After we bought the house in Tennessee, we were able to bring the dogs with us when we traveled to check on the Farm. The yard wasn’t fenced in so the first few times we came down, we got a couple of dog cables to hook them to. We had it set so the cables reached the back door so we could hook the dogs up without having to go outside. Of course if they got twisted around something we might have to go outside to let them back in. This was a temporary solution since we prefer not to chain our dogs. Of course when ever we went to the farm we took Daisy and let her run free (she always stays close enough so that she can keep an eye on us).
We started planning to fence in the yard right away. We had the property surveyed so that we knew where our property lines were. There was an old wood fence that was partially falling down between us and one of our neighbors. We were told it was the neighbors fence, but according to the survey most of it cut onto our property. But that’s OK, we left that as one of our borders. That neighbor also owns the plot of land behind us. The covered shelter behind our storage shed goes right to the property line. The back fence we put in is just on the other side of the line for a small section.
We decided to put in a chain link fence and tie into the existing wood fence. We fenced in the entire back yard. One end started at the back corner of the house going toward one neighbor and then headed back to the back property line and then tied into the existing wood fence by our other neighbor. We also put in a small section of chain link between the existing wood fence and our back porch. That way we could let the dogs out onto the back porch and they could walk down the stairs to be in their fenced yard. The porch had a rail boarder with a wood lattice. Some of the lattice was missing so we patched it up with new lattice to keep the dogs in. The car port partially covers the back porch. So if the weather is bad and the dogs are out, they can come up on the porch and have shelter.
We used the property corner markers from the survey and a transit to locate where we wanted the corner posts for our fence. We then used string create a straight line to find the placement of the other posts. We marked where all the vertical poles would be with spray paint.
After we determining where our corner posts were located and where all the gates would be, we put in a couple of critical corner/gate posts. Those were secured with concrete. After digging a couple of the holes with a post hole digger, we decided we needed a better plan. We thought about renting a motorized hand auger, but before we got back to do the rest of the holes, we bought a used tractor that came with a couple augers. We bought the tractor/implements while we were in Indiana (lots of used tractors there). It took two trips to get the tractor and all the implements moved on the trailer that came with the tractor. On the first trip we took the tractor (with backhoe attached) and the augers.
We used the smaller auger (12″) to dig the holes for all the chain link fence poles. I ran the tractor/hydraulics for the auger and Steve guided me in. Steve had another very important job. Some times the auger would hit a hard spot and just turn and turn without going down. Steve would come over and push down on the auger until it broke through the hard area. As soon as it was through the hard spot, the auger dug quick. We did pretty good on all the holes until we got the very last hole. I managed to screw the auger into a tree root and get it stuck. We had to go the hardware store the next day and pick up a big pipe wrench so that we could unscrew it.
After all the vertical poles were set, putting the rest of the chain link together went quick and was easier than I thought it would be. We learned how to take one of the weaves out when we wanted to brake a section of chain link in two and we learned how to take one of the links and weave it between two sections to hook them together.
The chain link worked pretty good for the dogs… if we were home. But we needed to do a little patching to keep Daisy in if we left the dogs outside when we went somewhere. We left a few times and came home to find Daisy waiting for us on the front porch. She was getting out by going under one of the gates. I verified this because she ended up on the wrong side of the fence while I was talking to one of the neighbors and when I told her to go back in the fence I watched where she went under. The gate she was going under was a double gate wide enough for us to get vehicles through. The ground slopes a bit there so in order to keep her from going under (or digging to go under), we put some patio blocks under the gate. That did the trick for keeping our dogs in.
However, when the neighbors got a puppy (Max)… the puppy found a whole slew of weakness in the fence. He was constantly breaking in! Normally we wouldn’t care if he came over to play with our dogs – he is a lab puppy and friendly. However our old dog (Valyn) is having issues and is not in a good place to deal with puppies. And the one year old puppy also hasn’t been neutered and is constantly trying mount Daisy. She snarls and snaps at him, but it isn’t in her nature to actually fight so he never gets properly put in his place.
Our dogs were actually reluctant to go outside for a while because they were afraid Max would be there. We had to be on guard duty when we let the dogs out to make sure they weren’t bothered by the devil dog. It seemed as though Max could fit through anything. To puppy proof the fence we put in some new boards on the neighbors wood fence to patch the holes, we put wood lattice on the bottom of the porch so Max couldn’t get under the crawl space, and we put in some tent stakes along portions of the bottom of the chain link to keep him from going under the fence.
It’s just been in the last week or so that the dogs feel safe going outside again. Now that he feels safe, Valyn once again likes to lay on the back porch and occasionally talk to the other dogs in the neighborhood (especially the coon dog a couple houses away).