Choosing A Fence For Your Dog: 4 Things To Consider

Black lab sticking his nose through a small hole in a wood fence

Adding a dog to your family is a big step and you can’t forget the task of choosing a fence for you dog

cute white and tan dog with his tongue out outside

Congrats! Your family has grown by four paws! 

Getting a dog is an exciting decision that comes with a lot of careful planning, consideration, and care. After all, getting a dog – no matter the size – is a pretty big deal!

While taking dogs for walks or hikes are some of the best ways to give them exercise, those options don’t always fit into your busy schedule.

That’s why a lot of dog owners install fences in their backyards. That way their pups can run, jump, play, and just hang out freely without worry of getting away or hurt. 

In fact, getting a new dog or repairing a fence for a current four-legged friend are some of the most common reasons people in New Jersey call us up for a free estimate!

Why Fence For Dogs?

A fenced-in yard provides a safe place for dogs to:

Brown pitbull playing outside with a man in a fenced-in yard

  • Run off energy
  • Play fetch
  • Enjoy the outdoors with you and your family

According to Animal Wellness Magazine, spending time outdoors is vital to your dog’s happiness and wellbeing. Installing the right fence ensures your pup has a safe place to do so!

We’re sure you’ve done plenty of research on your dog breed, shelter or breeder, and how to care for a dog online, but don’t forget about your dog’s fence! It’s not enough to know that you need a fenced-in yard. You need to make sure you have the right fence for fido.

To save you time, we’ve compiled a list of the four things you should consider when choosing a fence for your dog.

  1. Fence Height
  2. Proper Installation
  3. Your Dog’s View
  4. Fence Type 



1. Fence Height

Choosing the right fence height for your dog is the most important thing you can do. Calmer, smaller breeds might be fine with a three to four-foot picket fence, however; this type of fence will do nothing to stop a larger dog. Medium to large-sized breeds like boxers, golden-retrievers, Huskies, and labs will see a four-foot fence as a fun obstacle to jump over. In this case, what’s fun for them isn’t fun for you!

brown pitbull playing with his owner outside in a fenced-in yard

We always recommend at least a six foot high fence when fencing in a yard for a dog. If you have an existing fence that is shorter than six feet, take it down and replace it with one that it at least six feet high and hard to climb. Slippery material like PVC is a good way to keep them from digging their nails in and climbing to the top. On the other hand, chain-link is fairly easy for dogs to climb.

Pro Tip: You definitely shouldn’t just add chain-link extensions for dogs to increase the height of your fence. Dogs are pretty smart and love a challenge, so a lot of times they just learn how to jump higher every time! Start with the right height for your four-legged friend to keep him from training to be an escape artist!

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2. Proper Installation

If dogs can get over the wrong fence, they can get under or through the wrong fence, too! A lot of people have dogs that we sometimes call diggers. Instead of hurdling over the fences, these escape artists dig under fences for fun!

Cute dog looking under wooden fence

It’s definitely harder to keep a digger inside the backyard than a jumper, but it is possible.

When you call a fencing contractor or have one come out for a free estimate, make sure you tell them what kind of dog you have and if they like to dig. This will help them come up with the best fencing solution for your family.

One thing that can deter this behavior is to put down a gravel barrier at the base of the fence. It’s not fun for dogs to dig through hard gravel, so this normally stops them from getting out through the bottom.

We also mentioned sometimes dogs go through fences. Believe it or not, some dogs will jump into poorly constructed fences until they break. You should always trust a professional fence contractor with the health and safety of your four-legged friend.

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3. Your Dog’s View

Another thing dog-owners often overlook when installing a fence is their dog’s view. While being outside helps our dogs stay active and mentally stimulated, we don’t want them to become overstimulated.

Think about when you take your dog for a walk. How excited do they get when they see a squirrel, person, or other dog? It becomes a lot harder to contain them, right?

Small white and brown dog pulling on leash at attention during a walk with a white wood fence in the background

The same thing will happen in your backyard. If your fence is chain-link, welded wire, aluminum, or has open spaces, your dog can see the outside world. This could lead to more barking and escape attempts. We always recommend a privacy fence for dogs. Something solid so they can enjoy everything nature offers them in your backyard while tuning out all the possibly dangerous distractions of the road.

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4. Fence Type

We’ve touched on this briefly throughout the post, but choosing the right fence type is critical for containing your dog and giving him a safe outdoor space. We’re going to list some fence types and their pro’s and con’s.

Pro Tip: Picket fences are typically never a good idea, unless you have a small, calm dog or you’re going to be out there supervising them the entire time.

