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Fence Ideas for Dog Owners

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.

Picking the right fence can be difficult!

Picking the right fence can be difficult!

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 its 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 of 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, might be a sign of separation anxiety) or not being well potty-trained. If this is the case, there are some visual barriers that can 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.

Privacy fence options for dog owners.

Privacy fence options for dog owners.

Best Fence Options for Owners of Barking Dogs

There are several fence options for dog owners, but not all are necessarily 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 as 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 requires 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 materials. 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. Those who can afford such fences will be granted years of privacy and peace. Vinyl fencing may cost more than wood when purchasing and installing, 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, shadowbox wood fences, and lattice top wood fences.

Tips to prevent dog fights along fences.

Tips to prevent dog fights along 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 a 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 of the edge off and make your dog stay better under threshold.

Bamboo Walls

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.

These are strips that fit into a 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, a minimum of 3 years to grow to a decent height. However, some can grow quite fast compared to others. My favorite ones are the Thuja Emerald, Euonymus, Nellie Stevens holly, yew, and many more.

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Read More From Pethelpful

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 keeping your dog from barking at neighbors another great option is to look at that game. Happy training!

Make a chain link more private for dogs.

Make a chain link more private for dogs.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Adrienne Farricelli


Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 24, 2015:

It really depends. Many dogs are also reactive towards noises, so even if you block access to visual stimuli they may still sound the alarm if there are many noises. I find that keeping in the home is the best option (and you can block access to the blinds or use window films if that causes excessive barking) , and then when out in the yard supervision helps and if you're up to it behavior modification, that can help a whole lot. Here are two of my favorite programs: look at that for dogs reactive towards visual stimuli and hear that for dogs reactive to noises. I got my Rottweilers to a point that they look out of the blinds, see a person and look at me for a treat or praise if I don't have one ready instead of barking. also, some tips for dogs prone to barking at the mail man.

Anita Powell from Willingboro, New Jersey on February 24, 2015:

Do you think this is good no matter the age. I know that when I'm in fla and there's no people or traffic he's calm but here in NJ he's barks a lot. He peeks through the blinds.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 24, 2015:

In my opinion, choosing a home that has a good fence to start with is worth it versus trying to figure out ways to cover up a chain link which can be costly too if the fence is large. We have had better luck with our Rottweilers by renting homes in rural/semi-rural areas. In some cases, we let our landlord meet them so he could see first hand how friendly they were.

Anita Powell from Willingboro, New Jersey on February 24, 2015:

I've got of barking dogs though he saves it mostly for the mailman. I found your article to be very insightful

Brian on February 24, 2015:

We're looking for a home with a fence that works good for our 145 pound Great Dane. This has been a challenge both because landlords sadly don't know the breed and only the size and chain link fences leave our boy open to people who might harass him as he draws quite a bit of attention.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 24, 2015:

Marlobydesign, Concrete walls are very expensive, which is a shame as they really are a good option and add value to the home. It's unfortunate that you had to pay for the fence. The dog owner should have at a minimum paid half since it was because of their dog you had to put it up.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 24, 2015:

Mary615, Good to hear your dog is a happy with the wooden fence. I have seen some very nice ones lately, but some of them can be very costly!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 24, 2015:

Kathleen, I feel for the dog.. and the neighbors. This dog sounded lonely, overstimulated and most likely under-exercised. He was just voicing his stress and unhappiness. Sometimes we need to be the voice for these dogs and let owners know that the constant barking is a dog's quest for help. A yard isn't a place to park a dog all day, especially dogs who are prone to getting overstimulated and stressed and whose needs for companionship and exercise are not met..

MarloByDesign from United States on February 24, 2015:

Great Hub topic. Rated 'Useful'. We had to spend a lot of money putting up a fence because our neighbor would not keep their unruly dog from running and pooping all over our yard! Very frustrating that some people are so clueless and disrespectful! I would have loved to put up a concrete wall if they were not so expensive.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on February 24, 2015:

I had a nice large chain link fenced in yard for my little dog at my old house. I really liked it. When I downsized and moved into small apartment, I put up a wooden fenced in yard. It is much smaller, but she is happy. She is a barker, and barks at every dog that passes by being walked.

My neighbor has a "nuisance dog" who digs out from under their fence and runs loose all the time!

Voted UP, etc.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on February 24, 2015:

I hope dog owners will read this hub and follow the advice here. I called animal control in my county once because of a neighbor who kept a large dog in a small fenced area with 360 view for the dog. He barked constantly - no exaggeration. I felt as sorry for the dog and me. I asked how long a dog had to bark to be considered a reportable nuisance? The answer? 15 minutes. Our neighborhood had been putting up with this poor dog's suffering for four years! Animal control cited the owner for abuse after receiving complaints from several neighbors who were also motivated by concern for that poor animal.

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