Fencing Alternatives - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Fencing Alternatives

I am moving as of December 3rd, and I'm in a bit of a pickle.

Well in advance of my move, as soon as the papers were signed on the new place, I started searching for someone to fence the property to make it safe for my dogs.

Well, the deadline is Monday, and neither of the two companies I asked to come out and give me an estimate have even VISITED the place.

One of them assured me 1) the work COULD be done in the winter, even with snow on the ground and 2) yes, they could give me an estimate and start the work as soon as I took possession. To say I am pissed off is putting it mildly!

Last time I moved, and didn't have a fence, one of my dogs took off after a deer, and was seen dodging holiday weekend traffic out on the highway. I was very lucky she wasn't killed!

She's an escape artist, and has even managed to escape from my current property, which is fenced with a 6 ft. high board fence, as it used to have an above-ground pool.

I do have an invisible fencing system, but don't trust them worth a hoot, as so many things can go wrong with them: batteries fail, dogs run through the fence after another animal and not be able to get back, stray dogs/people still be able to get into your yard, etc. Also, when my escape artist was living on the property where I used this system, I found out the hard way that she liked to chew on copper wire, which is what the system is made of. (There were places on the property where the fence couldn't be buried, and I didn't always put her outside with the collar on, if she were just going out for a quick pee. The yard WAS fully fenced: the purpose of the fence was to keep the dogs from digging up the perennial beds that ran along the edge of the property, and from sticking their heads over the gate and terrorizing my postman!)

So, keeping in mind the ground is already frozen, has anyone got suggestions as to how I can keep my two German Shepherds safe until I can find a fencing company that actually WANTS the job? Is it possible to rent a fence, like the ones they put around construction sites?

The yard is already fenced on the east side, and along half of the back side.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 12:09 PM
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An escape artist would get out of temporary (construction fence) easily. As I see it your options include:

Calling other companies to get a sturdy fence built ASAP. Took me a longish time to find a company to do my backyard but finally decided in desperation to ask the guy who did my driveway retaining wall if he knew someone who could do a fence. To my surprise, he said he could do it. His company had no advertising whatsoever about fence construction. Doesn't hurt to ask! And the job he did was done well and FAST.

You might be able to get a dog run built but you may as well save that kind of money for a real fence. Maybe try a run line and just plan to let the dogs out there for short run breaks.

BTW I really feel ya on this. I have been increasingly surprised and annoyed at the frequency with which businesses don't return calls, don't follow-through on appointments, and just act like they don't WANT my business. Must be nice to have all that money sitting in a vault somewhere, right?
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Last edited by [email protected]; 11-30-2018 at 12:11 PM.
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 12:26 PM
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If you can pound in T-stakes and get a roll or two of wire fabric, you should be able to get by until spring. Pounding T-stakes in frozen ground isn't fun, but it's definitely doable. Usually you can find rolls that are 48"high x 100' lengths, so even if you can't circle the entire yard, you can set up a decent run. In the spring, or when the fence installers come, you can coil the wire back up and re-sell it on Craigslist.



Check Craigslist too before you buy anything new, sometimes you can get a whole pile of used T stakes for a few bucks. It won't matter if they're rusty, just don't buy them if they're crooked.

If your part of Canada is like my part of the US, the construction trades are incredibly hard up for labor. There are shortages in all the trades, and good companies around here have at least a few months backlog, some of my subcontractors are already booked halfway through next year. I'm scheduling our crews into June 2019 already. Utter madness. But I digress.

The T stakes plus wire will hold your dogs, as long as they'll respect a 4' solid barrier.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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WI, I'm 65 years old...

Maybe I can hire some local boys who aren't afraid of a little manual labour.

I called in a total of 4 different tradespeople, asking for estimates on various things that needed doing, and have only heard from one of them, a plumber, after I phone him. The bad news is the work I need done is too expensive: $2,500 to fix a toilet that has a pump and macerator. I also want to move the washer and dryer out of the garage, and hook the washer up so it uses the macerator pump to discharge into the septic system. The garage is electrically heated, so it's going to cost a lot of money to keep the washer there.

The T-posts might work. Since 2 sides are already fenced - okay, 1 and 1/2 sides - it wouldn't take a huge amount of work to close in the rest.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 01:16 PM
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Farm & tractor supply type places usually rent out T post pounders / drivers, which totally takes the pain out of it. Or they're around $30 USD to buy one. No swinging, no nothing. Two handles, looks like a tube, you tamp each post down. No crazy railroad sledgehammer moves or Olympic athlete required.

At any rate, congrats on your new home!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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As a former horse person, I'm familiar with those drivers, WIBackpacker, but it's certainly not a one-person job, especially when the ground is already frozen.

Have been looking at ads, and may have found a few possibilities. Now I need the correct dimensions of the property!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 06:13 PM
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Have you considered a cable run? When I was in New England and had honest to goodness TREES we had one up for the boxers. Not ideal, and not for unattended dogs, but maybe to get you thru the winter.

aka aerial cable run
aka trolley exerciser

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 06:28 PM
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If there is a tool rental place available, you might be able to rent a post hole digger. No idea if they work on frozen ground.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 10:42 PM
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My neighbor had the same situation, just needing a fence for one and a half sides. What she had done was to use those outdoor kennels - the 6 ft. chain link- but instead of setting them in a rectangle, she just had the panels put up in a row (they attach together) and then just made one corner - the first panel was attached to the house and the last one to the garage. That could be set up in winter. A local handyman could probably do the work for you.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 11:39 PM
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We have to pound t-posts year round for excavation work and it is doable. For the longer posts a picket pounder works well and if the ground is frozen I’ll sometimes “prep” the hole using a Hilti first (hammer drill). You may not be up to the work, but might find someone who can knock it out in short order.
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