What are the Different Types of Dog Fences?

Laura M. Sands

Some of the most popular types of dog fences used to protect dogs from escape include picket fences, chain link fences, split rail fences and invisible fencing. The type of dog fence an owner ultimately chooses depends on the type and size of the dog, the owner’s budget and any community rules stipulating the type of fencing a homeowner can install. Dog fences exist in an array of different styles and materials, but each should only be erected with the dog’s safety as well as the community’s safety in mind.

A house with a picket fence.
A house with a picket fence.

A picket fence is one built out of wooden planks nailed together to form a solid fence. Planks can also be positioned in such a way as to allow gaps between the planks so that visibility is not completely obstructed. Dog fences made out of picket fencing are popular among homeowners, as they are attractive, practical and sturdy.

A dog.
A dog.

Chain link dog fences are perhaps the most popular kind of fencing. Such is made from heavy, durable wire woven together to form a series of diamond-shaped designs linked together. When completed, the weaving presents a heavy wall of wire fencing that is then installed between metal posts for sturdy upright support. Chain link dog fences provide an open view of a yard, as well as allow dogs a view of the world beyond the fencing.

Split rail fences are a good option for containing dogs.
Split rail fences are a good option for containing dogs.

Split rail dog fences are also an attractive option. Such fences are made from a series of two or more horizontal wooden railings that are secured at junctures in the fence by sturdy wooden posts. After split rail fences are erected, a strong durable fabric is sometimes added to the fencing to keep the dog from escaping. Many homeowners go a step further in camouflaging split rail fences by planting flowers and other shrubbery around the perimeter of the fencing.

Invisible dog fences are also effective in protecting animals from escaping. In this type of fencing, electric wires are installed underground beneath the borders where an owner does not want a dog to pass. The dog also wears a special collar programmed to provide a warning when the dog gets too close to the fence or a minor electrical shock if the dog tries to pass the fence’s boundary. Invisible dog fences do not keep animals and other intruders out of a yard, but do tend to be effective in keeping an animal within a set boundary.

A wood fence can be an attractive and functional choice for confining dogs.
A wood fence can be an attractive and functional choice for confining dogs.

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Discussion Comments


@Logicfest -- That is why a lot of people like the ones that provide a warning. But, there is a problem with those because some dogs either ignore the warning or can't be trained to respond to it as the owner would like.

If you do get one of those invisible fences that doesn't administer a shock and your dog doesn't respond to the warning, then you've just wasted a lot of money. I do believe that is one of the reasons traditional fences remain popular.


@Soulfox -- Another option that is a bit expensive but cheaper than sinking a fence in concrete is the invisible fence mentioned in this article. A dog can't dig under it because it doesn't technically exist.

The main problem with those, however, is the ones that effectively cause the dog to be shocked might be considered inhumane.


Whatever fence you decide to purchase, make sure it is low to the ground. That is especially true if you have dogs that dig a lot. You want to make it as difficult as possible for a dog to dig under your fence and, remember, that dog probably has nothing to do all day but dig and try to escape.

You might want to lay out the extra expense of getting a chainlink fence and sinking the bottom of it in concrete. That can be costly because you've got to dig a small trench and fill it with concrete, but it could prevent a dog from escaping. The extra cost may be worth it, then.

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