What Kind of Fence Is Best for Dogs?

One of the most common questions we get asked is what kind of fencing is best for dogs? Many of our clients are pet-owners and their main driving force for installing a fence is keeping in their four-legged friend. At Carter Fence, we’ve been installing fences since 1986, and we’ve learned a lot about dog-friendly fences in that time.

Learn more about installing a fence in Northern Virginia by filling out the form to the right or calling 703-255-0824.

How to Choose the Best Fence for Your Dog

Choosing the right fence for your dog will depend on a number of factors, but there are two major items to consider about your dog:

  • Size – different dog sizes require different fences. When you have a small dog, you need to ensure that the spaces between the fence and the ground or between the spokes or bars of the fence are small enough that the dog can’t slip out. For large dogs, you need to make sure the fence is sturdy enough and high enough that it can’t jump over or break through.
  • Temperament – is your dog an athletic jumper? Is he a digger? Does she get highly stimulated when seeing dogs and people? These are all things that need to be taken into consideration—particularly the latter if you live in an area with a lot of foot traffic.

So once you’ve taken those things into consideration, you can take a look at the pros and cons of different fence types. Below, we’ve listed the best kinds of fences for dogs:

Privacy Fences


  • Privacy fences are high and durable. We recommend at least 6 feet when installing a privacy fence for a dog.
  • They have close-set boards which will limit visibility and make escaping more difficult. This is especially important for dogs that get riled up very easily at the sight of other animals or people.


  • Some homeowners dislike the lack of visibility that comes with a higher privacy fence.

Split Rail Fences


  • Split rail fences, when paired with wire mesh, are great for small and large dogs alike. The mesh makes it virtually impossible for a dog to slip through the fence.
  • They offer great visibility, which can be more of a pro for you rather than your pet, depending on your pet’s temperament—some pets love being able to scope out passerbys.


  • Split rail fences are not as tall as privacy fences, meaning athletic dogs could jump the fence or climb out.
  • For dogs that are easily agitated by people and dogs walking by, the open visibility may be undesirable.

Pasture & Estate Fences


  • Like split rail fences, when pasture and estate fences are wrapped with wire mesh, they are a great option for keeping dogs in the yard.
  • They can range in height, meaning they can be constructed to safely keep your dog in.


  • These fences are also not as tall as privacy fences, meaning athletic dogs could jump the fence or climb out if they are not built high enough.
  • As with the split rail fence, dogs that are easily agitated by people and dogs walking by may find the open visibility to be an issue.

Chain Link Fences


  • Chain link fences are the most affordable fence option, making them very desirable for pet owners.
  • They can be built in varying heights to keep jumpers secure.


  • The mesh wrapped around chain link fences can be manipulated and bend over time if a bottom wire is not installed, meaning that your dog may slip under the fence if you’re not careful.
  • Chain link fences also have the same height and visibility issues that split rail and estate fences have.

Schedule a FREE Consultation

Find the right fence for your dog-friendly home in Northern Virginia—schedule a free consultation with Carter Fence!

Contact us online or by phone at 703-255-0824 to schedule your appointment.

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