How to Build a Chicken Wire Dog Fence (8 Easy Steps)

Sweet dog behind chicken wire dog fence

Chicken wire is among the best options if you’re looking for a cheaper material for a dog fence. Aside from being low-cost, finding a chicken wire is relatively easy as it is typically available in local hardware stores.

Chicken wire dog fences can prevent your dog from escaping while keeping unwanted predators out of your property.

However, building a chicken wire dog fence can be challenging if you have no idea of the process involved in it.

This guide will primarily walk you through the materials that you need and the eight easy steps in building a chicken wire dog fence. So, read on till the very end to learn more about these!

Can You Use Chicken Wire for a Dog Fence?

Chicken wire for dog fence

With proper posting, a chicken wire can be used as a dog fence. Chicken wire is relatively cheap and simpler to work with because it can be easily cut and bent. Also, it has small holes which can prevent your dog from escaping.

However, there are some downsides to using chicken wire for dog fences. For example, large and strong dogs like the American Bully XL, Pitbulls, and Cane Corso mixes may be able to destroy the chicken wire.

This is why a chicken wire dog kennel is mostly suitable for small, toy, or teacup dog breeds, such as the teacup Bichon Frise, mini Aussiedoodle, and most Pomeranian mixes.

Most chicken wires today are galvanized, so they don’t easily rust.

In the succeeding sections, we’ll go over the procedures for setting up a do-it-yourself chicken wire fence with a wooden frame and metal posts.

How to Install a Chicken Wire Dog Fence With Wood Frame

The chicken wire is not a firm material that can support itself. For this reason, it requires a frame or post that can support it. Wood is among the cheapest materials that can be used as a sturdy frame for chicken wire.

If you opt to have a wood-framed chicken wire dog fence, here are some of the materials that you need to prepare to set it up:

  • Case tape measure
  • Spray paint/Small stakes and string
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Wood screw
  • Hammer
  • Nails or a wood stapler with staples
  • Post hole digger or auger
  • Snips
  • A wood saw
  • Galvanized chicken wire
  • 4×4 inches wooden fence posts
  • 1×4 inches or 2×4 inches wooden fence boards
  • Gate hinges
  • Gate latch
  • Concrete

To assist you in installing your wood-framed chicken wire fencing for your dog, check out the procedures stated below:

1. Measure the yard that you want to fence and create a plan

Using a case tape measure, get the length and width of the yard that you want to fence and mark its perimeter with spray paint.

If you have no spray paint, you may place a tiny stake on each side of your yard, with string encircling it.

Once you’ve finished getting the dimensions of your yard, create a rough sketch or simple blueprint of your fence.

Indicate in your plan how many fence posts, boards, and chicken wire rolls you’ll need and their measurements.

2. Put markers where the fence and gate posts will be

Now that you have the plan, mark the exact spot in your yard where the fence and gate posts will be set up. Here, you may use spray paint, small stakes, or simply heavy stones as markers.

Ideally, the posts must be spaced equally apart from one another to make your whole fence sturdy. Also, fence posts typically measure 4×4 inches in thickness.

3. Cut your fence post to your desired length

In cutting the fence posts, you must consider two things — the height of your dog or potential outside predators and the depth of the spot to where a post will be set.

Fence posts with proper sizes should prevent your dog from escaping and outside predators from jumping in. Also, in your measurement, you must include the part of the fence posts that will be buried in the ground.

4. Dig holes to where your fence posts will be and install them

Using your post hole digger or auger, dig the exact spot to where your fence posts will be set. The usual depth of the hole is around 2 to 3 feet. Hence, you must add this measurement to the length of your fence posts.

Note that if you want taller fence posts, you must dig deeper holes to stabilize their positions. After digging, you may then set your fence posts in the dug holes.

Then, anchor them in place by sealing the holes with dirt or concrete.

5. Install the chicken wire from end to end of the fence posts

To install the chicken wire, start with the first fence post. Using a wood stapler, attach the chicken wire to the first fence post from the top, middle, and bottom. If you have no wood stapler, you may use nails and a hammer.

After being fastened to the first fence post, unroll the chicken wire tightly all the way to the second post and staple it. Repeat this unrolling and stapling process between each post until the entire yard is covered.

Using your snips, cut the excess chicken wire. Also, don’t forget to save a free space between two fence posts where you can install your gate. These two fence posts must not have chicken wires between them.

