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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 himself. 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 favorite overall pick is the Veranda Linden White Vinyl Privacy Pre-Built Fence, which is perfect for privacy and providing your dog with a safe space to play.
Here are the best dog fences.
Best Overall: Veranda Linden White Vinyl Privacy Pre-Built Fence
The Veranda Linden White Vinyl Privacy Pre-Built 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 4-foot walk gate or a dual drive gate with two 5-foot panels. With six feet of height, the Linden fence provides plenty of privacy.
The Veranda White Vinyl Privacy Pre-Built Fence is available in 15 different fence panel designs (our favorite is the Linden) and five different colors.
Price at time of publish: $116
Best Budget: Red Brand Welded Wire 50-ft x 3-ft Silver Steel Welded Wire Farm Welded Wire Rolled Fencing
This galvanized wire and solid welded construction fencing makes for an inexpensive fence that works for a small dog or a puppy. You can also use it in conjunction with an existing fence to make it escape-proof (covering slats that are too far apart) or inside of a fence that’s climbable. It’s also a lifesaver when you’re in need of a quick fix for an existing fence that has a hole in it or a way to keep your pup hemmed in on your balcony.
Made in America, this welded wire fence is also very easy to work with—no special tools or other accessories required.
Price at time of publish: $54
Best for Small Dogs: Zippity Outdoors White 3 ft. H x 3.5 ft W Baskenridge No Dig Vinyl Fence Panel
This modern interpretation of a white picket fence is made of weather-resistant vinyl materials that not only last forever it will look good in your front yard or back. With no-dig installation, it’s easy to install yourself, plus if you ever move, you can readily take it with you. It’s 3 feet high with a narrow 2.25-inches of spacing between the pickets so your small dog won’t be able to get over it or squeeze through it. The only downside is that some who’ve tried it say it needed extra stabilizing, but overall it works well for bulldogs, shih tzus, and other small breeds.
Price at time of publish: $68
Best for Large Dogs: Casa Verde 6 ft. Beige Fence Slat
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 6-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.
Price at time of publish: $86
Best Invisible: PetSafe Wireless Containment System
An invisible electric fence that you install yourself offers the advantage of being, well, invisible so it’s not an eyesore on your property and doesn’t require any HOA approvals. Because you set it up yourself—this version from PetSafe doesn’t need to be buried underground—is more affordable than an electric fence with professional installation. The one major downside is that it requires a commitment to training your pet, and if you don’t spend the time doing that, they could get hurt or run away.
This system covers 0.5 acres and is portable, so you can take it on vacation, to a friend’s house, or if you move. The collar can correct your pooch via either tone only or with five levels of static correction (a mild shock)—you should always start with the lowest level possible. When your dog crosses the electronic barrier, they’ll receive a correction for up to 30 seconds. Once they are inside the barrier again, it stops and it doesn’t go off when they cross back into the safe zone.
Price at time of publish: $290
Best Indoor: Vivohome Foldable Metal Wireless Indoor Outdoor Pet Fence Playpen Kit
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.
Price at time of publish: $230
Best Gate: Regalo Easy Step Extra Tall Walk Thru Baby Gate
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 41 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.
Price at time of publish: $48
Best No-Dig: Dig Defence XL (Maximum) Animal Dig Barrier
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.
Price at time of publish: $37
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.
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.
Are invisible fences safe?
By and large, yes, but it’s up to you to be a responsible dog owner and spend the time training your dog to correctly use it. If you have any doubts that you’re up to the task yourself, consider reaching out to a professional invisible fence installation company as many include training as part of their packages. Whether you’re working with a trainer or on your own, it’s important to use the lowest level of correction possible on the collar. You can gauge your dog’s responsiveness by training them inside your home first to see which level corrects their bad behavior, be it not sitting on command or jumping on your counters. Then you can move your training outdoors. If you don’t train your dog to understand and respect the fence, they may breach it and run away.
Lastly, an invisible fence won’t keep other animals or people out of your yard, so keep that in mind when deciding if this truly is the best style of fence for you and your dog.
Why Trust The Spruce?
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.