Best Dog Fences For Every Breed and Homeowner Need

Updated: Jan. 28, 2024

Invisible, picket or privacy fence? There are as many types of dog fences as there are types of dogs. Perk up your ears at these 10 dog fence ideas.

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A Fence for Every Dog

A dog fence keeps your pets safe and gives them the freedom to run and play. It also protects you from the liability of your dog running loose in the neighborhood. Here are a few tips to keep your dog from jumping the fence.

Some fences require professional installation and some are DIY. But rest assured, there’s a fence out there for every dog type and every homeowner’s taste. Whether you’re looking for privacy, curb appeal or the illusion of no fence at all, here are 10 dog fence ideas for you to consider.

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Invisible Dog Fences

Invisible pet fencing keeps your dog within the confines you set via an in-ground wired system, or a wireless system that allows for flexible perimeters. Your pet wears an electronic collar that gives them a gentle shock every time they try to cross the line of the electric current.

PetSafe systems are highly rated and cover a large area. But keep in mind that a dog determined to get out will risk the shock and jump right on through the invisible barrier. Also, an invisible fence won’t keep other animals from entering your yard.

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Wood privacy fence
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Double-Duty Privacy Fences

A wooden privacy fence can do double-duty, keeping your pet safe and enclosed while creating a private environment in your backyard. The only downside for pets is that they can’t see outside the fence, but you can remedy that with a clever dome fence window designed with dogs in mind. If you’ve got the DIY chops to build a privacy fence, you’ll save big on installation costs.

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Wire fence with wood posts
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Budget DIY Wire Fencing

For an inexpensive DIY dog fence option, you can go with wire fencing on wooden posts/frames. The fencing wire itself is cheap, costing as little as $1.50 per linear foot. Lumber costs will depend on the dimensions of your yard, and you’ll need quick-setting cement to set wooden fence posts. This style of fence is not terribly attractive but it’s functional.

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Vinyl fence
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Best in Show: Vinyl Fencing

For its durability and aesthetics we pick vinyl fencing as the best all-around choice, keeping your pet safe while allowing them to see outside the fence.

Vinyl fencing can last for decades (much longer than wood), making it perfect for homeowners planning to stay in their home long-term. Depending on the size of your property and the height of the fence you choose, a professionally installed vinyl fence can cost more than $10,000. Fortunately, DIY options are available, too. Dogs behind a fence get anxious when they can’t see who’s walking by. Learn how to build a dog fence window.

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Chain-link fence
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Basic Buy: Chain-Link Fences

If aesthetics are not your top priority, a chain-link fence is a good investment for your pet and your yard. Chain-link fences are cheaper than wood and well-suited for keeping pets in and most other critters out. They’re durable, too, with about a 20-year lifespan. You can also repair a chain-link fence fairly easily. Boost the curb appeal of chain-link by opting for vinyl-coated, rust-resistant material.

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Picket fence
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Charming Picket Fences

For smaller breeds or dogs that aren’t likely to climb (or headbutt and break a wooden fence, as my big dog once did), a low-sitting, wooden picket fence satisfies aesthetic and security needs. This type of fence keeps your dog safe in the yard and provides a traditional look with lots of curb appeal.

Picket fences are DIY-friendly, with lots of fence styles available at home improvement stores. But buyer beware: Wooden picket fences require periodic staining and sealing or painting. So consider making that cute white picket fence a vinyl one instead of wood to reduce the maintenance.

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Metal fence
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Metal Fences for Big Dogs

Iron, steel or aluminum. Whatever metal you choose, a dog fence made from one of these sturdy materials will last for ages, look great and contain even the strongest dog.

Low-maintenance metal fences offer a range of styles and colors, and they can be custom-made to your liking. They also add a touch of class to any yard. Naturally, they’re about the most expensive type of fencing, but win points for durability and beauty.

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Dog digging under a fence
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Fences for Dogs That Like to Dig

A dog who likes to dig can make short work of a fence designed to contain them. If your dog digs under the fence, chain-link or wire/wood frame fencing is probably your best option. As you can dig a trench along the fence line and drop the fencing material a foot or so underground. Another idea: Pour a concrete footing along the fence line and set the chain-link or wire in the wet concrete.

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Low fence
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Fence Ideas for Small Dogs

Unless its paws are spring-loaded, your small dog can probably be well-contained in a lower fence, like this 3-1/2-foot tall wooden picket fence you can install yourself. Vinyl and metal fencing is also available in lower heights. The lower the fence, the less it costs.

Keep in mind that a low fence is best suited for dogs without a strong instinct to leap, climb or jump. If your little dog is a super-athlete, you’re gonna need a taller fence.

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Privacy fence with closed slats
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Fencing for Dogs That Like to Jump and Climb

If your dog is a four-legged acrobat, consider a tall fence that doesn’t provide footholds — or rather, paw-holds. A wooden or vinyl privacy fence with closed slats are good bets, or you could install a tall chain-link or wire/wood frame fencing.

Another option? Before deciding which type of tall fence to invest in, try an invisible fence first, and see if that’s enough to keep your Houdini dog safely contained in the yard.