Reminder: The selected responses presented below are a reflection of the collaborative effort of Hybrid Wolf Mailing List aka. Wolfdoglist members to share opinions / information about wolf x dogs, responsible "ownership" and breeding practices. This FAQ is not a scientific or veterinary resource. Some responses have been edited for brevity.
Wolfdog FAQ - Question # 26
What type of fencing (containment system / enclosure) do I need to keep a wolf hybrid in?
Even though your animal may be a house woof for the most part, please provide secure and comfortable outdoor containment for your companion!
I know many are opposed to having their animals in pens but please remember, they may be happier outside. Many hi content animals aren't at all happy inside and many owners find out after several months, whether the animal is of high or low content, they aren't too happy either.
When deciding on what type of pen to build, it will be important to consider how much time your animal will be spending in it. Build the largest, most comfortable pen you can afford and have room for to start with. Also, build a dog house that is large enough for them to have plenty of room to stand, lay down, or just relax in.
Wolves can clear an 8' fence from a standing position. Many wolfdogs are capable of the same feat. For this reason, we recommend no less than a 6' fence of sturdy chain link fencing with a 4' ground wire and 2' overhang.
Hot wire is also recommended but may not be necessary. However, it can be the difference between your animal being at home with you, safe, or out running the streets or woods and/or dead.
The ground wire can be made of an inexpensive chain link or hog wire but should be fairly rust resistant. Don't expect chicken wire to suffice!
We use a product called "Tight Roll" purchased from a large home and building supply co. It is a flimsy (12.5 gauge) chain link and the devil to work with but only costs about $20.00 per 50' roll. It is wired into the upright chain link every 3rd or so diamond. Use good sturdy, rust proof wire to do this or use "Pig Rings". (These are the things put in pig's noses to keep them from rooting.) It is then covered over with dirt.
For the overhang we use is 4 foot "dog wire" or "welded wire" (cheap) cut in half and either wired to metal arms or nailed to wooden ones and then tied into the upright fencing, again with rust resistant wire or "pig rings".
Now for the "hot wire"!
Go to your local "feed and seed" store and get a good "weed burner". Don't even consider one of those "pet quality" chargers. They aren't about to stop a determined wolfdog! Also, they tend to short out every time a weed grows tall enough to touch it or it rains. You should be able to get a good charger for $70.00-100.00.
Put the first run about 6" off the ground and about 6" from the upright fencing. We use 2' metal rods driven into the ground with wooden post insulators on the end to do this in most of our pens.
The next round should be about 3' up and these can be attached with chain link insulators unless you are using wooden fence posts. Then you will need to use the wooden post insulators again. The last round is near the top of the upright fencing and should be attached in the same manner as works for the second.
I know this sounds elaborate but believe me, these guys can get out of anything if they are so minded to. Better safe than sorry.
Oh and one more thing. Those electronic fencing doo-dads [invisible fencing] are a danger to our animals. If they build up a good head of steam and run across them, they are OUT and the idea of having to get shocked to get back in isn't a particularly appealing one. Also, there is nothing to keep the neighbor's dog from just moseying on in. Nor will it keep the neighbor's child from walking over and trying to put something up his nose and getting bit. So just save your money and put it in good, traditional fencing.
Casa Lobo Kennels
A few words about hotwire... Having electrified hotwire is NO excuse for having flimsy fencing. If you are to install hotwire, keep in mind that this is only supplemental to an adequate containment system.
Hotwire is not a substitute for a proper enclosure. Meaning you must have secure fencing in place, for those times when the electricity goes out, the charger fails, etc.
Your primary containment fence generally should NOT be "field fence", "horse fence", "dog fence", or wooden fencing, for obvious reasons: the animals can chew through, jump over, lift up, push aside, or just plain bash down those flimsy types of fencing. Do it right from the start... use the heavy-gauge type of fencing Christine mentioned above.
For photos and descriptions of fencing systems some 'owners' use to contain their animals, check out:
Keep Howlin', Gudrun
There's no such thing as impossible to contain. Don't chain.
I use a combination of wire mesh and chain link. Along with electric fencing near the ground so they don't dig out. And an additional wire along the top so they don't climb out.
It is also best to have a double set of gates. They have shelters also. One is elevated 4'x8' with a ramp going up to it. They like to be up high and it creates additional dry space below.
Wolfdogs are well known for their sense of adventure, which includes wanting to escape out any enclosure they may be in, No matter how Big it may be.
I recommend a chain-link fence minimum 6' (prefer 8') with slant-in wire at Top (smooth only), and also fencing (hog panel works well) that is underground to keep them from digging out. I also keep 2 locking bolts on each gate on the OUTSIDE where they cannot accidentally open it!!
A very secure one. One that they can't get out of. This is not only for your animals protection, but it protects you against them doing something to someone.
I suggest chainlink, with ground wire, and lean-ins on top. We here have chainlink, leanin's and double fencing, (a fence within a fence), but not all can do that, so just a good six foot high fence that is secure and that they can't get out of. It needs to be large enough for them to get a full run in it.
You can make them escape proof, but have to take the time and spend the $$$ to do so. Ours have never gotten out, except for owner negligents. They can't jump out because of the overhangs, and they can't dig out because of undergound wire, they might be able to chew chainlink, but never have so its escape proof as far as I'm concerned.
I guess we are lucky as they like where they are living and the enclosure is big enough for them to run and play. :)
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