Dog Fences – A Homeowners Guide To Choosing The Right One


Fence wanting to escape a chain link fence

Let’s face it; well-secured dog fences allow pets the freedom to experience the outdoors and stay healthy while keeping them and your family safe.

Creating a secure outdoor space can help your dog expel all that excess energy, which will lend a hand to keeping them calm indoors and bringing you peace of mind. But what types of dog fences are there, and what’s best for your furry pet? Keep reading to find out.

Table of Contents

    • Dogs Can Be Escape Artists
    • Types of Dog Fences
    • What Type of Dog Do You Have?
    • Dog Fence Installation
    • Best Type of Dog Fence
    • Why Choose Maintenance-Free Outdoor Solutions
    • Free Estimates
    • Frequently Asked Questions

Dogs Can Be Escape Artists

Dogs are known as man’s best friend, and while they love us, they can also be adept escape artists who want to see the world beyond the yard. If you are experiencing this, a dog fence is something you may want to consider.

Not having a secure fence around your backyard can put your furry friend in danger. It can also put other pets and people at risk, such as neighbors or kids playing around your home. And think about the local flora and fauna your dog might want to destroy or dig into.

Investing in a physical dog fence over an invisible dog fence is essential as it gives your dog the true freedom to play and you the peace of knowing your furry friend is safe.

To make the best choice regarding a fence, you must first look at your dog’s behavior. Each dog is different, so the right fence choice is essential.

Why Is Your Dog Escaping?

dog looking through a hole in a fenceBefore purchasing a fence, you must figure out your dog’s motivations.

Getting inside a dog’s head isn’t easy, but if you watch its behavior (especially if you catch the dog trying to escape), you can get a feel for what’s happening.

Some dogs are just lonely outside. They’d rather be indoors with you.

While there are good reasons to give dogs some outdoor time during the day, ensure they get indoor time if possible.

They won’t have the spare time on their paws to work on their next great escape.

Lonely dogs most often look for outside enrichment. They may have spotted or smelled a friend nearby they know they can get to.

If a friendly dog sees a potential new friend, it might bolt. Animal instincts are a real thing.

While invisible fences work better for some dogs, they won’t stop any excited dog from chasing a rabbit.

Particularly those dogs with too much energy! A dog with extra energy will be more likely to want to get out, and an invisible fence won’t keep them inside your yard nor prevent hazards from entering the yard.

How Is Your Dog Escaping?

dog chewing through a chain link fenceWhen planning to install a new dog fence, it’s helpful to understand how your dog is escaping.

You’ll need to observe from inside the house so your dog doesn’t know (they know when they’re doing something they’re not supposed to do).

Chain link fences offer your pets a great way to climb by allowing them to place their paws into the slots to climb out. Some dogs will even try their hand at chewing through the fence, which could end up costing you an expensive vet visit.

Chain link fences allow your dog to dig and squeeze out under because chain link fences are flexible.

Smaller or more agile dogs can squeeze their way through a fence with a vast enough distance between pickets. If you have small dogs, wide picket spacing isn’t a good idea.

Some dogs can jump over the fence. Even moderately high fences cannot match a dog with enough determination and energy.

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Determined dogs can chew through fences made from weaker materials (such as wood) with strong enough jaws.

Fences with gates can also be problematic if the gate doesn’t have a solid or complex enough latch. Intelligent dogs can learn how to open gates that are too easily accessible.

Types of Dog Fences

With your dog’s behavior in mind, choosing which fence is best for you can be more accessible. But there are still a ton of options to choose from.

Let’s break them down to understand better which fence is the right choice for you and your furry friend.

