For many dog owners, the garden or yard fence is one of the most important parts of the home! It secures your pooch where you know they will be safe but allows them a certain amount of freedom to roam around. This only works if the fence is high enough and strong enough to keep your dog in and is the right type of fence to prevent your dog from escaping! Here, we outline several ways to dog proof your fence in ways that even the most dedicated escape artists cannot overcome!
Dog Proofing Fence Ideas
Before you make a start on choosing the type of fence you need or making adaptions to your existing fence, it is useful to get some ideas on why your dog is trying to escape. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is your dog lonely in your yard?
Often, dogs will try to get out of a fence because they are lonely. They are simply seeking someone to play with. You could try to rectify this by making sure that your pup has plenty of walks where they can interact with their canine pals.
Is your dog defending your backyard?
Some dogs see themselves as the member of the family who is in charge of security and their doggy behavior reflects this. They may try to escape from your yard to deal with a person or animal that they view as an intruder even though it is just an innocent passer-by.
Is your dog chasing something?
Many dogs have a high prey drive and will chase any small animal that runs through your garden or yard and then escapes through a gap in your fence. Obviously, your pooch is going to want to chase after it and the fence is getting in the way!
Is your dog simply curious?
To your dog, the world on the other side of your fence is unknown and therefore exciting. They may simply want to explore their wider neighborhood. Some dogs are more eager to explore than others.
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How to Keep a Dog from Escaping the Yard
There are several fencing solutions that you can use for your garden or back yard. To choose the right escape proof fence for you, you need to identify how your pup is getting out.
- Jumping: Some dogs take a flying leap and get over the top of your fence. You may spot them taking a run up so that they can make it over the top.
- Climbing: Other dogs are highly efficient at climbing. They may use of some part of the fence structure or some objects that are placed near the fence to start climbing over the top.
- Digging: If you have a digging pooch, they will have found a way to make a tunnel that is just big enough for them to squeeze under the fence. You will be surprised at how good dogs can be at digging when they want to be.
- Chewing: It will come as no surprise to many dog owners that they can chew. Many dogs have powerful teeth and jaws and will have no trouble chewing through fencing and making it out the other side. If they spend time in your yard everyday, they can work away at their hole gradually. Take a look at our review of dog anti chew spray for more options
- Barging: Larger dogs in particular, can use the weight of their body to force their way through a fencing panel. Even small dogs will have a go at doing this.
Many dogs will use a combination of these techniques to get out of your yard or garden. Others, make a dash for it when the gate opens.
Dog Fencing Options
The materials and design that you use will address both the reasons why your dog is trying to escape and the methods that they are using. There are several designs and materials that you can use when choosing the best fence for dog escape artists.
Do You Need a Dig Proof Fence?
If your dog is digging under your fence, you need a dig proof dog fence around the perimeter of your yard or garden. One of the best ways to dog proof a fence for diggers is to fit an L shaped extension or footer at the bottom of the fence. It is best to use chicken wire (many pet supplies stores will stock it) to create a fence extension but you could also use a portion of chain link fences or even hardware cloth.
The idea is that the extra fencing panel extends across the ground where your dog would start digging. It can be left above ground but you may prefer to bury it a few inches deep so that it does not look unsightly.
The other option is to concrete the area immediately in front of the fence or use some ground matting. Even the most proficient dog digger will not be able to dig out of a concrete yard or through a tough ground mat.
Do You Need to Climb Proof a Fence?
If you need to stop your dog from climbing over the fence, you could try an L shaped extension at the top or a lean-in section at the top of the fence. This will not stop climbing but will keep dogs in the backyard because they will not be able to get over the top. The fence line leans inwards so it will not let your dog get over the top.
Another dog safe option is a coyote roller. These are aluminum rods that fit at the top of a fence and are designed to roll. As the name suggests, they are designed to keep out coyotes but they are equally as effective for dogs. As your four-legged friend tries to get over the top of the fence, the rods just spin so that they cannot get a grip. These fences keep dogs inside and coyotes outside and are easy to install
When you install a fence, it would be a good idea to make it from a substance that a dog cannot get a grip on. A vinyl fence is a great option for a back yard because it is smooth and impossible to climb and therefore provides dog proof fence panels. Sheet metal does the same job. Gage fencing or a chain link fence may not be the best option.
