Owning a dog means accepting the responsibilities that accompany the animal. These range from needing to clear up after it and training it. You also need to generally ensure that it is safe and not a risk to the general public.
In most cases a well-trained dog will not present a risk. However, even if the animal is well-behaved and not a danger, that does not preclude the public being fearful of the dog.
An accumulation of worried public people leads to stressed dog owners. It raises the potential for crimes against dogs. The stress is not beneficial for the dog or your relationship with them.
In addition, even the best-trained animal can succumb to the scent of prey. Instincts are likely to kick in and send it scurrying out of your yard. At this point, you’ll be concerned with it being injured.
You’ll also have to consider the damage it could do to people, other pets, and property. All of which you could be liable for.
The safest way to ensure your dog is not an issue is to ensure it is well fenced in. How you do this will depend on the space you have available for your dog. You’ll need to spend some time considering which options best suit your budget and the potential dog escape routes.
That is why, before you even start looking at fence types, you should evaluate the space you have. This will help you to see where the risks of escape are.
Escape Options For Dogs
If you have a garden you are going to need to secure all or part of it. To ensure this is achieved the first time you should inspect the border thinking like a dog. You may be surprised at how small a space a big dog can squeeze through.
If you’re not sure then you can assume that the dog will get through any gap. Alternatively, it’s possible to let your dog out and secretly watch it. They will quickly establish where they think plausible escape routes are located.
You can then stand there and watch where else they go. You’ll need to be ready to react quickly to stop it from escaping. But, it will highlight where the escape routes are.
The exact escape options will depend on your dog, some can climb fences, and others dig under them, while others simply accept the fence as a barrier. It’s actually amusing to watch a smaller dog burrow its way through the tiniest of gaps while a well-trained bigger dog simply sits in front of an open gate. Part of this is training, the rest is instinct. Fortunately, you can influence this instinct with the right fence.
Don’t forget that the easiest way to check for escape options is to allow your dog into the space and watch them, without harassing them. But, this isn’t necessarily the best option, it’s high-risk and stressful.
Dog Fence Options
Once you have established the escape risks you will be able to decide which type of fence is best suited to your garden.
Electric Dog Fence
The electric dog fence comes in two forms. Wired and wireless.
A wired fence can look like a standard metal ground fence around your property, but there will be an electric current running through the fence. The boundary wire will usually run low down, if the dog attempts to put his head past the cable it will receive a vibration or mild electric shock via the collar around its neck. This will persuade the dog not to cross the fence line again. If this option appeals check out this electric dog fence and put it in your shopping cart now!
The second option is similar but allows you to create an invisible dog fence. Effectively a pet containment system or wireless system of pet control. Sensors are placed in the ground which sends signals to each other.
When the receiver in the dog collar breaks the sensor a shock, or vibration is sent through the collar. This tells the dog that it is not allowed to cross the line. It’s surprisingly effective.
This is a wireless dog fence system and extends under the ground, offering protection against digging dogs.
Both of these systems use receiver collars and the correction levels and sensitivity of this pet fence can be set by you. It’s often referred to as a static correction system.
For more information read our Wireless Dog Fences: Complete Guide To Containing Your Pet blog.
If the thought of an electric shock is not appealing or your dog. Or if you feel your dog is not big on trying to escape then you can opt for a less heavy-duty approach. This means using more traditional fences which can mask the fact you have a big dog.
This means fitting fence panels, they can be made of wood or metal depending on which suits the style of your garden best. Do not forget to verify your local planning regulations before you install a new fence. Some places have strict guidelines regarding eight and type of fence.
These panels will need to be attached to posts staked into the ground. They should also be solid enough to prevent a big door barreling straight through them.
Of course, there are many styles of fence you can select from. The traditional picket fence with wire mesh can be enough to stop the smallest of dogs. The height of the picket fence can be adjusted to suit the size of the dog, up to a point.
Fence panels give privacy as well as keeping your dog on. This can have the effect that your dog is less aware of passers-by. If your dog barks at almost any noise keeping people out of sight with a fence panel can be the best choice.
Another option that allows your dog to be outside but reduces the risk of escape is to create an outside cage. You will need metal fencing panels that can be attached together to create a free-standing structure.
If you are worried about the dogs digging out you can put a concrete or patio base to prevent digging. There is no need to secure the entire garden because your dog or dogs will be contained in the oversized cage. It works on the same principle as the standard kennel, but gives more freedom of movement.
This is usually considered if you have a large dog as metal is much stronger than wood. The chain link prevents the dog from smashing through the fence, but, it is considerably more expensive than most other options.
The Picket fence
This is likely to be one of the most attractive options but it is only really viable for smaller dogs, as long as they are not small enough to slip between the planks in your fence. It will also allow other animals to get into your garden, which could potentially cause issues.
If your dog is simply constrained to a house and patio area you will find steel railings are an attractive and workable solution.
Why You Need To get the Dog Fence Right
The dog fence is actually substantially more than just a containment system for your dog. Although trapping it inside your garden and prevent them from causing harm to others is important. Of course, a dog that escapes can cause damage and you may face allegations of assault by your dog, which could result in your dog having to be put down.
That is not a desirable situation and emphasizes the importance of your dog fence.
But, the dog fence also offers you security in your garden. Choosing the right fence will assist in deterring intruders, both human and animal.
The best example of this is a sturdy wooden fence, if this is struggling to contain your dog then the possibility of adding a wireless fence exists. Metal fences can be easier to climb, depending on their style and the absence of a fence is an open invititation to intruders.
It is not just people considering breaking into your home you need to be concerned about. A lack of fence encourages other animals into your garden, these could tease your dog or potentially harm it and they will have limited opportunities to run or hide.
Check Planning Regs
Alongside the aforementioned local planning regulations, you should also consider how easy it is to install your chosen fence type. Putting in a wood or metal fence gives security and privacy. But, you also need to consider the time it will take to install and the potential problems you may face.
You may prefer to get the assistance of a professional. If you do choose this route it is important to do your homework and get someone who knows what they are doing. Erecting a fence can be expensive. You want it to go up and stay up, not need replacing again next year.
The Final Encounter
Do not forget that you will be regarding the fence every day, this represents an important part of your decision process. After all, if you currently have a stunning view across fields you do not want to lose that just to ensure your dog stays in the garden. That’s why bury the wire electric fences is so popular, or the right wireless system! The fact that they are easy to set is an unexpected but beneficial bonus.
As with most things in life, choosing the right dog fence is all about balance and being open to different solutions. Although some people say the wireless and wired electrical systems are not fair to the dogs, they are effective. You should also consider that the shock given can be set as minimal. That is just enough to affect the behavior of your dog but not to mentally or physically hurt them.
You should also consider the installation process. A wireless system or even a simple wire fence can be easily installed by anyone. However, if you’re opting for panels you’re going to need to ensure they have a secure footing to keep your dog in. This will also ensure they stay in place during high winds.
Adding the cost of a professional fence installer could facilitate the panels becoming more expensive than the wireless fence. It’s worth contemplating your sums before you commit to purchasing a specific fence.
Of course, a dog with a high prey drive may be driven to go through the electric fence. Thereby ignoring the shock in order to chase the prey. Fundamentally making the electric shock type of fence unviable for dogs with high prey drive, although an excellent option for the majority of other dogs.
Getting the right fence means consideration must be applied to all available options. This is the only way to ensure you choose the one that compliments your needs sufficiently. Your final decision should be a combination of planning, thought, and budget, the relationship with your dog will cater for the rest.