What is good fencing? - David Sims

Good fencing should keep livestock and LPDs in, and predators out. There's traditional 48" agricultural woven wire fences; anything else?

For starting pups, one can add a top and bottom hot wire, to teach dogs not to dig or climb. How about keeping big predators out?

I have heard about reinforcing fences with brightly colored and waving-in-the-breeze ribbons to make wild life wary of fences. I'm not certain how well wild animals see in color, so perhaps shiny metallic ribbons would work. I've also heard about putting up two rows of fencing with about a yard (meter) of space in between. This of course doubles the cost of a fence line.

There have been experiments with loud sounds. Again, I cannot cite specific papers or reports.

The bottom line is always, how do we keep predators out for minimum investment and maintenance? If doubling the cost of fences would indeed keep out bears, cougars, coyotes and wolves, there may be federal funds that would pay for the initial installation, though probably not the maintenance.

Any thoughts?

In my experience with the Akbash dog, after about their 8th month there isnt too many predators that are going to be a huge problem for them. I have had three that I raised from pups, one I got at 9 months and the others were puppies. At 9 months my male was ready willing and able to take on whatever came his way including bears. The only problem is up to this age and of course if you live in an area where lions are prevalent. Then my suggestion is to skip the puppyhood thing unless you have an older dog that can be on guard until the little one has time to grow up. Always try to remember that you need a pound of dog for a pound of predator except when it comes to lions and then your gonna need 2 almost inevitabley. Wolves are sort of the same way but its usually not realistic to raise a pack of Akbash Dogs for the chance encounter with wolves. LOL So I guess I would just say that a 4ft. field fence w/hotwire on top should be all you ever need. If the predators are too big for your dog a well aimed bullet usually takes care of the problem. Just a reminder the biggest threat many dogs face is of the Human kind so keep a well oiled rifle or pistol of your choice close at hand at all times. This is the best investment you can make for your dog.

Just my 2 cents worth, Bruce in Idaho

By far and away, the best fence we have come across in the last 30+ years for both predators and livestock/dogs, is an electrified high tensile woven wire fence. It only takes a very little cost over that of the normal woven wire fence (mostly just good insulators), and if installed correctly will last with minimal maintenance for an extremely long time. Nothing touches it. We put it about 5-6 inches off the ground, trying to encourage the animals (wild life, dogs, even goats) to go under it. After the first good shock, they don't come back. The livestock stay off of it and the predators find another source of food.

Just to be clear, are you talking about using any conventional woven farm fence material, and attaching it to the fence posts by insulators instead of metal staples? [Editor's inclusion - Yes, insulating the entire woven fence is an investment up front, but works really well once in place.]