Fencing your yard is a responsible way to keep your dog safely confined. Yet not all fences are created equal. Modern fencing is available in a staggering array of materials and heights. When choosing a fence, consider your dog's size and physical abilities, as well as the overall look of your home and local restrictions. Choose a fence height of at least 6 feet for a small dog, or 8 feet for larger breeds.
Wooden fences are made of wood rails slatted together. A wooden privacy fence blocks your yard from prying eyes and leaves no space for your dog to wriggle through or neighbors to poke objects at the dog. However, a privacy fence also blocks your view from your yard. Open wooden fences, such as picket and split rail, provide a better view, but the open spaces provide less protection. Some dogs dig under wooden fences, or even chew through them.
Metal fences are available in wrought iron and chain-link varieties. A wrought iron fence is elegant and allows you to see out, but it also allows passersby to see in. Wrought iron fences typically do not reach the ground, so make sure your dog does not have enough room to slip out or isn't a digger. Look for a pattern that is relatively closed between the rails. Chain-link fences are secure and inexpensive, but can be unsightly. They leave your yard and your dog exposed to view, so are not necessarily the best choice on busy roads.
Some fences are made from mesh, plastic or other materials. Consider the durability and style,
as well as your dog's ability to chew through, climb or otherwise defeat the material.
You might be subject to fencing requirements or restrictions from your homeowner's association, city or county. Some places have specific fencing requirements for allegedly dangerous breeds. Some places prohibit privacy fences on corner lots. Some prohibit traditional fencing altogether. Check with the local authorities before you purchase fencing materials.
By Lisa Fritscher
About the Author
Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer specializing in disabled adventure travel. She spent 15 years working for Central Florida theme parks and frequently travels with her disabled father. Fritscher's work can be found in both print and online mediums, including VisualTravelTours.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Florida.