Fence Ideas for Dog Owners
They say "fences make good neighbors" and this is even more true for neighbors with dogs. If you own a dog, there are chances your dog may become a bit disruptive when it comes to their behavior and noise level. Many dogs can also be quite territorial, and they will bark at the mere sight of a person or dog getting too close to what they perceive as their turf. If you own a reactive dog, life with your neighbors can become miserable.
Not everybody is a dog lover and some neighbors may feel a tad bit intimidated and annoyed (and rightfully so!) if every time they plan to spend time in the yard, they are greeted by a dog's obnoxious barking. On top of that, owners of certain breeds like rottweilers, dobermans, and German shepherds, may have to deal with neighbors who are biased or scared by these breeds. As the saying goes "Out of sight, out of mind!" And last but not least, dogs may fence fight with neighbor dogs which may be an annoying occurrence when the dogs are let out at the same time.
In many cases, it is worth mentioning for owners of problematic barkers that dogs are less prone to barking if they are kept indoors, especially if kept in a room with no access to windows. And if this is not an option, some dog owners have success by blocking a window view with blinds or special decorative films for windows. However, if keeping your dog indoors is not an option, your dog can be destructive (which by the way, may be a sign of separation anxiety) or not being well potty-trained. If this is the case, there are some visual barriers to reduce barking in the yard. Keep in mind though that some may not work too well if your dog is prone to barking at sounds. In the next paragraphs, we will take a look at some options.
Out of sight, out of mind
Best Fence Options for Owners of Barking Dogs
There are several fence options for dog owners, but not all are necessary good. Yes, they may keep your dog contained, but they may do little to reduce your dog's barking. For instance, to a dog, a chain-link fence is like if there's really nothing there. Actually, the presence of the fence may increase the barking in those enthusiastic greeters who suffer from barrier frustration. With a chain link fence, the dog still sees everything so he will feel motivated to sound the alarm for all those stimuli around him: bikes, joggers, women pushing strollers, kids playing, the mailman and the old lady who walks her dog. The best fence options therefore would be those that limit the dog's field of vision of the outside world. Here are some options.
- Concrete Wall
This is the best option for dog owners. When in the introduction I mentioned how fences make good neighbors, this option will make the absolute best neighbors. A concrete wall offers 100 percent privacy when you choose options with no gaps and a brick wall also offers a solid, sturdy option that require little maintenance. On top of that, a concrete wall can also increase the value of your home. Nowadays, concrete walls come in many different appealing options and can mimic stone, brick and other building material. Even though the cost may be higher upfront, the advantages pay off.
- Vinyl Fence
I am talking here about vinyl fences that offer 100 percent privacy. This means no holes, cracks or fine lines. For those can afford such fences, they will be granted years of privacy and peace. Vinyl fencing may cost more than wood when purchasing and installing it, but vinyl is easier to maintain and less costly in the long run compared to wood. Vinyl is stronger than wood and more resilient when it comes to rain and strong winds.
- Wood Fences
Wood fences often have holes in between one picket and another, and even though the holes may appear minimal at first, consider that with time and exposure to weather, the wood may shrink. Even though they may offer some privacy, dogs will detect movement between the pickets and may react. However, some wood fences now are made in such a way as to also offer more privacy. Look for board-on-board wood fences, shadow box wood fences and lattice top wood fences.
Less Ideal (but Cheaper) Fence Privacy Options for Dog Owners with Chain Link Fences
The above are the ultimate best choices when it comes to fences for dog owners who own reactive dogs, fearful neighbors or dogs who tend to fence fight with neighboring dogs. Yet, not everybody can afford such costly solutions. Chain link fences are often more affordable solutions, but they have the drawback of not offering any privacy-- and as the saying goes "you get what you pay for".The following are some options to post behind a chain-link fence to make it a bit more private. Here are few options, but they won't grant a less reactive dog, although many dog owners claim they have helped enough. At the most, these fence options may help take a bit the edge off and make your dog stay better under threshold.
Many home improvement stores stack bamboo which offers some privacy. Consider though that most bamboo has holes in between allowing dogs to detect movement. Bamboo is not much costly, but consider that it tends to deteriorate over time, and as mentioned, doesn't offer much privacy. There are however some bamboo options that grant a little more privacy. Look for rolled bamboo, but there are also other wood variations that may offer more privacy such as brushwood/heather fences and willow twig fences.
Chain Link Privacy Slats
These are strips that fit into chain link that make your property more private. These can be easily installed on your own/ Many though leave space in between so they really don't do much for privacy. In my neck of the woods, I see some yards with these strips and think what a waste of money as I can see everything through them. However, there are a few types that can offer about 98 percent privacy. Look for winged slats or if you want a Christmas tree appearance, look for hedge link slats that will make your chain link fence look like a garden hedge.
Fabric Privacy Screen
These are fabric screens often made of mesh that can be tied up to a chain link fence. They don't offer 100 percent privacy, especially when the sun shines through them, but they may block some visuals. Most allow air to flow through so to prevent them from being ripped by the wind. Some dog owners have obtained more privacy by overlapping two screens so to attain about 98 percent privacy.
Evergreen Hedge Row
Growing a hedge takes time, but it's a natural way to add privacy to your yard. Depending on the size of your dog, you will need tall shrubs or even trees. Ask your nursery or landscape specialist which type of shrub grows best in your area. You want to make sure the plants you choose are evergreen otherwise you'll be stuck with little privacy in the fall and winter months! Expect shrubs to take on average minimum of 3 years to grow to a decent height. However, some can grow quite fast compared to others. Favorite ones are the Thuja Emerald, Euonymus, Nellie Stevens holly, yew and many more.
As seen, there are several options to reduce your dog's level of visual stimulation. While the above won't grant 100 percent privacy, consider that they may take the edge off and keep your dog better under threshold. This may pave the path to a good behavior modification program. Here is a guide to keep your dog from barking at neighbors another great option is look at that game. Happy training!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2015 Adrienne Janet Farricelli