Johann has been an online writer for over four years. His articles often focus on pet care.
Inexpensive Dog Fence Ideas
We've been on what we call our "Adventure Experiment" for the past two years, finding great places to live where we can experience new adventures in our life! Not too long ago, we moved to a cabin in the mountains of North Georgia. It's doggie heaven here with lots of great hiking opportunities. And, it's still close to the dog agility competition we go to on the weekends!
Being the herding breed I am, I need lots of exercise! And we also like to practice dog agility in the open area around our cabin, safely and securely. So Mum decided to build a great inexpensive dog fence for Gracie and I to get our zoomies on, practice our favorite pastimes, and wrestle to our hearts' content, all while keeping safe and secure.
Since we are renting during our adventure experiment, Mum wanted a fence that was easy, quick, inexpensive, movable, and reusable. So, she researched (and researched) and came up with a pawsome solution. We had this same fence up at our last cabin. All we did was take down the netting, pull up the stakes, and move it to our next cabin to put right back up. Easy!
Read on to learn how we built our reusable dog fence!
Supplies and Cost
Our dog fence is nearly 200 feet long and wraps almost completely around our cabin. In the photo above, that's my little bro, Rach, checking out a deer through the netting. You can barely see as it blends into the natural landscape very well, don't you think?
Here's a list of all the supplies Mum purchased for our fence and their approximate costs. The total cost was under $300.00 when we built it in 2012 ($350 for 2018 pricing), and the nice part is that when we moved to our new cabin and set the fence up for a second time, it didn't cost us a thing!
Tools You'll Need to Build a Dog Fence
- Studded T-Post, 5 ft., 1.25 lb. per foot: Tractor Supply Co.
Approximate Cost: $150 (for a 200 ft. fence)
Mum wanted our fence to be easily removed since we're renting our cool cabin during our adventure experiment, so she purchased metal t-posts that she could pound into the ground herself. She bought 40 of them for our 200-foot-long fence, with 5' spacing between posts.
- Speeco Farmex Post Driver
Approximate Cost: $30
To pound the stakes into the ground, Mum purchased a post driver. It's a heavy driver, so when you place it over the top of the t-posts, the weight of the driver helps pound them in easily.
- Tenax 2A140073 Pet Fence Select Pet Fence, Black, 4' x 100'
Approximate Cost: $140.00 (for a 200 ft. fence)
Since the terrain around our cabin is very uneven, Mum wanted a fencing material that would be very flexible. So she tested different types of fencing and settled on garden/deer netting. It's super strong and even our dog nails won't rip it. (Note: When we purchased this fencing back in 2012, they didn't call it 'Pet Fence.' Now they do! Wonder if we hand anything to do with that?)
- Plastic Cable Zip Ties 100-Pack (Black)
Approximate Cost: $10
To secure the netting to the t-posts, Mum purchased several packages of cable ties. Hint: We learned over time that you can purchase heavy-duty zip ties that are about 1/2" thick. These are the ones we recommend.
- Landscaping Anchor Pins
Approximate Cost: $20
To prevent Gracie and me from digging our way out underneath the perimeter, Mum purchased landscaping anchor pins to secure the fencing into the ground.
Here is a step-by-step guide outlining how Mum built our uber cool dog fence!
Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Dog Fence
- Planning: The first step to any successful DIY project is planning. So Mum visually planned out where she would put the fence, then began laying out where she would place the stakes, positioning a stake every five feet along the new fence line.
- Raking: Since we live in the mountains, some areas of where we wanted our fence were densely covered with leaves and debris. Mum raked until all of the leaves, sticks, and smaller rocks were out of the fence area to keep down ticks, chiggers, and other little critters that may bug us.
- Staking: Once the area was free of debris, Mum started pounding in the t-posts with the post driver. Unless she came upon some very solid rock, she could secure one of those stakes in the ground with about five or six pounds, making sure that the butterfly stake portion of the t-post was completely underground to keep our toes safe.
- Netting: Once all the stakes were in, Mum began rolling out the netting and attaching it to the t-posts with the cable/zip ties. She first made sure that she left about 5-6 inches of netting lying on the ground toward the inside of the fence area, straightened the top of the netting and then secured the top cable/zip tie first.
