Build A Chicken Wire Dog Fence in 7 Easy Steps

Are you tired of your dog constantly slipping away from your yard and running off to bug the neighbors or get in trouble? Traditional fences aren’t always up to the task of keeping a determined dog at home.

A chicken wire fence can be the perfect solution to this problem, so keep reading to learn all about creating a chicken wire fence for your dog!

How do you install a chicken wire dog fence? First decide if you want a framed fence (stronger, longer-lasting) or a fast stake and wire fence. Next, plan out where the fence will be and take measurements. Fence posts should be 8-10 feet apart. Mark the location of the gate and install that first. Then install the rest of the support posts. Metal stakes can be hammered in with a post driver. Wooden posts should be dug into the ground with a post hole digger. Stabilize the wooden posts by filling the hole with cement. Last, attach the chicken wire to metal stakes using metal wire or to wooden posts using nails or thick staples. 

First, we’ll cover the wood frame method as this is stronger, longer-lasting, and in many ways safer for your dog. There’s more woodworking involved so expect this to take a solid weekend.

Then we’ll cover how to build a basic chicken wire and t-post fence that can be done on a Saturday afternoon.

Quick Facts – According to the ASPCA, 15% of pet owners will lose a pet at some point. Of those pets that escape more than 85% are found. Dog owners are more likely (93%) to find their lost dog than cat owners (only 74% recovered). [source] Installing a physical or invisible pet fence can help keep your dog or cat in so this never happens to you!

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How To Install a Wood Frame Dog Fence With Chicken Wire

Youtuber Timothy DC shows how to build a dog fence out of wire in just a few easy steps. Here’s a quick overview of the standard method for making a dog fence with some chicken wire and lumber.

Note – The video below uses steel mesh roll. You can easily swap this out for chicken wire if desired. Mesh fencing is thicker and doesn’t bend as easily.

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  1. Plan your fence. Decide where you want the fence to go, measuring the desired length and marking the ground with a line or small stakes to keep it straight.
  2. Cut your posts and boards. Cut four by four posts to the desired height. Remember to add at least two feet to the posts to take into account how deep you will be burying them. Cut either two by four or one by four boards to lengths that will fit between each post.
  3. Dig your fence post holes. Use a post hole digger or shovel to dig holes.
  4. Install your fence posts. Put the posts into the holes and fill in around the post with dirt or concrete. (Concrete will make your fence sturdier).
  5. Attach your wire. Unroll the wire and stretch it along the exterior of the fence posts. Attach it to the top, bottom, and middle of the post with either wood staples or nails partially placed in the wood and then hammered horizontally to bend over the wire.
  6. Add top and bottom boards. Place boards over the chicken wire and nail or screw into place horizontally along each fence width.
  7. Hang your gate. If desired, attach a fence gate in the preplanned space to let your dogs in and out.

Depositphotos 11893614 S1

Items You’ll Need

Use this checklist to make sure you have everything you need to properly build a fence for your dog. You can find everything you need at your basic home improvement store. (1)

  • Rolls of heavy-duty chicken wire
  • 4 x 4 fence posts
  • 2 x 4 or 1 x 4 boards
  • Nails or wood staples
  • Nails or screws
  • Posthole digger or auger
  • A hammer or electric screwdriver
  • Saw (optional)
  • Quickset concrete (optional)
  • Premade gate (optional)

Plan your fence before buying your items, so you know exactly how much you need. Generally, fence posts should be spaced between six to eight feet apart, so consider the length of your desired fence to pick up the right amount of posts.

Do you have a big yard and want some quick measurements? We have a full article on how much fencing you’ll need to enclose a 5-acre yard.

This DIY project is very customizable, so you can choose between options like screwing or nailing in your boards. If desired, you can buy pre-cut lumber and skip sawing it yourself.

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How To Install a Chicken Wire Fence For Dogs With Metal Stakes (T-Posts)

Items You’ll Need

  • Rolls of heavy-duty chicken wire
  • Metal T-Posts
  • Metal Wire (to bind chicken wire fence to T-posts)
  • Premade gate (optional)
  • Post Driver
Everbilt Powder-Coated Green Steel Fence T-Post, 1.75"L x 3.5"W, Set of 12, Choose Length (6 Ft.)
Metal T-Posts For Chicken Wire Dog Fence
MTB Fence Post Driver with Handle, 12LB Black. Your Best Garden Partner
Post driver to quickly install T-posts.

