The two most popular pets in the US are dogs and cats. Both have a history of escaping traditional fences which is why Purrfect Fence (and our dog oriented products called Dog Proofer) have become our life’s work!
Dogs are built differently than cats and go about attempting to escape a fenced area differently than a cat would. Dogs in general are more powerful animals than cats and often put that power to work trying to dig under, push under, or push through a fence. They also tend to explore weaker points like gates and corners. If the fence is short they may try to jump over it completely and if the dog is athletic and a good jumper they may even try to jump or climb a fence.
Unlike cats, dogs are not strong climbers. Their claws do not get them the type of grip needed nor do their limbs articulate in the ways most climbing animals do. So actual climbing is not something a dog can do well. Most dog “climbing” is really getting momentum by jumping and continuing that momentum by kicking off things to gain additional height. In the case of a wood privacy fence, a dog will often jump up and then kick off the horizontal supports to gain additional height. If the dog can scramble high enough to get their head, front legs and about half of their body weight on the other side of the fence they will likely be able to slide over the top of the fence to land on the other side.
Most dogs cannot jump higher than 6 feet. For dogs that cannot clear 6ft in a jump, most 6ft tall estate fence, block wall fence, wood privacy fence with the “good side” facing in (so no horizontal supports to kick off of) and vinyl fence will work for dog containment (as long as the bottom and gates are secure) since there is nothing the dog can kick off of to gain height. Any other type of fence combined with an athletic jumping dog may result in an escape. A big surprise to many dog owners with escapees is that a 6ft chain link fence can be climbed (kicked up and over) relatively easily by a determined dog. Since chain link and wood privacy fence (with the good side out) are some of the most popular dog containment fences, it is no surprise that a good number of dog owners around the country are having escape problems.
For Dogs Going Jumping or Climbing Over Fences
If you have a dog getting out of your fence, first confirm how they are doing it (over, under or through it). If it is under or through, fix those issues with components from Dog Proofer (shown below) or elsewhere. If the dog is set on getting out after your fixes and is able, getting over your fence will likely be the next move. If your fence is short (4ft or less) and your dog is jumping the fence, one solution we offer is the Standard Dog-Proofer Fence Extension System. This system can make your fence up to 3ft higher. This solution is excellent for dogs that are primarily jumpers and are unable to scale the fence with the look of “climbing.”
If you have an escape-prone athletic dog and your fence is 4ft or taller our Houdini-Proof Dog-Proofer Fence Extension System may be a better fit. This system makes your fence up to 2ft taller and arches over 22”. This solution is ideal for most situations as it stops both jumping and climbing with the same fence extension. The system has had no failures and is even used by several customers to exclude coyotes, bobcats, foxes and other large predators from yards, farms, and nature reserves.
It is important to note that once you secure a fence to keep dogs from jumping or climbing you must also make sure that there is no way the dog can get through or under. A determined dog will not just give up once you have blocked their way over the fence but will start exploring other ways to get out such as through holes or weak points in the fence or under the fence where gaps or weak points may be.
For Dogs Going Through Your Fence (Between Pickets or Through Gaps)
Dogs are opportunistic and persistent. Nothing describes many dogs better than “if there is a will, there is a way.” If you have pickets spaced so that your dog can squeeze through, or holes in your fencing, then it is likely just a matter of time before your dog exploits it. We have developed a solution to help with this issue for owners of picket wood and metal fences called our Wide Gap Dog Fence Barrier System.
For Dogs Digging Under Fences
Dogs are also effective and persistent diggers. They will spend a lot of time and put forth considerable effort to dig under fences and gates. An important aspect of any fence meant for dog containment is a secure bottom where your existing fence meets the ground. It is not unheard of for people to pour a concrete footer around an entire fence line or to bury several inches to a foot or more of wire fence like chain link. Our preferred solution is to secure a short wire fence to the bottom of your fence, flare several inches to a foot or more out onto the ground and pin that wire fence to the ground every few feet. When the dog attempts to dig down by the fence they will be digging on top of the wire fence. We have developed an excellent solution to stop dogs from digging under fences with our Dig Proofer System. Available in multile lengths and heights, we can make sure that your dog stays safely in your yard!