- Anchoring: Once she had the top of the netting secured, she could easily straighten out the netting from the bottom of the fence line and anchor the netting into the ground with the anchor pins (about three pins spaced evenly between the five-foot area between the t-posts). Then, once the netting was taught and straight, she used the cable ties to secure the middle and bottom of the netting to the t-posts.
- Working it! Mum would move on to the next post and the next, securing the cable ties and anchor pins until the fence was complete.
Zip Ties: Top
Here's a close up of how the zip ties were used at the top of the fence.
Read More From Pethelpful
Zip Ties: Bottom
Here's a close up of how the zip ties were used at the bottom of the fence.
Here's a close-up of how the landscaping pins were used to secure the fence to the ground at the bottom.
Here's a close up of how we secured a fence gate utilizing a lighter weight fence post with a bungee cord to the tree.
The End Result!
Here's what a portion of our fence looks like all completed! It ended up taking Mum about 10 hours total over three days to complete every step, from planning to raking (that took three hours), pounding the stakes, and securing the netting.
Have to say, I'm pretty proud of my Mum! Thanks, Mum, for a pawsome fenced-in yard!
A Few Updates After 5+ Years
Here are a few updates after having our fence for the past 5+ years:
- The fence has withstood more moves. We've pulled up and put back down the fence in three locations now as we moved a couple of times to new cabins. It's held up great! Just a couple of rips at the bottom, which we simply zip tied together and staked down.
- A deer or bear ran through the fence! We woke up one morning and found part of the fence torn down when we first moved into our latest cabin. Seems a deer or bear weren't used to our fence being there and ran right through it. It's always good to check your fence before letting the pups out!
- We've found some techniques to deter snakes. We've learned living cabin life that snakes can easily get through the openings of the fencing material. There are a couple of things you can do to deter snakes: 1) You can add additional fencing to the bottom of your current fence, up about 12 inches, simply layering the fencing over the present fence, making the 1" holes smaller to deter snakes; or 2) you can sprinkle sulfur around your fence line between rains. Snakes don't like sulfur. But be sure you don't already have snakes in your yard before doing this or the ones inside your yard will get very angry. Been there!
- We found that Gracie could occasionally tear down the fence. Gracie was a pretty independent soul; we lost her to pneumonia in 2017. Sometimes she'd get all riled up, grab the fence with her mouth and rip it right down, while I, Johann (the little black and white pup), would stand at the opening, barking at her to get back here! This was rare and she would be loose on the mountain for a few hours 'till she decided to come back. So a word of caution: If you have a very ambitious pup on your hands, you may need to replace the deer netting with metal fencing and secure more forcefully. Replacing with wire fencing is really easy with all your stakes in place.
- The supply costs have increased. The pricing of the items of course has gone up over the years, so we've updated pricing to reflect present day costs (as of 2018).
Thanks for all your comments and visits! It's really great that others are enjoying my Mum's little invention and keeping pups happier and safer. We love our fence!
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.
© 2012 Johann The Dog
Bark at me!
Shannon on October 04, 2019:
Has anyone tried this in an area where it snows? Does it hold up okay??
Ld on September 15, 2019:
It’s important to remind people to check for the location of electrical and plumbing that’s buried underground. Our inexpensive fence just cost twice as much because of a Nick on the copper pipe coming into our house
K on April 13, 2019:
Step 1... it tells you how far apart the posts will be.
Kambriataylor91@gmail.com on September 24, 2018:
Hey how much for someone to build a dog fence
Rudysmama on May 02, 2018:
I love your article! I wish you'd add a few more details in your instructions, like how close to put your posts. I live in town and have a large yard. I have a very small fenced-in area that is fine for a 10lb foo foo dog, but not so good for two pit bulls who wants to run and play. I'm sure the placement of posts differ when you have a mode flat yard or rough rocky wooded terrain. I'm going to try 12 ft or so to begin. I'm also not sure if I need 7ft post for 5ft fencing. I also like this fencing for dogs that are clever, because if they try to climb it, it will dump them!
