Our 7 Favorite Types of Fences To Safely Give Dogs Room to Run (2024)

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Anne Fritz

Anne Fritz

Anne Fritz is a product reviewer for The Spruce Pets with 20 years of experience in lifestyle writing. Her work is featured in Reader's Digest, Cosmopolitan, Patch, In Style, Insider, SELF Magazine, Everyday Health, Refinery29, Aol.com, and Men's Journal.

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Updated on 06/18/24

Reviewed by

Nelva J. Bryant

Our 7 Favorite Types of Fences To Safely Give Dogs Room to Run (1)

Reviewed byNelva J. Bryant

Dr. Nelva Bryant, DVM, is a highly accomplished veterinarian with three decades of professional experience in animal welfare, public health, and zoonotic diseases. She has worked with airlines and the Centers for Disease Control to improve pet travel through veterinary oversight.Dr. Bryant is a Veterinary Review Board Member for The Spruce Pets.

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Nick Blackmer

Our 7 Favorite Types of Fences To Safely Give Dogs Room to Run (2)

Fact checked byNick Blackmer

Nick Blackmer began his information-digging career as a library reference assistant, then worked for more than 20 years as a researcher and fact checker in print publishing before moving into digital publishing. He’s worked on content spanning the human life cycle, from pregnancy to palliative care and many points in between.

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Our 7 Favorite Types of Fences To Safely Give Dogs Room to Run (3)

There’s nothing quite as easy as letting your dog out to do their business in a fenced yard—especially if you have a doggie door that they can open on their own. But installing a fence can be an expensive and time-consuming proposition.

We've found the best fencing solutions for a variety of scenarios, including easy-to-install yard fences and other innovative ways to set boundaries for your dog. Our search evaluated fencing options for easy installation, reliable gatekeeping, and unobtrusive designs that will work well with your existing yard space.

Our Top Picks

What We Like

  • No special tools required for installment

  • Six feet of privacy

  • Weather resistant vinyl

What We Don't Like

  • Only sold through one retailer

The Veranda Linden Vinyl Fence is one of the easiest ways to install full, professional-grade fencing in your yard: simply measure the boundaries of your yard and order the requisite number of vinyl fence panels. The pre-built panels combined with line, corner, and end posts that are sold separately by Home Depot. No special tools are required.

The Linden vinyl fence system is ultra durable, never requiring sanding, staining, painting, or other maintenance common to wooden fencing. Plus, you can install it with either a four-foot walk gate or a dual drive gate with two five-foot panels. With six feet of height, the Linden fence provides plenty of privacy.

The Veranda Vinyl Privacy Fence is available in 15 different fence panel designs (our favorite is the Linden) and five different colors.

Height: 6 feet | Material: Vinyl

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What We Like

  • UV inhibitors for protection from sun, ice, snow, and saltwater

  • Over six feet of height

  • Slats make it more difficult for dogs to climb

What We Don't Like

  • Not as aesthetically appealing as other options

This chain-link slat fence offers many of the same advantages of a privacy fence—at about half the cost. The slats in the chain link prevent your pooch from climbing it and at six-feet high even large breeds won’t be able to jump over it. The slats are made of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) material with UV inhibitors that help make this fence able to withstand ice, snow, saltwater, sunshine, you name it. It’s easy to install yourself, though you’ll also need to pick up fence spikes, sold separately. Another important thing to remember: don’t place any furniture or large planters near the fence that your pup may be able to climb and use as a booster to get over the fence and out to the other side.

Heights: 56, 68, or 72 inches | Materials: High-density polyethylene, coated steel

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What We Like

  • Can be recycled after use

  • Rust-proof

  • Easy to set up and take down

What We Don't Like

  • Not intended for longterm use

Tenax Pet Fence arrives packaged in a roll with a minimum of 100 feet of rust-proof fencing. You can use it to create a dog run within a wide open space, or to keep your dog from crossing into an area in your yard that's off limits. The Pet Fence is available in two heights, four or five feet, made in the United States, and can be recycled when no longer needed.

Heights: 4 or 5 feet | Material: Polypropylene

What We Like

  • Keeps out animals that burrow and/or dig

  • Will not obstruct view

  • Weather resistant

What We Don't Like

  • More difficult to install

  • More likely to hit tree roots

Have a digger on your hands? Prevent them from escaping (but not digging, unfortunately), by fortifying your existing fence with this Dig Defence. Simply hammer the 4-gauge steel rod fencing with 15-inch spikes spaced 1.5 inches apart into the ground along your fence to make your fence impervious to diggers. It also works to keep animals that burrow, including bunnies, and predators (especially handy if you have chickens) out of your yard. The only caution: you can’t use this along a tree line where it would hit tree roots. We recommend installing this after a rainy day when the ground is soft.

