When you have a dog that wants to roam, it helps if you teach them new tricks. Keeping your pet in the yard can be made easier with training techniques like these! The trick is teaching them what they’re allowed and seeing how long they last before coming back over and slipping out again.

If you want to train your dog to stay in the yard without a fence, there are many different options. You can use a fence, or you can teach him other commands such as “stay” and “come.”

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You want to keep your dog safe and give him greater freedom when he goes outdoors. You, on the other hand, do not have a fence. So, how do you keep him contained in a yard if there isn’t a fence?

Your dog may remain in your yard without a fence in a variety of ways. 

I didn’t have a fenced yard when I bought my first two dogs as an adult. I took them on walks on a leash. I also used a cotton long-line for distance work and extra activity.

Hard fences may be costly, and they may not be authorized in certain instances. This may happen if you live in a complex that forbids them.

In this article, I’ll go over a few different options for keeping your dog in your yard without a fence. I’ll also bring out the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy.

The Benefits of Keeping Your Dog in Your Yard

Leaving any dog alone in a yard may be dangerous for a variety of reasons. Even a puppy that initially stays close to you will ultimately want to explore the world–and will run away to do so. 

Any dog may run away, but certain breeds are more inclined than others to do so. Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes are known to be wanderers that will try to get out of even the most securely secured yard. 

Golden and labrador retrievers, for example, are prone to chasing prey. If they see a squirrel dashing across their path, so are terriers like Yorkies and Westies. 

Herding dogs such as Aussies, Shelties, and Border Collies are trained to pursue moving items such as vehicles, bicycles, and skateboarders. 

It’s perilous for a dog to be unrestrained against such stimuli when their innate impulses kick in. 

Of course, any dog may stray off when he sees anything that piques his curiosity, such as an approaching dog or person–or even a passing paper food wrapper. 

Should a deer or a stray groundhog appear, any dog might be ordered to pursue it down.

These dogs may run away unintentionally, exposing themselves to several risks. They may, unfortunately, be struck by a vehicle and hurt or killed. It’s a frightening concept, but it must be considered while deciding how to confine your dog.

The legislation in your area may force you to be confined in some way. You might face penalties if your dog isn’t restrained according to the law’s requirements. Similar laws have resulted in the confiscation of dogs on occasion.

Another reason to keep your dog in your yard without a fence is the risk of encountering other dogs. 

Even if your dog is nice, another dog may not be, and in a dog fight, your dog may be wounded.

If your dog goes free, he may swallow deadly objects that he comes into contact with. He could consume rotten food, boulders, or even lethal poisons like rat poison. 

Unfortunately, some of these things will make him sick, while others will kill him.

Even the kindest dog has the potential to bite. A dog may feel compelled to bite out of fear, or because he has been tormented or harmed. 

Your dog may be deemed a “dangerous dog” and killed if this occurs.

Another danger of letting a dog go free is that he may be stolen. Unfortunately, many dogs are stolen and sold, or exploited for heinous acts such as dogfighting or other forms of cruelty.

In an unfenced yard, there are a few things you can do to keep your dog safe.

There are a variety of ways to keep your dog contained in a yard without a fence. Some are inherently riskier than others. Which strategy you choose will also be determined by your dog. 

Hunting breeds like terriers, for example, have inherent impulses to pursue tiny animals. Herding breeds, in particular, are prone to herding moving objects such as humans on motorcycles or skateboards. 

As a result, while deciding on the best way to keep them in a yard without a physical barrier, we must consider their inherent urges.

Invisible Barrier

An “invisible” fence is one way. The majority of the time, you’ll be using subterranean wire that wraps around the whole region you’re covering. 

It features a control box that is normally kept at home. It also makes use of a collar worn by your dog. 

When the dog approaches too near to the wire, most collars are set up to give the dog a signal, such as a vibration or sounds. 

If the dog crosses the wire, he gets a shock, or as many firms refer to it, a “static charge.” The shock isn’t designed to injure the dog physically in any way.

You may hire an expert to install the invisible fence or do it yourself. These may cost thousands of dollars if installed by a professional or only a few hundred dollars if done by a do-it-yourselfer.

Similar fences employ poles that emit a signal that, if crossed, may cause the dog to get a shock in the collar that comes with the device.

Some feature a transmitter in the main device that transmits a signal to the dog’s collar. The transmitter may be programmed to beep or give your dog a static charge at preset distances.

Many of these “invisible” fences allow the dog to receive a milder or stronger shock depending on the setting. The sort of shock is determined by how likely the dog is to breach the signal’s barrier.

A line of flags is normally set around the whole area covered by the wire or signal when teaching a dog to respond to such devices. The dog is then led up to the area with the flags and the warning sounds on his training collar are activated.

The dog eventually learns where the barrier is, and the flags are removed one by one. Typically, all of the flags are removed, and the dog is taught to respect the unseen border. 

These sorts of fences do not appeal to me. Not only are some dogs likely to cross them, but if they do, they are unlikely to return to the yard since they will be shocked again.

