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Urgent plea - ideas on dog proofing the garden? (pic)

(22 Posts)
NumberEight Sun 08-Oct-17 22:36:14

Long story short, I have been approved for a rescue dog on the proviso that I dog proof my garden. This isn't a problem, I had actually anticipated this months ago before I started applying to rescues. Had someone lined up for the job, bought expensive custom made gates, and the guy was a no show and haven't heard anything from him since.

Since then, I've arranged several local businesses to come and quote for the job. Of those that actually bothered to turn up, only one provided an actual quote which came out at £1000, a good £600 more than the no show quoted.

We have applied for many many dogs and have been pipped to the post every time but finally (keeping everything crossed) are first in line for a gorgeous dog which won't be available for long if we are turned down.

I'm going to line up some more quotes this week and will definitely get a professional in to do a proper job (no point wasting the gates now they've been paid for!) but in the meantime, does anyone have any idea how to dog proof my garden easily and fairly cheaply as a stop gap? I really don't want to lose out on this particular dog having waited so long for a good match.

The dog is only small but I think most rescues have a requirement of at least 5ft fences. Currently the sides are wooden with concrete posts and the gates are double plus single metal (which is the thing I'm struggling most with ideas for). All are around 3 - 4 ft currently but have gaps a dog could squeeze under. I need to be able to do the work this week.

Thank you if you're able to help. Also, if anyone can recommend a handyman/fence installer that is reliable and reasonable in the West Yorkshire area, that would be great.

HarrietVane99 Sun 08-Oct-17 22:41:46

Have you checked to see if you are allowed five foot fences? My house deeds specify fences no more than three or four feet - I forget which, as it's a good while since I had my fence done.

FleurWeasley Sun 08-Oct-17 22:44:19

We managed to make a short fence six foot by drilling holes in larch lap panels and cable tying them to the securely installed fence/gate. The only thing is that the panels are so expensive that it's not really a stop gap! Have you tried looking for a fencer on Facebook/mybuilder? To be honest I think you're looking at about £1000 minimum.

NumberEight Sun 08-Oct-17 22:49:51

I actually rent my property but my landlord is happy for me to do the work. No sure about the deeds. The area is all 1950's ex-council housing but most privately owned now except for the odd HA house. There's a variety of different fencing in the area. One NDN has a 7ft hedge and her dog chews my fence posts on our shared boundary. The other side has a huge garden as it's the corner house, that is basically a mini meadow as she does nothing with it. Our gardens are all north facing so get very little sun until the late afternoon so I don't think it will be a problem for them. Directly in front only have a small drive area so we won't be blocking their enjoyment of their homes and there's a road that runs in between anyway.

I did consider something like trellis reinforced with something else to maintain the open feel. Could that work?

NumberEight Sun 08-Oct-17 22:56:02

I've tried MyBuilder for another job and experienced the same thing. Loads not bothering to turn up as arranged, those that did not bothering to provide a quote. Same thing happened when I was trying to line up a handyman. That's a whole other thread as for some reason, building trades just don't want my money confused

I'd happily pay £1000 if that's what it costs but I hadn't budgeted that due to the quote the other guy provided and I had to buy the gates too. I just don't have it at the minute but can do in around 2 - 3 months.

Onenight0nly Sun 08-Oct-17 22:59:19

Is that your front garden?
I'm not sure anything short of solid 5/6 foot fences would a) satisfy the rescue and b) stop a dog. Lots of rescue dogs take ages to bond. We have three, the first two we're fine but we've had the third one a year now and she still tries to escape at any opportunity! She comes back, I think she likes it here! But her instincts are screwy.

NumberEight Sun 08-Oct-17 23:04:11

No, it's actually my back garden.

The dog is only small and currently an older puppy. I obviously want the stop gap to be secure for the reasons you mention, just it won't be possible to have professionally installed fencing done with this little time as I'm guessing even if I had the money now (could possibly borrow it) there won't be many available to start work so soon (if I could even find a reliable person).

Onenight0nly Sun 08-Oct-17 23:06:33

Oh ok, well then I guess solid fencing would be more possible- I was just thinking you wouldn't normally have it in a front garden but that's fine then. So that's good news.

The less good news is that all the rescues I've dealt with have required solid 6 foot fencing I'm afraid. I think they would probably have accepted 5 foot for a small dog, though it's the small one who is the Houdini here!

Does the rescue have a copy of their homecheck form online? Or any guidance?

Onenight0nly Sun 08-Oct-17 23:08:28

Before I had this little dog I thought the rescues were being unnecessarily jobsworthy about it to be honest. I've never had an escaper before.

I see the point now!

NumberEight Sun 08-Oct-17 23:11:52

By solid fencing do you mean without any gaps? Sorry, not sure on fence terminology grin I think it's called feather edge/overlapping? I was thinking the criss cross type (like what is there at the moment but taller) with chicken wire from the bottom half way up. Just not sure what to do with the metal gates as I can't drill wood onto them.

The rescue website just says secure fencing of a minimum of 5ft. Is secure the same as solid though?

