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4 Big Considerations for Small Dog Fences

dog running

Often, what smaller breeds lack in size, they make up for in mischief. When it comes to jumping a high fence, small dogs find that being vertically challenged gets in the way, but their little bodies give them other advantages when it comes to getting loose. Do you already have a fence that isn’t doing the trick? Time to tear it down! Finding the right fence for your little dog will ensure he can’t exploit his small size to make a big escape, and it will give you peace of mind to let him roam safely in the fresh air. Here’s what you need to remember when you search for a small dog fence.

1. Little dogs can have lots of energy!

Chihuahua behind a wooden fence

Once you’ve selected the right fence, your dog won’t be able to escape your yard. However, first things first: if your dog has an escaping problem, it needs to be addressed in addition to getting your new fence. Digging and other escaping behaviors could be the result of boredom or anxiety. Though many of the breeds that require the most exercise are larger, some small breeds are also high-energy, including:

  • Jack Russell Terriers
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Cairn Terriers
  • Most other small terriers
  • Dachshunds
  • Toy Poodles
  • Chihuahuas
  • Pomeranians

If your dog has serious behavioral issues and is showing aggression toward other dogs or people walking by, he could be exhibiting what is known as “fence aggression.” It may be best not to supervise him in your yard until you’ve trained him to behave—even if your aggressive small dog isn’t quite that intimidating to passersby.

As long as your dog is getting exercise beyond playing in the yard, he’ll really thank you if a new fence means he’s allowed to play outside more!

2. Your options aren’t vertically challenged like your dog

The good news is that you have a multitude of options when it comes to a fence for a small dog. Because of the smaller height and large variety of options, you are also likely to end up with a much more inexpensive fence. Putting up a fence can be a win-win for you and your bite-sized canine companion!

Chances are your little Chihuahua won’t need much more than a three or four foot fence…unless he’s a serious jumper. Classic wooden picket fences, solid panel privacy fences, aluminum fences—nearly any kind of fence is a possibility, and you don’t have to sacrifice as much visibility as you do when installing a high fence.

A solid panel privacy fence keeps your dog from getting distracted by everything on the other side, and it will also be climb-proof.

However, if you still want full visibility of your surroundings, you may consider a wooden split rail fence. These fences give your yard a rustic and natural look and can keep your little dog contained when covered in mesh wire!

3. Being a small dog has its perks…like squeezing between fence rails

Your small dog may wish he were a big dog—but not when he’s wriggling his way through a tiny opening. Poorly maintained wooden fences present a few serious vulnerabilities. If panels are cracked, worn, too short, or just too widely spaced apart, your dog may be able to squeeze right through them. It goes without saying that you’ll need to fix up or replace an old fence, but if you’d rather not go with the same old fences you see in your neighborhood, take a trip to your local fencing company’s showroom and spend some time going through all your options!

4. Some small dogs can also dig under fences

There are other ways small dogs can get into mischief, of course. For them, it’s easy to escape by simply digging holes with their little legs and wriggling their little dog bodies through them. Dachshunds love digging, as do terriers—burrowing in order to hunt small prey is part of their nature. It may be necessary to bury chicken wire under your fence to prevent their escape. If there are particular spots where your dog likes to dig, you also might consider placing large stones in those areas.

It’s only natural that your pup wants to explore the big, exciting world, but that world can be a scary and unsafe place for a little dog. A secure fence means a lot less worrying on your part and less mischief on your dog’s part. By keeping these considerations in mind, you can find the right fence to bring your little dog’s escape problem to a halt.

Got a larger breed? Check out our post on finding a find for your big dog.

A fence for fido

Do you have any funny stories about your sneaky little dog escaping? Has your fence been working for you, or have you been repeatedly outsmarted by your pets? Go ahead and leave a comment about your experiences with designing a yard for a small dog!

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  • minnesota says:

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your content.
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  • James ladoucer says:

    I am a retired Navy vet. I live in an RV park. I have 3 service puppy’s, by prescription. Out side the unit we live in, there is room for a pretty large area for a fence. Dear head Chauahwa my spelling is lacking, one chaweeney, one rat terrier. The little one weighs 4.5 lbs, 4yrs. The fencing I’d for them maybe a solid fence would be better but have no bad habits, they listen to me. I talk to them.

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