The ideal fence for a footloose dog is a privacy fence -- it keeps the dog from seeing enticing stimuli on the other side and is more difficult to climb -- but chain-link or cyclone fencing, is popular for its durability, cost and other factors. A 4-foot-high fence is adequate for most small and medium-size dogs, 6-foot-high for most large dogs; but crafty tiny dogs can learn to scale chain-link in a heartbeat, and larger ones can leap over. Regardless of the height of your fence and the size and strength of your dog, you can customize to ensure your dog stays inside.
Keep your dog from escaping a chain-link enclosure by ensuring that the fence is completely secure and that it is high enough to prevent Fido from leaping or climbing over the top. Give your dog reason to stay put by meeting all his needs -- including plenty of exercise -- and providing boredom-busting toys and games. Roller bars or extensions at the top of a fence help contain the canine whose upward mobility is problematic.
Seal the Perimeter
Examine the entire fence perimeter before leaving your dog alone. Repair any gaps in the fence. Remove fixtures located near the fence that could serve as platforms to give your dog the boost he needs to scoot over the fence. Conversely, some landscape fixtures such as shrubs and bushes usually complicate a dog's efforts to transit a fence. Some dogs learn to unlock gates, so be sure to use a dog-proof latching mechanism to keep the gate closed.
Some large dogs and some medium-size dogs with exceptional leaping abilities are able to jump over a standard 4-foot fence, most dogs climb up chain-link fences, using their front paws for leverage. Adding an extension to the top of the fence can prevent the latter from escaping. The height of the extension is not a crucially important factor -- 12 to 18 inches is sufficient -- if the extension is installed so that it leans inward at a 45-degree angle. Alternatively, you can place a roller bar on top of the fence, which will prevent your dog from getting a good grip. Purchase and install commercial roller bars or make your own by installing metal rods horizontally along the top of the fence and placing large-diameter PVC pipes around the rods.
Ultimately, the best way to keep your dog contained is to remove the stimuli that drive him to escape. Even beloved pets who receive plenty of attention may seek to escape confinement when their owners are not around. This can precipitate from boredom, an overabundance of energy or the irresistible desire to investigate things they can see from inside the fence, such as neighborhood children or dogs. To dampen these desires, ensure your dog has plenty of food and water while outside and that he has a quality doghouse that provides shelter from the elements. Get your dog plenty of exercise and interaction with humans, and provide interactive toys for him to play with while he is alone, rotating between a few of them.
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