FYI: we may earn a commission for qualified purchases made through the links in our articles (learn more).
- The most common DIY dog fence include PVC deer block, metal wire fence, chain link fence, EMT fencing , and pallet fence.
- Figure out what type of fencing suits your yard and budget so that you can make something that satisfies your needs.
- DIY fences are still not a guarantee to keep your dog contained. It is best to also train your dog so that he does not attempt to escape.
DIY dog fence projects can be as complicated as installing posts reinforced by concrete bases for the main framework and then adding chicken wire, or as simple as putting up a chain link or PVC fence. If you want more detailed steps on how to do these as well as different fence types, keep reading my guide below.
If you are concerned about your dog’s health or his or her safety, there’s really nothing better to add to your home than a fence. While not every fence is right for every dog, there are plenty of options out there for those who are willing to do the work on their own. If you’re looking into a DIY dog fence project, you might want to consider a few different options.
DIY Dog Fence—The Basics and The Different Types
Before you start thinking about the fence building process, you’ll want to think about the types of fences that are out there. I suggest you consider not only what your dog needs but also what kind of materials will help you to accomplish your fencing goals.
If you need to make sure that you stay within a very small budget, you might want to go with something similar to temporary dog fences like a deer block. This netting is made of PVC and can serve the purpose of roping off an area in which your dog can exercise and play. It’s not always attractive, of course, but DIY fences like this can get the job done
A bit more expensive, but significantly less unsightly, is the humble metal fence that could be a permanent fence. Available as chain link or wired mesh, these fences are relatively easy to install but still strong enough to stand up to bigger dogs.
There are also a host of other options that can fit very specific needs. Poultry netting, for example, is great for keeping smaller dogs in small spaces, while pallet fencing can be erected for virtually no cost at all if you can find the right source. You can even go more traditional, with wood or vinyl fencing that can keep even the most stuck-up HOA members happy.
All these options, although not perfect, are useful when learning how to train a dog to stay in the yard.
DIY Recommendations: PVC Deer Block
Deer block netting is fairly common in areas where deer tend to roam, especially when those areas tend to butt up against gardens. Deer block netting isn’t just for keeping deer out, though; instead, this incredibly cheap fencing can be great for keeping dogs in a yard. Since the material is relatively light for its level of strength, it can also easily be used as a type of portable fencing material.
The great part about working with deer netting is that all you’ll really need to install are the fence posts. If you can hammer a post into the ground or make use of a post-hole digger, you can set up areas to attach the netting. This allows the builder a degree of customization, as the flexible nature of the material will allow you to create a space of virtually any shape for your dog.
DIY Recommendations: Metal Wire Fence
A metal wire is another one of those fencing materials that tend to be more popular with DIY enthusiasts than anyone else. It doesn’t require any sort of special skill to install, and the lack of special tools means that you can actually get to work on this type of fence as soon as you’re able to get out and get the material.
While ease of installation is a great thing, most dog owners go for this type of fence because it simply doesn’t break. While metal wire fence looks fairly non-descript after it is installed, the truth is that this type of fencing is also incredibly hard for your dog to get through. If safety is a priority, you may want to think about this type of fence.
So, how does metal wire work as DIY dog fences?
You’ll start by installing metal stakes in your fence perimeter, spaced roughly evenly so that you can get the wire fencing installed tautly. From there, you’ll attach each bit of wire fencing to either end of the poles, creating a barrier through which your dog cannot run. The great news is that metal wire won’t stop your dog from getting a great view of the world, which can help to keep him or she intellectually stimulated while outside.
Perhaps the best part of this type of fencing is that you can add a gate to your yard. This will let you get in and out easily, which in turn helps with the maintenance of the area. Note that while a gate is great for you, it needs to be built solidly enough that your dog cannot figure out how to use it for his or her own exits.
DIY Recommendations: Chain Link Fence
Yes, chain link fencing is available for those who want a good DIY project. Chain link is an absolute classic for dog owners, giving you the safety you need to stay calm when you’re away while still giving your dog the freedom to wander that he or she might need to deal with certain types of health or emotional problems .
One of the really nice things about a chain link fence is that you can buy it in panels. You’ll just attach each panel to a metal fence post as you go, putting together the project in no time. Chain link might cost a little more than other types of fencing, but it’s among the easiest types of fencing to install on your own.
DIY Recommendations: EMT Fencing
If you’re looking for something a little on the unique side, you might want to try conduit fencing. Sturdy and reliable, this type of fencing will take some time to install but it’s more than worth the effort. Be warned, though—you can’t install EMT without a good EMT fencing guide, so you’ll need to seek one out before you decide on this type of project.