Rudysmama on May 02, 2018:
I'm about to build one of these! I live in town, but have a big yard. The fenced area I have now is perfect for a 10lb fufu dog, not 2 pitbulls who like to run and play! I wish you'd given a tad more detail in your instructions, like how far you need to have your posts, ect... I'm sure that it changes greatly whether you're doing it in a very Woody rocky area, or out in a smooth mowed lawn. I'm going to try every 10 or so feet. It looks like maybe yours are closer in that one picture, but the angle at which is taken may make it appear that way. Oh, and this is a great fence for smart dogs! If they try to climb it, it dumps them off! LOL
Connie Reid on March 22, 2018:
Loving this idea. I'm in the city and was using chain link fence, but I love this idea. Irs just me doing it, but you gave great instructions. I just want my digs safe and people safe. I have a deaf dig and a fear aggressive dog. Live them dearly. Want them to be able to run n play!
Karen on January 16, 2018:
Thank you so much for this! My dogs will thank you as well.
Erin on September 17, 2017:
Thanks so much!! My yard was partially fenced and now it's a fully fenced dog play yard! Anyone thinking they don't need the post driver -- buy it, seriously. Thanks again!
Kenneth N Amend on September 07, 2017:
This is excellent!! Thank you.
Perfect idea on July 12, 2017:
Great idea! Wonderful directions!
CheckAgain on June 21, 2017:
Your numbers don't add up...you have a 200 foot long fence but your material list only includes 50 feet of fence material.
Erika mom for bear (jack russel, Terrier,beagal mix on May 28, 2017:
I can't wait to put this fense up for him
BK on February 04, 2017:
It would be a good idea to check the entire fence at least once a day. I have used that type in my garden before and have had to rescue critters that got tangled up in it.
Mellabelle on December 17, 2016:
Im doing this. Just wrote it all down. We live in the Smokies, and Im afraid of bear and coyote. I cant just turn my back, BUT I dont have to be on a leash either, can clean out my car while they play, or sweep off the porch without them going out of bounds. I can bring my cost down since I could just do 150 ft. Two shih tzu that will NOT potty indoors. Im sooo tired of not getting anything done because of meeting their needs to romp and play THEN potty, maybe. Guilt eats me up to force them to my schedule, as I see fit to navigate my day's affairs. This will help. I think I will hang bells on the top of the netting to help with my possibly getting distracted--but coyote can jump these fences with ease and bear would walk right over it. At least I wont have to run after them when they decide to run beyond boundaries! One last thing, If it is a more "permanent" fence, then buring a little chicken wire around the outside perimeter would deterr other smaller animals from trying to dig under and through.
AeoistAnn on September 14, 2016:
This is perfect for my dogs! I'm moving into a small cabin soon with an australian shepherd and a husky mix and they both have a crazy lot of energy, and they definitely need a fence to keep them out of neighbor's properties. This is nice and cheap while still being effective, and my dogs are generally well-behaved (they get lots of exercise) enough to not attempt digging or jumping over the fence.
G Momma (my son's friends call me that.lol on September 08, 2016:
My hubby and I just bought a RV Trailer, we have two large dogs. We have plans of travelling and camping along the way. Having the dogs we choose a trailer with bunks so we can take the bottom one out, it has its own entrance for them(if they will use it)lol. We have been trying to find a cheaper, lighter way if making a fenced area for them at least 10x10 while camping. This is a very good option I think. We looked at the metal galvanized pet kennels that have a roof on them for shade ECT. They run from500.00-800.00$. Yikes. So I think we will look into something like this. Great idea. Thanks. G momma
PamHrycyk on June 28, 2016:
This is exactly what I need this summer but I can't see any of the pictures. Help! And they showed up as soon as I posted this :)
suzzanne on April 09, 2016:
I'm about to make this fence. We live in a mobile home park and can't have a permanent fence. Plus I love the idea of how cheap this is. . .. To keep my dogs from going under, my plan is to dig into the ground some what and bury some of the netting . I'm also going to make a cheap gate with pbc pipe and the netting. Wish me luck
Hi on March 17, 2016:
Have fence but not good enough
chel on December 31, 2015:
I need to build my three dogs a fence in my backyard and im 12 this is not easy and it is expensive im 12 you don't actually expect me to buy all this stuff
Marilyn from Nevada on April 30, 2015:
We have used this type of fencing for our pooches. You provided good details, and information. Not only does it keep your pets in the yard, but it also keeps other animals out. Unfortunately, one of our dogs discovered he could push his way through underneath the netting. Once he got out, it was almost impossible to keep him from doing it again. That's when we had to graduate to metal fencing. However, we still use the netting on our patio to keep our dogs away from the pool area, and he hasn't attempted to push through that yet.
suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on February 17, 2015:
Thanks for this Hub - it's exactly what I've been looking for.
