Chain link fences protect a yard well. They provide a means for keeping large animals and dogs outside of the yard, and pets and children within the confines of the yard. However, very smart and innovative dogs can find ways to get through the fence. With minimum effort and cost, you can find and shore up the weak spots in your fence so that even the smartest dogs will be discouraged and stop trying to wiggle or dig their way in or out.
Take a tour of the fence. Walk along the fence, carefully looking for any dips in the ground where the fence bottom rests. Also look for any bare dirt next to the fence that does not have grass or vegetation growing. Make a note of every spot that has a dip or bare soil. These are perfect points for a dog with motivation and digging ability to infiltrate the fence.
Take a look at the gate. Most gates have a fork latch that secures the gate so that it remains closed. A fork latch lifts up to open the gate, and drops down to close it. Many dogs are sharp enough to learn how to open the latch and open the gate. Make a note of the type of latch the gate has.
Look at the gap between the gate and the fence to see how many inches are between the gate and fence. If you have a double gate, look at the gap between the two gates when they are closed. Make note of any gaps 3 inches or larger.
Go back to each spot under the fence that has a dip in the ground. If there is a dip in the ground, 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.
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, if it looks like they might succeed.
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.
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 does not interfere with the gate's operation.