While there are a beautiful variety of fencing styles to choose from, bringing a dog into the mix—especially a puppy—is going to change the way that you’re viewing your fence. In addition to concerns about security in terms of height and finials and latches, now you’ve got to worry about the bottom of the fence, the narrowness of the pickets, and making sure that those little pups don’t go squeezing between the bars and running amok in the neighborhood.
- When choosing an aluminum fence for your dog, there are many things to consider. First, while you want to puppy-proof your fence, your pup isn’t going to be small forever, so you’ll want a fence that can stand up to a full-sized adult dog. And there are many kinds of dogs, each with their own considerations.
The American Kennel Club identifies seven groups of dogs. These are:
- Sporting Dogs: These dogs need lots of room to run around, as they’re very energetic and won’t necessarily like being confined to a tight space. But they love the outdoors. Some sporting breeds are Spaniels, Setters, and Pointers.
- Working Dogs: Working dogs are perfect guards for your property, and they’ll make sure that no one comes in unannounced. They are very intelligent (which can make doggy-proofing hard) but once they get used to their space, they’re very reliable to stay inside it. Some working dogs are Boxers, Dobermans, Great Danes, Mastiffs, and Rottweilers.
- Hound Dogs: Hounds were bred for the hunt, and they’re very good at picking up on smells and chasing after them—even if that means going through your fence to get at them. Some hound dog breeds are the Beagle, Bloodhound, Greyhound, and Whippet.
- Terriers: Terriers are energetic and wily, and mostly on the small end. Generally, terriers are territorial and don’t like other dogs encroaching on their space. They may be prone to barking at passersby, and you’ll want a sturdy fence to keep them from escaping and chasing down rivals. Some terriers are the Bull Terrier, Schnauzer, Norfolk Terrier, and Scottish Terrier.
- Nonsporting dogs: these guys don’t fall easily into one category and can range from excitable to mellow. It’s best to check out the details about your specific breed before making generalizations. Some nonsporting dogs include Bulldogs, Chows, Dalmatians, Poodles, and Lhasa Apsos.
- Herding dogs: Herding dogs are very intelligent and respond well to training and structure. Teach them the confines of your yard and they’ll never try to leave it (though as puppies they may struggle to get the concept, and they are sneaky.) Some herding dogs are the Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, German Shepherd, and English Sheepdog.
- Toy dogs: Toys are temperamental and excitable, and they’re small enough to pose a problem as you try to keep them from squeezing out from under your fence. Some toys are the Chihuahua, Maltese, Miniature Pinscher, Toy Poodle and Pug.
- Once you know the kind of dog you’re trying to keep in your yard you can start to make the calculations needed to get a fence capable of containing them. First, look at your dog. Is it a puppy? A small dog? A medium dog? A large dog? The size and temperament of your pet will determine a lot about the kind of fence that you need to keep them from escaping and running around the neighborhood.
- Next, consider their dimensions. Not all small dogs are the same, and neither are all big dogs. A big fluffy dog might actually be skinny enough to squeeze through the bars, while a little pug might have a head too big to do the same. Also, be mindful of your dog’s jumping abilities. Larger breeds (and even some energetic little pups) might make short work of a three-foot fence.
- Then think about the purpose of your fence. Is it the purpose solely to keep your dog contained? Is it to keep burglars and ne’er-do-wells out of your yard? Or is it purely decorative. You may have a well trained dog who is great with people who wants nothing more than to lounge on the porch and couldn’t care less about people walking by, or you could have a rambunctious little furball who wants to escape at all costs.
- You also want to know if you’re looking to contain your dog or your children. A dog might need different accommodations—especially a pup—than a couple of roving three-year-olds.
- Know your yard grading. It’s easy to fence a perfectly flat, horizontal yard with four square corners and no slope, but it’s something else entirely when your fence has to follow the contours of a hilly slope. Walk the length of your fence and look for areas where there are discrepancies—where the rigid height of the fence doesn’t match up with the wavy ground. This creates massive security breaches where your dogs can escape and run amok. Also, be aware of your ground material at the fence line. A fence might look like it’s close to the ground, but it might be disguised by the shrubbery around it. Or a fence might look secure, but the ground cover is just easy-to-dig-through wood chips. All of these factors go into making sure you have a good sturdy fence that will keep your pups inside.
- Have the proper gate closures. This is important for your animals as well as your pets. It’s essential to have a self-closing gate that latches by itself to make sure that you don’t leave your yard accidentally vulnerable to escape.
- Another important consideration when putting your dog out in the yard is landscaping. It’s important that a dog—both inside dogs and outside dogs—have a place to get in the shade and out of the direct sunshine. An uncomfortable dog is a dog that will look for an escape, even if that means tunneling their way out under your beautiful fence.
- Finally, when you’re making your yard puppy-safe, you’ll want to make sure that the bottom of your fence is as impenetrable as possible. This might mean narrower bars, but it also might mean lining the base of your fence with paving stones, poured concrete, or brick. Dogs like to dig, and they’ll look for weak spots to get out. A stone foundation for your fence that runs flush with the base of the fencing may be exactly what you need to keep things safe and cautious. Plus, a well-made fence foundation can add to the aesthetic appeal and value of your property.
- Whatever you do to make sure that your doggo is protected and contained, take your time to do it right. A puppy is an adorable addition to your family, and it’s terrifying to realize that one has wandered off into the neighborhood all alone.
We offer ten styles of puppy fence to meet your needs—fences that have narrow bars and are flush to the ground. First, the Sierra XP, Outback XP, Manhattan XP, Appalachian XP, and Carolina XP are similar to those styles of fence, but with much narrower bars most, if not all the way up. Second, the Sierra Puppy Panel, Outback Puppy Panel, Carolina Puppy Panel, Manhattan Puppy Panel and the Appalachian Puppy Panel with or without puppy press points, all maintain the standard look of the upper half of those fences while presenting a narrow puppy-proof panel at the bottom to keep your furry friends inside.
Check out our puppy fencing options!