    • Chain Link Fence – This fence consists of metal posts spaced evenly along your yard with thick wire mesh attached. It is weather-resistant and long-lasting, but it can be expensive and not provide much privacy.
    • Wooden Fence – This fence is made of whole, tall slat boards. They are typically 6 feet tall and provide a good amount of privacy. They can be expensive and require maintenance to avoid rotting. Some dogs may also be able to chew through them.
    • Picket Fence – This fence is not as tall as a standard wooden fence and has larger spaces between slats. It is less expensive, and although somewhat durable, a strong dog may be able to break through. Similar to a wooden fence, it requires maintenance to avoid rotting.
    • Invisible Fence – This fence works with an electrical wire buried underground and sends a signal to a transmitter collar worn by your dog. Wireless invisible fences also use a transmitter box instead of an underground wire. These fences can be expensive and are often not strong enough to deter a focused pup. Also, some dog owners do not like giving their dogs an electric shock, even if it is minimal.
    • Split Rail Fence – This is another version of a wooden fence that combines intermittent posts with vertical slats running across them. It allows you to see out of your yard, but this may not be ideal if privacy concerns it. It can also be expensive and unsuitable for diggers as they can easily tunnel under it.
    • Stone Fence – This fence is built by stacking stones one on another. It can be aesthetically pleasing and a good option for dogs that dig because the rocks make it challenging to burrow under. However, most stone fences are not tall and expensive to install.
    • Aluminum Fence – This fence has verticle pickets with small spaces between them. These pickets are attached by horizontal bars on both the top and the bottom. They are engineered for unique style and maximum strength, and depending on the space between pickets, they could keep small animals out while keeping your dog in.
    • Vinyl Fence – Most fences also use vertical pickets and horizontal bars. They include durable hardware and reinforced rails for a long-lasting installation. There is no painting, staining, or sealing necessary. This fencing choice can be expensive, and some homeowners do not like the plastic look of the material.

What Type of Dog Do You Have?

For the Small Dogs

Tiny dogs are sweet and easy to keep in the home as lap dogs, but every pet, no matter its size, loves to play outside. Having a chain link or fence with a diamond-shaped wire where the dog can scale the wall isn’t recommended.

For the Jumpers

If you’ve got a jumping dog, you’ll need a fence to stand up to it. Getting a high-quality vinyl or even aluminum fence with good height is ideal.

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For the Diggers

D&D Technologies LokkLatch Deluxe latchA dog that digs its way out of your yard is frustrating. They can ruin your yard and garden and escape even the tallest fence.

Aluminum fences can be installed lower to the ground, which deters the dog from thinking about digging their way out instead of a flimsy chain-link fence.

In addition, aluminum fences can be constructed where the bottom rail is at the bottom of the picket.

This design prevents dogs from digging between pickets where the potential for escaping is more significant.

For the Gate-Openers

When your dog is smart enough to get through your garden gate, you’ve got a problem. Some gates have weak latches.

If your grade allows, we recommend swinging the gate toward the dog. If they jump on the gate, they’ll push it closed instead of opening it.

Also, make sure your gate latch is lockable. Some intelligent dogs can unlatch the latch if it isn’t locked. Once it’s closed, it will be impossible for them to unlatch the gate.

The D&D Technologies LokkLatch Deluxe latch is high-quality and provides extra strength and security. It offers magnetic latching action and operates and locks from both sides of the gate.

For the Chewers

Dogs are known for choosing through wood fences, as many like the taste of wood.

Wooden fences are prone to rotting, offer softer material, and are easier to chew through.

Higher-grade vinyl fences and aluminum fences are the best options for chewers as they are tasteless.

The EFF-20 Elite Aluminum fence is a great option. It has a 5/8 “sq. picket with one ⅝” spacing.

It’s not only a strong fence but sits low to the ground for those diggers, especially if you choose to have the bottom rail at the very bottom of the pickets.

For the Patrollers and Friend-Finders

These dogs will be in one of the other categories for how they escape, but the “why” is essential here. Dogs that patrol up and down the fences are looking for other dogs or people who are getting too close.

“Too close” often means “walking on the sidewalk adjacent to the home,” telling that these dogs will want to escape a lot.

You’ll want to get a fence that your dog can’t see through or over. You want a tall fence they can’t see over while on their hind legs.

