How Tall Should a Dog Fence Be?

Part of having a companion is being responsible for their safety, and installing a proper dog fence is one great way to ensure that your best friend doesn’t escape. It’s tricky to know what kind of dog fence you need, and even more vexing to wonder what the perfect height is.

Knowing how tall a dog fence should be is one of the most important questions that canine owners need to ask themselves. It all comes down to the breed of the dog, how active the dog is, the material the fence is made out of, and how much time the dog will spend alone in the yard.

Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

How Do I Determine How Tall My Dog Fence Needs To Be?

Your dog fence should be at least 3 times the height of your dog at the shoulder. For example, a German Shepherd is 24-26 inches at the should, therefore, the fence should be at least 72 inches high (6 feet). For small dogs, like a pug, that stands 14 inches at the shoulder, the fence should be at least 42 inches high or about 4 feet.

This is especially important if your dog is territorial or aggressive towards people. Six feet for a German Shepherd might seem high but remember that they can use their front and hind legs to get leverage and partially pull and push themselves over a smaller fence.

The height of your dog fence depends largely on the breed of dog, your dog’s age, and how much of a climber your dog is. Dogs are intelligent creatures and can figure out how to scale a fence if the incentive is there. The best way to determine the height of your fence, and the material that it should be made out of, is to monitor your dog.

Fence Height For Dogs Table

The rule of thumb is that your fence should be three times the height of your dog at the shoulder.

Here’s a quick reference table on common dog breeds, shoulder height, and ideal fence height.

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

Breed Average Height (inches) Average Weight (Pounds) Ideal Fence Height (Feet)
Chihuahua 9 7 3
Pug 11 16 3
Beagle 16 21 4
Border Collie 20 30 5
Lab 23 65 6
German Shepherd 24 70 6
Saint Bernard 30 125 8
Great Dane 32 130 8

how tall should a dog fence be

What Budget Considerations Do I Need To Take Into Account?

Certain types of fences will inevitably be more expensive, and the higher you need to make your fence, the more material you will need to use. Generally, chain-link fences are less expensive. Additionally vinyl is less expensive than wood or steel.

If you are handy and can put up the fence on your own, you’ll benefit from a significant price advantage. If you need it installed, prepare to pay for the cost of materials and any labor costs.

Can My Dog Climb A Tall Fence?

In short, yes! Many motivated dogs can climb tall fences, so you’ll need to assess whether or not your dog can and act accordingly.

Ask yourself a simple question. Is he or she an active puppy who has no problem jumping or scaling large objects when motivated? If so, it’s a good idea to construct your ideal dog fence out of a slippery material like vinyl or steel, and avoid chain-link at all costs. Dogs who climb can get their paws and hind legs into chain-link fences, and easily vault them.

Defender Spikes, Wall Spikes, Upgraded Cat and Bird Repellent Fence Spikes, Plastic Deterrent Anti Theft Climb Strips to Keep Roosting Pigeons Racoons Squirrel& More --12pack [17FT]
Bird spikes can prevent your dog from jumping the fence
Dog Proofer Fence Extension System - Patented Curved Design - Stop Jumping & Climbing Animals (50 Feet, Poly Mesh Fence Material)
Curved dog and cat nets can keep your dogs in the yard.

How Do I Keep Other Animals Out?

If you have a large enough fence made out of material like steel, wood, or vinyl, other animals shouldn’t be able to get in unless they burrow under the fence. You can discourage this by planting bushes right near the edge of the fence. You can also scatter mothballs along the perimeter. This will keep out smaller animals like raccoons and squirrels.

If your dog sees a squirrel through the chain-link fence, they might be more motivated to chase it, even if the animal doesn’t get into your property.

Coyote Roller Kit, 36″ Roller with Brackets, Galvanized Steel
Coyote rollers can keep coyotes out or your dogs in.

Will An Invisible Fence Work Instead?

Invisible fences do keep dogs contained, but they are not fool-proof. If a dog is motivated enough, he or she can break through an invisible fence. They also don’t keep other animals from getting into the premises.

Invisible fences can also be costly, so if your budget is an issue, you’re better off going with a traditional type of fence instead.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Leaping Over The Fence?

There are a few ways to prevent your dog from leaping over the fence. You can construct it so that it’s high enough to deter the dog, or built out of material that is slippery, like vinyl. You should also not leave your dog home alone too often. Bored dogs will find creative ways to get over the fence.

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

Why Do I Need A Dog Fence?

Every dog owner needs some kind of barrier to keep his or her dog from venturing out into the wide world, and a dog fence is easily the way to do it. There are several different varieties, but if you go with a standard solid fence your realistic options are wooden, vinyl, steel, and chain-link fences.


What Is The Best Material For My Fence?

It all depends on your budget, the size of your dog, and how active they are. Wood fencing is generally a good choice.

How Can I Build A Fence Suitable For Multiple Dogs?

Construct the fence so it keeps in the largest or most active dog easily, which will automatically contain the other dogs.