Comparing Dog Fence Costs: Which Fencing Option is Right for You?


Have you gotten a new puppy or moved to a new home? One of the first things you need to figure out is how you will get your dog outside to get regular exercise and do their daily potty breaks. If you have a yard, it can be convenient to let your dog run there or at least use it when he needs to go out. But you are going to need a way to keep the dog in your yard and stop them from wandering off to the neighbors’ property, the road, or into other hazards. 

There are 5 main factors to consider when deciding what type of fence to install:

1. Is the beauty of the fence important? Do you have a specific look you want?

2. How long does the fence need to last? Do you plan to move soon?

3. How easy do you want it to be to install?

4. What are the maintenance costs of the fence type?

5. What is your fence budget? How much can the fence cost?

How Much Do Dog Fences Cost?

There are many fence options when trying to contain your dog, and one of the most important considerations when choosing a fencing system is your budget.

However, your dog fence cost can vary widely depending on the fence type – and the size of your property can greatly affect your options as well. In order to choose an option that works for your yard and budget, you need to understand how dog fence costs are influenced by the fencing type, material used, and size of the boundary.

Your Guide to Dog Fence Costs by Fence Type & Size

Wood Dog Fence Cost & Installation

Wooden fences are the most common fences installed by homeowners. They are classic and look very high quality. The fence cost can range widely depending on your region, the height & length of the fence, the extras you add (like a gate or accessories), and whether you pay to have it installed or not.

How Much Does a Wood Dog Fence Cost? reports that wooden fences range from $1-$15 per foot for lumber with pine being the least expensive and composite or tropical wood varieties being the most expensive. On top of that, you have concrete, posts, and labor. They estimate the average wood fence costs about $3,060 for 200 linear feet or about 1 acre. If you are looking for a privacy fence that will completely block outsiders, then you will require more materials and it will cost about $35/linear foot installed or ~ $8,000.

Wood Fences

Looks high quality
Higher cost option, depending on style, height, and length
Often the sturdiest and will hold up best to wind
Privacy fence blocks views
Adds value to your property if maintained
Not portable, this an investment you can’t take with you
Privacy fence will block views into property and your dog’s ability to see outside distractions
Does not prevent dogs from digging under or jumping over

Requires maintenance every 10 years

Vinyl Dog Fence Cost & Installation

Vinyl or PVC fences are made of plastic and do not need to be painted. They hold up well against weather aging and can potentially last longer than wood. The disadvantage is that wind and storms can often blow them down or damage them. They are also harder to paint as they get older. For some homeowners, vinyl also looks less high quality than wood or wrought iron.  There are several considerations when deciding to install a vinyl fence.

  • Height. Standard heights are 4’ and 6’. 4’ fences run around $3,000-$5,000 to fence an acre. If you want a higher fence to prevent your dog from jumping, at 6’ you are looking to spend about $5,000-$8,000 for an acre.
  • Panel Size. The most common panel sizes are 6’ and 8’. 8’ panels are more expensive, but they will cover more feet and result in fewer fence posts.
  • Fence Posts. The number of fence posts also impacts cost. Posts run around $20/post. You will need 28 posts for an acre if you use 8’ panels and 36 if you use 6’ panels. Plus, the cost of digging more post holes.
  • Thickness. The standard vinyl fence thickness is .135” and .15” thick. This will look the best quality. If you go thinner, the fence may be too flimsy and not hold.

How Much Does a Vinyl Dog Fence Cost? estimates that vinyl dog fences cost $3,800 for an acre on average, but higher fences can cost up to thousands more. Generally speaking, you’ll have to invest more into your vinyl fence if you want a more foolproof and weatherproof containment system for your dog.

Vinyl Fences

Low maintenance–does not need to be painted as often as a wood fence
Depending on the style, can cost more than a wood fence
Available in many styles from picket to privacy fence
Looks lower quality than wood fence

Does not hold up well to wind and storms

Colors other than white can make it more expensive than wood

Not portable, this an investment you can’t take with you

Does not prevent dogs from digging under or jumping over

Chain Link Dog Fence Cost & Installation

Chain link fences are popular for dog runs and rural properties. Unlike most wooden fences, chain link fences provide visibility for you and your dog to see outside of the yard. These fences also tend to be lower cost than a wood fence or a wrought iron fence. The main factors impacting chain link fence cost are height, wire gauge, mesh size, posts, and labor.