6. Make a horizontal brace between each post

To strengthen your fence’s framework, make a horizontal brace between each post using your fence boards.

You can install these fence boards horizontally by screwing their ends to the two fence posts positioned in between them.

Bear in mind that each pair of fence posts should have three horizontal braces between them. These braces are attached to the top, middle, and bottom parts of the fence posts.

7. Build the gates

With your remaining fence boards, make two rectangular frames of equal size. These two frames should fit with the space between the two fence posts that do not have chicken wire (recall the fifth step).

Once you’ve finished creating the gate frames, staple the chicken wires to them. The chicken wire will serve as the body of the gate.

To have a more durable gate, you may opt to sandwich the chicken wires between two frames.

8. Install the gate

Using gate hinges, attach the two gates that you’ve created to the two fence posts that do not have a chicken wire. Each gate must have hinges on its top, middle, and bottom portions.

In total, you’ll need six gate hinges. Then, screw the gate latch on the side of the gate frame where the two gates meet.

If you opt to only have one gate, you’ll need to mount the gate latch on the side of the gate frame that is opposite the gate hinges and to the fence post adjacent to it.

If you need further assistance in installing your wood-framed chicken wire dog fence, feel free to watch the video tutorial below:

How to Build a Fence from Start to Finish with Wire to keep Critters In or Out // DIY Fence Project

How to Install a Chicken Wire Dog Fence With Metal Stakes (T-Posts)

If a wood-framed dog fence is not your cup of tea, you may alternatively install a chicken wire dog fence with metal stakes. In this type of fence, the framework of the chicken wire would be the metal T-posts.

Below is the complete list of materials that you’ll need to set up a chicken wire dog fence with metal stakes:

  • Case tape measure
  • Post pounder
  • Metal T-posts
  • Galvanized post fasteners
  • Snips
  • Pliers
  • Galvanized chicken wire
  • Premade chicken wire gate

After preparing all the materials listed above, you may now install your metal-posted chicken wire dog fence by following the instructions below:

1. Measure the dimensions of the yard that you’ll fence and create a rough blueprint

Just like in the previously discussed dog fence, it is important to take the length and width of your yard to determine the exact number of metal T-posts that you’ll be needing.

From your measurements, you can create a rough blueprint of the fence that you’re going to install. 

This blueprint must include the right distance between each metal T-posts and the dimensions of the chicken wire that you’re going to use.

2. Put markers on the spots of fence posts and gate

After creating a plan, you may now mark the exact spots of your metal T-posts and gate in your yard. Again, in marking, you may use spray paint, small stakes, or a heavy stone.

Ideally, the metal T-posts must be of equal distance to create a more stable fence. Typically, there must be a gap of around 6 to 8 inches between two metal T-posts.

3. Install the metal T-posts

Installing the metal T-posts to their proper spots is relatively easier as it doesn’t require any digging. Your post-pounder can easily drive your metal T-posts into the ground.

Post-pounders can also remove the T-posts from the ground in case you set them up in the wrong spots. Since there’s no digging here, you won’t need any concrete.

4. Install the chicken wire covering almost the entirety of the yard’s perimeter

To install the chicken wire, start with the first metal T-post in your yard. Attach the chicken wire to the top, middle, and bottom portions of the first metal T-post with post-fasteners. Use pliers to secure the post fasteners in place.

After attaching the chicken wire to the first T-post, stretch it out with tension up to the second T-post and use post fasteners to secure it there. Repeat this process between each T-post until the entire yard is covered.

Don’t forget to remove the excess chicken wire using your snips. You must also allot a space between two T-posts with no chicken wire between them. This free space is where you’re going to install the premade chicken wire gate.

5. Fasten the premade chicken wire gate

Depending on your preference, your chicken wire gate can be wood-framed or metal framed. To attach your gate to your metal T-post, you’ll need to have some gate hinges.

Any type of gate hinges will do. However, since you’re going to attach your gate to a metal T-post, you may need to weld your chosen hinge to the metal T-post.

If you have no skills in welding and you have a wooden gate, a pipe fence hinge might be a great option.

Check out the comprehensive video guide on setting up a metal-posted chicken wire dog fence below to have a better understanding of the procedure:

How to Install a Welded Wire Fence the Fast & Easy way with Elevation Changes, No Digging

Which Chicken Wire Fence Posts Should You Use?