Step By Step Instructions

  1. Plan out where the fence will be and take measurements. Fence posts should be 8-10 feet apart.
  2. Mark the location of the gate and install that first.
  3. Install the rest of the support posts using a post driver.
  4. Attach the chicken wire to metal stakes using metal wire.
  5. Watch the video below for a quick demonstration. 

Note – Again, the video below uses steel mesh wire fencing. You can easily change this out for chicken wire. 


Still, have questions about how a chicken wire fence works? Here are some answers to common questions people have about using chicken wire to keep their dog in the yard.

Which chicken wire fence posts should I use?

For a quick and easy installation in a small yard use metal t-posts. You can buy them in bulk off Amazon here.

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For a larger yard consider using wooden posts combined with a wood framed wire fence.

Can you use chicken wire for a dog fence?

Chicken wire can be a great option for a DIY dog fence. It is easy to work with, and the holes are small enough that your dog cannot slip through them. (2)

You can buy chicken wire in bulk off Amazon here.

Fencer Wire 20 Gauge Galvanized Poultry Hex Netting with 2 inch Mesh (4 ft. x 150 ft.)

However, it is important to remember that your chicken wire fence will only be as strong as your support posts. You need to attach it to poles strong enough to support your dog’s weight if it tries to push its way through.

Can dogs climb chicken wire?

Animal behaviorists from the Dumb Friends League explain that climbing is a major concern because most dogs climb out of yards instead of jumping out. Whether or not your dog can climb chicken wire will depend on the size of holes in your wire and the size of your dog’s feet.

It is rare for dogs to be able to climb chicken wire unless the gaps are big enough for them to slip their feet into. Most chicken wire fences have small enough holes that dogs cannot get a purchase to scramble up the side as they could with chain link fence.

However, keep in mind that no fence is 100 percent dogproof! If you have a particularly smart and strong dog that is determined to get out, even chicken wire might not hold them in.

Does chicken wire stop dogs from digging?

Yes, chicken wire can be a great way to keep your dog from digging.

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In fact, it is so effective that the Humane Society recommends it as one of their methods for stopping pets from digging.

How To Install Chicken Wire to Keep Dogs from Digging

It is easy to alter any existing fence to keep dogs from digging. You can attach the wire about six inches up the fence and either bury it or bend it into an L shape attached to the grass.

You want this to be on the inside of the dog fence. Dogs will always go straight to the fence then dig right next to it.

Also, make sure you roll the edges downwards and away from the yard, so your dog does not get cut if they do try to dig.

I’ve also used this for my chicken and duck pens in the past to prevent foxes and coyotes from digging under. For that, you simply install the L-shape on the outside of the fence. You may want to consider doing this for small dogs in the backyard if you have coyotes in your area.

Can deer fencing be used for dogs?

Deer fences can be fairly similar to chicken wire since both materials can be installed in the same way and both have small gaps. We recommend this UV resistant deer fence which you can pick up on Amazon and only use it to protect your garden or other areas from your dog (deer fence isn’t strong enough to keep dogs from escaping a yard).

Dalen Deer X Protective Netting for Gardens and Landscapes - 7′ x 100′ - Strong and Durable 3/4″ Polypropylene Mesh with UV Inhibitors …

However, deer fence is made to stand up to deer and other herbivores, so it is not always durable enough to survive the hard teeth and claws of a carnivorous animal.

As the American Kennel Club explains, dogs can easily chew through plastic, and it can be quite damaging for their digestive system. Therefore you need to avoid using plastic mesh style deer fencing.

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Unless you get wire or steel deer fence, your dog may be able to easily break through any structure you erect.

Can I use plastic chicken wire?

No, you should not use plastic chicken wire. While it may be hard for chickens to get through it, it’s easy for dogs to chew it open. 

If this is all you have you can temporarily use it for a very small area. However, it’s a better use of your time to simply get metal chicken wire and install that initially.

Chicken Wire for Dog Fence