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I have a 10 week old purebred female yellow Labrador Retriever. She was bred from a various bird hunting family, and their dogs are slim and in great shape. From what I could find online, they are more of an 'English' style Lab, even though it appears there is no official distinction.

I am going to build a fenced area in my back yard that has shade/sun/cover. We already have a larger backyard that is fenced at 6 feet (183 cm) high, but I don't want her roaming the whole backyard during the day while we are gone. The long-term plan will be that she can go outside to it via a dog door at any time when she is older and can be left alone without needing supervision during the day.

The overall area of this will be 300 ft2 (around 27.8 m2).

The problem is that I don't know how high I should build the fence so that she cannot jump over it when she is fully grown/most capable. I've heard a lot of conflicting numbers from other websites, with some stating their dog jumped over a 6 foot (183 cm) fence!? Is that even possible?

I respect the SE community answers, so I've come to ask what you think.

  • It would take an athletic determined lab to jump 6' fence. – paparazzo Jul 9 '16 at 14:52
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I've seen a few dogs climb fences over the years (mostly border collies), which is why I like the fencing that goes up and over. Though what I see the most is dogs digging under the fence and getting out. Having a fence that goes deep under ground or having a cement base with fencing around it would be good choices.

6 feet is great if you can manage that (+ a few feet extra for in ground). My dads golden got out many times from digging under the fence and she only started doing this later on in life.

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  • I hadn't thought about building some sort of restrictive top above the height. That's a nice idea. There is no reason I can't start with 5 feet and add additional height if I find its not enough. I'm shocked to think about "climbing" but I suppose if she is determined enough she will do what she can. Thanks for the tip! – Brien Foss Jul 11 '16 at 3:54
  • So it's been 9 months, and I thought it would be funny to update... It turns out my Lab LOVES to dig, so she has been in her indoor kennel for the last 7 months until I can figure this out in the coming summer... gotta love em! – Brien Foss Mar 14 '17 at 1:45
  • Lol that's how it goes! – Rebecca RVT Mar 14 '17 at 12:33
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If the area will have cover and be a significantly small part of the space (300 ft2 is about 6 x 6 yards), then plan for wide wire mesh across the top.

The mesh would have to be:

  • fixed at one edge;
  • able to be rolled or unfolded across;
  • clipped to the other 3 edges as needed.

Problem solved.

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  • This does not answer the question, and the solution offered is problematic – James Jenkins Jul 17 '16 at 11:24
  • It is precisely as valid an answer as a fence that leans in at the top. The underlying issue is fence design to prevent escape, and it doesn't look like kinds of solution that may not have come to mind (and may well be cheaper, less visibly/physically intrusive, and more reassuring/certain) were intended to be excluded. If you think that it would be "problematic" (what reason?), perhaps explain so we can together improve it or find better solutions. But for the problem posed it is practical and does not appear to have blatant issues. – Stilez Jul 17 '16 at 17:32
  • I think that Stilez has a good answers. While it doesn't answer the original question about height and I think he should add that justification into his answer, he's correct about covering the top. Some dogs can jump that high. They train dogs to go over tall wooden walls in military and some civilian training. While a puppy is unlikely to do this, any dog could escape an enclosure of this sort by simply climbing the fence. A guy at my work had that problem, I suggested covering the top with cattle panel and he hasn't had another issue. It also helps support his cover from heavy rain and snow. – Dalton Jul 27 '16 at 13:12
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My Lab can jump a 4' fence with running room. And chain link is right out because she will climb. Good luck on deciding what to use.

If you train her to the fenced area as a young pup, you won't have to worry nearly as much about her trying to escape.

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  • Climbing chain link just makes me worried she would hurt herself going over the top. I'd like to avoid that for certain. – Brien Foss Jul 11 '16 at 3:56

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