Non-permanent picket fencing to divide backyard

maighenFebruary 23, 2013


My husband and I are wanting to divide our backyard with a picket fence in a non-permanent way so that our son can have a pet-free area to play in but we can easily just open the back door for the dogs to do their business in the sideyard. The most logical area to accomplish this would involve setting the actual fence panels along the length of the concrete patio with a small exception being around the area of pavers we set in 4 years ago to connect the driveway to the patio for the fence gate. We have an in-ground sprinkler system we'll have to work around as well (and thankfully my husband knows how to repair them should we accidentally strike a pipe in the process... hopefully not!), but we also have a nasty downslope both toward the back of the yard and toward the right side (if you're standing on the porch looking back). I'll try to take some pictures and upload them later, but my questions pertain to the actual post placement options.

We're in an HOA neighborhood, so we would have to go through the ARC if we wanted to make a "permanent" fence, which we do not for both the reason of hassle and the plan to (hopefully) relocate within the next 2-3 years. Is there a way to sink the posts in a stable fashion that won't require cementing them? Our dogs are Pugs and therefore pose little risk to knocking the fence over were it not permanently embedded in the ground, but I'm not even positive such a thing is possible. Obviously it will need to withstand a growing boy's play time, too (he's only 16mos, so we've got a while before the real rough-housing starts!). I had a fleeting thought of using clay flower pots and somehow cementing posts into them, but that I can see getting dumped over with too-rough of play.

Any guidance on the matter would be most appreciated! Thanks!!

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I would fasten a 1 1/2 to 2 foot long treated 2x4 to the post just below the surface. It will look like a cross. Use coated deck screws.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 8:05AM
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I would fasten a 1 1/2 to 2 foot long treated 2x4 to the pet leash.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Fori is not pleased

I made a temporary dog fence with chicken-wire type mesh and those 4 foot metal stakes. Not pretty but effective and easy. I think that with the metal stakes as fence posts (or attach fence posts to them with the stakes on the "ugly" side) and prefab picket fence sections, you might be able to make a decent-looking fence that would hold up to pugs.

Or maybe something like this (this is from Home Depot--there are probably others):

Here is a link that might be useful: hammer in fence post holder

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:15PM
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It's not hard to teach your dogs to use a particular area, then you don't need a fence.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 10:21PM
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Hey all, thanks for the great tips! I'm definitely going to research them more before we decide on the final project.

I had thought of chicken wire, but I was afraid my son might cut himself if he managed to find a sharp edge on it some where. It would definitely hold up to Pugs, though.

As for teaching the dogs to use just one area to do their business, there are two problems with that idea: 1) just because the dogs only use one area doesn't mean my precocious toddler would avoid that area himself, and more importantly 2) you obviously don't own Pugs, because they are one of the most stubborn breeds in existence (but man are they sweet and cuddly!). Teaching Pugs is similar to trying to herd cats!

Thanks for the tips! :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 1:16AM
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I would think that any sort of garden fence should keep the dogs penned unless they want to go and play with the boy or really don't like the idea of being penned up and start agressively working to get free. As for the toddler, he should be supervised anyway so the supervisor should keep him away from the fence and the fence need only be "sturdy" enough to slow down him down should he decide that he wants to go play with the dogs.

I guess I don't understand the difference between a "permanent" fence and what you're describing. Any fence can be removed it just the level of effort needed to remove it. You can cement in posts and then dig up the concrete when you're done.

That being said, I'd go with stakes drivein the ground as the previous posters said, or use the post-up as linked above. Those are designed for mailboxes and should have enough lateral resistance to do the job.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 9:13AM
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We used these

It looks nice and does the job. Our purpose was to keep our yorkiepoo from running off after squirrels and dogs, whatever. We can let her out to do her business and feel safe. It also keeps other dogs OUT. It's not really high, so a dog bent on getting her could probably jump,it but we don't leave her unattended. The fence is installed with spikes that you pound into the ground, then there are poles that lock the panels together by sliding though holes at the top and bottom and into the spike. Easily removable. Its nice that it is see through, so it doesnt break up the sightlines. We didn't want to spend what a true fence costs, didn't want to get permits, and wanted to be able to remove or reconfigure if needed. It could even be taken down and taken with us if we move!

Here is a link that might be useful: Easy fence at lowes or maybe HD to

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 9:35AM
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"We're in an HOA neighborhood"

I feelsorry for you.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Training a dog to use a certain area and not use other areas should be part of housebreaking training. I've had many dogs and haven't found that those with a stubborn streak are any more of a challenge for housebreaking than are the more trainable kind. You have nothing to lose by trying, use the dog's stubbornness as a reason the training didn't work but not as a reason to not try.

Every parent can make their own decisions, but to me, a kid who doesn't comply when told to stay away from the dog's bathroom area shouldn't be outside unsupervised. Which other of your directives will they ignore?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:21PM
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I have dogs and I use this material to make a movable boundry for the dogs' area. I don't use the stakes that come with them, because like I said, sometimes I move the fence. I use a couple of 3-ft metal t-posts.

Dogs don't like to potty in dirty grass any more then we would. Don't expect your dog to "go" in the same area every day unless you make an effort to properly clean it up.

Here is a link that might be useful: fence

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 3:48PM
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What about just using an xpen? You can even connect a few together to make a larger area. I have a few I use at dog shows that are outside, I prefer them to using a crate when a particular dog isn't going into the ring. It is temporary, as in you could relocate it to a different area every few days or weeks so grass doesn't get worn down.

I would check into your HOA about even a temporary fence that you are putting into the ground as it may be considered prohibited. My sister was in a HOA and hers did not allow any fence, to include those stakes that you use for temporary fencing. She went with an invisible fence for her dog.

As soon as our dog goes potty I pick it up so I don't have to worry about a toddler stepping in it. My neighbors dogs do come over and go potty and sometimes our twins step in it which I agree is very irritating. They are 2 yrs old and now are realizing/learning that if they see dog poo, they are not to stomp on it but are to walk around it.

Here is a link that might be useful: xpen

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:45PM
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"Don't expect your dog to "go" in the same area every day unless you make an effort to properly clean it up."

Yes, of course.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:11AM
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