DIY Recommendations: Pallet Fencing
Finally, there’s the ultimate in low-cost fencing—the pallet dog fence. Pallet fencing is literally made out of old pallets, which can be stood up on an end and used to create a unique type of wood fence. It’s not going to look great, of course, but it will more than serve the purpose of helping your dog to stay safe and contained.
As you might expect, you can put together wood fences made of pallets in just about any way that works for you. Given that this is really the ultimate kind of DIY dog fence project, you shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself needing to reinstall sections of the fence or figuring out new ways to keep the product steady on the fly. If you are able to get this type of fence to work, though, it can last for far longer than you might expect.
Tips for Building Your First DIY Dog Fence
The truth about building a good DIY dog fence is that you’re going to suffer through some trial and error on your first attempt. If you go with something simple like a chain link fencing, for example, you’re going to have to deal with problems of spacing. If you’re going with something as complex as pallets, though, you might have to expand your engineering knowledge to get the look you want.
Always keep in mind that the fence you are building is meant to contain a dog, not to entertain a human. This means that you’re going to be prioritizing safety first and containment second, with aesthetics a distant last. If you have to sacrifice anything in this build, it really should be the way that the fencing looks.
With this said, a DIY fence doesn’t have to look bad. I suggest you do some work investigating the types of fencing that work best in your type of yard and with your budget so that you can figure out something that will satisfy your dog’s needs as well as your own. If you’re willing to do your homework, you might find some surprising options that can help you to create the perfect fence for both of you. Sometimes an invisible fence is the better option.
A Note on Containing Your Dog
Since keeping your dog safe and contained is your biggest concern when building a DIY dog fence, you’ll need to spend some time looking at your fence from the dog’s point of view. The first thing that most builders look at when putting together a fence is the height of the fence; while you will almost certainly keep in mind that many dogs can jump fairly high, you should also try to remember that a number of breeds are incredibly good at climbing certain types of fences.
The height of your fence isn’t the only thing to keep in mind, though. If your dog isn’t able to jump the fence, he or she might try to tunnel under the fence in order to make an escape. There are a number of great fence guards on the market right now for owners of dogs who like to dig, but even keeping a few large rocks around the edges of the fence can be enough to dissuade some dogs, but first learn the ways on how to stop a dog from digging.
Finally, make sure that any gates that you install are strong enough to stand up to your dog. It turns out that gates can be exactly the kind of weak points that dogs love to exploit, especially if they see their owners using them on a regular basis. Not only should your gate always shut firmly, but you should make sure that the latch isn’t in a place where it can be manipulated by a patient and intelligent dog.
The Human Factor
As a dog owner, you certainly care about making sure that your fence is safe for your dog. You may, however, also need to make sure that the type of fence that you build isn’t going to get you in trouble. One unfortunate truth is that many of the types of dog fences that are easy to recommend for DIY enthusiasts are also the types of fences that tend to get banned by homeowners’ associations.
If you can get your fencing materials approved by the HOA, make sure that you follow all the rules you need to follow. This means not only getting permits pulled when necessary, but keeping any color or height guidelines in mind when you are buying fence material. Remember, if your DIY plan can’t be approved, you may need to pick another fencing plan. If physical dog fences are not allowed where you live, consider getting today’s best wireless dog fence or the best GPS dog fences. These devices are also great if you’re flying overseas with your dog and want him to safely stay put somewhere.
DIY: A Great Way to Build a Fence
If you feel comfortable getting your hands dirty, you really can build the kind of fence that will help to keep your dog safe. You’ll need to pick the right materials and you’ll always want to make sure that you can get approval to build when necessary, but actually doing the job isn’t all that hard. Follow a good guide, don’t be afraid to start over if you make mistakes, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when necessary. If you can do all of that, you can create a great new space in which your favorite pets can run.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a simple dog fence?
A simple dog fence can be built by installing a few fence posts and then attaching a bit of deer netting between each fence post. It’s not necessarily the most stylish way to build a dog fence, but this type of fencing will help to keep all but the most determined dog inside of his or her designated space.
What is the cheapest fence for dogs?
The overall cheapest type of fencing is probably pallet fencing. Given that you can probably find used pallets at most work sites or big box stores for almost nothing, you can probably put together a good pallet fence for less than a hundred dollars.
What is the cheapest way to build a fence?
The cheapest way to build a dog fence is by getting used pallets and using them to build an ad hoc fence. This type of fencing isn’t always the easiest to install, but it tends to be tall and strong enough to keep most dogs in their yards.
How high should a fence be for a dog?
This largely depends on the size of a dog. If you’re looking for absolute safety, a good six-foot fence will keep almost any dog within a yard.