As that photo makes abundantly clear, dogs are adorable. They brighten your life, your home, and become the first best friend that your children will ever have. You can teach them to do tricks, even rely on them for a touch of security, and…
… and you absolutely cannot trust them.
That’s meant in the nicest way, of course! Dogs may be wonderful and able to do some truly incredible things, but that doesn’t mean that they are good at making decisions. That means occasionally they will eat something they shouldn’t or go somewhere they’re not supposed to be. Once my grandmother's dog ate a sago palm seed and it winded up costing her thousands of dollars because he got so ill.
One of the biggest issues you might face as a dog owner is one of securing your backyard. It’s a nightmare. Not only can dogs jump a surprising height, but they also dig. Of course, they don’t know that there’s a reason you’re trying to keep them in a confined space, and you have no way of reasoning with them. You can’t explain it’s for their own benefit, which is one of the most frustrating things about pet ownership!
When you had children, you probably went through baby-proofing – now it’s time to take those skills and turn them to the canine member of your family.
Secure The Perimeter
That sounds rather militaristic, but it’s necessary. Make sure you have a clearly defined perimeter for your yard with clear boundary points. A durable and resistant chain link fence can mark the outside edge and, with it being metal, will be able to handle a clawing from your pooch.
Standard wooden fencing is vulnerable for this reason, especially if you have a larger dog – so keep in mind the power they can put behind their digging.
Secure The Height
The height of your exterior boundary should be such that your dog can’t clear it. The height required depends on the breed and size of your dog, so do some experimentation.
See what they can clear when they have an incentive to do so, such as a piece of chicken, then make sure your fence is higher than their biggest clearance.
Ensure There’s No Way To Climb
You can have the height perfect, but if you then place items near the outside boundary, then you’ve got a problem. Your dog might not be able to clear the fence itself, but it can sure manage it if they jump on top of your sun lounger or tool storage!
The best option for making your boundary dig proof is to do some digging of your own. Bury a section of chicken wire three-to-four feet down, all around the edge of the fence, inserting it vertically into the ground.
You can also add spiky plants and bushes around the base of a fence, which can provide great deterrents for going anywhere near that area. If it’s uncomfortable for your dog to scrabble around and dig in the vulnerable areas, then they’re going to figure it’s better to just stay in your yard instead!