It is important to note that even a climb-proof fence will not be enough to keep dogs in your backyard if you have a lot of things next to the fence that they can climb up. Make sure that you remove piles of garbage and wood, garbage cans and toys from the area.
Do You Need to Jump-proof Your Fence
Fencing suggestions for jumpers are similar to those for climbers. You could create a lean-in extension at the top which makes it harder to jump over. Also, you may find it useful to plant shrubs at the base of the fence. These look great and they stop dogs from being able to get a good run up to the fence before they jump and make it less likely, therefore, that they will make it over. There are plenty more ideas on sites like Montage Puppy Notes.
Do You Need to Block the View From the Fence?
Fencing for large dogs or small dogs who are territorial and like to patrol the perimeter needs to block their view of what is on the other side of the fence. Wood dog fences are better than a chain link fence because they are non see-through. A privacy fence also stops people from seeing in your yard or garden.
A wood privacy fence is a popular option as is reed fencing. You can even attach the reed fence to chain link to have more strength. However, beware that some dogs like to chew wood and reeds.
Do You Need a Stronger Fence?
So, how to dog proof fence panels that your dog is barging through? This is not easy and you may need to erect an alternative fence. If your dog is very powerful, you may need to use wrought iron railings around your backyard. However, chain link that is secured properly may be enough for most dogs.
How to Keep Your Dog in the Yard
There are plenty of other things that you can do to keep your four-legged friend inside the fence and inside your backyard or garden.
Install an Invisible Fence
You could try an invisible fence. This method uses electrically charged wires that you bury around four inches underground at the perimeter of your property or at any point that you do not want your dog to cross. A transmitter sends a signal through the wires. Meanwhile, you attach a receiver to your dog’s collar. Every time they approach the wires, they will get a tone or vibration in their collar that will deter them from going any further. It is not a huge electric shock – it feels similar to some cold water being splashed on your face. When combined with a training regime it can be highly effective. The advantages are that they are cheaper than a regular fence and easier to install. The disadvantage is that they do not stop any other humans or animals from entering your property and do not afford a privacy at all. For more options head over to our guide on wireless electric dog fences.
Fit an Airlock or Double Gate
You can create what is known as an airlock by fitting another section of fence behind your gate so that you form an enclosed area with two gates. When someone wants to enter your yard, they go through the first gate and close it before opening the second gate and getting into your yard. This makes sure that your dog cannot make a run for it when one gate is open. They may eventually give up once they realize that they are not getting anywhere.
Get a Pup Bumper
These are large collars filled with fiberfill. It creates a big and padded structure around your dog’s neck which makes a small dog a lot bigger. Your furry friend will soon find that they can no longer sneak through small gaps in the fence and it saves you a fortune on fence repairs.
Secure all Latches and Locks
Gates that blow open in the wind or do not shut securely behind you provide a handy escape route for a dog. There is no point in spending a lot of money dog-proofing a fence if they can sneak out through an open gate. You may need to add an additional secure lock. Some dogs can be incredibly resourceful and can work out how to open some latches themselves.
Make Your Yard a Dog Paradise
If there is everything that your dog could need in your yard, they will be less likely to want to escape! They should have food, water, shelter, and plenty of things to play with. Treat dispensing toys are especially popular. It helps if you rotate your dog’s toys – it maintains their interest and stops your dog from getting bored. Find out more about interactive dog toys here.
Make Sure Your Dog Has Company
Dogs do not do well when they are left alone for long periods. One of the best ways to stop a dog from trying to escape from a yard is to be in the yard with them! You will be able to both entertain them and supervise what they are doing. Fetch is always a favorite game but it is also a great opportunity for a training session.
Keep your Dog in the House
If you are going to be away from home for a few hours, it may be safer to leave your dog inside the house. That way, you can be confident that they will not escape and they cannot be snatched by another person. Always provide your dog with plenty of activities so that they will not suffer from separation anxiety.
What to Do if Your Dog Does Escape
It is sensible to take precautions just in case your dog does manage to escape. You could have your dog microchipped so, when they are found, they can be returned to you. It is important that you keep your contact details up to date on the register.
You may also want to invest in a GPS tracking collar with a lost dog feature. You will get real time information on the location of your dog. For more options, check out our detailed review of GPS trackers for dogs.
When you get your dog back, it is vital that you do not punish them in anyway because this will simply frighten them and they will not understand what they have done. It may even make them scared to return home if they do it again. Welcome your dog back home and take steps to make sure that they do not escape again!