The Best Fences for Dogs of 2022

Keep your pooch safe, sound, and successfully contained with a fence that's fit for their unique needs. We've got the best fences for dogs of all shapes, sizes, and escape skills.

By Emily Blackwood | Published May 25, 2022 1:25 PM

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The Best Fences for Dogs Option

Photo: amazon.com

For many pet parents, a dog fence is an absolute necessity. Whether you want to keep your furry friends safe in your own yard or prevent them from getting into trouble in the kitchen, a good fence is key to maintaining peace of mind. And while there are plenty of options, not all are created equal. Depending on the size and personality of your pup, certain types of fences will work better than others.

Not sure where to start? We rounded up the best fences for dogs below.

  1. BEST OVERALL: eXtreme Dog Fence Standard Active Electric Fence Kit
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: MidWest Exercise Pen
  3. BEST FOR SMALL DOGS: Zippity Outdoor Baskenridge Semi-Permanent Vinyl Fence
  4. BEST FOR BIG DOGS: Tenax Pet Fence Select
  5. BEST FOR DOGS THAT DIG: Dig Defence 10-pack Small/Medium Animal Barrier
  6. BEST INDOOR: Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen
  7. BEST GATE: Safety 1st Easy Install Walk Thru Gate
  8. BEST INVISIBLE: PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Fence for Dogs
  9. ALSO CONSIDER: Giantex 48 inch Dog Playpen with Door
The Best Fences for Dogs Option

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Fences for Dogs

When it comes to finding the best fence for your dog, the options may seem endless. But generally speaking, there are four main types of fences: privacy, chain link (or slat), invisible electric, and portable. The one you choose will depend largely on the boundaries you’d like to set, the size of your space, and what type of dog you have.

Privacy 

As the name suggests, privacy fences are designed to offer complete seclusion from the outside world. Barking pets that are easily triggered by passersby or small critters scurrying in your yard will benefit most from this type of fencing. And because they’re typically made of wood or vinyl, privacy fences are also very durable—a must for dogs that like to chew.

Privacy fences range from about 4 to 8 feet tall. If you have a small dog that’s not much of a jumper, a privacy fence is a great option, but if your pup likes to scale tall heights, you’ll want to go with something taller, like an 8-footer.

The main downside to privacy fences is that they can be fairly expensive and time-consuming to install. If you’re not handy, you might need to hire a professional to do the job for you.

Chain Link and Slat 

A chain-link or slat fence is a popular choice for many pet parents because they’re affordable, low maintenance, and easy to customize to fit a space. They’re also great for dogs that like to dig, since the gaps between the slats are small enough to deter most animals from trying to squeeze through.

Chain-link fences are made of metal and have small, interlocking pieces that create a mesh-like surface. Slat fences, on the other hand, consist of horizontal or vertical planks that are spaced apart to allow visibility while still providing some privacy.

If your dog is prone to barking or jumping, a chain-link or slat fence might not be the best option since the fences offer little to no acoustic or visual barriers.

Invisible Electric

An invisible electric fence consists of a wire that’s buried underground and a wearable collar for your dog that emits a harmless static correction if your pet crosses the boundary you’ve set.

Invisible electric fences are perfect for dogs that like to roam, since they offer a safe and effective way to keep them contained. They’re also very affordable and easy to install—you can do it yourself in just a few hours.

There is no privacy or visual barrier with an invisible electric fence, so it’s important to keep in mind that even though your pup can’t get out, that doesn’t mean other animals can’t get in.

Portable

A portable fence works well if you’re looking for a temporary solution or need to create a small area for your dog to play unsupervised. These affordable fencing structures are typically made of metal or plastic and can be easily set up and taken down as needed.

Portable fences are a great option for renters or pet parents with small yards. They’re also perfect for creating a safe space for your dog to hang out while you’re working in the garden or entertaining guests outside. Portable fences often are on the shorter side and are not ideal for large dogs or pups that like to jump.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fences for Dogs

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of fences available, it’s time to start thinking about what type of fence is best for your dog. You’ll want whatever innovative boundary solution you use to be tailored to your pet’s specific needs. To help you get started, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Height

The first feature to consider when choosing a fence for your dog is height. Your fence should be tall enough to deter your dog from jumping over it and escaping. If you have a small dog that’s not much of a jumper, you can probably get away with a fence that’s 3 to 4 feet high. Larger breeds will require a fence that’s at least 6 feet tall.

If your dog is an expert jumper, height may not be enough to keep it contained. In that case, you’ll need to get a bit creative. Some pet parents opt for an invisible electric fence, which will give your dog a static correction when crossing the boundary. Others choose to add a lattice or trellis to the top of the fence to make it more difficult for their dog to scale.