  • Height. The higher the fence, the more it costs. Standard homeowner height is 6’. However, many dogs and wildlife can easily jump that.
  • Wire Gauge. The higher the gauge, the more thin the metal is, which makes it less secure. 9 gauge is the most common for homeowners and the material costs $5-$10 per square foot. 
  • Mesh Size. Mesh size describes the distance from where the two metal pieces intersect. The shorter the mesh size, the less visibility, and the more materials needed. The most common mesh size for homeowners is 2 inches.
  • Diamond Size. This refers to how wide the opening is on the fence. The smaller the diamond, the less visibility and the more of an increase in material costs. The standard diamond size used by most people is 2”x2”

How Much Does a Chain Link Dog Fence Cost? estimates that a chain link fence professionally installed will cost $2,233 for an acre. If you install it yourself, you could save money. It just might take up a lot of your free time. For an acre, it should cost around $1,200 if you install it yourself, not including any tools you need to buy or rent.

Chain Link Fences

Less expensive than a wood fence
Looks lower quality than wood fence
Low maintenance
Not portable, this an investment you can’t take with you
Can see through to outside property
Does not prevent dogs from digging under or jumping over

Cost can increase significantly with height and length of fence

Electric Dog Fence Cost & Installation

If you have a rural property, you could also opt for an electric fence. This is typically used for livestock. It’s usually made of bobbed wire with a wire that is electrified to prevent animals from escaping. Oftentimes, homeowners already have a wooden livestock fence and they just attach an electric wire for added deterrent. Depending on your dogs, it could be effective. However, most livestock guardian dogs can jump over these types of fences, and often the electric shock is not strong enough to deter them if they see a wolf or deer.

How Much Does an Electric Dog Fence Cost?

The cost of electric dog fences is often much less than other options, so if it works for you, it might be your best choice. estimates that electric fences cost $2.90 per linear foot or about $780 for an acre.

Electric Fences

Least expensive fence option
Functional aesthetic that does not add value to your property
Can see through to outside property
Not portable, this an investment you can’t take with you
Easier to install than other fence options if you have a livestock or barbed wire fence already installed
Does not prevent dogs from digging under or jumping over

Electric shock may not deter dogs from escaping

Cost to install electric dog fence can increase the overall price

Invisible Fence® Cost & Installation

In the 1970s, the underground dog fence was invented. This enabled people to contain their dogs with a ‘virtual fence’ without having to build a fence, block their view, or violate HOA regulations. To install an Invisible Fence, you must dig a trench, bury a wire, and put a receiver indoors. Dogs wear a collar that gets signals from the receiver as the dog approaches the fence line. The system emits tones and then a static correction that can effectively contain your dog.

How Much Does an Invisible Dog Fence Cost?

If you get an Invisible Fence brand fence, you must have it professionally installed. This can cost between $1,300 - $2,500 for an acre. The cost of invisible dog fences will increase based on the size of your property, so it’s probably not practical for properties over a couple of acres.

When installing an Invisible Fence brand fence, the main cost is the labor. If you can install it yourself, you could purchase a DIY version at Petco or Home Depot for $800 for an acre. Be sure to check how many linear feet the one you buy covers as you usually have to add extra wire to a package to cover an acre or more–you will also need to rent a trencher if you don’t own one.

Invisible Fences are also hard to install if you need them to go through spaces where digging a trench is difficult or impossible. For example, you can dig up your driveway or another paved area, it would just take a lot of time and money. If your land is very hilly, rocky, or has lots of scrub you will find the cost to install will go up considerably since digging a trench there will be difficult.  Invisible Fences cannot be installed through a body of water like a pond or lake.

Another thing to consider with Invisible Fence is maintenance costs. The buried wires frequently break or come to the surface and get run over by a mower. Repairs can run from $500-$1000 depending on the labor.

