Dogs can be great companions. They're generally excited to see you when you get home from a long day at work, and they always seem to know the exact right time you just need someone to snuggle up next to you and provide some comfort. But, like humans, they can also be royal pains in the you-know-what, and make you want to pull all your hair out sometimes. They can turn anything into a chew toy, like your favorite pair of shoes, or they can get into something they're not supposed to and throw up on the carpet. Our dog was such a fan of eating "treats" (i.e. turds) out of the cat litter box, I had to install a door chain on the outside of the door to the room where the box is so it only opens enough for the cats to get in and out. There are also those times when their natural instincts kick in, specifically the ones where they want to roam and explore. And you know, if they're outside and something catches their attention, they'll do whatever they can to get to it, even if your yard is fenced in.

This was a problem we had when we moved into our house a few years back. The house came with a chain link fence around the backyard, but there were a few weak spots where the bottom of the fence meets the ground due to the ground being uneven. As you've probably figured out, it didn't take long for our dog to find those spots and realize that if she pushed hard enough with her head, she could get separate the fence from the ground just enough to squeeze under it and investigate whatever it was that caught her attention. Since the point of a fence is to be able to let the dog out without having to go out and keep an eye on it, I needed to figure out some sort of solution.

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At first, I bought a few of the flat, vertical rods you use to attach the fencing to a post, fed them through the chain link, and hammered them into the ground as deep as I could. It worked, but it was kind of an eye sore.

Ryan O'Bryan
Ryan O'Bryan
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I didn't want to do that for every weak part of the fence because I thought it would look trashy. I was talking to my father-in-law about my dilemma, and he suggested a much easier, much cheaper (the flat rods were about $4.50 each), and more discreet way to solve the problem.

Tent stakes.

Ryan O'Bryan
Ryan O'Bryan
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They hook onto the bottom of the fencing and once you hammer them into the ground, no one will see them. And, most importantly, they'll keep the dog in the yard. Genius.

I picked up a couple of packs like those pictured above at Academy Sports and went to work. Installing them was super easy.

Step 1 - Insert Stakes by Hand

Ryan O'Bryan
Ryan O'Bryan
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First, find the start of your weak spot. Next, push the stake into the ground a bit with your hand to set it, making sure to the bottom rung of the fencing is securely in the hook of the stake. Also, be sure to angle it away from the direction your dog would push on it. This may be difficult if your ground is hard and dry. If that's the case, jump to step two.

Step 2 - Hammer it In

Ryan O'Bryan
Ryan O'Bryan
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I used a mini-sledgehammer because it gave me a bigger striking area on the face to limit mishits, and the added weight helped drive it into the ground a little faster. If you don't have a mini-sledge, a normal hammer will work just fine.

Step 3 - Repeat Until the Fence Loses Its "Give"

Ryan O'Bryan
Ryan O'Bryan
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Work your way down the weak spot, adding another stake at each place where you feel the fence still has too much give. This may be a few inches apart, or a couple of feet depending on the size of the weak spot. Once you've given it a few test pushes and are confident the dog won't be able to squeeze through, you're done.

After a while, our dog finally just gave up once she realized her escape routes were blocked. It may take your dog a little while to come to that realization, so it may not hurt to check the stakes every once in a while to make sure they're not getting loose.

Good luck!

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Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.