The type of post that you should use in your fence will depend on your yard area, dog size, and preference.

If you have a relatively large area or a medium-to-large dog, it’s best to have a wood-framed chicken wire dog fence.

Wooden posts are more difficult to remove from the ground as they are thicker and heavier than metal T-posts. Also, they are usually cemented on the ground with concrete, so heavy animals cannot easily knock them off.

On the other hand, if you have a smaller area or a small dog breed, metal T-posts are enough. Metal chicken wire fence posts are also ideal for those who want a fence that is easier to install.

However, in terms of longevity, both the wooden and metal posts have their downsides. For example, cheap wood posts are prone to termite attacks, whereas metal T-posts can rust over time.

You can avoid these drawbacks by considering the materials from which your posts are made of. For wooden posts, redwood, cypress, and cedar are among the best fencing woods to use as they are naturally resistant to insects.

For metal posts, you may opt to have a T-post that is made of galvanized steel. Although they are relatively pricier than the ungalvanized ones, galvanized steel takes a long time to rust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Building a chicken wire dog fence

Will Chicken Wire Hurt Dogs?

If the chicken wire is properly installed, it shouldn’t hurt the dog. This is why you should cut the excess or hanging wires in your fence or, at least, fold them as they may injure your dog.

Some dog owners even bury the sharp bottom edges of the chicken wire, along with the base of the fence.

This prevents their dogs from being poked by these sharp edges once they attempt to pass beneath the fence.

Can Dogs Climb Chicken Wire?

It depends on the hole size of your chicken wire. Lighter dogs may be able to climb the chicken wire if their paws can fit into the holes.

Meanwhile, larger dogs may not be able to climb a typical chicken wire due to their body sizes.

Some dogs jump over the fence instead of climbing it. However, you can prevent this by ensuring that your fence is tall enough for your dog.

Does Chicken Wire Stop Dogs From Digging?

The answer to this question depends on how you installed your chicken wire dog fence. If you bury the bottom edge of your chicken wire in the ground, it may stop your dog from digging near the fence.

Digging is usually done by hound breeds, like Beagles and Basset Hounds, Terrier dogs, like Toy Rat Terriers and Bo-Jack, and unneutered male dogs. Fortunately, there are some ways to minimize the digging behavior of dogs.

​​How Do You Bury Chicken Wire to Stop Dogs From Digging?

According to The Humane Society of the United States, you may bury the bottom edge of the chicken wire one to two feet below the base of the fence

to stop your dog from digging near your fence.

For a more effective approach, you may line the bottom edge of your fence with partially buried heavy rocks. Also, rolling the chicken wire’s sharp bottom edges away from the yard is strongly advised to prevent any accidents.

Can I Use Plastic Chicken Wire?

Yes, you can use plastic chicken wire as a dog fence. Plastic chicken wires are typically made of a durable and versatile material called polyvinyl chloride (PVC)., which is recyclable, cheap, and rust-resistant.

In addition, plastic chicken wires don’t have sharp edges that can scratch your dog. Despite these advantages, bear in mind that your dog or outside predators may be able to tear them off more easily.

How Long Will Chicken Wire Last?

Regular chicken wire usually lasts for about five years. However, a fully galvanized chicken wire may last for more than 20 years. This is because galvanized chicken wires are more resistant to corrosion or rust.

Despite this, even though galvanized chicken wire fences for dogs do not corrode rapidly, your pooch or outside predators can easily chew them off, especially if the wires are very thin.

What Is the Cheapest Fencing Option for Dogs? 

A chicken wire fence is the cheapest fencing option for dogs. In fact, installing a chicken wire fence for your yard typically costs anywhere between $2 and $5 per linear foot or 12 inches.

Other cheap fencing options for your dog include chain-link fencing — also known as cyclone fencing — and hog wire fencing.

Final Thoughts

A chicken wire fence is a popular fencing option for dogs as it is relatively cheap and easier to work with. Your dog’s size, yard area, and preferences determine the type of post that is suitable for your chicken wire dog fence.

For homes with a wide yard, medium to large dogs, and a preference for a sturdier fence, wooden posts should be used. Metal T-posts are ideal for homes with less extensive yards and small dogs that have no desire to dig.

Do you think the chicken wire dog fence is a good selection for your yard’s fencing needs? Post your comment below, and let us know what you think!

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