If you've recently added an Australian Shepherd Dog to your family, you're probably already enjoying your new pup's keen intelligence and boundless energy. However, many of the same qualities that can make Aussies so fun and engaging -- like their high energy levels, ability to quickly learn, and persistence -- can also cause you consternation when it comes to the idea of keeping them contained in your yard. Many Aussie owners have found that these tenacious dogs can clear a 6' or even 8' fence without much trouble, particularly if the fence is a style that has crossbeams facing the interior of the yard. Read on to learn more about the factors you'll want to consider when selecting a fence for your new pup, as well as some of your best fencing options.
What factors should you consider when evaluating your Aussie-proof fencing choices?
Even if you have one of the toy Aussie breeds that doesn't reach the same adult size as a traditional Aussie, it's important not to underestimate the distance your Aussie can jump or climb. In most cases, you'll want a fence that at least doubles your pup's height at the shoulder, and Aussies that have already shown some inclination toward escape may need some additional reinforcements like a wire screen at the top of the fence or some metal sheeting buried between your posts to prevent digging.
You'll also want to ensure you're not planning to use a fenced yard in lieu of some one-on-one daily exercise time with your Aussie. These dogs thrive on time spent with their families, and relegating your Aussie to the yard each day under the assumption that this is enough physical (or mental) stimulation can often be a costly mistake. Leaving an Aussie alone in your yard for hours at a time can be all that's needed for him or her to discover your fence's weak spots, so you'll want to take your dog on a few lengthy walks each day and perhaps invest in obedience training or doggy daycare if you tend to spend long days at work.
What are some good fencing options for Aussies?
There are two fencing options that have proven successful even for the most stubborn (and intelligent) pups: tall aluminum fences that are too high for jumping and "invisible" buried electric fences that send wireless signals to your Aussie's collar. The right choice will largely depend on the dimensions of your yard and any zoning rules or regulations that dictate the maximum height of fences in your neighborhood.