Whether you are trying to keep your Marmaduke in the yard or the big bad wolf out of the yard, wire fencing will provide your canine companion with a safe physical boundary for his outdoor living.
Chain link is a woven fence created by vertical wires bent into zigzag pattern interlocking with each other. Chain link fencing is made of low-carbon steel wire, stainless steel wire, aluminum alloy wire, or galvanized iron wire. The most common height for this fencing is four feet, but six foot fencing is allowed in most residential areas if you have a dog that is an escape artist or you are concerned about wildlife in the area making off with little Fluffy.
Field fence, also known as farm fence or cattle fence, is another option, especially if you have a lot of ground to cover. It is less expensive than chain link and its lighter weight makes it easier to install. Field fence is made of galvanized iron wire, high tensile steel wire, low-carbon steel wire or mild steel carbon wire. Low carbon is prone to sagging, is weaker and requires more stretching during installation. High tensile is lighter weight, requires fewer posts and requires little maintenance.
Welded Wire Fence
Welded wire fencing is the term used to describe fence mesh that is spot welded at each intersection of the vertical and horizontal wires. It comes in a range of types from high-end security fencing to low-end rabbit fencing. One advantage of welded wire fencing is that it is easy to remove, store and re-use --a great benefit if you are in a starter home.
There are pre-fabricated wire fence kennels available for purchase if you are really pinched for pennies or renting and unable to install a fence on the property. While not ideal, these kennels offer a safe outside area to put your dog for short periods of time. If your dog is a digger, you may need to pour cement in a trench around the perimeter or you can lay chicken wire on the ground inside the kennel to discourage him from tunneling his way to freedom.
Know your Limits
If you plan to build a fence yourself, be sure that you are familiar with the building codes in your area, exactly where your property lines are and where underground wires and pipes are located. Unless you have experience building fences, or a knowledgeable buddy to help you, hire someone to install your fence rather than waste time and money. Be nice to your dog and give him shelter, food and water while he is outside. A happy dog is less likely to test his boundaries.
Jenny Newberry, a former teacher with 25 years of experience, is a professional writer and photographer and holds a B.S. and a M.Ed. in elementary and special education from the University of South Alabama. She is also a history buff, praise and worship pianist, pet enthusiast, avid crafter and hobby gardener.