A few weeks ago, I mentioned I was trying to imagineer a mobile small-dog fence that was cheap, mobile, didn’t take up much space when collapsed, and would stand WITHOUT support stakes. Some of you mentioned wanting to see how it turned out, so here it is!
Important to note, this fence is not designed to securely contain any animal from getting in or out. It is designed to be used only while you are actually with your animal, giving them and you a little more room to roam with a scooch more security. I’ve used it a few times like a play pen to keep my aging dog nearer to me while I work outside in the yard, but it has a wider scope than that.
I used a three-foot plastic fence as a base, with a tight mesh. Bigger holes made for a flimsy structure. The packaging says the mesh is 1/2 inch, but the actual holes in the mesh are about 3/8 of an inch, which is important.
I folded it in half lengthwise to form an open triangle, the opening against the ground. It was about 18 inches tall, which will keep my small dogs contained and still let me walk over it easily.
To give it more structure and prevent it from just flopping over, I made spacers from 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe which I cut into 4 inch lengths. The spacers are held in place by 8 inch lengths of 3/8 inch dowel shoved through the fence mesh. The mesh should hold the dowel tight enough so it doesn’t spin as the PVC pipe will. I’ve noticed some of the cheaper dowels are not actually 1/2 inch, and don’t hold the spacer well. You might have to take some mesh into the store and try a few dowels to find a good fit.
I spaced the, ah, spacers about 18 inches along the bottom of the fence, and got something like this.
My dogs are timid and don’t even try to get through the fence, but your milage will vary. I wouldn’t expect this to stand up to a puppy intent on getting out, or a big friendly ( or otherwise) dog trying to get in. I can’t say enough that this is not a fence to be used without supervision.
When time to take it down, just remove the dowels and spacers, roll up the fence, and stow it.
I’ve found the black fence I used didn’t roll back up as well as I would like, but it’s still better than trying to stow five foot lengths of standard fencing.