How to Build a Dog Fence with Wood?

diy fence

I just witnessed the most horrible accident of my life! A dog in our neighborhood was trying to climb over a wrought iron fence, over which multiple decorative spears were installed. Although those spears were meant to keep the dog in the fence, they ended up piercing through his paw’s fragile skin. Poor dog!

I’m still a fan of the lavish appeal and sturdiness of wrought iron fencing, but no, I can’t even imagine my pooch in the same scenario. So that’s why I decided to build a wood fence for my dog to ensure both his safety and freedom.

Wondering why I don’t just get the ready-made, commercially available wooden fence and install it around my house? Here’s why!

  • I would’ve to compromise either on the material choice or on my budget.
  • I would’ve to pay extra for labor costs and extra services (dog proofing, finishing, etc.).
  • Pre-building fences can’t be the exact copy of my imagination. Therefore, it won’t be able to cater to my needs and fit in my space perfectly.
  • Commercially available fences cost way too higher than DIY dog fences.

Yeah, it might require a bit more time and effort to build DIY fences but everything for those paw-sitive hilarious expressions. Here I’m attaching the detailed DIY guide for how to build a dog fence with wood – in case you also fancy the idea of becoming Bob the builder for a day, for the sake of your doggo.

What Equipment and Materials You’ll Need?

dog fence ideas

Shopping for the materials is my favorite part of the whole process since it fires up various customization ideas in my mind. For example, those who have very petite pups or dogs can get mesh wire and use it to fill the gaps between pickets.

Likewise, those who have giant dogs can install lean-ins and decorative extensions to maintain both the safety of their pets and the curb appeal of the house. Keep in mind that it’s mainly the quality of materials that determines the service life of the fencing. Therefore, explore all the available options and choose wisely, according to your needs and budget.

Still wondering how to build a dog fence with wood? Here are all the important materials you’d need to grab from your nearby hardware store:

  1. 4 by 4-inch posts for supports and corners
  2. 2 by 4 inches to connect posts and the gate
  3. Wood stakes
  4. Scrap wood
  5. Gate Hardware
  6. Quick Drying Concrete

In addition to these things, you’d also need to get some other materials and tools to get the job done. The good part is that you’ll find most of these tools in your father’s garage.

  1. Drill
  2. Saw
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Wood screws
  5. Post Level
  6. Hammer
  7. Wires
  8. Shovel

Once gathered the essentials, you can start building the fence but make sure it’s all bright and sunny out there. Why? Because building a dog fence in wet weather will not only create too much mess but also lower the post holding capacities of dirt.

How to Build a Dog Fence with Woods

diy fence ideas

Now if you’ve got the green signal from the weather, here are the steps you need to follow to build your DIY dog fences.

Draw the Layout

First of all, go through your local building codes before planning your fence design. Doing so will enable you to have an idea about the height, width, and layout options of fences that comply with the local estate association rules.

Also, by drawing a rough sketch, you’ll get a visual idea of how the fence will look outside your home. In case a fence style is making your house cluttered, you can change it and call the disaster off from hitting your residence.

Measure and Mark

Measure the area where you want your wooden fence to be installed. Also, mark the point where the gate will go to avoid any confusion afterward. To mark the area, it’s best to lay the string along the perimeter, but if it’s too airy out there, it’s better to use spray paint for marking the fence perimeter.

After this, you need to determine how long and high you want your wooden dog fence to be. However, before cutting the wooden planks, keep in mind that about two feet (or 30%) of your fence posts will be down the ground, so cut the plank accordingly.

According to veterinary guidance, your dog fence should not be way too high (more than 200 cm) otherwise, it might induce anxiety and aggression in your pup.

low cost fence designs

Start Digging

Once done with cutting the wood posts, start digging the marked area to bury the posts there. However, doing so won’t be an easy-peasy task unless you call someone to help you. Also, don’t forget to wear gloves; otherwise you’d end up with friction burns for holding a shovel so long.

We’d also advise you to call the corresponding helpline to get a map regarding utility pipelines so you won’t damage one. It’s better to leave a space of about 2cm from both ends so the holes won’t get affected by hurricanes, blizzards, or any other weather calamities.

