As a child, there was a certain stretch of sidewalk that no one dared to walk on due to the ferocious and intimidating dog that always seemed nearly on the verge of leaping through the weak and wobbly front yard fence. Jumping dogs can put a scare into people passing by (not to mention owners worried the fence won’t be able to contain their dog), but a good fence will give everyone peace of mind, no matter how persistent the dog is. If you have a jumping dog, then there are three main qualities that stick out for a good fence: durability, strength, and sufficient height.
While a wooden security fence is often a dog owner’s first choice, and is typically a good fit for this kind of situation, keeping a wooden fence in good shape over time takes some work, and sometimes a stronger material than wood will give you and people who walk outside your home more confidence. If a stronger, lower maintenance material sounds like an excellent idea, then a sturdy, well-made, galvanized steel fence may be the best fencing for dogs that jump.
The Pros and Cons of Wooden Fencing
For dogs with jumping ability, high wooden privacy fences are among the most common choices for homeowners. When newly constructed, wooden fences offer the kind of strength and height capable of keeping the very strongest and largest dogs inside the yard and away from pedestrians and busy streets. Most wooden fences place the fence boards right next to each other to create a solid wall which doesn’t allow a line of sight This further helps in maintaining a feeling of safety and a sense of separation between a jumping dog and the people outside.
The main drawback of a wooden fence is that it will ultimately break down after spending enough time in the wind, rain, sun, and snow. Weathering from moisture produces rotted boards and rusted out nails. When wooden fences are constructed with exposed rails (a fairly common design), the horizontal surface of the rail is yet another place that is particularly susceptible to weathering and is often one of the first places to rot out if not sealed regularly over the years. When that area rots, the connection of the vertical planks to the fence becomes weakened and tenuous. With a jumping dog, these weathered-out weak points in the fence might buckle, snap, and give way completely when a dog places its weight on the fence.
Why Is Steel the Best Fencing for Dogs That Jump?
Steel fences have a reputation for corrosion, but recently developed coating processes have allowed to steel fences to thrive in any weather. Now, steel fences can shine in areas where wooden fences would quickly wear out. This is just one reason why steel is a good alternative to wooden fencing for dogs that jump (as well as being one of the best fences for dogs that dig). Here are some more:
- Strength: Steel is one of the strongest construction materials available. While wood can rattle and buckle from the impact of a large jumping dog, a steel rail and picket fence will stand firm when struck by even the heaviest canine. This strength, paired with the slippery feeling of the vertical fencing rails discourages many dogs from jumping up, as there is nowhere to go and no place for the paws to get an effective grip.
- Durability: When is comes to durability, not all steel fences are created equal. Plenty of steel picket fences are prone to corrosion and require lots of time spent cleaning off rust and covering those areas with a protective paint. For that reason, in the past I often haven’t recommended metal fencing to clients. However, some new fencing systems have multi-layered protective coatings that combine the strengths of powder coating with a moisture resistant e-coat to produce metal that’s amazingly strong against sun, moisture, and the impact blows of animal paws.
- Versatility: Yet another thing I love about steel fences is that they come in plenty of different shapes and sizes that can be customized to fit the needs of your dog and the style of your home. An addition that does both of those things is an ornamental finial. Custom ornamental finials are both beautiful and pointy enough to discourage dogs from attempting to jump over the fence. Steel rail and picket fences also create a feeling of openness in a yard, and this is a type of fence that won’t obstruct your view or shade your yard.
If you have a dog that jumps, a steel fence will keep even the strongest dog inside the yard. But, just as steel fences vary in price and style, they also vary in quality, and if you have a dog that jumps, you want something that will last. Some of the best steel fences I know of are produced by Fortress Fence. Protected by a unique coating system, they’re incredibly tough and should last a maintenance free lifetime. If you’re looking for products for other projects (maybe dog-friendly decking or railing), check out their other innovative building materials. If you choose quality fencing and other products for your home and yard, you’ll make your family and your dog happy and safe.