Other animals, like as dogs, may also enter your yard, perhaps resulting in a battle or assault. 

It’s also incredibly simple for anyone to enter your yard. They may also steal or hurt your dog.

If a dog receives a shock, they may become traumatized and refuse to go outdoors again, even to pee or play.

I was contacted to assist in the training of a Jack Russell terrier who refused to leave the home after being shocked by crossing an electric fence. 

The poor dog was terrified of getting another shock if he left his home. I worked with him for many weeks and was able to help him overcome his anxiety of being outside.

Another issue with invisible fences is that the dog’s collar batteries may deplete, making the barrier useless. 

If your electricity goes out and you don’t have a backup, the fence won’t operate. And if the cable is damaged someplace, it won’t function.


A tie-out is another option to keep your dog contained. 

Some tie-outs rely on a stake buried deep in the earth to which the line is fastened. Others are tied around a tree trunk or utilize an attachment to your house. 

Nylon, metal chain, metal enclosed in plastic, and cotton are all possibilities for the line. They are available in a variety of lengths, ranging from 10 feet to 50 feet or more. 

Even with such lines, your dog should be taught how long the line is so he doesn’t damage himself attempting to chase something that is beyond the reach of the line. 

If you’re going to use a collar or a harness, be sure your dog won’t get hurt by running on the line. Choose one that is a good match for your dog.

Choke or prong collars should never be used with such tie-outs, since harm may quickly occur if your dog tightens the rope.

Your dog will have more freedom with these tie-out lines. When determining where to lay the line, be sure it won’t get tangled up on your dog.

If you opt to utilize a tie-out to keep your dog contained, you should be present. You want to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself while using it. People or other animals may also enter your yard, as is the case with invisible fences.

In addition, if bored or seeking to escape, some dogs may try to gnaw through the line. 

If it’s made of nylon or cotton, he’ll be able to chew it up quickly. If it’s made of metal, on the other hand, he may harm himself and shatter his teeth.

Tie-outs are generally affordable, with prices ranging from around $20 to over $50 depending on the line’s material and length.


Using a long rope is another way to offer your dog some freedom outdoors. Typically, they are constructed of nylon or cotton. While your dog has some opportunity to run about, you hold them (or tread on them). 

They are available in a variety of lengths. Before I had a permanent fence erected, I utilized a 50-foot line with my dogs. 

My dogs could safely play fetch and have some fun racing around with it. Amber, my sheltie, enjoyed catching and chasing a soft frisbee. 

She was able to securely spend some time in the sun by romping about on the long cotton line.

Long lines are affordable, with prices ranging from around $10 to over $40 depending on length and material. Make sure the line you purchase is suitable for a dog of your dog’s size, strength, and activity level.

Lines of Trolley

A trolley is another option for tethering your dog outdoors. The dog is considerably above the cart, which is propelled by metal ropes. The metal lines are pulled back and forth by a pulley, allowing your dog to run back and forth.

It has the appearance of a clothesline. When picking which one to buy, make sure it’s designed for a dog that’s the same size, strength, and activity level as yours.

The trolley line is attached to two substantial objects like a structure, a high stake, or a tree. 

This gadget restricts your dog’s freedom more than a traditional tie-out. And it still puts you at risk of other animals or humans breaking into your home.

Run or Kennel in the Yard

An outdoor kennel or run is another option for confining your dog without a standard hard fence. Typically, they are constructed of steel or iron.

These may be built to be accessed by your dog via a doggie door in the house or as a separate run in your yard.

It may also be used to divide a deck or patio.

Kennels and runs may be custom built to your preferences or bought in standard sizes. The panels may be anywhere from four to six feet tall and four to six feet long, or even longer. Bigger dogs, of course, will need larger sizes. 

They are often highly durable and can accommodate even bigger, stronger dogs–or dogs with innate hunting tendencies. Make sure the type you purchase is capable of containing your dog. 

For little dogs, flimsier, lighter-weight versions may suffice.

You can even get sunblock for the tops of some of the models. 

Invisible fences and tie-outs are typically not as safe as these. They are inaccessible to other animals and humans. You can generally lock them to help avoid mistakes like these. Some may even be staked into the ground for further protection.

They may cost anything from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

Pencils for Exercise 

Exercise pens are another option for dog confinement. These are less durable than kennel runs and usually do not have a roof. 

So, while deciding on a size, consider if your dog will be able to escape through the top. You can even get certain pens that connect to make a larger pen for your dog. 

If you choose this route, ensure sure the pens you buy are weatherproof and designed to be used outdoors. Some pens are constructed of metal, while others are made of plastic. To be even more secure, you may normally stake them to the ground.

Exercise pens may cost anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the size and material–especially if you combine many to make a larger pen.

Training on Boundaries

Boundary training is another way to keep your dog in your yard if you don’t have a physical fence. This marks the boundary you don’t want your dog to pass. 

This is normally accomplished by creating a visible barrier around the perimeter using a line of tiny flags that may be purchased. 

To demonstrate the dog his limitations, some people attach rope to a series of stakes. Others teach their dogs using a line of cones or other similar markers.

