Monday, September 18, 2006

Husky-proof fencing (how to)

A lot of husky owners have the problem of bored, or just devious huskies digging under their fence and making their escape. Huskies are very good, and fast diggers, and can dig their way under a fence in no time flat. It doesn't take Ft. Knox, a moat, barbed wire, or a lot of money to keep them from digging out... you just have to be a little bit smarter than they are to deter them.

The following is a system that I have used for many years (thanks to some other savvy husky owners who passed the trick on to me). It requires the following tools:

A hoe
A shovel
Rabbit/chicken fencing (or sturdier if your local home depot sells it, but make sure its bendable)
Quikrete
Water
Clippers to cut the rabbit/chicken fencing
Gloves
Something to smoosh the Quikrete around... I use a pancake turner.

Once you are done, you won't even be able to tell you've done anything to the yard, so there's really no reason why you'd have to remove this barrier if you ever move.

Step one:
with a hoe, dig a trench. The trench needs to be 1 foot wide and about 3-4 inches deep. Its best if you can actually dig UNDER the fence a bit.

Most people think they need to dig a really REALLY deep trench, or that it has to be REALLY wide, but all you are doing is detering them from digging right at the fence line. Sure they could back up and dig under the barrier and under the fence, but they won't. Its not fast enough, and they get bored with digging that far. Huskies like quick, and digging that far isn't quick enough for them.

Ok, so once you've dug your foot wide, 3-4 inch deep trench, you'll need to cut your chicken/rabbit/whatever wire to fit in the trench and lay flat. That's the really hard part actually, and even though you wear gloves, you'll still end up with little cuts all over. Slide the wire under the fence if you can while you're at it. Any gap between the barrier and fence, they'll take advantage of that.

Once the wire is laying in the trench flat, open a bag of Quikrete and start pouring it into the trench dry. You don't necessarily need to fill up the trench, just enough to cover the chicken wire and a bit more. Remember, huskies don't have jackhammers, you just want the inconvenience factor.

Once the Quikrete (dry) is poured into the trench, you pour water into the trench SLOWLY (you don't want it sloshing out) until the Quikrete is moist and gooshy, not so much water that you have soup, just so it gets that concretey texture. So, add the water a little at a time.

Using your tool of choice (spackle thing, pancake turner, whatever you have handy) goop the Quikrete and water until its all a nice cemetey mixture, and level it off as best as possible, making sure to smoosh some under the fence as an added barrier. Remember... leave a chink in the armor and they'll find it.

Give it an hour or so to dry, then hoe the dirt back over it, throw on some grass seed.

After the grass dies and the weeds take over, this is what your fenceline will look like. You can't even see the barrier.

That's Sam saying to himself "stupid barrier".

They will challenge the barrier once its put in, and ocassionally when they forget the barrier is there. They'll start digging near the fence, and once their claws hit that quikrete chicken wire combo, its not a nice feeling. They'll glare at you, curse you under your breath, then move someplace else to dig.

Here is an example of a barrier incursion attempt:

You'll notice that the attempt wasn't at the actual fenceline, but at the end of the barrier (I happened to spread a 2 foot wide, heavier gauge fencing in this area, with only a 1 foot Quickrete barrier nearer the fence). This was an attempt to dig under the barrier... which was abandoned for lack of fun.

Just a general warning: if you just put a barrier where they normally try to dig out, they will stop trying to dig there and find a place that doesn't have the barrier, so you might as well just do the whole fenceline in one swoop, rather than after each escape attempt.

Although a bit labor intensive to dig the trenches and all, its a pretty cheap solution to the digging out problem overall, and it does work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We bought a husky puppy and was very happy to have found your article. Jackson Thundersnow is now 7 months old and we have only had one escape...at the gate...he moved a 7 x 5 concrete block and snuck under the fence. This weekend we will be putting a large, deep concrete barrier under both gates. Thanks for a cost effective way to keep our dog safe!