Without a doubt, the backyard is the ideal place for your pooch to spend the dog days of summer. With the added security of a fence, your pup can safely enjoy endless hours of sniffing, sunbathing, and exploring!
Dog-proof fencing help us pet owners strike the ideal balance between safety and freedom for Fido. While professionally installed physical or invisible fences can easily cost you into the thousands, a little bit of sweat and ingenuity on your part can get the job done at a lower cost and with equally high quality.
A DIY dog fence allows you to customize the finished product to suit your needs, for both your yard and your dog. You’ll save big on labor costs, and you’ll have complete control over the process, materials and the end result.
Below, we’ll discuss why fences are a must for your mutt, and then we’ll offer you some of our favorite DIY dog fence designs. Pick your favorite plan and your pup will thank you for the hours of fun in the yard!
The Importance of Fences for Dogs
For the safety of your pet and your surroundings, some kind of restraint is a must when he’s enjoying time outside. Letting your dog roam free, particularly in suburban or heavily trafficked areas, is dangerous for both him and your neighbors.
Tie-outs and trolleys are a popular option, but they’re not ideal for every situation. If you’ve got a large yard, tie-outs may be a bit too restricting. When it comes to a permanent solution for outdoor safety and security, fences reign supreme.
Let’s go over some of the top reasons why fences should be your first consideration:
- They prevent your dog from running away. Dogs love to roam. Whether it’s tracking a scent or chasing a rabbit, there’s no doubt about it – your dog will not stay within the boundaries of your yard without some kind of restraint.
- Fences prevent your dog from starting fights with other dogs or bothering people. Even the most docile doggos can get into trouble outside of their own yard. A fence will keep your canine close to home to keep your territorial neighbors – both human and canine – appeased.
- They prevent unwanted mating. Dogs weren’t taught abstinence in school – canine nature dictates that an intact dog is going to find a mate. If your pup hasn’t been spayed or neutered yet, a fence will prevent inevitable and unwanted puppy litters.
- Fences provide protection from predators and thieves. From dog-nappers to coyotes to annoying neighborhood children, without constant supervision our dogs are prone to a lot of predators outside. A physical fence, in particular, will keep unwanted guests out of your yard and away from your dog.
DIY Dog Fence Plans
We’ve assembled some of our favorite DIY dog fence plans below. Just be sure to consider your specific needs when making a choice.
1. Pallet Dog Fence from SawsHub.com
If you’re a newbie to the world of DIY construction, the Pallet Fence from SawsHub.com provides a perfect introduction. You’ll save time and money by using pre-built pallets, whether you salvage used ones or buy new ones from a store.
Utilizing wooden pallets saves you a lot of effort measuring and cutting, so the majority of your task involves simply assembling the pallet into a vertically positioned fence.
The biggest challenge of this plan is pouring the concrete to act as a base for the posts. Once your posts are in place, simply attach the pallets instead of traditional 2x4s. Once assembled, you can customize the look with paint or stain to dress it up a bit.
While adjusting the height may add an additional step, for the right pooch in the right yard, the pallet dog fence is a great choice (plus you can make a pallet dog bed with any leftover lumber)!
Skill Level: Medium
- Wooden pallets
- Concrete mix
- Shovel or hole digger
2. Movable and Reusable Dog Fence from PetHelpful
Author Johann the Dog offers the versatile Movable and Reusable Dog Fence on PetHelpful, which is an ideal fence for camping, travelling, or other temporary situations. Offering cost estimates, links to Amazon pages, and step-by-step instructions, this simple yet effective fencing option is easy to install and practical in use.
Utilizing flexible material, a few posts, and some zip ties, this simple fencing can be taken down or put up in a matter of minutes. Simply secure the posts into the ground with the post driver, unroll the fencing material, and secure it to the posts and to the ground with zip ties and anchor pins.
While it won’t stop heavy chewers or especially strong dogs, this reusable option is perfect for pups that respect boundaries, as well as for owners on the go!
Skill Level: Easy
- 5-foot studded T-posts
- Flexible pet fencing (the author recommends Tenax)
- Plastic zip ties
- Anchor pins
- Post driver
3. DIY Fence Using Wire Kennel Panels
When Kristine of the Reactive and Aggressive Dog Community on Facebook needed a fenced-in area for her dogs, she had the smart idea to repurpose several dog kennel kits into a full-on fenced enclosure.
Kristine purchased three 4ft x 8ft x 6ft Welded Wire Dog Fence Kennel Kits from KennelMatser at Home Depot. She then unfolded the panels and joined them together via small included brackets, requiring little handyman experience and virtually no tools.
