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Should I install a fence?

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My family is planning to get a puppy in the Spring. We are still wondering to have a fence. We have a half-acre backyard surrounded by many trees.

The North of our backyard is already fenced with those metal wire fences(neighbors took care of it a long time ago).

The East part of my yard is partially fenced(only the right half of it is). The other half of the East part of the yard are a few tall bushy trees.

The South part of my yard has three apple trees spaces two yards apart, and then right of the apple trees are more bushy trees.

The West part of my yard is where my house is.

Do you think that we should put up a fence? I know a fence is not necessary, but I think it's convenient and I want our (future) dog to be able to play in our yard. If we DON'T have a fence, can we still safely plan in the yard with our dog? Will the dog just run off our property without a fence? We are a family of five, we are thinking that we might be able to quickly stop our dog if it tries to run off our property.

And an FYI, if we do install a fence, our dog is still going to receive walks and all the daily exercise needed.
 

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I would install a fence if you can. I’ll level with you. I got my golden retriever when I lived in an apartment. We took lots of walks, hiked everyday, and she swam in a lake also daily. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a fenced yard. She got everything she needed. Fast forward to now, she’s 10 years old and I also have a 21 month old working line German shepherd. I now live in a house with 2.5 acres. Both of my dogs are very well trained and have never run off, so they can play in my completely unfenced yard without me worrying about losing them. My dogs are never outside alone, even when we did have a fenced yard.

All that said, my neighbors are morons and have zero control over their dogs. I’m talking they open their doors, let the dogs out, and don’t care where they go. As a result, we have dogs in everyone else’s yards, poop everywhere that no one picks up, and dogs that chase cars that drive by. My shepherd will not for a second tolerate a dog coming into his yard and getting into his personal space. He WILL attack a dog with severity when it does so. Now I have to keep my off-leashed trained dog on a leash in my own yard, keep a very careful watch, and rush him inside if I see any people or dogs because they will come in my yard and harass my dogs. They can’t enjoy their own yard because of other idiots. If the yard was fenced, I wouldn’t have to worry.
 

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Absolutely YES. I wouldn't be so certain if it wasn't that we have installed a fence as required by the breeder, just like you we had some other fences we could use partially, and on regular bases I say quiet Thank you to the breeder, I am so glad we did it.

Your puppy will happily play with you in the unfenced yard, until one day a squirrel circus will pass by and puppy will find it way more interesting then you and will try to join the circus ;)
Nothing like a good fence to make your dogs safe when they aren't on the leash, also excellent for any off leash training.
 

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Absolutely install a fence. I have 15 acres surrounding my house, my yard is about 3 acres, and I still love having a fence. I do not leave my dogs in the fence, but it is really handy for when I'm working in the yard and don't want to have to keep my eyes on them. I only have about a 1/4 acre fenced in. It's enough that they can run and play and I know they are safely contained. They are all also trained to stay in my yard (outside the fence area) and have solid recall, but things happen. If I'm not able to keep my eyes on them they are in the fence.
 

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I had no plans of installing a fence...none. Until we saw how happy my girl is when staying at grandmas. She loves being there... because of the fence. She starts whining the minute she relizes we are going that direction. She goes wild in her backyard.
Ours is full of shrubs and lilacs. Huge lilacs and going around them would make a really small yard so removal is our only answer. Hubby was an adamant no. Then saw Molly at grandmas. He then was the one saying she needed a fence.
We will start when the yard drys.
We are doing chain link as we only plan on being here a few more years.
 

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Install the full fence will make your dog much happier to spend time in your back yard off-leash and also super convenient for you. You will find it totally worth it.
If not a fenced-in yard, you might consider to use super long leash to simulate off-leash training and activities without worry about them running off. But certainly doing it in a fully secured backyard is so much better.
 

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880267


Posting this picture for a couple reasons.

1. It is a reminder that goldens are generally supposed to have high prey drive. It means that in a moment a rabbit might run out of the bushes and run for the hills with your dog chasing after. And with goldens being both smart and athletic - they can play the "keep away" game very well if they get out.

There's many families in the neighborhood where I walk my dogs... where they have kids and the parents are young enough to chase dogs.... but they slip up all the time. Before they have a chance to notice the dogs are out, the dog has already run out into the street and is bouncing around dogs being walked past. If my dogs were mean, that could be a dog fight or mauling waiting to happen. If I were mean and carrying a gun, it could mean a dead dog. And might add, it could also mean somebody taking your dog and at the mildest calling animal control... at the worst it could be somebody keeping or selling your dog.

2. The picture is also a reminder that while a golden has prey drive and is inclined to take off running after a rabbit.... training is enough to keep that dog from passing a border. I snapped the picture first and then called my dog and had him immediately stop chasing the rabbit and come running back. My dog was about 2-3 years old when I took that picture and either was obedience titled by then or close to it. So trained + I have a focus on training my dogs right from day one. Meaning, that if you do not have a physical fence, then you must border train your dogs + train solid recalls. This is where I add that while my dogs are all good being off leash without any fear of them running off.... our home is experienced when it comes to raising dogs and training them. So if this is your first golden, get the fence. It will mean your dog gets to have some time of the day every day, where he just gets to be a dog having zoomies and eating grass.

Now I'll post a different picture. :)

880268


^^^ This is your reminder that a fenced yard is an owner's best friend for generally containing their dog + allowing off leash time. It's not a perfect safe place to leave your dog unattended.

The above picture shows a coyote jumping a pretty tall fence.

I'll only add that a while back I chased after a pit bull mix that was running loose in our neighborhood + running down to a very busy rural highway (speed limit is 55, but some people go 80). While I tracked after that dog and worked to catch it - it was jumping fences just like in that picture.
 

