Tuesday, January 6, 2015

DIY Keep Small Dog in Yard with Welded Wire Aluminum Fence Addition

I have a small dog and an aluminum fence, and everything was going fine until she got a really short haircut and the diagonal backyard neighbors started leaving their dog out on a lead. It was only a matter of time, and sure enough she wiggled her little booty between those bars and went running toward the other dog. I didn't even know she could fit! Now I'm worried she's learned that she can fit, and I won't be able to let her out of my sight - defeating the peace of mind the fence provided in the first place!


I searched online and found a variety of options for dogs who dig under or leap over fences, suggestions for dogs who squeeze through railings (such as Puppy Bumpers), options for climbers, and finally this article from WolfDogProject.com that gave tons of great ideas with photos.

My dog, Katie, is only 9.5 pounds and stands about 12 inches tall. I knew I just needed something about her chest height to keep her from wiggling through - I knew she wouldn't be able to make it through mid-jump, so if I could keep her from squeezing with her feet on the ground that would be enough.

I even thought about using those border edging decorative fence pieces all the way around, but that would be very expensive even in my tiny yard.

I ended up buying a roll of black vinyl-coated welded wire fencing, 4 feet tall by 50 feet long, with 2 inch x 3 inch rectangles. I have about 130 linear feet of fence, so I figured I wouldn't need to go 4 feet tall all the way around, and one roll should do it at about 9 inches tall all the way around.

Final product - 16 gauge black vinyl coated welded wire fence pieces, 9 inches tall, attached with black zip ties.
I ended up getting 16 gauge in black to match the aluminum fence. 16 gauge was super bendy, and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get a straight line out of it. I spent so much money on the aluminum fence, the last thing I wanted to do is make it look like a tacky temporary solution or junky eye-sore. 16 gauge was soft and easy to cut with wire cutters - lucky thing too because I had a lot of cuts to make.

roll of black vinyl coated welded wire fencing
All the fencing I need for under $100. 16 gauge 4 feet x 50 feet with 2"x3" boxes black vinyl coated welded wire

roll of black vinyl coated welded wire fencing
Paranoid about getting my fingers caught in the fencing...

roll of black vinyl coated welded wire fencing
The 50 feet of welded wire did NOT want to stay unrolled.

hold welded wire fence down with rocks
I put rocks on the fence to keep it from rolling up again, and went along and bent the fence every few feet in the other direction to train it flat. Watch your eyes with those wire pieces rolling up on you!

welded wire fencing and tools
I tried kitchen scissors and garden sheers, but wire cutters worked much better.

black zip tieswire cutters

zip tie wire fence to alunimum fence
I attached the welded wire fence to the aluminum fence with black zip ties. I started by cutting out 6 foot sections and putting them within the main posts, but eventually decided to just wrap long 25 foot pieces around and keep them tight with zip ties - it was a lot less cutting.
Up close the wire is not as straight as I would like, but the big picture general impression is hardly noticable. The whole point is that it blends into the background and I don't have to think about it again. All in all I made something like 900 individual wire cuts. Spring loaded wire cutters would have been super handy if they re-open automatically after each cut.

snorkie puppy
Now Katie is safe and I can let her out to pee in the middle of the night without a leash! Finally!

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