Height: 15 inches | Material: Galvanized steel

What We Like

  • Built in walk-thru door

  • Expandable width

  • Pressure mounted, no drilling required

What We Don't Like

  • With enough force, the gate is likely to fall

When you want to contain your pooch in a room or specific area of your home, an extra tall baby gate is the best choice. This one from Regalo is 36 inches tall and expands to fit openings 29 to 36.5 inches wide. It comes with a pressure mount kit that’s easy to use and there’s no added hassle of needing to drill or screw anything into your walls. With slats spaced a narrow 2.5 inches, there’s little chance even small dogs will be able to squeeze by it. The gate is easy to open, even with one hand.

Height: 36 inches | Material: Metal

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What We Like

  • 16 panels are amendable to different spaces

  • No additional tools required for setup

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

What We Don't Like

  • Won't contain larger breeds

Create an indoor or an outdoor play yard for your pup with this foldable fence kit. It has 16 individual panels that you can shape into a rectangle, square, or octagon—whichever fits your space best. The doors have latch panels that are easy for you to operate, but not your pet. The black powder-coated fencing is just under 2-feet high, so this will work for puppies or smaller dogs who don’t jump but isn’t suited for larger breeds. The kit comes with everything you need and arrives ready to be assembled.

Height: 23.6, 31.5, or 39.5 inches | Material: Metal

What We Like

  • UV protection

  • Aesthetically appealing greenery

  • Allows airflow

  • Weather resistant

What We Don't Like

  • Will obstruct view

The Fenpro Hedget Slats for Chain Link Fence adds an appealing green aspect to an area you want to enclose for a dog run. The faux greenery provides privacy—limiting the amount of distractions a dog will be exposed to—and significantly blocks UV rays to provide a safe and appealing space for a dog to expend their energy. This durable fence from Fenpro is made in two heights, four or five feet, and each box provides ten feet of coverage.

Heights: 4 or 5 feet | Material: Galvanized steel, PVC

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Final Verdict

Our favorite overall pick is the Veranda Linden Vinyl Fence, which is perfect for privacy and providing your dog with a safe space to play. If you have a dog who digs, or need to keep out unwanted visitors who burrow, The Original Animal Barrier Fence from Dig Defence, is our top recommendation for underground protection.

What to Look for in Fences for Dogs


It's really important to know how high your dog can jump, because even small dogs, like Papillons and Jack Russel Terriers, can jump 4 to 5 feet. The size of your dog plus their ability to jump should both be taken into consideration when selecting the height for your fence. For most breeds, 6 feet should be sufficient. For breeds that can jump really high, such as Australian Kelpies, Belgian Malinois, Border Collies, German Shepards, Vizslas, and Weimaraners, you should go up to 8 feet.


Many dogs are able to squeeze themselves through openings, especially if there is something appealing to them on the other side of the fence. For most breeds, 3 inches should be the maximum spacing between planks. For slender and smaller breeds, like Greyhounds, Pomeranians, and Yorkshire Terriers, you should look for a fence that provides little to no space.

Connection to Ground

For all breeds, the fence should meet the ground to prevent your dog from slipping underneath the fence to escape. If your dog likes to dig, you should consider burying the bottom of the fence one to two feet below the surface. You could also try chain link fencing closer to the ground, or large rocks long your fence to make it more uncomfortable for your dog to dig.

Climb-Proof Material

Some dogs are more inclined to climb than others. If your dog has a habit of reaching new heights, then there shouldn't be anything on the interior of your fence that your dog can get a grip on. Fences to avoid with a climber include chain links and wood. We recommend vinyl that is slippery, like our overall pick, the Veranda Linden White Vinyl Privacy Pre-Built Fence.


  • How high a dog fence do I need?

    In general, a 6-foot high fence is sufficient for larger dogs, while smaller dogs are typically contained by a 3 or 4-foot fence. That all goes out the window, though, if your dog is a jumper, in which case you'll either want to opt for something even taller or an electric option, which will prevent dogs of all shapes and stripes from escaping.

  • What’s the best kind of fence for dogs that like to dig?

    If your dog likes to dig, you’ve probably already learned that there’s little you can do to completely stop the instinctual behavior. Encourage your dog to dig in a safe place that’s far away from your fence—and any flower beds, too. We realize that’s easier said than done, so as a secondary precaution, consider using a anti-digging fence along with your regular fence. These fences have tightly-spaced spikes that extend a foot or more into the ground to deter your dog from digging.