Material

When it comes to keeping your dog secure, durability is the name of the game. The kind of material your fence is made of will have a big impact on how long it lasts, how well it withstands the elements, and how well it can contain your pup.

Wooden fences are strong and offer a lot of privacy. However, they’re also susceptible to rot, termites, and other pests. And because they’re not buried underground, they don’t prevent a dog that likes to dig its way out from escaping.

Metal fences—particularly chain link—are very durable and require little upkeep. While they’re strong enough to prevent a large dog from breaking (or chewing) through, the holes in the fence can provide an easy escape route for small dogs and puppies.

Vinyl is a popular fencing material because it’s a strong, durable, and low-maintenance material. Plus, its smooth surface makes it difficult for dogs to climb. However, over time vinyl can become brittle and may crack or break if your dog leans or jumps against it too hard.

Finally, climb-proof fences are ideal for dogs with a particularly keen sense of acrobatics. These fences are made of materials like welded wire that make it impossible for your dog to get a grip and scale the fence.

Installation and Maintenance

The installation process for your fence will vary depending on the type of fence you choose.

Wooden, metal, and vinyl fences usually need to be installed by a professional since they are considered permanent solutions. Installing the best dog fence for yard confinement can be an expensive and time-consuming project. However, once your fence is up, it will last for years with little maintenance.

On the other hand, portable fences are much easier (and less expensive) to install. You can typically set them up yourself in just a few minutes. And because they’re temporary, you can move them around your yard or home as needed. You can even take them with you on vacation or when you move to a new home.

As for maintenance, wood and metal fences will need to be repainted or resealed every few years to protect them from the elements. Vinyl fences are virtually maintenance-free, although they might fade over time if they’re exposed to direct sunlight. Portable fences will need to be replaced more often than permanent ones, but they’re still a low-maintenance option.

Our Top Picks

Ready to find the perfect fence for your furry friend? Here are our top picks for the best fences for dogs.

Best Overall

The Best Fences for Dogs Option: eXtreme Dog Fence Standard Active Electric Fence Kit
Photo: amazon.com

With a range of up to 6 acres, this electric fence is ideal for dogs of all sizes, breeds, and temperaments. Every kit comes with a 20-gauge, high-tensile boundary wire; a digital transmitter; a battery-operated collar receiver; training flags; and splice kits to help you create a customized invisible fence.

Unlike wireless fences that use Wi-Fi signals to create a boundary, this electric fence has an easy-to-install underground wire that’s far more reliable. The standard kit is designed for one dog and up to ⅓ acre, but you can add to and tailor the system to accommodate multiple dogs and larger properties.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Invisible electric
  • Height: Underground, 1 to 3 inches deep
  • Maintenance: Permanent; replace collar batteries as needed

Pros

  • 7 correction levels to program, with beep-only option
  • Waterproof collar that’s submersible up to 10 feet
  • Battery monitoring every 2 hours
  • Frequency encoding to eliminate signal interference

Cons

  • Requires several days of training
  • Do not install above ground or attach to a fence
  • Does not prevent other animals from entering yard

Get the eXtreme fence for dogs on Amazon or at Chewy.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Fences for Dogs Option: MidWest Exercise Pen
Photo: amazon.com

Made of durable metal with an electric-coat finish, this MidWest Exercise Pen can be used indoors or outdoors to give your dog some space to play without having to install permanent fencing. It comes with eight 24-inch by 42-inch pieces that, when combined, provide 16 feet of square footage, which is perfect for small- to medium-size dogs. The metal making up the pen has a black coating to help resist rust.

Ground anchors will ensure that the pen doesn’t move around when your pup is enjoying the sunshine, and you can open or close the door to give yourself access as needed. Tops, which are available to purchase separately, can protect your pet from the sun and provide extra security.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Portable
  • Height: 42 inches (about 3.5 feet)
  • Maintenance: Temporary; minimal

Pros

  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Folds flat for convenient storage and transport
  • Connects to crates or other pens for more space
  • Electric-coat finish protects against rust and outdoor elements

Cons

  • Will not stop bigger dogs from jumping
  • Does not secure to indoor flooring
  • Limited space available for dogs to roam

Get the MidWest fence for dogs on Amazon.

Best For Small Dogs

The Best Fences for Dogs Option: Zippity Outdoor Baskenridge Semi-Permanent Vinyl Fence
Photo: amazon.com

Worried about a small dog getting out of your yard and into the street? This semipermanent vinyl picket fence will create a barrier of close vertical rails to both complement your landscape and protect your pets. Made out of strong, weather-resistant material, this fence comes with two 36-inch by 42-inch panels to create a total of 84 inches of fence line and is our choice as the best fence for small dogs.

