Best Outdoor Fences for Large Dogs

Alpine Dog Co. ™

Large dogs are full of energy. If you don’t let them run around and spend energy, they develop destructive behaviors. On the other hand, most are working dogs muscular enough to break the normal pet fences, wander around, and pick fights with other dogs. So, the solution is to get a sturdy outdoor fence.

I remember trying many fencing options, and my clever Belgian Malinois always had a way to escape. But finally, I cornered him. Let me share my findings on the top outdoor fences for large dogs, their sizes, materials, and installation tips.   

The Top Outdoor Fences for Large Dogs

There is no one-fits-all solution to outdoor fences for large dogs. Some of these giants are calm, lazy, and poor jumpers, while others are aggressive, full of energy, good jumpers, and intelligent problem solvers.

For example, the fence height that works for a Bulldog won’t work for a Greyhound. So, before deciding what fence option to go for, consider your budget, the temperament of your dog, its physical traits like jumping abilities, and of course, your yard size.

I know it’s challenging to narrow down to the right pick with so many things to consider and many fence options out there. Fortunately, I have done the hard part for you. Here are the top outdoor fences that I have seen work perfectly for different large dog breeds.  

Corrugated Metal Fencing

I’m starting with corrugated metal fencing because it’s both tough and anxiety-free. As the name suggests, this fence is made of metal sheets. But instead of using heavy metal bars to make the metal sheets sturdy, the sheets themselves are engineered with alternating ridges and grooves.

The corrugations increase the total surface area of the sheet, acting like beams. The corrugations make the valleys and peaks of the sheet form trapezoids and triangles. These are the most sturdy geometric shapes and are what make corrugated shapes resistant to deformations.

Of course, the metal sheets are opaque, so the dog won’t see outside. If you have large dogs with strong prey drivers like Greyhounds or territorial breeds like the German Shepherd, the opaqueness prevents anxiety from occurring in the first place. The dog can’t see whatever is passing outside, so it remains calm.

The frame kits come in 4-feet, 6-feet or 8-feet heights. Considering that the highest dog jump according to the Guinness World Record was 6.2 feet by a Greyhound, it means you’re sure the dog can’t jump over a 6 feet fence.

The fence's opaqueness serves a second purpose: keeping your home and yard private. Passersby won’t just see whatever is going on in your yard. The fence is relatively cheap, costing around $17-$90 per linear foot. Installing the fence is straightforward using the following tips.

  • Install posts, 6 to 8 feet apart along the fence
  • Attach the horizontal beams between the posts
  • Drill holes in the corrugated metal sheets, and attach them to the fence support

Metal Fencing

Metal fences are made of wrought iron or steel bars welded together. I think it’s the most common fence in homes, and you have it around the swimming pool, lawn, and driveway. So, adding it as an outdoor fence for dogs won’t change the looks of your yard. You only need to match the designs.

The sturdiness varies with the thickness of the bars, usually in gauge. Something to note: the gauge works like the bass guitar. The lower the gauge, the bigger the diameter and the stronger the bar. So, for a strong fence, I suggest going for gauge 11 to 11.5. 

If I visit your home and find a Pit Bull with its incredible 235 psi jaws behind an 11 gauge metal fence, I’ll still be at peace. But, metal fences come with one downside. The dog sees you all the time, and if it’s barking, it’ll keep barking.

As you can guess, the cost of installing a metal fence is higher than that of corrugated metal sheets, with the average being $25-$35 per linear foot. Consider your dog’s abilities and go for the corresponding height. For example, Bulldogs are poor jumpers, and a 2-3 feet fence is sufficient.  

Invisible Dog Fencing

Invisible fences are indeed invisible virtual fences, not physical ones. These fences use electronic systems to correct the dog and tell it, hey, you’re crossing the boundaries. I love it when my neighbors keep on asking me how I trained my Border Collie, it runs around but never crosses my compound area.