Why Trust The Spruce Pets?

This piece was written by Anne Fritz, who has been writing about pet products for The Spruce for more than two years. Before writing this article, she consulted with her own dog trainer and gathered information from customer reviews and third-party articles. She is the proud owner of two rescue dogs.

Our 7 Favorite Types of Fences To Safely Give Dogs Room to Run (2024)


Our 7 Favorite Types of Fences To Safely Give Dogs Room to Run? ›

Chain-link fencing is a sturdy and reliable option that prevents your pet from escaping while giving them the freedom to run and play. These fences are easily customizable to fit your dog's size. You can also find variations in thickness and color to suit your preferences.

What is the best fencing for a dog run? ›

Chain-link fencing is a sturdy and reliable option that prevents your pet from escaping while giving them the freedom to run and play. These fences are easily customizable to fit your dog's size. You can also find variations in thickness and color to suit your preferences.

What is the safest fence for dogs? ›

Having a chain link or fence with a diamond-shaped wire where the dog can scale the wall isn't recommended. If you've got a jumping dog, you'll need a fence to stand up to it. Getting a high-quality vinyl or even aluminum fence with good height is ideal.

What is the best material for a dog run area? ›

Our favorite material for dog play yards is, without a doubt, pea gravel! This finely ground and smoothed gravel essentially acts as kitty litter for your dogs.

What kind of fence keeps dogs out? ›

Chain Link Fencing

A chain-link fence costs $10 to $20 per linear foot. Sure, it might not do much in the way of curb appeal, but it's affordable, easy to maintain, and an effective dog fencing option.

What is the best surface for dogs to run on? ›

Wood chips and mulch are popular choices for ground cover in dog runs. Mulch is aesthetically pleasing, relatively inexpensive, and is easy to spread out with a rake if it clumps up.

How high should a dog run fence be? ›

A six-foot vinyl privacy fence should be tall enough to keep most breeds from jumping out. Some vinyl fences are also available in eight-foot-high sections for dogs who are exceptional jumpers.

What type of fencing is most secure? ›

Welded Mesh Fencing

it's very hard to get a finger or tool into the mesh. Which means both climbing and cutting with something like a wire cutter is very difficult. Welded mesh panels offer a very high level of security, but because they are so rigid, they can be hard to install on sloped or undulating sites.

Is a wood or vinyl fence better for dogs? ›

Importance of Choosing the Right Fence Material for Pets

The materials you choose should be resistant to damage, non-toxic, and solid enough to keep your furry friend safe. For these reasons, vinyl is an excellent choice.

What is the best ground cover for a dog run? ›

Some homeowners use wood chips or mulch as a ground cover. It's safe and inexpensive, and cedar mulch has the added benefit of being a natural bug repellant to fight off fleas and ticks. If you do choose wood chips or mulch for your yard, do NOT use “Cocoa Bean” mulch, which is harmful to dogs if ingested.

What is the best length for a dog run? ›

At a minimum, make a dog run that is at least 3′ wide and about 10′ long. Your dog's size should be considered as well. Large dogs, of course, need more space than smaller breeds.

What type of fencing is best for dogs? ›

Fencing made from vinyl is more flexible. If you have a larger dog who likes to jump or stand against the fence, vinyl is a good option because it can absorb heavyweights and forces better than wood will. And it's isn't as easy to climb as a chain-link fence. And it's easy to clean.

What can I put on the bottom of my fence to keep my dog in? ›

Low-cost chicken wire or landscape fabric can be used to reinforce the base of the fence and make it more difficult for small dogs to dig through.

What is an invisible fence for dogs? ›

Some invisible fence systems feature wires buried in the ground around a set perimeter, such as a yard. A transmitter connected to the wiring emits a radio signal that travels throughout the underground wire. The other key component of the system is a receiver worn on a collar by your pet.

What is the best fencing for a dog field? ›

As a standard, anyone setting up a dog field should use high tensile wire fencing that stands at least 6ft (1.8m) from the ground.

What is the best material for dog fencing? ›

Vinyl isn't as classic as wood or metal, but it is a favorite for its low cost and extreme durability. It also makes a great dog fence. Vinyl privacy fences have a smooth surface that is hard to climb, and no gaps for a dog to squeeze through. Unlike wood, vinyl won't rot or weaken.

What is the best fence for a dog park? ›

Galvanized and vinyl-coated chain link fences are a great choice because the posts and panels can be buried to discourage dogs from digging underneath the fence. Steel fences are popular in urban settings where the designated area is located next to a building.

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