The fence is easy to set up, taking only about an hour to install, and requires almost no digging. Simply insert the post’s pointed stakes into the ground, and it’s ready to use. Once it’s installed, this picket fence will last for years with very little upkeep required. A compatible gate can be purchased separately.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Privacy
  • Height: 36 inches (3 feet)
  • Maintenance: Semipermanent; minimal

Pros

  • 10-year warranty against cracking, warping, yellowing, rotting, and splinters
  • Can be easily reinstalled and moved
  • Requires little-to-no maintenance; simply clean with a hose
  • Comes with a front-gate option

Cons

  • Won’t withstand intense wear and tear
  • Will not prevent dogs from digging underneath it to escape
  • Will not contain bigger dogs or jumpers

Get the Zippity Outdoor fence for dogs on Amazon.

Best For Big Dogs

The Best Fences for Dogs Option: Tenax Pet Fence Select
Photo: amazon.com

Big pups pose a bigger escape risk, which is why this durable plastic fencing from Tenax is a great fence for large dogs. The fencing, based on the company’s deer fence structure, is made of durable, UV-treated polypropylene that can virtually blend into your residential landscape.

You can use the fencing on its own to create a strong border around your yard, or you can add it to an existing fence for extra protection. Its 4-foot height makes it a great option for dogs that like to jump, and the small mesh square design (only 2-inch by 2-inch) will prevent even the tiniest dogs from getting loose. Choose from among several lengths to fit your space. This fencing is an affordable alternative to more expensive options like wood or metal, though you might need to purchase stakes for installation if the fence will be standing on its own.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Portable
  • Height: 4 feet
  • Maintenance: Permanent

Pros

  • Constructed with environmentally friendly, nontoxic material that’s safe for animals
  • High-strength design that can withstand a 650-pound breaking load
  • Residential-friendly height that keeps large dogs inside

Cons

  • Does not provide privacy
  • Will not protect against dogs who like to dig
  • Does not withstand constant chewing from dogs or other animals

Get the Tenax fence for dogs at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Tractor Supply Co.

Best For Dogs That Dig

The Best Fences for Dogs Option: Dig Defence 10-pack Small/Medium Animal Barrier
Photo: amazon.com

This 10-pack of barriers from Dig Defence will put an end to your furry friend’s digging habits for good thanks to 8-inch spikes spaced 2 inches apart. When installed with your existing fence, the barrier will create an underground obstacle that’s impossible for dogs to get through. It will prevent dogs from escaping or messing up a delicate part of your yard, like the garden.

Each barrier is made of solid 4-gauge galvanized steel that penetrates the ground and won’t rust over time. The barriers can be installed quickly and easily by hammering them into the ground with a hammer or mallet. Plus, they’re humane and won’t hurt your pet in any way.

With 32 inches of coverage per barrier, this pick is best suited for small and medium dogs that love to dig.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Fencing add-on
  • Height: Underground
  • Maintenance: Permanent; no maintenance

Pros

  • More affordable than purchasing entirely new fencing
  • Keeps out some small critters as well
  • Fills gaps between the bottom of fences and ground

Cons

  • May not work for large-breed dogs
  • Does not help with jumping
  • Requires an existing fence to be effective

Get the Dig Defence fence for dogs at Amazon, The Home Depot, Wayfair, or Tractor Supply Co.

Best Indoor

The Best Fences for Dogs Option: Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Dog Exercise Pen
Photo: amazon.com

Sometimes, the best way to keep your dog safe is to confine it to a specific area—like when you’re getting ready for work in the morning or cooking dinner. That’s where this indoor dog fence comes in handy. It’s made from durable iron metal with a rust-proof black finish and features eight 48-inch by 24-inch panels that can be configured into a variety of shapes.

The indoor fence also includes a door with a double-locking latch for easy entry and exit as well as four ground anchors and metal thumb clips for added security. When not in use, the fence can fold flat for easy storage.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Portable
  • Height: 48 inches (4 feet)
  • Maintenance: Temporary

Pros

  • Tool-free setup and easy installation
  • Can hold breeds up to 110 pounds
  • 16 square feet of enclosed space
  • Easy to transport and use outside the home

Cons

  • Will not protect bigger dogs from jumping
  • Cannot be secured to indoor flooring
  • Limited space available for dogs to roam

Get the Amazon Basics fence for dogs on Amazon.

Best Gate

The Best Fences for Dogs Option: Safety 1st Easy Install Walk Thru Gate
Photo: amazon.com

The Easy Install Walk Thru Gate is a great way to create a safe and secure play area for your furry, slobbery best friend. The extra-wide design is ideal for doorways and staircases, and the pressure-mounting system makes installation a breeze. Plus, the gate features a magnetic latch that automatically closes behind you, ensuring that your pup can’t make a break for it.

