Wolfdog Containment Solutions

Go Back to Wolfdog Containment Solutions  Explore more types of fencing used to safely and securely house our wolfdogs !

Chainlink Enclosures
Large, Securely Fenced Areas

Shown below are:
Casa Lobo Kennels' 10 ft. tall enclosure || W.O.L.F. Sanctuary's recommendations
Gudrun's 8 ft. tall enclosure || Gudrun's 10 ft. tall enclosure

Chainlink pen, using overlaped lengths of fencing for a total of 10 foot height The photo to the right is one of Casa Lobo's enclosures. The portion in the picture is a total of 8 feet tall, made of 2 overlapping spans of chain link fencing. The one on the bottom is 6' and overlapped by 2' of a 4' run.

This is used 9 guage chain link fence. It's 8' on the inside next to the house where if they should get out, there is another fence before getting loose. On the outside, we have 6' with additional 6' lapped 2' to make it 10' tall.

2' wooden arms nailed on to upright posts all around at 45 degree angle. Attached to that is 2' run of welded wire (dog fencing) wired into the top of upright fencing. (We buy cheap 4' X 50' rolls and cut them in half.)

At bottom is 4' wide run of cheap chain link (called Tight roll which is 12 1/2 gauge) wired into the upright fencing every 2 or 3 diamonds or so with rust resistant sturdy wire or pig rings, in some cases. This is covered over with dirt.

We also use hot wire placed about 6" off the ground and about 6" from the upright fencing. Wooden fence insulators are put on the end of 18" to 2' metal rods and driven into the ground. A second run is placed about 3 feet up from the bottom of the fence and a 3rd is near the top where the overhang is attached.

We use a "weed burner" fence charger (the one we use is called "The Silver Streak") so it doesn't short out when grass or weeds grow up against it. These can be purchased at the local Feed & Seed. Don't bother with the "pet containment" ones.

See more of our fencing:
  * Double-Gated Entryways

  Christine Burkett,
  Casa Lobo Kennels

Chainlink enclosure construction, early stages We had the need to build another enclosure on our property (photo at right). We used 9 gauge heavy chainlink, 8 foot tall. The corner posts are 2 and 7/8ths inches wide, and the line posts are 2 and 3/8ths. The top rail is 1 and 5/8ths inches wide, with a 9 ga bottom tension wire.

After the posts which are set in concrete dried, what you see here is where it was left off on our way to stretching the chainlink fabric up the hillside. There is a small section on this side of the enclosure where it was necessary to trench down a few inches so as to even out a bump in the steep hill.

We dug a wide area and put in a bottom dig-guard. This is a flat-laying, buried 4 foot wide swath of chainlink which is attached to the upright fencing with 9 ga hogrings. This was then staked, buried, and big rocks put down on top of it. You can see 2 photos of our dig-guard online.

The finished fence also has hotwire running along the bottom, between 6-10 inches up off the dirt. And we put in the fittings for top lean-in arms (barbless arms), should the arms become necessary to install. E-mail me if you have any questions.

  Gudrun Dunn
  ( Kwewu7@inetdesign.com )
  see more of our enclosures below

Also read more about materials used for fencing and gates.

Chainlink enclosure construction, early stages We also recently updated the fencing at our Ranch, adding a whole new wing onto an existing enclosure. The construction techniques we use here are different than what I showed you above.

Our dirt is extremely hard adobe/clay with big rocks. It makes digging into the dirt difficult, a fact that we use to our advantage in that our wolfdogs don't tend to dig very deep into it either.

MATERIALS USED:   Heavy 9 gauge chainlink fabric, 10 foot tall, which is placed into a trench that's 2 feet deep. The corner posts are 2 and 7/8ths inches wide, the line-posts and angled braces are 2 and 3/8ths inches wide. The top rail is 1 and 5/8ths inches wide, with a 9 ga bottom tension wire. At the top of the line-posts are barbarm fittings. The dig-guard is 4 foot wide 9 ga chainlink, the hotwire is a solar powered livestock charger, and we installed 2 custom gates.

Chainlink enclosure construction, early stages Chainlink enclosure construction, early stages First we strung some lines, took our measurements, budgeted, calculated and purchased materials.

Then we dug a 2 foot deep trench around the entire enclosure, and dug our post holes about 2 feet deeper into the trench.

Corner posts and line-posts were then cemented into the holes (photo at left).

At the corners and midway down each side we installed angled braces (photo at right and below), to help steady the tall fencing against strong winds and the effects of gravity over time.