When positioned beside the house, using the house as a 4th wall, the unfolded kennels were able to offer their dogs around 400 sq feet of off-leash freedom!
Since Kristine’s dogs are reactive and get triggered by seeing dogs outside pass by the fence, she also purchased a privacy fence to go around the welded wire structure. To top it all off, she added some lovely outdoor globe lights to illuminate the area in the evening.
This project is a great quick and easy DIY project for owners short on time and without much interest in handiwork.
Kristine was even able to set up one of the built-in gates right against their patio, allowing the dogs easy access to their off-leash area.
Just be aware that an installation like this may not be able to survive more than a few winters, depending on the weather in your area. It also may not be sturdy enough for dogs who charge fences.
Skill Level: Easy
- 3 x Modular Welded Wire Dog Kennel Kits with 4’x8’x6′ dimensions (like this version from Wayfair or this one from Home Depot)
- 4′ x 50′ Privacy screen (for reactive dogs)
- Outdoor globe lights
4. DIY Dog Fence from Dogsaholic.com
For the low-key canine with minimal exercise needs, John Walton’s DIY Dog Fence from Dogsaholic.com offers a great balance between security and a healthy dose of fresh air.
This outdoor enclosure is basically an extension of your home – like a sun room for your dog — to keep your pet close to your house. It involves welding a metal frame, covering the outside with diamond wire, and finishing with a gate and other optional design features.
While it requires some heavy-duty DIY skills, the result is a beautiful and safe enclosure that’s basically an extension of your home.
Skill Level: Hard
- 3-inch metal pipes
- Diamond wire fencing
- Metal c-clips and c-rings
- Metal hinges
- Welding materials and tools
5. Mesh Fence from Unchain Your Dog
If you’re looking for simple instructions for a sturdy fence, check out the Mesh Fence from Unchain Your Dog. This plan offers step-by-step instructions for a sturdy wood-framed fence with a wire mesh covering.
These plans offer additional customization options, such as a fully functional gate and concrete foundation for a more permanent fence.
You’ll start by laying out your posts and planning your fence perimeter. Once the posts are in place, simply unroll the wire mesh to cover the fence, so that it sufficiently acts as a barrier around your yard.
Don’t be intimidated by setting a post in concrete or attaching the wire mesh properly – this plan offers directions and videos (see below) for all of the DIY elements!
- Metal or wooden posts
- Metal mesh cloth
- Wire ties
- Spray paint
- Concrete (optional)
- Staple gun
- Post driver
6. DIY Dog Fence Kit by Pet Playgrounds
Unlike our other DIY options, the Dog Fence Kit from Pet Playgrounds is delivered directly to your door – you just supply the muscle and the tools.
The how-to video and owner’s manual takes you step-by-step through the process, from measuring your yard to installing your fence.
This sturdy choice is sold in 5- , 6- , and 7-foot varieties, each consisting of strong metal posts and mesh covering. The in-depth owner’s manual comes with explicit instructions, as well as directions for customization – you can connect the fence to your home, or use a tree in lieu of a post.
While craftsmanship and a general knowledge of tools are required, Pet Playgrounds comes with a helpful guidebook to help you complete the project.
- Pet Playgrounds Kit (order online)
- Sledge hammer
- Small hammer
- Wire snips
- Electric hand drill
- Ratchet set
- Reciprocating saw (optional)
7. DIY Wood Privacy Fence from Lowe’s
For the super-crafty canine owners, check out the DIY Wood Privacy Fence from Lowe’s.
Lowe’s offers an in-depth look at fence building, from pouring the concrete in the post holes to cutting 2x4s for your posts. This plan offers directions for a stunning shadowbox fence, which is a sturdy and stylish option that arranges pickets closely together.
This DIY plan is not tailored specifically for dogs, so some puppy-proofing may be necessary. You may want to alter the height of the fencing, adjust the distance between the pickets, or even add a dog fence window your pup can peek out of!
While it’s certainly a more challenging and time-consuming option, the end result is a gorgeous fence that will last for years!
- 4×4 posts (pressure-treated)
- 2x4s (pressure treated)
- 1×4 furring strips
- Concrete mix
- Nail gun
- Air compressor and hose
- Drill and drill bits
- Circular saw
8. DIY Dog Fence from DoItYourself.com
The DIY Dog Fence from DoItYourself.com is a sturdy picket fence option to keep your canine contained.
The directions walk you through each of the steps involved, beginning with purchasing the materials. You’ll learn how to measure your fence, dig holes, and pour cement for extra support for the posts.
Additional tips are provided for cutting down wood for pickets, as well as instructions for spacing and attaching them. This plan and its dimensions is designed with dogs in mind, plus it’s got durability and style!
