Fencing the Big Dogs In: Three Tips to Follow

Giant dogs offer their owners big love—but they can also come with some big problems, including the question of how to keep them in your yard. A dog like a Great Dane or an English Mastiff can weigh more, run faster, and jump higher than their human owners, so not just any fence will do if you need to keep one contained. Here are some things to consider if you're trying to fence in a big dog.

1. Find out if you have a jumper.

Some breeds are big but not necessarily jumpers. English Mastiffs, for example, need to be highly motivated in order to leap even a shorter fence because their bone structure is so heavy. They're not natural jumpers, which means you may be able to get away with a 4-foot fence if you want.

Great Danes, wolfhounds, and greyhounds, however, have slender bodies and a lighter bone structure, which makes them natural-born jumpers. While your dog may not be inclined to set any world records, you should assume that you need a taller, 6-foot fence if your pup is a member of a breed that's known for its agility. 

2.) Don't help a climber out!

Some dogs are also remarkable climbers—which can surprise an owner who thinks that they chain-link fence they've purchased is going to corral their dog. When a dog like a Siberian Husky sees a chain-link fence, they see a ladder to freedom; a clever dog will figure out how to use the chain links like a ladder.

If you're faced with a dog that's a climber, you basically have two options. If you go with a chain-link fence, you need to have it installed with a topper that curves backward into the yard, making it almost impossible for your dog to escape over the fence. Your other option is to go with solid wood fencing. While wood is more expensive than chain link fencing, it's also generally considered the more attractive option.

You may also appreciate the degree of privacy a wooden fence offers—your dog may be less likely to bark at neighbors who are simply passing by and feel more comfortable and secure behind a wooden fence than he or she would when relatively exposed by chain link.

3. Find out if your dog is a digger.

If your dog is a digger, he or she may quickly figure out a way to dig enough ground out around the bottom of the fence and sneak out. Generally speaking, the easiest way to deal with that problem is to bury a foot or two of chain link under the ground, curved inward in an L-shape. That should discourage even the most dedicated digger.

Fencing in a big dog isn't hard—it just requires a little conscious planning. If you have a puppy, you may not be entirely prepared for the reality of the full-grown dog your puppy will become, so ask other owners what problems they've encountered. Then discuss the issues with your fencing contractor before you decide on the fence you need.

Visit sites such as http://generalfencecompany.com to look at various fencing options.