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How can I temporarily fence off puppy friendly area of garden?

(19 Posts)
Solo2 Thu 04-Nov-10 12:50:33

Here's another mum-of-a-puppy-to-be question this reminds me of being PG with my twins!)

When we get our puppy in March, I want to be able to let it roam around the back garden freely. However, we have what's effectively a large freshwater pond (actually a natural swimming pond) there and I don't want our puppy to risk falling in, for it's own safety. Also, until it's properly trained, I don't want it swimming in the pond, although the way the ecosystem works with these things, you CAN let your pet dog swim in it without massive hygiene risks to human swimmers.

What kind of temporary fencing/ chicken mesh/wire could I erect easily (and fairly cheaply) around the pond for a while and how high should it be and how strong? We will be getting a golden retriever puppy who won't stay small for long!

I presume others here have temporarily fenced off garden areas and that there might be something on the market that's perfect for this kind of thing?

What kind of

Solo2 Thu 04-Nov-10 12:52:24

Sorry. Didn't finish that one above! I meant to say what kind of thing have you found useful?

Solo2 Fri 05-Nov-10 09:43:50

Bumping my own thread........

BOOMyhoo Fri 05-Nov-10 09:49:14

chicken wire, IME is too flimsy for dogs. i have used it for the same reason before and teh dog was able to bend it and weaken it. you can get thicker wire that has bigger gaps from hardware stores that woudl do teh job though. you would also need some timber uprights. not sure how much it would cost though.

Solo2 Fri 05-Nov-10 12:15:56

Thanks BOOMyhoo.

Do you know - or anyone else - if there's anything ready-made on the market that you can just buy in sections and erect easily and expand as necessary?

BOOMyhoo Fri 05-Nov-10 14:49:29

none i can think of, sorry. if you post in property/diy, someone may be able to help.

Joolyjoolyjoo Fri 05-Nov-10 14:52:17

What about those little ready-made "fences"? You drive a spike into the ground to mount the posts, then nail sections of fence to it. What size you'll need depends on size of dog, I guess, and how long you think you'll need it

daisydotandgertie Sat 06-Nov-10 21:47:14

Whatever you do, don't skimp on it. Stout and strong is the only way forward. I have a dear friend whose puppy drowned in her back garden. I am not sure she will ever forgive herself.

A picket fence or similar all the way around? Chicken wire would do the job if it was stapled to wooden frames attached to fence posts? Even trellis would do as long as the bottom foot or so was chicken wired from the pond side.

Solo2 Sun 07-Nov-10 07:31:34

OMG! I'll never let it in the garden without me being right there! Seriously, I think I'll have to consider either more permanent fencing or a proper 'dog run' thing unless I'm out there with puppy on a lead.

How HIGH would a fence - of whatever kind - need to be to prevent a puppy/ young golden retriever from jumping over it and how quicly can a determine puppy/ young retriever, dig uner a fence, if there's something exciting on the other side?

This is JUST like planning for babies/ toddlers really, isn't it!?

silentcatastrophe Sun 07-Nov-10 10:45:17

Does the pond have shallow bits at the sides? Swimming pools are lethal for dogs, as there is nowhere to get out. Chicken wire is cheap and cheerful but you would need decent fence posts. You need to decide which is easier - to fence off a bit of the garden, or to fence round an entire pond. Our pup doesn't jump up high, but the elder 2 could easily leap over a 5 or 6 foot fence. I guess it rather depends on how much spare cash you have and what your expectations are.

daisydotandgertie Sun 07-Nov-10 18:05:39

We have a nearly 4 month old labrador and at the moment she can easily jump onto the sofa - but hasn't managed the high iron double bed (yet).

I'd say a 4 foot fence would be high enough for a puppy - as long as it's well framed (they're really good at leaping against things and collapsing them). And I'd plan for a puppy sneaking outside on it's own despite your best intentions because then nothing can possibly go wrong. And as Silent says, if the pond has shallow sides it is less dangerous to a puppy.

Our adult girls can happily jump over a five bar gate if we ask them to - but of course by the time they can jump that high they can also swim perfectly well.

For what it's worth, I think it is harder than having a toddler because puppies just don't understand 'no'. Or anything at all, actually.

Puppies do put everything into their mouths and then they chew it - I'd sit on the floor of all the rooms the puppy will have access to and clear access to all flexes, magazines, books, toys, shoes. And find out which of your house plants are toxic to dogs. Just in case.

You've probably already read up on bite inhibition and know exactly how much and why puppies bite and nip - but just in case you haven't here's a link to an invaluable article.

Puppies are fabulous massive fun, but the first 4 weeks are bloody hard work grin.

Solo2 Sun 07-Nov-10 18:57:37

Thanks. The pond has a shallow end with wooden steps leading in but then there's a steeper drop to 7 ft deep ahd the deep end doesn't have shallow sides. There are no easy edges to scramble out really and in any case the pond lining will be ripped by small claws - although the greater priority is keeping the puppy safe.

