Alternatives to Fenced-In Yards for Dogs

"Mom, can we go to the park today? I have my Frisbee."

"Mom, can we go to the park today? I have my Frisbee."

Not all homes have a spacious fenced-in back yard to provide an enclosed area for dogs. Opening the back door and letting your dog run free is not safe. You can still keep your pup safe, let him do his business and get some exercise.


A tie-out is a long cable or chain leash attached to a stationary location. This allows you to attach the leash to your dog’s collar and keep him secure in a designated location. This is a good option to allow him to have the time to go potty or keep him in sight while you are outside with him. However, leaving him tied up and alone for long periods can lead to digging and barking.

A Trolley System or Dog Run

A trolley system expands on the basic tie-out. Instead of having a leash attached to a stationary location, a trolley tie-out leash attaches to an overhead cable, similar to a clothesline. The main line can run from two trees in the yard or from your home to a distant tree. This creates and extended area for your dog to explore and run.

Regular Walks

While tie-outs and trolleys work to keep your dog safe for short times outside, they do not allow for true exercise and socialization. For dogs without a fenced yard to run and play in, a good walk with their favorite human provides them with time to potty, get some exercise and spend time with the one they love. Regular walks keeps your dog active, help manage weight and burn off extra energy. In addition, the regular walks get you moving too.

Dog Parks

Another option is regularly visiting your local dog park. Dog parks provide a fenced in area where your dog is able to go off leash and interact with other dogs. This provides exercise, mental stimulation and socialization. These areas provide a secure location for you to play a game of fetch with your pooch. Just don’t be surprised if other pooches want to join in. Dog parks do come with some considerations. Because your dog will encounter other dogs, make sure his vaccinations are up to date. Keep an eye on your dog at all times and watch out for rough play or aggressive behavior with other dogs. Many online sites, such as DogPark.com, help you locate dog parks in your area.

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About the Author

Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.

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