Everyone who has a big dog with tons of energy knows how hard it can be to contain your best friend. After all, many breeds of large dogs want to get in touch with their wild side and chase the neighborhood squirrels or bark at cars. If you have a big, strong, energetic dog, you’ll need a fence, and you’ll need to think carefully about the type of fence before adding it to your yard. The trick is to find a fence that satisfies your budget and your aesthetic desires while stopping your furry pal from going on the adventure of his doggy dreams. Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing the perfect big dog fence!
1. Big dogs need big fences…because they can jump!
A four foot high fence is unlikely to deter a Husky, Golden Retriever, or Labrador, so you should look for a fence with a height of five or even six feet. For most breeds, six feet should be sufficient. Some owners start adding extensions to make their fences higher and higher. However, if you do this, your dog will learn how to jump a little higher each time! Your best bet in this case is to tear down your old fence and install a new six foot fence rather than making additions. Height isn’t the only factor at play—a big dog is also a strong dog. High quality wood and vinyl or composite materials can resist charging and chewing better than cheaper, lower end materials.
2. Make that fence impossible to climb
No matter how high your fence is, a clever dog will still try to get over it somehow. Even if he can’t actually jump it, he may be able to climb. When choosing a fence, it’s crucial to make sure the design of the fence itself is totally climb-proof. Chain link fences are a bad idea for climbers—they provide your dog with easy footholds! A solid panel fence, on the other hand, has a flat surface without anywhere for your dog to stick his paws.
3. Give your dog a little privacy (or, rather, give the squirrels on the other side privacy)
Once you have your climb-proof fence, make sure there’s nothing your dog can use to give himself a boost. Don’t place a planter or a birdbath or anything else your dog can climb onto alongside the fence.
Okay, your dog may not care about privacy at all, but a wooden or vinyl privacy fence is a great option for his (and your) peace of mind. Aside from their climb-proof nature, solid panel privacy fences are great because your dog cannot see what’s on the other side. If he can’t actually see squirrels and other dogs and people and everything else he loves to bark at, he’ll be a lot calmer. He won’t be visible to other dogs on their walks either, who may get distracted and start barking.
4. Think before getting an invisible fence
5. Make your dog not WANT to escape!
A fence is necessary to keep your dog in your yard, but as a behavioral fix, it’s only a starting point. Creating a dog-friendly yard is one way to keep your dog entertained between the fence walls.
Not everyone has a spacious yard or the ability to provide a large dog with ample exercise. That’s exactly why big dogs aren’t for everyone, but the right fence does go a long way in terms of keeping your dog safe and secure. Managing massive dogs can be a massive challenge, but for owners that are able to take that challenge, it’s worth the effort so you can keep your dog around for massive cuddles.
Got a small dog? Check out our post on finding the perfect fence for your little pup!
How do you keep your big dog from getting out of your yard? Have you made any special modifications to your backyard fence? Leave a comment with your experiences and suggestions with other dog owners!