I'm not sure whether to fence off the pond permanently...and we need to ensure that we don't then create a shadow across the water as the only heating is done via the sun....or...whether to have a special part of the garden that is a puppy/ dog part and make a smaller area with fencing or something?

I guess I'll have to think about this.

I keep getting different feedback from people about having a puppy. Some - like on MN - emphasise how all-consuming and challenging it is, though immensely rewarding too - and others - like RL friends - saying how it's not too hard and training isn't too difficult etc etc.

I suppose it partly depends on the personality and breed of the puppy and the personality of the owner. As a bit of a neurotic worrier, I probably fall into the less relaxed camp!

I'll certainly be going round the house and making it as puppy safe as possible. The hardest bit will be in what we call the family room where there are the DCs PCs side by side with loads of wires....not yet sure how to find a way to stop the puppy getting to the wires. Our cats have been hard enough, although now they're older, they've settled down a lot.

Anyone else onhere had experience with fencing off a part of the garden or fencing off ponds etc?

silentcatastrophe Mon 08-Nov-10 19:35:22

Is your garden dog-proof? Ours isn't completely, but our pup doesn't seem to want to jump over the most obvious fences. If your garden is huge, you may find it much easier to fence off an area and have a secure dog run. It may be better in the long term, and enable you to relax a bit more.

Onlyaphase Mon 08-Nov-10 19:42:50

We moved when our labradors were 14 months old to a house with a biggish garden pond and river too. We had to fence the pond off immediately as the dogs were chasing each other round and through it constantly - think soaking wet muddy dogs 6-10 times a day!

We used normal fence posts, wire fencing and extra wire around the bottom to stop the dogs getting under the fence. Not pretty, but did the job.

If you are just looking for temporary fencing for a few months, have you thought about the plastic clip together panels I've seen at preschools and nurseries? Not that robust, but might do the job?

And for inside, if you are going to be with the puppy most of the time and it is crated when you're out, then you might be OK and get away without dog-proofing the house too much. We found our lab pups were only destructive when left alone.

Solo2 Mon 08-Nov-10 20:17:16

Not a huge garden and now one quarter to a third is taken up by the natural swimming pond....I'm not sure how to fence this off in a way that doesn't look too gross as it's not a big enough garden to 'hide' any of it but I also want our dog to have a happy, free time playing in the garden without me constantly rushing towards it shrieking! smile

Before the swimming pond, it was pretty much a big square-ish lawn with small borders and more or less dog proof.

I think I need to find a way to fence off part of the garden - the greater or lesser part - for us or the dog but to make the fencing look aesthetically good and part of the general design....but not sure how to accomplish this and also have twin 9 yr old boys who want room to run around.

Thanks for the warning though about dogs and water. I need to ensure that we're not setting ourselves up for even more stress than a puppy will normally bring! I think maybe I could do some temporary smaller fenced off area at first and then as the puppy gets older and better trained, decide whether or not it can have free access to the pond but be trained to go in and out of it safely.

As for puppy-proofing the house, I'll be around most of the time although I also work from home, running my own business and have periods of up to an hour a time, about 4 to 5 times a day when I'd need to be away from it during meetings. But I can spread these out so that I'm actively with and training and playing with the puppy between times.

I intend to take off a few weeks puppy-leave however to settle us all in.

Onlyaphase Mon 08-Nov-10 20:29:55

Honestly, I think you'll be fine and have a lovely time with your new puppy. I actually don't think the pond and puppy will be a problem once the puppy can swim and knows how to get out, a few months tops.

What a lucky puppy to have such a lovely new home and garden and pond to go and live in!

silentcatastrophe Tue 09-Nov-10 09:21:42

I think you'll be fine too. Will you be taking your new pup to school or doing everything at home? You will find that just like children, the things you worry about are not problems, but other things surface. This time, I've only had a few pairs of shoes chewed, and amazingly, no knickers! We have gone through numerous chewy bones instead. Sometimes the dogs are left for up to 4 hours, but not often.

You may find that your pup doesn't like water. Some dogs don't. He may love something unexpected instead!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 09-Nov-10 09:29:10

We made a robust dog pen using trellis panels secured together with tree ties. It was easy to move for lawnmowing. Not very high, but our dog is a dachshund! I would think high enough for a small pup. TBH when your dog is big enough to get over that it's probably plenty big enough to get out of a garden pond.

Solo2 Tue 09-Nov-10 17:52:39

Thanks for the reassurance. It's difficult to imagine fully what life with a puppy will really be like - except through reading MN! and talking to dog owning friends.

I spent my childhood befriending local ladies who owned dogs and would let me go on walks with them but have had to wait until almost 48 to be able to have one myself. So it's v exciting!

I plan to take the puppy to puppy classes and also train it a lot at home too.

I like the idea of trellis panels for a dog pen, Grimma... They'd look more aesthetic than chicken wire and be easy to move as well. I could re-use them, if and when we no longer need to pen in the pup, for garden trellis smile

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