You also want a solid fence instead of one with posts far enough apart that your dog can see passers-by.

We recommend the New Lexington privacy fence. It’s the most popular and least expensive vinyl privacy fence we offer. While this won’t eliminate your problem, as the dog can still smell and hear the people and animals outside, it will keep them from getting distracted.

Installation of Dog Fences

Once you have decided on the type of fence you want, it is time to discuss the installation. There are more options than just fencing in the backyard alone, and the fencing experts at Maintenance-Free Outdoor Solutions can help you decide which will work best during your free on-site consultation. The options for layouts for your fence could include the following:

  • Perimeter Loop – This fence line goes around your entire property, including the front of the house, allowing your dog access to the backyard surrounding your home. Depending on your fence choice and any neighborhood or city fence laws, this may not be the best option.
  • Hourglass – This fence line is two separate fences, one for the front yard and one for the back yard. This could be a good choice if you want to fence your whole property but need a different style fence in the front due to neighborhood fence restrictions.
  • One Zone– As the name implies, this fence line is for just one zone of the property, either the front or the back. For most dog owners, the one zone with fencing in the backyard is the preferred option.
  • Landscape Loops – This is a separate fence surrounding landscaping in your yard. If you have a pool or landscaping you want to keep your dogs out of, an additional fence around them may be ideal.
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Best Type of Fences for Dogs

EFF-20 Elite Aluminum fenceOverall, in our professional opinion, the best choice that covers most dogs is the residential-grade aluminum fence.

Although we often think of aluminum as the flimsy material used for cans, this aluminum is heavier, stronger, and thicker than the aluminum that usually comes to mind.

It comes in different styles and colors and contains a special powder coating to keep moisture away and prevent oxidation.

Our residential-grade aluminum fence is excellent for security and protection while still being the perfect neighbor-friendly fence.

This fence type comes in a variety of complementary colors to choose from.

Aluminum Fence Color

We offer matching gates in single entry and double drive to match the six standard fence styles.

Why Choose Maintenance-Free Outdoor Solutions?

Maintenance-Free AdvantageHiring a professional dog fence company to install your fence is essential. Maintenance-Free Outdoor Solutions has been installing dog fences since 1994.

We offer competitive pricing and long-term warranties. We also have an excellent customer rating to back up the quality of our artistry.

Check out our Maintenance-Free Advantage to learn more, or request a free, no-obligation estimate today!

You’ll be glad you did.

Free Onsite Estimate

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Fencing Is Best for Dogs?

The type of fence you choose often depends on the kind of dog and your dog’s behavior. Having something that can hold up against weather and dog chewing are two of the essentials.

In our opinion, the best fence for dogs is the residential-grade aluminum fence. It is made of thick, strong aluminum that can withstand dog chewing and lousy weather.

What Is a Good Size Fenced Area for a Dog?

The best option would be to fence your entire backyard to give your dog room to explore. However, some people may want to keep a portion of their yard dog-free.

Giving your dog an area 10 feet wide is suggested so they have enough space to play and release energy.

Do It Yourself Fencing for Dogs?

Although many DIY options are available when you search online, it can be a huge undertaking. Talking to an expert who knows about fencing and what is best for you is a significant first step.

They can help you decide on suitable fence material and size. Then, you can decide whether to purchase the materials and install the fence yourself or call in the experts for installation.

How Can I Keep My Dog in the Yard Without a Fence?

A fence is the best option for keeping your dog safely in your yard. Unfortunately, some dog owners can’t have a fence due to zoning laws, landlord restrictions, or HOA covenants.

Some fence alternatives include cords, trolly runners, invisible fences, and pens.

In research mode? Download this free fence guide:

The Ultimate Guide to Fencing

Related Resources

Here are a few related resources on this topic.

  • All About Pet Fencing: 7 Tips and Solutions You Need to Know
  • How To Find The Best Fence Company Near St. Louis – What To Look For
  • Wood, Vinyl, Aluminum, Steel? Comparing the Top Types of Fences for Your Backyard