animal that touches it. Hotwires can function as the only type of fencing, as long as the wires are spaced closed enough to each other horizontally to prevent an animal from ducking under or inbetween the wires.

The advantages of this type of electrical fence is that it keeps intruders and wildlife out as well as keeping your pets in. Hotwires are also excellent tools for augmenting existing fencing if you have a notorious escape artist as a pet. Strung along your existing fence, they can prevent your dog from climbimg over, digging under, or chewing through your fence. This fence is not recommended for families with very young kids who might wander outside and grab the fence accidentally. Please note that either type of electrical fence requires training the dog to understand it.