Vinyl Fencing For Dogs

white vinyl privacy fence is a great choice for a yard with a dog

Vinyl or PVC fencing is an all-around great choice for a dog-proof fence.

Easy to maintain, good looking, and hard to climb, vinyl fencing is man’s second best friend.

An experienced fence installer can help you choose the right style of privacy fence, colors, and height to keep your four-legged friend safe and increase the curb appeal of your home.

Wood Fencing For Dogs

Another great option for a dog fence is wood. Wood fences are beautiful and can be installed in a number of different styles to create privacy and security for your four-legged friend.

Pro Tip: You may run into a little trouble with a wood fence depending on where it is in your yard. Wood fences are subject to rot if you pile up mulch or other organic material at the bottom. Whether you have a dog or not, make sure you remove last year’s mulch before putting down new if it’s touching your fence.

Chain Link Fencing For Dogs

The Good

Chain-link isn’t the best fence choice for a dog as they can use the openings to gain a foothold while climbing.

dog paw on chain link fencing

There are some workarounds to this, though. For example, there are some pretty tall chain-link fences out there. Some contractors will install chain-link fences 8-,10-, or 12- feet high. The higher the fence, the harder it will be for your dog to climb over.

Another good thing about chain-link fences is that they are affordable and durable. However, that comes at a cost when you have a dog.

Chain-link fences aren’t the most attractive fence type out there and they don’t offer any privacy to your dog. So your furry friend will be able to see every dog, human, and car that passes by on the other side of your fence.

One more negative to consider is that some dogs can chew through the connecting wires and break through these fences.

Aluminum Fencing For Dogs

Aluminum fences give a sophisticated look to your home. These types of fences are light, won’t rust, and are cheaper than wrought iron fencing options but give a similar look.

Black aluminum fence with a gate

The gaps between the poles of most aluminum fences are between three and four inches wide. Just make sure that the gaps are narrow enough to prevent your dog’s head from slipping through, and this should keep your puppy contained.

Like chain-link or picket fences, aluminum fences let dogs see out, which could encourage an excited dog to escape. Another downside to aluminum fences is that the horizontal bars could make it easier for your dog to climb.

 Wrought Iron Fencing For Dogs

Wrought iron fences are extremely strong. There’s no way a dog is making it through your wrought iron fence, unless it was installed very poorly.

Dog with head through wrought iron gate

We actually don’t install wrought iron fencing because it’s not practical. While it’s incredibly strong, wrought iron fencing is also expensive. Not only does it come at a high price tag, but it will rust over time.

If you’re going for this look, we always recommend aluminum fences, which are cheaper and won’t rust. If you do choose aluminum or wrought iron, make sure you get a fence that is tall enough!

Electric Fencing For Dogs

Electric fences don’t cost a lot more or a lot less than traditional fences. Another good thing about electric fences is that your yard will look the same… eventually. With most electric fences you have to put up flags to outline the fence location. Once the dog learned the boundaries, you can remove the flags and you won’t even know it’s there!

golden retriever

Electric fences aren’t a quick fix. With invisible fences, you need to train your dog so he knows where the fence is. This requires a training period where the owner and dog walk the perimeter of the fence noting the flags. Another downside is the the lack of protection. Although invisible fences protect dogs by preventing them from leaving the yard, they do not prevent hazards from entering. Stray dogs and wild animals can easily access your yard with an electric fence, so you have to consider that.

To top it all off, some dogs become agitated when they can see what’s going on beyond your fence but they can’t go check it out. Remember when we talked about the importance of privacy fencing and your dog’s view? Sometimes dogs just don’t care and run through the electric fence, anyway. There’s also the discomfort for the dog every time it shocks him. 

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Choosing A Fence For Your Dog

Traditional privacy fences made of PVC or wood are typically the best choices for containing your dog. Here at Artistic Fence Company, we understand the questions, considerations, and options you have when choosing a fence for your four-legged friend in the New Jersey area. That’s why homeowners have been trusting us to installing their backyard fencing for over 35 years

We’d love to come out and give you a free quote on a fence installation or repair that will keep your furry friend safe. Call the office at (973) 779-4540 today to set up a free estimate or ask any questions about dog-friendly fencing options, or fill out the form below!

Artistic Fence Co.

Established in 1983, Artistic Fence is a locally owned and operated fencing company that has provided customers in the northern New Jersey area with long-lasting fences and home enclosures for over thirty-five years. That’s why we’re known as “The Good Fence People!” 

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