What Are the BEST WAYS to Keep a Dog in the Yard? (Tried)

The idea of your dog escaping their safe area is enough to stress any owner, so what are the best ways to keep a dog in the yard?

Boundary training, invisible or physical fencing, playpens, and long-line leads are a few options you can explore with your canine companion.

There are many methods and forms of dog containment but the best method is largely dependent on your dog’s behavior and motivation. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the various forms of dog containment, we have included in-depth explanations to help owners make well-informed decisions.

What Are the Best Ways to Keep a Dog in the Yard?

What Are The Best Ways To Keep A Dog In The Yard
The right barrier for your dog is largely dependent on their personality and physical abilities. Very small dogs will have different needs compared to big dogs.

The best way to keep a dog in your yard is largely dependent on the behavior and motivation that the dog exhibits daily. 

If your dog is a smaller size and slips through regular fencing easily, you may want to test a playpen that is suitable for its size and is durable enough to be used outside.

A dog that regularly jumps fences or other barriers may need to be trained to respect the boundaries their owners give them.

Electric fencing that communicates with a correction collar worn by your dog can be incorporated into boundary training methods.

If you would like to continue learning about the options listed above as well as additional dog containment methods and helpful tips, continue reading below.


Playpens designed for use with dogs are great alternatives to traditional fencing and can be found at a variety of pet supply stores as well as online.

Puppies that are going through obedience training are great candidates for playpens as it allows the owner to easily monitor them and control the boundaries

Before purchasing a playpen you will want to verify the product is safe for dogs and durable.

Here is a useful and affordable playpen that meets the requirements above.

What We Like

  • A great option for small dogs and puppies
  • This product is very affordable
  • An extremely easy set-up process
  • This product is easily portable
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • The pet door is lockable which is a great feature

What We Don’t Like

  • This product will not be effective on bigger dogs
  • Not the best option for indoor use in small spaces
  • Not the best option for large breed puppies that are easy to excite

Boundary Training

Boundary training is a great way to instill good behaviors and teach your dog how to respect the boundaries that you have set for them.

Keep in mind that patience and consistency are extremely important to be successful with any form of training.

Boundary training can be done with or without additional tools like electric or wireless fencing systems.

And, there is no age limit on training your dog, especially when it comes to ensuring their continued safety and security. 

If you would like to learn more about helpful ways to begin training your dog to respect boundaries, this article from AKC is a great resource. 

We have also found a great two-part series on YouTube that was created by a professional dog trainer.

She shows exactly how this training process is properly and safely completed in amazing detail.

The second part can be found here: Invisible Barriers Part 2- Dog Training

What We Like

  • Great way to instill good behavior, and help your dog respect their boundaries
  • Gives you an extra layer of comfort if your dog can escape a fence
  • No age limit on training a companion dog

What We Don’t Like

  • Training can take extended periods to master
  • Not an immediate fix

Wireless & Electric Fencing

Wireless & Electric Fencing
Wireless & Electric Fencing is a popular system to keep dogs contained.

Wireless and electric fencing are great options for stubborn dogs that continually break out of their containment areas, and aids the boundary training process. 

Before you scroll… If you’re interested in learning more about these training methods, we have written a detailed article about training dog for invisible fence that you may find helpful. 

Electric fencing can be installed above ground or in the ground depending on your specific needs.

And electric fencing Kits will often come with a collar that corrects your pet with light shocks or noises when they attempt to cross their boundary line.

Wireless fencing is easily installed and set up, does not require electrical knowledge, and connects to a collar that corrects your pet when they try to leave its safe zone.

What We Like

  • Wide variety of great products available on the market
  • Very effective when used in conjunction with boundary training
  • A great option for countless breeds of all sizes
  • Some systems come with a backup battery

What We Don’t Like

  • System kits generally only come with one collar
  • You will have to purchase collars for additional dogs separately
  • If your property is not flat the system may not read boundary lines properly
  • Some electric fence systems will need to be buried deep in your yard and occasionally require special equipment. 
  • Not all systems come with a backup battery

If you would like to learn more about these great systems, here is an article that discusses the pros and cons of Invisible Fence to aid your decision.


Before opting for an electric fence, we strongly recommend obedience training and taking the time to understand and carry out the process.

Training your dog can prevent the potential stress of an electric fence collar, and focuses on positive cues to reinforce boundaries. 

While electric fence collars aren’t physically harmful, for certain dogs they can cause potentially severe emotional distress without the proper training.

