How to Extend a Fence for a Jumping Dog

Dogs are avid jumpers, but fencing keeps them safe.

Dogs are avid jumpers, but fencing keeps them safe.

Fences can keep dogs safe in their yard, but some dogs dislike being contained. Dogs that jump fences are at risk of being hit by a car, shot, stolen or picked up by animal control. With some simple steps and a free afternoon, you can make your fence jump-proof.

Extend the fence out into the yard, rather than straight up. Dogs can often get a foothold to climb over a taller fence, but have difficulty jumping both up and across a wider barrier.

Attach one edge of the chicken wire or hardware cloth to the fence, about 8 inches from the top. Use staples on a wood fence and cable ties or bailing wire on a chain-link fence. It helps to have someone unroll the chicken wire as you work.

Bend the chicken wire at approximately a 90 degree angle at the top of the fence, with most of the width going back into the yard. The wire should look like a sideways L with the bottom of the L against the fence.

Fasten brackets to the fence every 12 feet or so, underneath the chicken wire, if sagging is a concern. Use decorative plant, door or shelf brackets for a designer look. For shorter fences consider using 1x2 lumber pieces at an obtuse angle, to increase height as well as depth. Attach the chicken wire to the brackets for additional security.

Items you will need

  • Chicken wire or hardware cloth, 36 inches wide
  • Staples and staple gun (for wood fences)
  • Cable ties or bailing wire (for chain-link fences)
  • Brackets and screws

Tips

  • If attaching something to the top of your fence isn't an option, consider adding a landscaped border 18 to 24 inches out from the bottom of the fence. The goal is to keep the dog from jumping straight up the fence.
  • With an existing wood fence, you can get very elaborate. Build custom wood shelving along the top of the fence, and place potted plants or trailing vines on the shelves. Be sure to provide adequate support for the shelves.

Warnings

  • Chicken wire or hardware cloth can have sharp edges; bend these back to prevent injury to people or dogs.
  • Monitor your dog in the yard the first several times after you extend the fence. Most will not try jumping when they see the new addition, but some tenacious dogs will still attempt to get over the fence.
 

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