Chainlink enclosure construction, early stages Before installing the toprail, we put the fittings for lean-in arms (just the bracket, not the arm) onto each line-post.

For a close-up photo of these fittings, see Lean-in / Barbless Arms. With fittings installed, you can simply attach the "arm" and drape some lighter weight fencing material over it.

It's important to install the barbarm fittings at the time of construction, because if you don't, you'll have to detach the fencing fabric to tear out the entire toprail to replace standard rounded brackets with the barbarm fittings.

Chainlink enclosure construction, early stages Installing 10 foot tall, 9 guage chainlink fencing can be backbreaking work. We placed it into the trench one section at a time and quickly secured it to the upright posts. Just so you know, I am a 5'5" tall woman who weighs about 120lbs. If *I* can string fence along with the guys, and come away with all my fingers intact and my back not broken... so can you! (But don't be shy about hiring professionals to help).

Once the chainlink fabric was installed, we put more cement into the corners, backfilled the trench, attached our flat laying dig-guards to the upright fencing and finally, covered the dig-guards.

As mentioned before, the dirt at our Ranch is extremely hard. Fortunately, this means that along with the trenching, we can get away with not having to put the flat dig-guards down into the earth 2 feet as with the other enclosures, this one just lays on the surface buried by a few inches of dirt.

Large chainlink enclosure, completed And this is the end result... very happy wolfdogs, able to run around large enclosures on our 40 acre Ranch (this is our girl, Kiva, pictured at left).

I took this picture just before installing hotwire at the top and bottom on the interior of the fencing. Although this fence is made of heavy materials, is quite tall and has anti-dig measures, it is not escape-proof. Hotwire is an excellent climb and dig deterrent.

I hope this fencing demonstration has helped you. If you'd like to know more, don't hesitate to e-mail me.

  Gudrun Dunn,
  ( Kwewu7@inetdesign.com )

Chainlink pen diagram from W.O.L.F. Sanctuary Wolves Offered Life and Friendship (W.O.L.F.) is a rescue/sanctuary for wolves and wolf-dog crosses.

Their recommendations for containment fencing are:

*   Enclosures should be a minimum of a quarter acre (100' x 100'); two acres (200' x 400') is preferable.

*   Entryways should be double-gated, with self-closing & self-latching mechanisms.

In case you can't read the text included on the diagram, it says:

Upright Fencing (10 ft high, 9 gauge chainlink). Corner Cover (out 3 ft from corner). Dig-guard (3 ft from base of upright fence). Log or post (to secure edge of dig-guard to ground). Rebar (2 ft, pounded into ground to secure log & dig-guard in place).

Upright fencing & dig-guard wire should be 9 gauge chain link. Upright fence should be 10 ft. high or 8 ft. high with a 2 ft. inside overhang. Dig-guard wire should be 3 ft. wide & secured to the bottom of the upright fence with 9 guage hog rings with the exposed side secured to the ground with logs that have 2 ft. rebar pounded into the ground set along the entire edge of the dig-guard. Corners with a 90 degree or less angle should be covered with fencing within 3 feet of the corner.

At W.O.L.F's facility, enclosures are constructed with 8 to 10 foot high, 9 gauge chainlink fencing and 2-3 foot ground wire as dig guards.

We should mention that this facility is located in a remote area where electricity is an issue. They do not use solar-powered electric hotwires or shock collars. On their website they mention that ultimately, if the individual animals are relatively well-adjusted to their environment they are contained within, they normally do not have significant motivation to attempt escape. ~The Wolf Dunn~ finds this to be true also. However, we strongly urge wolf-dog owners to use supplemental security measures such as hotwire where appropriate to prevent escapes. Read more about supplemental hotwire and its uses.

W.O.L.F. is cautious in grouping compatible rescued animals together, and ensures that they have enough space to avoid uncomfortable situations. They emphasize that it is also important to make sure the enclosure is built correctly from the beginning. Once an individual finds a weak point in their enclosure, it will learn how to exploit other weaknesses that may not be so obvious. They learn and improve upon their ingenuity.

See more of their fencing:
  * Double-Gated Entryways

  Frank Wendland,
  W.O.L.F. Sanctuary

"Wolfdog Containment Solutions" Copyright ©1999-2004 Gudrun F. Dunn. Permission to use these materials (photos/text) for any other purpose than to simply view as part of The Wolf Dunn web site, is not granted without prior permission. Contact (Kwewu7@inetdesign.com) for permission.

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