- 2 x 4 lumber (pressure-treated)
- Fence posts
- Post digger
- Tape measure
9. DIY Chicken Wire Dog Fence by Pet Lover Guy
Scott Fanello of Pet Lover Guy provides a comprehensive DIY Chicken Wire Dog Fence plan. This DIY fence combines the see-through quality of chicken wire that your pooch will love with the durability of wooden supports
You’ll start by installing your posts with concrete bases, serving as a general framework for the fence. You’ll then unroll the chicken wire, simply attaching it to the posts with staples or nails. Finish up by attaching the wooden boards on the top and bottom to keep the wire in place.
The plan offers optional instructions for installing a gate, and you can add paint or staining to the wood for a more finished look. Your dog will love the visibility that this fence provides, and you’ll be more than satisfied with the durability and ease of installation!
- 4 x 4 posts
- 2 x 4 boards
- Nails or staples
- Post hole digger
10. DIY Invisible Fence from DoItYourself.com
Don’t want wire or wooden fencing to tarnish the view of your backyard? Rachel Klein at DoItYourself.com offers a step-by-step guide to putting together your own DIY Invisible Fence.
While it’s not entirely a DIY project because you’ll need to purchase an invisible fence kit, the installation will be done entirely by you, which will save you a fortune.
Unlike installing a physical fence, installing an invisible fence requires going underground. You’ll need to first have your utilities marked, spray paint your fencing perimeter, and dig a trench to bury the wire.
You’ll also set up a receiver in a dry place, and eventually connect everything so that your fence is up and running. The last, and possibly most challenging step, is to teach your dog to respect the fence boundaries.
While it may pose a technical challenge that’s not right for everyone, a DIY invisible fence is a great option for some dogs!
- Construction flags
- Invisible fence kit
- Wire splices
- Rubber driveway cable protector
- Weed whacker
- Wire cutter
- Circular saw
Different Types of DIY Fences
Once you’ve decided you’re ready for a fence, you have two basic choices to pick from: invisible or physical.
Physical fences come in a range of materials from wood to wire, and provide a visible barrier for your yard.
Invisible dog fences, on the other hand, consist of an underground boundary (or boundary projected via radio signals) that emits a slight shock when your dog, with the corresponding collar, crosses it.
Both offer a host of benefits so it’s important to pick the best choice for your home and hound.
- You can easily alter the perimeter of the area to suit the needs of your yard.
- You can select a material that is appropriate for your dog’s needs, your design desires, and your budget.
- It’s simpler to build a physical fence with store-bought or scrap materials, and it’s easier to fix if it sustains damage.
- Depending on the materials, frequent – and possibly expensive – repairs may be necessary.
- Dogs can potentially dig under, jump over, or chew through any physical fence.
- Some communities have strict regulations and require permits or approval, and some don’t allow physical fences at all.
- Cost: Varies heavily depending on the materials selected and the size of your yard. If you already own the power tools necessary for certain plans, costs tend to run from the low hundreds and into the thousands.
- Invisible fences operate via radio signals or wires running underground, so there’s no chance of your pup digging under or jumping over this fence.
- As the name implies, you can’t see this fence, so you need not worry about regulations or permits.
- Unlike the physical fence, the invisible fence requires some consistent canine training for your dog to learn to respect the boundaries.
- These fences may encounter the occasional technical error without warning, or especially high energy pups may disregard them completely when chasing a squirrel.
- No protection from outside intruders is offered, so your yard is rather exposed to unwanted human and animal encounters.
- Not ideal for anxious or nervous dogs. Potential to increase stress in dogs since it relies on aversive punishment to prevent the dog from leaving the boundary.
- Cost: If you don’t utilize an installment service, invisible fence kits can around a couple hundred dollars. However, radio fences do not require any installation service.
Where Do You Get Supplies for a DIY Dog Fence?
Finding supplies for your DIY dog fence depends on your budget and your plan.
For example, most of the supplies for any DIY fence can be purchased at your local hardware or home improvement store . If for some reason these locations are sold out or don’t carry the product you’re looking for, consider checking EasyPetFence.com or other specialty stores for the product. It’s always worth giving Amazon a look too.
You may, in fact, already have the materials and need not make any major purchases. For products like 2×4 lumber, paint, screws, and more, check your home and yard before you buy anything.
Friends and neighbors may have scraps that you can use as well, so check with them before you make any purchases!
Some owners have also managed to make some great makeshift DIY dog play pens that can work well as a fence substitution for small dogs.
Picking the perfect DIY fence depends on your pup, your home and your skill set. Have you completed your own DIY dog fence project? How did it go? Let us know in the comments!