How to Build a Quick, Easy, and Inexpensive Dog Fence!
And It's Movable and Reusable, Too!
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 us 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!
Our dog fence is nearly 200 feet long and wraps almost completely around our cabin. 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.
Here's a close up of how the zip ties were used at the top of the fence.
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.
An easy, inexpensive fence you can build in a day!
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:
- 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.
- 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 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 sulfer around your fence line between rains. Snakes don't like sulfer. 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!
- Gracie was a pretty independent soul; we lost her to pneumonia last year 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 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!
Do you have a 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.