Wolfdog Containment Solutions

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Dig-Guards & Trenching
Methods of Preventing Dig Outs

Rolling out the dig-guard What you see here is the bottom dig-guard being rolled out on the interior of our fenceline. The fence itself is 8 foot tall, made of 9 ga chainlink (you can also see more of our chainlink fencing).

The dig-guard is a 4 foot wide roll of a lighter gauge chainlink, attached to the upright fencing using 9 gauge hogrings. We dug a 4 foot wide swath about 1 foot deep, angled inward to make the interior edge slightly deeper than the outside edge where the flat chainlink and the upright meet. This is to help keep the interior edge from working its way up out of the ground.

You can't see it in this pic, but on the other side of the enclosure we have a number of pine saplings and bushes growing right where we needed to lay down the 4 foot swath of fencing. Instead of ripping the plants out, I just cut and wove sections of the chainlink to go around the stems. It's done seamlessly (no loose flaps). This also acts to anchor the flat chainlink in place.

Chainlink fence with interior chainlink skirting to prevent dig outs Once the dig-guard was hogringed to the upright fencing and rust-proof stakes driven into the ground to hold it down, we then put all the dirt we dug up (see mounds of dirt) on top of this flat laying chainlink.

To hold it down even more, we then put some large rocks (boulders) on top of the dirt in various spots along the fenceline.

The completed fence also has hotwire running along the bottom, about 6-10 inches up from the ground.

Chainlink fencing to be set into 2 foot deep trench This is a photo of another one of our enclosures at the Ranch, during the construction phase. We have extremely hard rocky soil, and found that trenching in addition to flat-laying dig guards is the best combo to prevent escapes with this type of dirt.

Because of the terrain, this particular enclosure was first trenched down just a little over 2 feet. Post holes were then bored 2 feet deeper into the trench, setting the posts down 4 feet. The posts were stabilized with cross supports and set in about 2 feet of cement, which was just enough to allow us to install the toprail and get the very heavy chainlink fabric upright. Once the fabric was stretched and hung, the posts were cemented in up to ground level.

We could have filled the entire trench all the way around the enclosure with cement for extra security, but due to the large size of this enclosure it wasn't necessary or feasible. For a smaller pen, we definately would have (*note: don't rely on a concrete filled trench alone to prevent dig outs, be sure to also use flat laying chainlink dig-guards).

Chainlink fencing set into 2 foot deep trench, with dig-guards. Specs: The 2 foot deep trench was dug using a trencher, a machine that looks like a small sherman tank with a chainsaw in the center. It was also dug by hand in some sections, using a pick and crowbar. 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.

The fence fabric itself is 10 foot tall, made of very heavy 9 guage chainlink. Ten foot fencing, sunk down into a 2 foot trench leaves us with an 8 foot tall fence. The flat-laying chainlink is also 9 guage because we chose not to bury it (just covered with a few inches of dirt) and needed the additional weight to help keep it from being pulled up.

The traditional way of installing dig-guards is to bury lighter guage down about 2 feet (see photos above), but with our upright fencing set down into the trench and the extremely hard dirt, we had enough underground security in this enclosure to get away with just laying the flat chainlink on the surface and hogringing it to the upright fencing.

Ok, so that's one way of trenching. There is another, easier way - if you have softer ground to work with. With a tractor, dig a 4 foot wide area around the fenceline, 2 foot deep. That's 2 foot deep and 4 foot wide. Then, dig your post holes into this wide trench and set your posts in cement. Install your upright fencing (the fence will be set down into this 2 foot deep trench, so use 10 ft tall chainlink if you want 8ft to remain above ground). Roll out your flat-laying chainlink into the trench and attach it to the upright fencing using lots of hogrings. Backfill and you're done.
Sorry I don't have photos of this type in-construction. If you've done your fence this way and have photos to share of the building process, please e-mail me.

Our finished fences have hotwire running along the bottom and top, 6-10 inches off the ground and 5 inches from the toprail. We also 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, ( Kwewu7@inetdesign.com )

Read more about materials used for fencing and gates.



Chainlink kennels, with concrete skirting to prevent dig outs This is a view of the concrete skirting from inside one of our pens.

All the posts for the chainlink fence were placed and set so that they would be "poured" in with the 3' concrete skirt. After the concrete (4" deep) was poured and allowed to set, the fence was strung.

Bottom rail was put on to prevent the wolfdogs from pushing out underneath the fence. Top rail was added with hot wire strung just below that. Then the tipin's were placed and strung with barbless wire.

See more of our fencing:
  * Wood with Chainlink
  * Barbless arms (lean-ins)
  * Hotwire (electric)

  Teresa, Wolfdog Oracle



Hogwire panel pen, corner of bottom dig guard

This is the corner of the bottom dig-guard on our 4 ga hogwire panel fence. Note the overlap of panels for extra strength.

We chose not to use hot wire at the bottom because the previous owner said the new fellow has a strong aversion to it (so do I).

Hogwire panel pens, closer view of bottom dig guard

See more of our fencing:
  * Hogwire Pens / Kennels
  * Barbless arms (lean-ins)

  Laura   ( email@critterhouse.com )



"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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