Can Chicken Wire Be Used for Dogs? (Solved & Explained!)

A dog run is one of those things that your dog can have fun with while keeping your garden safe from digging paws and keeping your dog safe in an enclosed space. The question here is; can the chicken wire be used for dogs?

Chicken wire can be used for dogs, but you need to establish if it is suitable for your specific circumstances. This can depend on whether you have a big dog, a small dog, a dog that digs, or a dog that jumps.

Chicken wire is cheap, easy to use, and easy to source material that can be used for building a dog run. It is a material that comes in rolls over 160 feet long, and 6 feet tall. Including posts, concrete, staples, and basic tools, you can have your dog run ready in a couple of hours, and for less than £200. 

Chicken wire for different types of dogs

A digging dog: With chicken wire, you can bury an approximate 6 to 12 inches into the soil. Doing so at a curved angle (in toward the dog run) will mean that when Rex becomes a JCB, he’ll hit the chicken wire and realize he’s going to struggle to dig under that fence.

New puppies and smaller dogs: Not a problem there. With the height going as high as 6 feet, and the utilization made possible by the flexible nature of the wire, you should have no trouble whatsoever with creating a suitable and secure run for them.

Jumpers and larger dogs: The creation of an inward-facing overhang will help to prevent an over-the-wall breakout, but unfortunately this is where the chicken wire can let you down. It’s not the strongest product in the world, and a determined dog may be able to break free if motivated enough. Good-tempered dogs, however, should be fine.

So in essence, chicken wire is:

  1.  Inexpensive
  2.  Versatile
  3.  Easy to install
  4.  Adaptable

What you need to build a dog run

 Items you’ll need:

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  • One fence post per 4 – 6 feet of length, plus one for the end.
  • Concrete mix (if you’re using it to secure your posts)
  • Chicken wire to span the full perimeter, with a small amount extra.
  • Either a pre-built gate or one you’ve built yourself.
  • The locking mechanism of your choice. Padlock, bar lock, simple gate latch.
  • Strong wire cutters.
  • Staples/staple gun.
  • Protective gloves (gardening or similar).
  • Someone to help, particularly on the corners.

How to prepare your dog run.

Measure out the area that you’re going to build your run, and secure one post in each of the corners. This can be done using fencing spikes, concrete, or deep driven posts, whichever you prefer.

If you’re planning on burying 6 to 12 inches of wire, then dig the area between your corner posts to the wanted level ready.

Next, plan your gate space. It’s best to keep an equal distance of posts, so divide your fencing length and find the best amount of posts to ensure there’s one secured every 4 to 6 feet. Make sure your gate is in the right place for you at this point. You may need an extra post, but this is a personal choice on placement and gate size.

Now to place the remaining posts. Secure all the posts in place, as with the corners, based on your preference. Make sure that all of your posts are correct and secure now, as you may not get a chance later.

Attaching the chicken wire.

Once all the posts are in place and secure, lay your chicken wire. It’s suggested to start on a corner, as this will give you the best stability. Wrap your first edge around the post, and staple it in place. Make sure if you’re burying it, you’ve allowed this room at the bottom.

Now move along the posts one at a time, and have your assisting person make sure the wire is tight while you staple to the next post. It is best to put the wire on the inside of the post, to allow for a stronger fence if your dog pushes from the inside.

On the corners, however, the outside of the post may be an option to increase the strength at that point. Remember to bury any wire you’ve planned on burying once you’re done, to ensure efficiency. Also, do not fence over your gate space! You may find that you need to trim the wire to length, and this is the time to do it. A video has been linked below.

The final steps.

Once all of your wire is in place and secured, it’s time to put the gate on. Secure the gate in place, and attach the locking mechanism of your choice. If you’re planning to leave the dog in overnight, then a more secure lock may be the viable option here.

Lastly, but not least, stand back and watch as your dog enjoys their new space in the garden, allowing them to use up all that built up energy while staying safe and secure!

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What if your dog chews through the chicken wire?

You’ve chosen one of the most easily maintained fences on the market. You simply snip out the bad wire length, and wire in a new length.

A video regarding the way to wire a new length of chicken wire can be found here.

Can chicken wire be used for dogs?

The answer to this question is really that it depends on your dog. It is unlikely that your dog will be able to dig their way out of the run, so long as you bury the bottom 6-12 inches of the chicken wire in the ground. If you have a dog that loves to dig, then using chicken wire to keep them in a run will be fine.

If your dog is the destructive type that has the strength to damage the chicken wire by jumping at it or chewing it, then you will need to look at a sturdier option such as a wooden fence. This will also partly depend on your budget, as chicken wire is the cheaper option.

Do you have a new puppy or good-natured dog that just wants the run of the garden, while being kept safe? Then yes, chicken wire is definitely for you. As the cheapest, safest, most adaptable, and most easily maintained option, we would choose chicken wire every time we’re asked.