Leelabell on January 15, 2015:
The link for the fencing currently goes to poultry fencing on Amazon, but you mention you used the deer fencing product. Do you know exactly which deer fencing by Tenax you used? They have a couple!
Mikey on November 06, 2014:
Hi thx for posting! We are doing this project Saturday! Can u please explain the gate as I can't see an "opening" in pic with bungy cord thx!
emilytjohnson on August 11, 2014:
This a very helpful stuff! I already got an idea on how to let my pups play around without worrying about their safety.
Shermie Mills from US on August 06, 2014:
This is really helpful. I am planning to have fens for my two Labrador-retriever mix dogs.
aliciadonley on August 01, 2014:
This is awesome. We are still moving from place to place, although it's not an adventure like yours! This will be useful if we move into this 600 sq ft house with no fenced yard!
Ean Brandon from United States on July 29, 2014:
I have been looking for a solution for my great dane!
ecowhale on July 26, 2014:
This will save the lives of many dogs. Too many drivers think they own the road and it's not to be shared. However some dogs do run out in the road and are unavoidably hit.
Scott A. Butler from England on July 24, 2014:
This is great stuff. Thank you. :)
AJ from North Carolina on July 22, 2014:
This is an excellent and detailed explanation of how to put up this type of fencing. Very well done! I've used this type of fencing for many years and many kinds of dogs -- it works great, but there are some dogs who can jump over (it's usually good for climbers since it's too wobbly for them to feel secure) and there are some who can knock it down. In fact, most medium to large dogs can knock it down if they try -- it's just most dogs would never try. A few will, tho, so know your dog. And I just thought I'd mention another possibility because I had a very large dog who tried using it as a leaning post and down it went! Thankfully both those dogs were homebodies and we found them hanging just outside the fence. The deer fence comes in 6' heights, too, and I'm not sure about higher, for those with dogs that jump. Excellent lense -- I'd vote it Lense of the day if I had such power.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 21, 2014:
When we bought our house it already had a fence. I will keep your fence in mind should we ever need another fence. Great lens! oh and Woof Woof!
drchoneydew on July 20, 2014:
LOVE this idea and the creative way you displayed this, just brilliant!!!!!! AND your precious pups too!!
brittabucketlist on July 18, 2014:
Great lens! Thank you!
Stephanie from Canada on July 14, 2014:
I love the video of the dogs playing! So cute :)
dominvo on July 02, 2014:
Good for dog and his pocket,thanks for your post!
BeagleSmile on April 07, 2014:
This is a really good idea. Thank you for posting the how to
Johann The Dog (author) from Northeast Georgia on March 10, 2014:
@suzyq781: We did put it a gate and you can see a photo here: http://johannthedog.com/Images/Gate.JPG Basically, we utilized a lighter weight stake, zip tied the fence to it and then put it up against a tree and wrapped it around the tree with bungie cords. It's an easy in and out and has held up for two years so far.
suzyq781 on March 10, 2014:
Hi. This sounds like a great solution for my two dogs. I do need an access gate and was wondering if you put one in or if you had a good solution to make one with the fence you describe? Thanks!
Johann The Dog (author) from Northeast Georgia on January 31, 2014:
@jennifer-j-roach: Our fence has fared very well! It's been two years. Gracie and YoYo respect the fence as well. I'm always out there with them, so that helps too. Too many snakes and poisonous toads to leave them on their own :). If your big dog respects boundaries it should work well for you!
jennifer-j-roach on January 31, 2014:
How has the fence fared? I have a large Doberman. Don't let the size fool you, he panics over a baby gate so he respects his boundaries --- however needs to know there are some or he's go nuts with freedom. I need to fence in an area around the house until something MUCH bigger can be set up and thought about this stuff myself. He's not a digger or a climber.
Johann The Dog (author) from Northeast Georgia on May 21, 2013:
@anonymous: You can click on the 'Fence Netting' link above and it will go to Amazon where you can purchase it. Or you can click the Tractor Supply Link above and order online as well. It's a product by Tenex. Good luck!!! We have since expanded our fence to an area completely around our cabin, the pups love it!
anonymous on May 21, 2013:
Where did you get the fence material? What's it called?
