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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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Dog Proofing Your Garden Fence

Letting your dog play or roam in the garden is an excellent way to let them burn off some energy in between walks or go to the toilet, but it’s important that your garden is safe and secure. The risk of your pet running into the road or simply getting lost is too great to ignore the importance of good fencing. Here are a few tips to ensure that your fence and garden boundaries are up to the job.

Make Sure Your Fence is High Enough

While dogs don’t have the same jumping credentials as cats, they can jump surprisingly high. German Shepherds, for example, can jump a 6ft fence without too much trouble and have been known to jump over 10ft fences with the right training as well. Training can curb some behaviour but it is not always enough to overcome the prey instinct when your pet sees a squirrel or cat, which is why fencing is so important.

It does depend on the size of your dog, but it’s best to ensure that your fence is at least 6ft. You may want to use trellis on top of your fence to make it even higher. This makes it physically difficult for your dog to get over the fence and prevents a line of sight to anything that might urge your pet to jump in the first place.

Keep Pets Away from the Boundary

A good way to prevent a jump to freedom is to keep pets away from the boundary to start with. This can be done with natural barriers like planters and screens or with a secondary fence (if you don’t mind giving up a few foot of your garden). A secondary fence or barrier means that your dog can still run around the garden without having to be on an extended lead. You can even use dense shrugs along the fence line to make jumping more difficult.

Don’t Forget the Gate

It’s quite common for gates to be a little lower than the surrounding fence. It may even have a space underneath or simply give way with a sharp push. Making sure your garden perimeter is secure includes the garden gate – make sure that it is tall enough, closes very securely, and that your dog can not squeeze out from underneath it.

Prevent Digging

Dogs aren’t just jumpers – they’re diggers. Your pet may work on a tunnel over several days, so you may not be able to see it until it’s too late. There are a few different ways to prevent digging around the base of your fence to make it more secure. One way is to pour a concrete footer at the base of your fence – this is only really advisable if your dog is a very serious digger. It takes time and effort, but is one of the most effective ways to keep your garden secure and to keep your dog in. An alternative is an L-footer, which is wire fencing laid against the base of your fence and then bent at a 90 degree angle into your garden so that your pet can’t dig under the fence. It doesn’t need to be buried to work, but many people prefer to put some mulch or soil on top to hide the wires. Alternatively, you can just add some rocks or gravel on top.

All of these measures together will make your garden very safe for your pet and reduces the risk of escape to an absolute minimum.