Invisible Fences

Maintains beauty of property
High maintenance costs as wires often break
Does not block views
Not portable, this an investment you can’t take with you
Often meets HOA requirements for fencing
Cannot track your dog and see where they are or find them if escaped. Would need to add a tracking collar from another brand.
Cannot install in certain terrains

Ineffective for properties over 5 acres

Price increases significantly with size of fence

Requires dog training

Has height limit and some dogs can jump over the signal

GPS Dog Fence Cost & Setup

GPS Fences are the latest ‘virtual fence’ technology and don’t require any installation.  You draw a fence on your smartphone while your dog wears a collar that is GPS and cellular-enabled. The collar detects whether your dog is nearing the fence boundaries and emits a series of alert and warning tones that you train your dog to understand mean “turn around.”

If your dog tries to cross the boundary, you can have the system emit a vibration or an optional static correction. From the dog’s perspective, the experience is much the same as Invisible Fence–the difference is that it is much easier for you to set up and use. It just takes a few minutes, and there are no installation costs!

Other advantages of a GPS system include being able to monitor your dog at any time from anywhere on the phone app and receiving notifications if the dog tries to escape the boundary you’ve set. In the unlikely event that your dog does escape, you can track their location and get them back home in no time.

GPS Fence systems are also one of the few portable containment options. Since all the technology is 100% contained on the collar, you can take it to your second home, to your mom’s house, or a vacation rental. Set up new fences in just minutes, and your dog is ready to enjoy the property as much as you do!

GPS Dog Fence Cost & Setup

The SpotOn GPS Dog Fence costs $1,295 and the price does not increase with yard size like other dog fence options. Plus, it can hold up to 20 maps of any size.

GPS Fences

No installation, takes minutes to set up
Requires dog training
Portable, take it when you move or travel
Best suited to properties of a ½ an acre or more
Best choice for large properties, system costs the same no matter the fence size

Dog cannot dig under or jump over

Does not block views

Often meets HOA requirements for fencing

Which Fencing Option is Right for Your Budget?

Because dog fence costs can vary based on the fence type and property size, the best choice will depend on which option fits your boundary’s needs within your preferred price range.

The bottom line: for large properties, virtual fencing is your best bet for staying within budget–and if you want the latest tech paired with tracking capabilities, the SpotOn GPS Fence is for you.

Dog Fence Cost for 1 Acre by Type

Cost for an Acre (200 linear feet)
Wood Dog Fence Cost
Vinyl Dog Fence Cost
Chain Link Dog Fence Cost
Invisible Dog Fence Cost
GPS Dog Fence Cost

Source: estimate for average price by fence type.

Cost to Build a Wood Fence for 1 Acre by Region

Average Wood Fence Cost
Scottsdale, AZ (Phoenix)
Healdsburg, CA (Sonoma)
Palo Alto, CA (San Francisco)
San Clemente, CA (San Francisco)
Ladera Ranch, CA (Los Angeles)
Buckhead, GA (Atlanta)
Winnetka, IL (Chicago)
Weston, MA (Boston)
Ann Arbor, MI
Minneapolis, MN
Asheville, NC
Raleigh, NC
Darien, CT (NYC)
Summit, NJ (NYC)
Plainview, NY (Long Island)
Shaker Heights, OH (Cleveland)
Dublin, OH (Cincinnati)
Lake Oswego, OR
Blue Bell, PA (Philadelphia)
Lancaster, PA
Franklin, TN (Nashville)
Round Rock, TX (Austin)
Woodlands, TX (Houston)
Roanoke, VA
Fairfax, VA (DC)
Bellevue, WA (Seattle)
Madison, WI

Source: estimate for average price by zip code.

Ready to live life unleashed?

Get SpotOn! Take home the game-changing GPS dog fence today and your dog can be running free in two weeks!

Author Bio:
Jennifer Joyce is the President of SpotOn Fence and one of the people entrusted to serve French Bulldogs, Lucy & Henry. She grew up on a farm in Oregon with Golden Retriever, Butch, and black cat, Lucky. Their lifestyle of running free on the farm inspired her to join SpotOn to help more dogs run free off leash. She has over 10 years of pet industry experience for brands such as Kurgo & Embark Vet. She has written about many topics related to incorporating pets into your life, such as hiking, camping, urban exploring, travel safety and international travel.

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