NumberEight Sun 08-Oct-17 23:15:13

grin On yes, I don't want to take any chances and this isn't just about satisfying the rescue. It's just thinking of a way to create a secure garden without the services of a professional until I can get that done. I will be trying in the meantime and hopefully I can find someone who can do it.

I just need a plan B.

Onenight0nly Sun 08-Oct-17 23:20:28

Sorry, I meant this type of fencing.

So are you thinking you would take out the 3 foot picket fence there now and add a taller version of the same picket? The problem I can see there is that your fence posts are only 3 foot tall, so you'd have to extend those taller too- I think you can get fence post extenders but they don't look great and I guess by the time you've done that you could end up spending nearly as much as if you just did it properly if you know what I mean.

Onenight0nly Sun 08-Oct-17 23:22:28

I have no idea about the metal gates. Will think.

NumberEight Sun 08-Oct-17 23:26:42

Ah, I see. I think it's called feather edge? I was actually planning on leaving the existing fencing there and raising it on my side so installing longer up posts then securing some kind of panels to that.

So anything with narrow gaps would be out? I know there's the potential for chewing but I thought chicken wire would help with that. I could even use bamboo screening which is quite cheap to give the illusion (to the dog) of no gaps. It won't last but then it doesn't need to really.

NumberEight Sun 08-Oct-17 23:28:36

Thank you Onenight. You know what it's like when you've set your heart on something? Probably stupid to do that really as its not the first time we were close to getting what appeared to be the right dog only for it to go to another family. Hopefully not this time though.

SleightOfMind Sun 08-Oct-17 23:38:51

Clicked on your pic expecting to airily post suggestions of wooden battens and chicken wire but it's actually really tough.
I think you might have to find a more specialist forum to get technical advice.
Can you get explain the sitch to whoever's going to do the proper job? Maybe they could come and do a quick stopgap?
They'd probably have the best idea of how to block it off and might be more willing to help as there's a bigger job in the offing?

Mum2OneTeen Sun 08-Oct-17 23:53:27

I was going to suggest chicken wire reinforcing attached to the wooden fences, with some buried under the ground to discourage digging under.

Is the driveway in use? I notice you had said that it was your back yard. If you don't actually have to have regular access through the gates then your job would be much easier as you could paddlock the gates shut and treat it like a fence.

The gates have me stumped too, it will all depend on what type of dog you get. I have seen gates such as that with chicken wire attached to the bottom that reaches to the ground and drags when the gates are open. The gates also had an extension arrangement added to the top to add some height. This was in a rental property, but the dogs were small terriers and not prone to escaping. It helped that their owner was around most of the time too. Dogs that are left alone all day long get bored/distressed, and are more prone to try and escape in search of adventure.

A houdini type dog (Staffordshire Terrier) could get out of anything, I've known one who managed to scale a 5 foot solid paling fence. An older, more settled dog who probably require less, but I guess you'll still have to comply with the rescue organisation's requirements.

I reckon you need to ask someone to come and inspect your situation from the RSPCA to advise. They may have a list of tradespeople who are used to doing this type of work.

NumberEight Mon 09-Oct-17 00:11:38

Thank you everyone for trying to help with this - it's much appreciated.

The side with drive will be trickier due to the concrete but there is a gap where the current fencing sits so I could tuck chicken wire into it and fill with pepples/stones to weigh it down. On the grass side, I can pin down the chicken wire with those u-bend type pegs. The trip to the DIY store is going to be fun with this level of technical knowledge/terminology grin

I don't need to use the drive at the back as I use the drive at the front to park so good idea to treat that as a fence section. I will need to keep the single gate in use as the wheely bins are collected from the back.

NumberEight Mon 09-Oct-17 17:33:31

Another day, another no show for a quote. Getting so fed up angry

It's been confirmed that the requirement is 5ft fences but as long as the dog can't get on or out, that should be fine.

PigletJohn Mon 09-Oct-17 17:55:14

If you have low fenceposts and attach a tall fence to them, they will probavly blow over.

trellis and larchlap are not dogproof. A dog can gnaw through them.

Wire mesh is dogproof and can be stapled to a wooden fence. To prevent animals digging under a fence, you scrape away the soil or lift the turf for a foot or so width on your side of the fence, and fold the mesh so it is horizontal, then cover it up. They dig next to the fence. You will need plastic-coated so it does not rust.

Weldmesh is more resistant than chainlink, which unravels like a knitted jumper if a single wire is cut or damaged.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Mon 09-Oct-17 17:59:09

Are you on Facebook? Do you have a local area Facebook group you could join? I've found those are really good for getting recommendations for this kind of work.

Whitney168 Mon 09-Oct-17 18:04:43

If you are doing a stop-gap, then do it to a small section of the garden, not the whole lot - batten to 5ft height on sides and attach chicken wire to this? Trellis to make a smaller section, again with chicken wire?

You would need to do a very good job to convince rescue it would be secure, but it would be more feasible than trying to secure the whole garden.

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