Introduction: The Terrier Barrier - Jumping Dog Fence/Enclosure

About: I've come to make stuff and chew bubble gum...and I'm all out of bubble-oh wait. I found another piece.

Our family recently welcomed a new dog from the pound and within 20 minutes found that she can jump clean over our five foot block wall. So I did what any reasonable person would do, and spent weeks training and correcting this behavior until she learned not to do this. HAHA, just kidding, I turned my backyard into a medium security doggy prison. A quick search of the interwebs and I found products that were designed for this however they were prohibitively expensive...on the order of $400 per 100 feet of barrier. My wall is 130 ft so i would have been paying $500 - $600 for such products. That's no bueno.

The total cost of my substitute barrier ended up being just $250.


3/4" EMT Conduit - 170 ft.

3/4" Pipe Straps - Qty 60ish

Plastic Netting - 150 ft.

Tapcon Screws

Self Tapping screws

Zip ties



Masonary drill bit

3/4" EMT bender

Clarification: The dog is not an aggressive climber. This is meant to be a temporary barrier until she becomes comfortable with her new surroundings. The barrier is also more of a visual deterrent than a rugged physical one.

Step 1: Layout

Before you make any modifications to a property boundary wall you should make sure you check with all local ordinances, codes, and community rules. There are no such regulations restricting this type of modification in my neighborhood, however if I destroy the wall between me and my three neighbors I'm sure I would be shelling out big bucks to repair it.

First, I marked off a vertical line every 5 feet with some soap stone. A four foot level was used to make sure the lines were as close to vertical as possible. These marks will serve as the locations for the posts as well as guides for where to install the pipe straps. I ended up with 33 marks. I made sure to put a post in the corners even if they weren't exactly five feet from the other posts.

Step 2: Drilling and Mounting Straps

This step is simple but time consuming. The Tapcon screws came with a 3/16" mason bit. I used a pipe strap as a guide and drilled four holes at each line. Two on the first course (top brick), and two on the third course (third brick from top). Just take your time. You don't want to ream out the hole or the tapcons wont be secure. I found that the home builder cut corners and didn't fill the holes in the blocks with mortar or concrete. This isn't a huge deal since the screws i was going to use were only 3/4" long anyway, I'm just annoyed that the wall isn't as strong as it should be.

Install the pipe straps but leave them a little loose.

Step 3: Preparing the EMT

I bought 17 ten foot lengths of 3/4" EMT conduit. I then cut them in half to give me 34 five foot lengths. The pipe bender I used has a 6" stub up length. Basically this means that if I marked 9" from the end of the pipe and lined my mark with the arrow on the bender I would end up with approximately 12" straight after the 45 degree bend. After I put the 45 in all of the pipes I marked and drilled two holes at 16" and 32" from the bottom. These holes will be used for the zipties to hold the netting. I also drilled a hole 1 1/2" from the top. Lastly I marked about 8" below the 45 to serve as a height guide during installation.

Step 4: Installing and Securing the Posts

Since you've already installed the pipe straps this step goes pretty quick. Slide the posts down into the straps and tighten them down at the marked height guide. Check to make sure the 45 bend is directly perpendicular with the wall. I put a self tapping screw through one of the pipe straps on each post to keep them straight and at the correct height.

Step 5: Attaching the Netting

Attaching the netting takes a little patience. The rolls I bought were 50 feet in length so there will be two spots that require over-lapping one roll with another. Double up the ends to give it a little extra strength. I had to take my time to make sure the net stayed straight and there were no wrinkles. Its not critical, just looks better. The corners are bunched a little at the top where the two 45's come together. There are four zip ties holding the net to each post. Three at the holes I drilled and then I added one extra at the 45 bends.

The last tricky part was the gate. It got two posts all its own. One of the posts has no bend so that it doesn't interfere with the wall net.

Hopefully this helps someone decide that they too can save money by doing something like this on their own rather than paying an arm and a leg for a manufactured product. Thank you.

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