A recent request about appropriate fencing for Ridgebacks has prompted me to make this page.
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There are many different types of fencing available. There are several different types of materials and styles that I couldn't possibly cover them all. The cost range is also great as well. In my second home, I was not willing to spend ten thousand plus dollars on a fence, so began to search what was the most cost effective. I will also tell you what I have done in the way of fencing that has worked for us.
As far as cost goes, a wooden rail fence with wire mesh is most
cost effective and can be done yourself. It will probably last ten to twenty years before boards
would need to start being replaced due to weather and wear. The downside
is the dog can see out, but if the fence is tall and sturdy enough, it shouldn't be an
issue. I also think if the dogs can see out of the yard, if there's
something that raises a concern and they sound the alarm, I can see it
too. Also I prefer my yard not to to be closed in completely, as I have seen the damage that high winds from storms can do to a solid privacy fence. Our current property
backs up to an easement and we frequently have people walking behind our
property. I like the fact that they can see my big dogs barking at
Height wise, I would not do a 4 foot fence. A Ridgeback can easily
clear a 4 foot tall fence and a 4 foot fence will keep very few Ridgebacks contained. Our fence is 5.5 feet tall. I have installed
two different fences at properties I have owned and I feel the wooden
rail fence looks nice and works well. Below are pictures from my
Pennsylvania house with 3 rails as well as our current home in Maryland
with 4 rails. I felt the 4th rail on the bottom was needed in our new
house to prevent puppies from digging under as well as small animals or neighbor's dogs from digging into our yard. With a 5.5 foot fence my
male could reach the top rail while standing upright on his hind legs
and just get his nose to the top. At a friends house, I watched him
teeter with his feet on the top rail of a 4 foot fence and knew it
wouldn't keep him in our yard if he saw something to chase.
Details..... Both of our fences were not built by a professional as the cost estimate was in the ten thousand plus range. My PA property was an acre of grass, our MD property is just under a half acre in the woods. I read about building fences, I read about the frost line and learned that my post holes would have to be 2 feet deep (below the frost line). I put up some stakes and ran a nylon string around the yard to keep everything straight.
I marked post holes just
shy of every ten feet, and (this is important) made sure the gaps for
the gates were big enough to get the lawnmower, wheelbarrow, grill and trash
can through. I also created a gate so a vehicle could be driven through. I purchased an auger from Home Depot, dug all the holes
and sunk 4"X4"x8' posts.
I concreted every other post for stability with
30-40lbs of Quickrete concrete mix. I did not mix the Quickrete with water, but poured it in after
the posts were plumb and level and ready to fill in. Then I added a
small amount of water, knowing that the concrete mix would pull moisture
from the surrounding dirt. I let the posts dry for 24 hours before
rails went up.
I used 2"X4"X10' for rails, then installed 60" tall mesh
horse fencing with 2"X4" holes. Installing the mesh was probably the
most tedious part as I used galvanized staples (not those flimsy staple
gun staples), the kind you have to hammer in by hand, to hold the
fencing onto the wooden rails.
Lastly I built the gates and found some
heavy duty latches at the local lumber yard. I did find that it was
cheaper to order the lumber from 84 lumber or a local lumber yard
instead of purchasing from Lowe's or Home Depot. You will save about $1 (or more)
per board that way and the lumber is better quality. With 400 feet of fencing at our Maryland house, that's a lot of money
The rolls of galvanized, welded wire, horse fencing I did get from Home Depot, as they had the
best price for the 60" welded wire horse fencing. To get 5.5 feet out of
my 60" mesh fencing I installed the bottom rail slightly off the ground and the bottom of the top rail at 63 inches
from the ground.