Free to roam in your yard, your dog has license to dig up your garden and turn the lush lawn to a brown-spotted potty area. He's also at risk of danger in the form of the backyard pool and other furnishings. You'll protect your pup and your yard by blocking off a dog-specific area.
Open fencing like wrought iron or chain-link and other types of metal mesh won't obstruct your view while containing your dog. Most dogs can't chew through metal fences, and metal mesh is less expensive than other permanent fencing options. Brick, stone and wood fences, meanwhile, add a decorative touch to your yard and last for years. Choose a barrier that's between 4 feet and 8 feet tall so Fido can't jump over it. Add an angled "lean-in" piece at the top that sits at a 45 degree angle, facing inward, to prevent Fido from going over it. Bury chicken wire at the base of the fence to prevent your dog from digging under it, the Humane Society of the United States recommends.
A quick and easy means of blocking off part of your yard is to purchase a premade kennel made of mesh metal. You can otherwise use chain-link fencing and posts to create a kennel space. Among the benefits of a prefabricated kennel is that it usually comes with a covered roof to shelter Fido. This eliminates the need to provide your pup with a separate dog house or covered enclosure in his part of the yard. You can place the kennel on grass or line the kennel with rubber tiles.
The Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue recommends against invisible fencing to confine your pooch in your yard. Electronic fences don't have a physical barrier; rather they consist of a buried perimeter wire that signals a collar to give an electric shock if the dog gets near it. The organization says such devices are cruel and they're potentially ineffective at preventing an escape -- determined dogs are known to ignore the shock to get out of the yard.
To section-off part of your yard for Fido, consider unconventional options like hedges or a line of trees, planted closely together, to create a barrier. Such an option would take time and, likely, supplemental fencing. Use temporary solutions such as makeshift barriers of plywood and available materials with caution -- an ineffective barrier is no barrier.
Before using physical fencing to create your pup's portion of the yard, consult with your city's building division to see what size and type of fencing is allowed in your area. Enclose an area with enough room for your dog to lay down and move around in comfortably, with shade, food and water. If your pup gets upset by the sights of neighborhood dogs or strangers, choose a solid barrier instead of a see-through one so he can relax.
- DogChannel.com: Fencing Options for Dogs
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Backyard Etiquette
- Partnership for Animal Welfare: Dog Tip: Garden Tips for Dog People
- The Humane Society of the United States: Dig This: How to Get Your Dog to Stop Digging
- Landscaping Network: Privacy Fence Designs
- Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue: Our Position on Invisible Fences
- The Whole Dog Journal: Installing Safe and Affordable Dog Fencing
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