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Goldens are wonderful dogs! After you get your puppy, you may want another some day. And since puppies are hard to come by, you may try to adopt an adult dog via a rescue. Many rescues require a fenced in yard.
 

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Having a fenced in yard has many benefits.
You have a safe environment for your pup/dog to play off leash, they can be out with you while you're out in the yard, etc.

My guys have never been out in my fenced in yard without me or unsupervised. I also have always kept my gate locked.
 

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Fence the yard in. Open door let dog out, drink coffee, look out window.
 
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For your peace of mind and for the puppy’s safety, you should fence it. We have 20 acres of forest, surrounded by Crown land (I don’t know what the American equivalent of that is, but it’s publicly owned land) that is also all forest. Every single chance my one golden got, he’d bolt off of our place and over to the neighbours or down the road or across to the swamp a couple kms away... it’s unsafe and unsettling. We fenced all 20 acres, and then fenced a smaller 1 acre dog yard for when we aren’t home. It’s been so great, and using just posts and sheepwire it wasn’t too terrible in the cost dept.
 

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We don’t have a fenced yard at the moment...but we go for numerous walks, hikes, swimming etc that we don’t need it with our current lifestyle HOWEVER, I cannot WAIT to move into a place and fence in the yard (hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later). Not because i want to let my dogs out unattended, but I don’t want other peoples dogs in my yard, I don’t want other peoples dog’s poop in my yard and I would prefer to keep out other critters than could be a nuisance. I trust my dogs and train a gold recall...but I don’t trust other people and their dogs and want my dogs to have their own safe space.
 

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Fences are great. I live in the country where it is common for dogs to be allowed to roam. Most don't live very long. Getting killed on the road is their most common end. One old dog of a neighbors was run over by a combine. The dog had bad hearing and was in the wheat during harvest. The guy driving the combine didn't see her in the wheat. He had to bring the still-living dog, with its legs cut off to the owner to take to the vet to be euthanized.

Build the fence. We have a 2-acre lot. It is completely fenced with t-posts and wire (2"x4" mesh), but the dogs are not left loose in the big yard unless we are home. We have a small corner of the yard by the house with more secure fencing that the dogs can access through the dog door.

Fences do not only keep your dog from getting loose to be hit by a vehicle, they keep other dogs and a lot of wildlife out.
 

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Anyone have any thoughts on the in-ground electric fences (Invisible Fence)? We have but mainly to give neighbors sense of ease. Our last dog (Bernese Mountain Dog) would not cross the fence field for any reason, but he liked staying home anyway. The battery on his collar died and he never noticed. My last Golden had no fence of any type but never left the yard (she was even hunted over).

So, what say you all?
 

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The inground fence was specifically mentioned by our breeder as not acceptable as a fence, I suspect it isn't as secure as a physical fence, and lets face it, it only takes ONE time for a disaster to strike.
 

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Anyone have any thoughts on the in-ground electric fences (Invisible Fence)? We have but mainly to give neighbors sense of ease. Our last dog (Bernese Mountain Dog) would not cross the fence field for any reason, but he liked staying home anyway. The battery on his collar died and he never noticed. My last Golden had no fence of any type but never left the yard (she was even hunted over).

So, what say you all?
so my parents have an electric fenced large yard. They live in a neighborhood but have woods bordering half of the yard. My goldens are trained to the fence for when we go stay with them. They have never left the yard and know the boundaries well. The type of fence they have DOES let the dog cross back through the fence they for some reason cross over it and need to come back in. Sometimes deer wander in the yard but the dogs don’t cross the boundary after them and just bark at them instead. The downside is that my parents neighbors don’t have a fenced yard and their FIVE dogs come into the yard all the time, poop, pee, whatever...and those dogs are poorly socialized so I don’t like my dogs to be in the yard at the same time. I keep pushing them to get a physical fence for that reason alone, but aside from that it has worked well. EDIT their fence is not the type with a physical wire in the ground, it emits a frequency around the circumference of the yard for the radio collars to pick up.
 

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Anyone have any thoughts on the in-ground electric fences (Invisible Fence)? We have but mainly to give neighbors sense of ease. Our last dog (Bernese Mountain Dog) would not cross the fence field for any reason, but he liked staying home anyway. The battery on his collar died and he never noticed. My last Golden had no fence of any type but never left the yard (she was even hunted over).

So, what say you all?
An electric fence is a big no. I was walking my dog past a house with three dogs in the yard. I’ve gone past this house hundreds of times. They have an electric fence. For whatever reason, that day the dogs decided enough was enough and wanted a piece of my dog. They blew through the fence. I heard it beep, saw one of the three dogs flinch, but not a single one stopped. One bit my dog on the leg. I was screaming, throwing rocks, all kinds of things to keep the dogs away. Electric fences do nothing to keep a dog in if it’s determined, and that doesn’t even cover the fact that it keeps nothing else out. Waste of money.
 
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Get the fence! You won't regret it. You will regret not having one if your puppy runs out in front of a car! A real fence....not the invisible fence. Invisible fences don't stop animals from getting in your yard. I live in the city and we have all kinds of wildlife.....including deer and coyotes.

Little story. I took my girl to the park downtown. It's a nice city park with a lagoon. There's ducks, geese, squirrels, and all the other urban environment wildlife. I would consider her a well trained dog. She has multiple titles. Since she's so well trained, I probably don't hold her leash as well as I should. Well....she saw a squirrel! Took off after the squirrel. Got the leash out of my hand. Luckily, because she's well trained, she has a great recall and came when called. That's the high prey drive mentioned. That's 5 years of training with her almost daily. A puppy will not have that kind of recall and will keep chasing the squirrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow! So many helpful responses here!

What are the disadvantages of having a fence, because I can't really think of one!
 
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