You might think that having a barbed wire fence is a good barrier for dogs. I thought so too – how wrong I was. I would like to tell you a few things that we have tried and used on our farm. I will also mention the pros and cons of each of them. Take a look and see which ones will help you to secure your property. These ideas can be used to keep your own dogs or livestock on top of other dogs (coyotes, vagrants, etc.).
There may be times when a barbed wire fence has already been installed on your site, or maybe this is the most cost-effective method of fencing for you. Wherever we live, our choices have been limited to barbed wire fencing or building a wall. The wall and its further maintenance were over our budget, so it was a post-starter for us.
How to check if your dog is getting out of the fence
If you’re not sure if your dog is getting off the wire fence, there are a few pointers to look for. If your dog goes out at night while sleeping, there may be times when the dog comes back before you wake up, and then it will be difficult to tell if it has been home or away. Some dogs are jumpers, others are diggers, and others are just pushing through the strands of wire. To tell if your dogs are out there are a few different ways to know.
- Check your dog for scratches on the sides, back, or abdomen. It’s easier to see if the dog has short hair. These signs are quite clear. Sometimes they bleed a little too.
- Search for well-trodden paths, flatten the grass, or dig near the wire for tracks. Depending on how much land you have and how large it is, it may take some time.
- Another indication is if the dog’s hair is caught in the wire. If your dog has long hair, it may be caught where the dog tried to pass. So, while it could have avoided scratches, it left a mark you can see.
Using it as a guide will help you not only know where but how your dog is going out and then you can plan how to fix the problem.
Barbed wire on wooden piles or posts
Depending on the quality and availability of the wood in your area, you may be able to get it for free. Barbed wire on wooden piles is the most common method we see here. There are many areas of scrubland, and the locals are happy to cut wood. Depending on where you live, you may have a free wood source like this.
Professionals are costs, depending on the area, you can cut them for free. Using a chainsaw would be beneficial depending on the size of the piles you need. If you are unable to do so, hire someone to help you on your behalf. We had an employee cut for us when we needed 6-7 stakes for our young coconut trees. He managed to go to the scrub area adjacent to our house and cut 400+ for us. He simply used a machete for this, since they only needed to be a few centimeters in diameter. Even so, all the wood is hard, so it will last a long time.
Fence: Wire and concrete piles
This way we have most of our fence. When we first moved in we had uneven ground with wooden piles and we had cows that fell under the gap. We hired a digger and a driver to level the ground and then workers to place the concrete piles and barbed wire. We have a wire that is about 8 inches apart and has 11 to 12 gears. That’s a lot of wire and heaps of our 8 acres.
The downside to this method is that it can be expensive. The piles themselves weren’t that expensive, but if you’ve got a lot to do, costs go up. Additionally, with several wire and payroll runs, you can see how costs can spiral.
Fence: Wire quality
All barbed wire is not created equally. We live in an area with high humidity and lots of salty air, and metal rust is extremely fast. We opted for a good quality wire compared to the cheaper brand we wanted to endure. We also used inexpensive wire that was reused from an earlier fence and now we need to replace it. Another thing to consider is the spikes, how close are they? We just discovered that some of the wire that was installed by the previous owner has very few spikes.
Whether your dog is a pedigree or a mongrel, you don’t want him to get out or for others to get in. A good quality wire is essential. Galvanized is best to prevent rust and breakage.
If you use concrete piles, such as on our farm, don’t forget the wires you use to tie the barbed wire, it should also be galvanized. Part of our wire was not coated or galvanized and now breaks off and leaves parts of the fence unsupported. This is the case of the weakest link. If you have good quality barbed wire but poor bonding wire, your fence will not be secure or durable.
Using renewable sources
The palm leaves woven into the wire are the ones we have used as they are abundant here on our farm. To do this, we cut off the large, woody end and connect the more flexible leaf section through the wire. If you do not have your hands, all flexible branches will work. As you continue to add more leaves or branches, the wire becomes harder to work with as it becomes tighter.
We also used chopsticks like bamboo. They were driven into the ground. We left a gap between them, but they could sit side by side, creating an impenetrable barrier.
Both leaves and sticks look more visually appealing if they are on the same level. The leaves can be easily trimmed, but the sticks will have to be cut or cut with secateurs. On the positive side, it is a renewable resource and is often free. However, it can be time-consuming.
How the dog gets through the wire fence
Remember: the dog can pass under, over, or over. I saw some dogs all three. We use this for climbing when we go to visit instead of walking a long way. They wrapped some cloth around the spikes so we don’t catch our clothes. It was here, Max jumped.
If the wire is not tightly stretched or the dog is lean, they can pass between the wire strands. This can also happen if the binding wire breaks or becomes loose. There are a few things you can do about this. Run an extra thread of wire to narrow the gap or use a jumper wire between the strands. This will bring the wires closer.
The approach to the bottom wire is the result of digging or uneven ground. This causes the pet to scratch. In some places, we even have the length of the wire at ground level. A hammer that sticks into the ground or blocks heavy objects seems to work.
As you can see, we’ve tried a couple of methods and some of them work for a while and some don’t. If your dog is determined to get out, he will look for the easiest way. Be vigilant and check your fence frequently.
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