Whether you want to prevent your pup from going into potentially dangerous areas of your home like the basement, or you’re just looking for a way to keep it contained in one room while you have company over, this gate is a great solution.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Portable
  • Height: 28 inches (a little over 2 feet)
  • Maintenance: Temporary

Pros

  • Pressure check alerts when gate needs tightening
  • Fits doorways up to 38 inches wide
  • Adjust via pressure or mount with hardware
  • Adjustable 180-degree swing to open both directions

Cons

  • May be short for larger dogs
  • Small pets might squeeze through panel openings

Get the Safety 1st gate at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Target.

Best Invisible

The Best Fences for Dogs Option: PetSafe Stay and Play Wireless Fence for Dogs
Photo: amazon.com

The innovative PetSafe system uses a lightweight collar to keep your dog safely within the boundaries you set. Perfect for pets who are resistant to training, this collar will emit a warning tone as your dog approaches the boundary. If dogs still cross after the warning, they’ll receive a gentle, static correction based on how they respond. If they do make it past the fence, they’ll be able to cross back in static-free.

Because it’s designed with a wireless system, there’s no need to dig holes in the yard or bury wires. Just set up the base unit inside the house and establish a circular boundary that covers up to ¾ acre, or 105 feet in all directions.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Invisible electric
  • Height: N/A
  • Maintenance: Temporary

Pros

  • Portable and easily set up when camping or traveling
  • Waterproof collar adjusts for neck sizes up to 28 inches
  • Five levels of static correction
  • Rechargeable collar with battery life of up to 3 weeks

Cons

  • Does not prevent other animals from coming into boundary
  • Requires training to be effective
  • Does not cover as much area as in-ground alternatives

Get the PetSafe fence for dogs at Amazon, Target, or PetSmart.

Also Consider

The Best Fences for Dogs Option: Giantex 48 inch Dog Playpen with Door
Photo: amazon.com

Made from durable, rust-resistant metal, this pen can withstand weather and wear and tear from even the most rambunctious pets. The 16-panel design can be configured in multiple shapes to create the perfect space for your pet. Even create two separate playpens to get the job done. The door with a double-bolt latch provides easy in-and-out access, and it comes with an 8-panel option if a smaller space is needed.

Some playpens have sharp edges that could potentially injure your pet, but the Giantex model has been designed with rounded edges and corners for added safety. Plus, the 48-inch height is just tall enough to deter most escape attempts.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Portable
  • Height: 48 inches (4 feet)
  • Maintenance: Temporary

Pros

  • Weather- and rust-resistant metal extends longevity
  • Foldable design for easy storage and transport
  • No tools required for assembly

Cons

  • Some larger dogs can jump out
  • No stakes provided, so it could be moved around
  • No option to purchase sunshade or top cover

Get the Giantex fence for dogs on Amazon.

Our Verdict

Based on our findings, the best fence for dogs comes down to either the eXtreme fence for dogs or the MidWest fence for dogs, which is a portable and budget-friendly option. Both offer a variety of features that make them great for containing dogs of all sizes, and they’re both highly durable and easy to install.

How We Chose the Best Fences for Dogs

Not everyone has the time, budget, or even the option to install permanent fencing in their yard. So during our extensive product research for the best fencing for dogs, we wanted to find solutions that would work for renters and homeowners alike as well as for those with large or small yards.

Height is obviously a major determining factor when it comes to fences. After all, the taller the fence, the harder it is for dogs to escape. Invisible fences and large playpens offer an alternative for dog owners who don’t want to deal with the installation of a physical fence.

We also took into account the overall durability of the fences and whether they required any type of maintenance or upkeep. We only included products that were made from high-quality materials and received positive reviews from other pet parents who value longevity and security, the two most sought-after features of a high-quality fence.

FAQs

Understandably, there are a lot of concerns that come along with letting your dog off leash, even in the confines of your own yard. Whether you’re looking for an invisible fence or a physical one, getting familiar with the best ways to keep your pup safe is always a priority. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about fences for dogs below.

Q. How high a dog fence do I need?

For small dogs, a fence that’s 3 to 4 feet high will usually suffice, but for a larger dog that’s an expert jumper, fences that are 6 to 8 feet tall will be more effective.

Q. What is the most durable fence for dogs?

Vinyl, wood, and metal fencing are all durable options for dog fences. For a fence that will withstand even the most intense elements, metal is always a good choice.

Q. What is the most cost-effective fence for dogs?

Vinyl fencing is typically the most affordable option when it comes to dog fences.

Q. Are invisible fences safe?

Yes—invisible fences are considered safe for dogs and won’t hurt them. Always make sure to properly train your dog on how to respond to the boundaries of the fence, and keep an eye on your dog when it’s first getting used to it.

Q. How do I stop a dog from breaking a fence?

The best way to stop a dog from breaking a fence is to make sure the fence is tall enough and made from durable materials. Try adding an additional barrier, like chicken wire, to the bottom of the fence.