My dogs love their backyard.
There is lots of entertainment. There’s a small hill where they can sneak up and ambush each other. There’s a corridor between the fence and the house leading to the back door which makes a marvelous speed track. Toys regularly get snuck out of the house for tug of war. There’s a big crate with no door and a bench next to it which works either as King of the Mountain or a superior look-out point.
Day or night there is much to check out. There are the squirrels stupid enough to hang out in my backyard. Then there are always the cool lizards. And at night the pond is full of frogs.
My dogs ignore the dog fencing. It’s boring. There’s a six foot wooden one between us and the neighbors. The fence that separates the dog yard from the pond and the rest of the back yard is hog fencing (a light fencing that wobbles a bit if you try to climb it), and there are no gates.
The entertainment within keeps the dogs happy but also the barriers are so secure that the dogs accept them and pay no further attention. Even if you only have one small dog, my system can be useful.
• First off my dog yard has no gates. Nothing to leave open, and nothing to slide under.
The back door opens into the dog yard. If you want to go to the pond or check out the tangelos, the fence has a stile in two places.
You might remember stiles from nursery rhymes. (See one of my stiles in the picture above.) They are basically stepping stones on both sides of the fence. Mine are too low for the dogs to maneuver, but high enough for us humans to use.
• Next I use hog fencing. It wobbly and not easy to climb.
• Around the property edges I use 6 foot wood planking. That way the dogs can’t visually key on stuff outside. They yak enough about the stuff they can smell and hear.
• In any fence spot where the Florida sand invites diggers, I laid old chain link along the ground to discourage holes to China.
Invisible fencing would be a viable alternative to the hog fencing. For me, with my independent terriers and an inviting but dangerous pond, hog fencing is the more secure if less beautiful choice. For the full post on this see Invisible Fences.
So the first step to a happy dog yard is secure dog fencing. Done right, your dogs can have many years of fun and you can have many years of peace of mind.
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