Chain link fences keep large animals and dogs outside of the yard and pets and children within your yard. However, innovative dogs can find ways to get through the fence by digging under the chain-link fence or squeezing through gaps. Shoring up the weak spots in your fence keeps even the smartest dogs from getting out.
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Step 1: Inspect the Fence
Walk along the fence, looking for dips in the ground where the fence bottom rests. Look for bare dirt next to the fence with no grass or vegetation. These are perfect points for a dog with motivation and digging ability to infiltrate the fence.
Step 2: Inspect the Gap
Look at the gate. Most gates have a fork latch that secures them. A fork latch lifts to open the gate and drops down to close it. Many dogs learn how to open the latch and open the gate.
Step 3: Check Gate and Fence Gaps
Check the gap between the gate and the fence. If you have a double gate, look at the gap between the two gates when they're closed. Make note of any gaps 3 inches or larger.
Step 4: Position Bricks in Dips
Place bricks or a large stone between the fence and the dip in the ground. This will help to prevent a dog from trying to squeeze underneath or dig through at that spot. Alternatively, you can line the entire fence or just problem areas with decorative rocks to create a barrier. This keeps your dog from digging while adding a decorative rock border to your fence.
Step 5: Install Tent Stakes
Go to each place that has a bare spot under the fence without a significant dip. Take tent stakes and drive them into the ground against the fence. Space the stakes so that they are 3 or 4 inches apart. Make sure the hook at the top of the stake tightly hooks the fencing wire near the bottom of the fence and that the stake will not slip. This will prevent dogs from digging in or out of the fence.
You need not try driving a stake if there is grass or vegetation along the fence since the roots will usually discourage dogs from trying to dig. If a dog has started digging where there is vegetation, drive stakes wherever they have tried to dig.
Step 6: Add an L-Shaped Footer
Use chicken wire, hardware cloth, or a similar material to create an L-shaped footer along the bottom edge of the fence. Wire it to the fence and stake it to the ground. You can also cover the material with mulch, gravel, or similar landscaping materials to hide it.
Step 7: Plant Along the Fence
Plant dense shrubs along the fence to keep your dog away from it. This is a decorative option that makes your yard look nice.
Step 8: Secure Fork Latches
Go to each gate that has a fork latch. Cut a piece of rigid wire about 6 inches long and bend it into a U shape. Put the wire into the hole of the fork latch. This will prevent most dogs from opening the latch. If this fails, you will have to use a padlock to keep dogs from opening the gate.
Step 9: Add a Metal Rod
Take a rod and drive it into the ground between the gate and fence, or between the gates, if any gate has more than a 3-inch gap between the gate and the fence, or between two gates. Otherwise, some dogs will be able to squeeze through. Make sure that you drive the rod so that its top lies below the gate latch so that it doesn't interfere with the gate's operation.