Brain training techniques are a science-backed way to help prepare your dog for new boundaries without the use of force or dominance!

Fenced-In Play Area

Fenced-In Play Area
A fenced-in play area gives your dogs enough room for a romp while keeping them safe from the urban jungle’s rowdy streets.

If you only have a small area that you would like your dog to play and potty in, fencing the area traditionally may be a great option for you.

You can find small fenced-in gardens all over, and they can be built with a wide variety of materials.

Wood is a commonly known material but you can use wrought iron, bricks, cinder blocks, and cement to create a permanent containment area.

Professionals can be hired to build this area, but it is entirely possible to learn the process of building a fence and complete the project on your own. 

Temporary fences are easy to plan and build as they can be made out of strong netting, PVC pipes, and zip ties.

However, if you have a large and determined dog, we do not recommend relying on this option. 

What We Liked

  • Fences can be built out of many great materials
  • A fence can be built to your exact specifications
  • Fences can be built to be temporary or permanent
  • Materials can be found that are cost-effective and fit anyone’s budget

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not the best option for an immediate fix
  • Dogs may be able to dig under a fence depending on the build
  • If your dog can jump high barriers, and your fence isn’t built tall enough, the dog may be able to escape

Building a fence seems like a difficult task, but this great article lists ways you can build an easy DIY dog fence.

Landscape Your Yard

Landscaping your yard is another great way to block your dog from escaping a fence similar to what was discussed above. 

Adding certain landscapes like bushes, shrubs, trees, and furniture around your fence line can dissuade your dog from attempting to break out of its safe zone.

Dog-friendly additions like shallow pools and obstacle courses are great options as well.

It’s important to remember that some plants have been deemed toxic for dogs upon ingestion.

We recommend reading this article for more information on toxic plants, but here is a short list of plants that are toxic to dogs if consumed:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Daffodil
  • Ivy
  • Tomato plant
  • Tulip
  • Sago Palm

What We Like

  • Adding fun dog-friendly landscaping discourages your dog from escaping while providing them with fun alternatives
  • Can be cost-effective 
  • Promotes a happy and healthy dog 

What We Don’t Like

  • There are plants that have been deemed toxic to dogs and can create serious health issues
  • A very determined dog may not stay distracted enough to not try harder to escape

This helpful article discusses different dog-friendly landscaping projects that you may be able to achieve in your yard. 

Long-Line Lead

Long-line leads can limit your dog’s roaming area while outside.

The lead has two ends. One is attached to a sturdy pole or tree and the other is attached to a dog’s harness.

We do not recommend attaching the lead to a collar for the safety of your dog.

Long-line leads are also great for travel and camping, as they are portable and easily replaced if damaged.

Just ensure that you monitor your dog if camping to ensure constant safety from threatening wildlife. 

However, long-line leads are not meant for extended use, as your dog should not be left connected for longer than necessary, and never be left unattended

But, long-line leads are another tool that pairs well with boundary training and are extremely easy to find at most pet supply stores.

What We Like

  • Great for dogs of any size
  • Extremely affordable
  • A great tool to pair with boundary training
  • Great for a quick fix 

What We Don’t Like

  • Not safe for extended or unsupervised use
  • Not a great long-term solution

Here is a great affordable product, that comes in a few different lengths, and is available in a bunch of colors. 

Importance of Dog-Safe Areas

Importance of Dog-Safe Areas
Dog-friendly communities emphasize space to exercise and gather in public spaces.

Providing your dog with an area that is safe and contained is the best way to ensure that your canine companion is able to live a long, healthy, and happy life. 

Dogs that have no barrier from the outside world are at increased risk of being harmed or killed by a very large range of incidences.

If you live in a rural farm area, there are even more possible occurrences that would not end well for a companion dog. 

If you have a dog that is aggressive or reactive to people, children, or other animals, you need to ensure that dog is properly contained.

A dog with these behavioral issues not only poses a threat to the safety of others but also themselves.

Training is an important factor that we recommend exploring when your dog has a safe and contained area they can properly learn in.  

Professional dog trainers have the resources to train the owner and the dog at the same time so both are equipped for success.

Trainers can be found in most cities in the US, but we recommend contacting your primary veterinarian for their recommendation. 


We always encourage providing companion and family dogs with a safe and fun outdoor environment.

So we hope that this article was able to provide you with the necessary ingredients for a perfect dog enclosure recipe!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

You can read more about me in our about us page

Connect with me:

Leave a Comment