Monday, August 5, 2013

The Height Of A Fence For A Dog

The necessary height of a fence varies from dog to dog.

According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, less than 30 percent of dogs in shelters are voluntarily relinquished by their owners. The remaining 70 percent are brought there by animal control services or other sources. A portion of the 70 percent that are brought to shelters are lost dogs that have run away from their homes. One way to prevent your dog from wandering from home is to install a fence of the proper height that will deter it from jumping or climbing over.


A fence has two basic functions: It keeps your dog in your property while keeping other dogs or unwelcome visitors from entering. Chain link fences allow a view while containing your dog. A solid fence prevents your dog from seeing out and being distracted by the sight of every dog, man or vehicle that comes into view.


Chain link fences offer a practical solution because you can build them low to the ground to prevent escape or as high as you want without completely ruining the view. If you live in an area where there are fence type and height restrictions, chain link may be your best option, because many zoning laws allow this type of fence where others are prohibited.

Wrought iron and picket fences provide an attractive alternative. However, they are more expensive than chain link and may leave gaps through which your dog can easily escape. They are also subject to height restrictions in some areas.

If you want a fence that is built to last, masonry is the way to go. Stone walls provide the strongest fencing you can find and offer the most privacy. However, they are much more expensive than the other options and are subject to fence height restrictions.


The height of your fence is mainly determined by two factors: the size of your dog and his behavior. A tiny Yorkie will not require a fence as high as a Labrador will. One guideline that you can follow is the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s rule for pet animal care and facilities, which states that the enclosure for dogs’ exercise area must be at least twice their height at the shoulder.

If you currently own a small breed but intend to get a larger one, it may be helpful to plan ahead and build higher. Sacramento County’s Off Leash Dog Task Force recommends a fence height of 4 to 6 feet for dog parks.

Consider your dog’s behavior when deciding on fence height. A highly energetic golden retriever with a propensity for jumping might be able to easily clear a 6-foot fence. On the other hand, a dog that has been trained from puppyhood to respect boundaries might not even attempt to jump a 4-foot fence.

Height Extensions

If you already have a chain link fence that is not high enough to safely contain your dog, you can use mesh cloth to extend your fence height. Also known as hardware cloth, it can be purchased at hardware or home improvement stores and attached to your fence.

If your dog is a good climber, a tall fence may not be enough to contain him. To solve this problem, you can build wire leaners that can be attached to your fence at an inward angle to discourage climbing.


When building a fence for your dog, check if there are fence type or height restrictions in your area. If your community does not allow you to build a fence with the proper height to keep your dog safe, a dog run with a ceiling may be the next best thing to a fenced yard.

A fence is no substitute for a well-trained dog that respects his boundaries. A determined dog will find ways to escape no matter how tall the fence. Finally, keep in mind that not even a trained dog should ever be left unsupervised in the yard.

Tags: fence height, height restrictions, your fence, chain link, attached your, attached your fence