Well, I use these invisible fences. The fence has a control panel, which you install somewhere in your home, like the garage. The controller connects with a receiver on the dog's collar. Don’t worry, the controller comes with its collar, so, you won’t be installing a receiver on your existing collar. Now, for the boundaries, the system uses the following two options:

Physical Cable  

Physical cable is what I consider a wired connection, but in a real sense, it’s still wireless. For this option, the package comes with a digital cable that you bury around the perimeter of the yard. It’s a thin, insulated wire that transmits a low-level radio signal.

The transmitter box in the house connects with this wire. So, when the dog enters the pre-set warning zone several feet from the buried wire, the receiver on the dog’s collar picks up the signal and produces a warning beeping sound. If the dog doesn’t respond and proceeds, the collar delivers a static shock.

In short, the collar works like the no-bark collars, only that it has a receiver. The shock is not powerful enough to injure the dog. Note that the collar has a rechargeable battery that powers the electronics.

So, when buying an invisible collar, consider how long the battery lasts on a single charge. Otherwise, the battery dies and your invisible fence becomes non-functional without your knowledge. Now, I said this is a wired connection because of the physical cable, but still wireless because there’s no physical connection between the cable and the collar.

The main advantage of the physical cable over the purely wireless connection is that you create custom shapes or shapes within shapes. For instance, you fence the entire home perimeter and then fence a smaller area within the home like a flower patch.

GPS Fence   

The GPS invisible fence is more interesting because you don’t have to dig and lay down the cables. The fence uses satellite data to map the boundaries of the dog. These fences have phone apps that allow you to draw the fence. To set the boundaries, you walk around the perimeter with the phone and the collar.

Fences like the Wiez GPS Wireless Dog Fence allow you to adjust the perimeter, with an incredible maximum coverage of 776 acres. Note that GPS invisible fences are relatively new, and the technology is coming with all sorts of whistles and bells. So, you’ll find the installation, features, and operation of the fence varying across brands.

The downside I have faced using the GPS fence is inconsistencies. GPS signals get interference, the strength of the signal changes, and coordinates shift. So, I like using it on large fields where I don’t need precision. 

Wireless Fence

The wireless invisible fence falls between the wired invisible fence and the GPS invisible fence. You have a transmitter, but instead of it connecting with a buried cable, it produces a circular wireless signal in the rated diameter.

Again, you’ll have issues with precision since the yard isn’t circular, and the transmitter is not exactly at the center. But for the outdoors, this fence serves its purpose right. I really love wireless invisible fences because of their portability. No need for installation or setup. I usually carry my Petsafe Wireless Fence when going RV camping with my Greyhound.   

Wood Fencing

Wood fencing works just like corrugated metal fencing, only that it uses wood instead of metal sheets. Wood isn’t cheap, and wood fencing costs around $11-$45 per linear foot. Although wood is sturdy, it’s no match for metal. In fact, some dogs will want to chew it. But, the aesthetics that come with wooden fences make them worth it. 

Chain Link Fencing

Chain link strikes a balance between budget, looks, and sturdiness. It’s made of steel wire usually woven into a diamond-shaped pattern. The mesh is then galvanized or PVC-coated to prevent corrosion. The fence is then framed with metal posts and rails to secure the mesh and vertical support wires.

The reason chain link fencing is so common is its affordability compared to metal fencing and corrugated metal fencing. On average, it costs only $10-$20 per linear foot. But, it’s not that strong. Also, the fence is not opaque. The dog sees everything: the intruders and other dogs.

So, I wouldn’t suggest you use this fence for an aggressive Tibetan Mastiff that weighs 160 pounds and stands over 2 feet tall. It can break the fence when provoked.

Another thing to note is when you put the mesh design into the life of dogs like the Belgian Malinois with their athletic bodies, strong hind legs, and incredible problem-solving skills, well, it’ll solve the puzzle and use the mesh as steps to climb up.      

However, chain-link fences work great when you have a gentle but athletic dog like the Newfoundland. You fence a large area where the dog will be running around, but you're sure the dog isn’t aggressive and won't try to break the fence.

Final Thoughts

The best fence for your giant furry friend depends on the yard size, budget, and ease of installation. If you want a fence for outdoor things like RV camping, I suggest a portable wireless invisible fence. If you want a durable fence for your home, get a metal fence or corrugated metal fence. In case of a tight budget, get a chain-link fence.

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