Install the post

Dig the holes, pour the concrete into the holes and install the 4 by 4 posts there. Remember that dogs love digging, and if you’d bury the wood posts straight into the holes, he’ll dig the fence around. On the other hand, concrete will not only keep your dog from digging under the fence but will also keep the fence frame stable under pressure.

Some people prefer to cover the holes with pebbles and gravel to secure the fence and hide the holes from their pets, but we guess it’s not necessary. After all, no dog has superpowers or mighty claws to dig through concrete.

fencing for dogs

Build the Fence

After installing 4 by 4 posts, it’s time to add the 2 by 4 horizontal boards between each set of 4 by 4s with screws. Starts either with the topmost point or from the bottom. Make sure that the 2 by 4s are not too apart from each other, otherwise, your little dog may escape through it.

Likewise, the distance between the vertical boards should be no more than 8cm. Cover the entire perimeter with vertical and horizontal boards, except for the area which is dedicated to the gate.

Build and Install the Gate

Building a gate is much easier than building wood dog fences. All you need to do is to measure the gate width and height and cut two vertical planks. After this, get the same fence material and cut a horizontal board out of it, of the gate’s width.

Then staple the horizontal board on the vertical planks and secure in it place with the wood screws. Once the fence structure is ready, attach the gate with it, using the hinges and screws. To poke the holes in wood boards, use the drill.

Final Touches

Get the welded wire to block the smaller gaps between wood pallets. You can also go with the PVC netting to wire fence as it’s quite cheap. If your dog is a good chewer, you’d find it useless. In this case, welded wire is the best option since it’s not only flexible and durable but also looks aesthetically pleasing.

In the end, seal both the fence and gate with a wood sealant – either colored or transparent. Mostly the DIY dog fence kits come with the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the sealant. However, ask your supplier to provide veterinary advice to make sure the sealant you are going to use won’t harm your pet in any way.

Also, keep in mind that applying sealant is not a one-time job. Instead, you’d need to refresh the coat every year as a part of your fence maintenance routine.

Why Do Wood Fences Work Well?

chicken wire fence for dogs

Here is a list of reasons to tell you why a wooden dog fence is a wise choice:

Easy Installation

As you just read, installing a wooden fence neither requires a huge labor force nor way too heavy machinery. Most of the tools and equipment needed to build and install a wooden dog fence can be purchased easily from any departmental store.

The cherry on top is that the installation process doesn’t take too long to complete. Plus, it doesn’t interfere with your work/home routine. That’s the main reason why most homeowner doesn’t even bother to call in professionals and opt for the DIY strategy.


Another reason why wood dog fences are considered the best fence option out there is that they are both durable and sustainable. Expert says that if maintained properly, this dog fencing can last for more than 30 years.

On the other hand, the service life extends even further when the wooden planks are pressure treated. And here’s the best part; unlike other dog fences, it’s 100% resistant to rust. Moreover, unlike invisible fences, the wooden fence is super easy to repair.

Style and Charm

inexpensive privacy fence ideas

From dog eared fences to board on board, to picket style to the paddock, you can choose any style and layout as per your yard’s configuration and dog’s temperament. On the other hand, such a facility is not provided with any other dog fence option.

Likewise, you can choose whatever type of wood you like including cedar, pine, bamboo, cypress, spruce, etc. To make great outdoors, you can decorate the fence with different painting techniques or flower baskets. The natural warmth and rustic hue will never fail to attract potential buyers.

Cheapest Option

Wood dog fences are most probably the most affordable option out there as they are cheaper than not only wrought iron and aluminum fences but also vinyl ones. The main reason why it’s so affordable is that wood is a natural material and several homegrown wood materials are available at even lower prices.

Easy repair, less upkeep, and easy installation cut down the overall cost further, making the option lighter on the pocket of every homeowner.

dog fencing

Final Thoughts

While building your wooden dog fence, don’t forget to consider your pooch’s bad behavior like chewing, jumping, and digging. For example, if your dog is a jumper, keep your focus on how you can stop your dog from jumping the fence by adding extensions or other elements.

Also, remember that the best fence not only ensures your pet’s safety or containment but also keeps the wild animals out. And most importantly, your furry friend should feel relaxed and happy while playing inside the fence rather than feeling imprisoned.

We tried our best to add every piece of information in the article, one may require to build a dog fence on his own. However, if we missed out on something, feel free to ask in the comments!

Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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