Im looking to do something similar. I am renting a house on an 11 acre farm and I like to let my dogs run free as they wish. However, they tend to relieve themselves very close to the back door and want to create a barrier to that space. Considering theres 11 acres to use Id like the area outside my door to be "mine"......
flycatcherrr on May 18, 2013:
This is exactly what I've done to create a "compound" for my greyhounds to run in. Very affordable and so easy to install.
anonymous on May 14, 2013:
Great fence! And adorable dogs. We have cedar fencing around our suburban yard, so our Great Pyrenees mix isn't getting out. However, I need a fence around my veggie garden. The fence isn't the issue, I need to figure out how to make an inexpensive gate that I can open every day, or several times a day.
soaringsis on April 17, 2013:
Great idea. Thanks for sharing.
gin001 on March 31, 2013:
Nice lens! I have a doggy door and a fence... the perfect combination.
squid-pinkchic18 on March 28, 2013:
We need a fence but they get spendy! Thanks for sharing this.
anonymous on January 31, 2013:
@JohannDog: I am going to build this fence! I'm waiting to rescue a dog from National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado Springs, CO. These dogs run in fear and will never come back-- even starve before trusting a human. So, while I get her to trust me, I need a secure area for her because these dogs would be too afraid to go potty on a leash. I walk my aussie/sheepdog mix about 6 miles a day, so I understand the cranky part!
Johann The Dog (author) from Northeast Georgia on January 07, 2013:
@Diana Wenzel: I feel your pain! Before our fence, Mum walked us four miles a day. She got in great shape, but was tired and irritable from all the exercise. One thought for you...you may want to look into the inexpensive wire fencing instead of our suggested deer fencing, it may be easier to install for you and be more effective of keeping the aggressive dogs out and your dogs safer. Just a thought. But these metal stakes are very easy to install As a matter of fact, Mum just expanded our fence and had eight posts and fencing up in less than 1.5 hours! Good luck!
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on January 07, 2013:
Those are some very happy dogs. Really fun to watch them frolic. Fencing is one of my biggest needs and challenges at this point. The fence around my five acres doesn't keep my dogs in or the aggressive neighbor dogs out. It used to be remote enough around here that my four-legged friends could romp with great freedom. Things change, though, and now I must come up with a way to allow my boys to safely burn off their over-the-top energy. Dogs need to be dogs. The miles we walk every day just barely take the buzz off. I love the solution you chose.
Johann The Dog (author) from Northeast Georgia on November 24, 2012:
@anonymous: We have snakes here as well. What we've found is that if you keep the fence line and inside the fence cleaned of leaves and matter, the snakes don't seem to want to come inside. Only when we raked leaves up near the fence line did we see snakes come through. We never did that again, BOL!
anonymous on November 24, 2012:
Very helpful! We are moving from LA to SE Missouri. Our neighbors don't fence, but I am sure we will want to. Too much wildlife here for me to feel safe without a well-lighted and fenced area. Anyone know where I can get a snake-proof fence?
Johann The Dog (author) from Northeast Georgia on July 25, 2012:
@anonymous: Since it's not a permanent fence, we connected the netting to a lighter weight post with zip ties, and then that small post runs up against a tree and we bungee the top of the post to the tree - you can see a photo here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/johannthedog/73748901... It takes some planning but works very well for a gate that isn't used too frequently. Hope that helps! And thanks!
anonymous on July 25, 2012:
I love the fencing and want to make it for my pup--Any ideas on how to add a gate to this type of fence?
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on June 29, 2012:
We have a fence, but instead of being meant to keep a dog in, it is for keeping deer out. You sure did a great job on your dog fence. You have 2 very happy dogs.
William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on June 26, 2012:
Thanks for sharing this valuable information! ;-)
anilsaini on June 25, 2012:
Stephanie Tietjen from Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 21, 2012:
This is a great fence idea. I have areas of my yard using the posts, but with chicken wire. I like the material you've used better. Thanks and Woof
Country Sunshine from Texas on June 21, 2012:
I'm surprised to hear that deer netting is strong enough to keep the dogs secure. Nice to know; perhaps I'll try it next time, instead of the chain link. Great instructions, and sounds like a project anyone can do.
ismeedee on June 17, 2012:
No dogs, no fence (haha, dogs bit of 'bone' of contention for me!) but this is a really well done lens and must be very useful for many dog owners. Keep them fenced in, I say!!! :)