Others have a driveway or a natural border with stones. 

This approach needs a great deal of practice and patience.

You may educate your dog to stay within the barrier by walking him to the barrier and then moving away from it, rewarding him as he moves away from it. 

To demonstrate your dog what’s anticipated, you’d have to do this many times–usually for at least weeks–along the perimeter.

Others educate the dog to respect the perimeter line by putting him on a leash and asking him to “leave it” when he approaches it. Of course, your dog must be able to comprehend the order “leave it.”

And you’d give him a big bonus if he left it and walked away from the line. “YES!” you say. It’s best if you leave it.” And give them a high-value treat right away, like chicken or cheese.

You raise the degree of difficulty by introducing distractions along or just outside the perimeter after doing this training along the whole perimeter of the barrier numerous times with the dog being successful. You can put food or toys anywhere you like.

Then, over a period of time–usually at least weeks–you would repeat the perimeter training. And give yourself a bigger reward than the one you’re using as a tempting diversion. When he comes back near you, give him a few goodies in a row–a jackpot.

You’ll ultimately teach the dog when he’s on a long-line, not a conventional leash, to see how trustworthy he is at respecting the boundaries while he’s away from you.

You’re teaching your dog too rapidly if he exceeds the border at any point throughout the process. Simply return to a level where he was successful before moving on.

Many canines find this strategy quite tough to master. A dog with a hunting, prey, or herding drive is quite likely to breach the border.

Friendly dogs may also cross to say hello. Reactive or aggressive canines are more likely to cross the line into attack mode.

One advantage of this system over invisible fences is that a dog that crosses the border will not be afraid of re-entry since there is no shock involved. 

Of course, dogs that have been taught using this manner should have excellent recall.

Collars with a Remote

A remote collar is another way to instruct your dog to stay on your property when there is no physical barrier. 

The manner these collars reprimand the dog for straying too far away varies. Some employ a beep or vibration in the collar, while others use shock. 

If the dog goes too far out, the owner uses a remote that has the same signal as the unique collar the dog wears to shock the dog or have the collar vibrate or beep. 

Because the dog isn’t precisely taught to particular visual limits, I believe this is a highly unreliable strategy. Instead, when the owner thinks he’s too far away, he gets random adjustments. 

Of course, you may use a visible barrier like little flags around the border to instruct him.

This manner of startling him, in my opinion, is not only cruel, but also hazardous.

An owner in my neighborhood used a shock collar to teach his pug. The dog never learned any clear boundaries and was surprised every time he went too far. 

As a consequence of the shocks, the unfortunate dog acquired certain undesirable tendencies. As a result of his association with getting the shock, he became violent toward humans and dogs.

Depending on the range and features, these collars may cost anywhere from $40 to over $100.

Self-Installed Partial Fence

When a professionally placed hard fence is too costly or otherwise unavailable, another option for containing your dog is to fence your yard yourself or just fence an area big enough for your dog to exercise.

This is generally far less costly than having a hard fence professionally erected. Materials may be purchased from home centers. 

This was done at another house where a hard fence would have been too costly. We also used this method to enclose a toilet area. 

We bought metal stakes as well as vinyl-coated metal that would connect into the stakes. The stakes/posts were available in a variety of heights. We settled on five feet. 

As instructed by the home center consultant, we positioned the posts at similar lengths apart. The barrier has stood the test of time and is still in place. 

Of course, if your dog jumps on this sort of fence all the time, it won’t be as secure as other hard fences. Fortunately, my pets do not behave in this manner.

Any of the above-mentioned forms of fences that aren’t hard fences, in my opinion, need the supervision of a dog in order for the dog to be properly confined. 

You must consider your dog’s temperament, inherent urges, and surroundings when determining which style of fence to employ. 

Some of these choices are definitely too dangerous to contemplate if you live in an area with a lot of animals and have a hunting dog, for example. 

Most of these solutions are also probably not ideal choices if you have a lot of dogs and people going by and your dog is highly friendly, reactive, or aggressive. 

Obviously, some persons can effectively apply the aforesaid confinement approaches. However, it requires a lot of training, patience, and attention, as well as knowing which approach is right for your dog.


Is it possible to have a dog without a fence?

Yes! There are various ways to keep your dog enclosed while yet allowing him to enjoy the great outdoors. Tie-outs, lengthy lines, pens and runs, invisible barriers, and barrier training are all examples.

Is it true that invisible fences work?

In specific situations, they may work successfully with certain dogs. However, some dogs may break through the barrier and go wild, refusing to return to the safe area. When determining whether or not to use an invisible fence, consider the possibility that your dog may cross the barrier.

Will my dog be harmed by an invisible fence?

An invisible fence, when utilized and set up correctly, should not cause physical harm to your dog.

Should I leave my unfenced yard alone with my dog?

No! Even if you use tie-outs, long lines, cages, and runs, invisible fences, or barrier training, your dog may not stay in your yard.

It also won’t prevent other animals or humans from entering your yard. When adopting these techniques of confinement, it is more safer for you to be present with your dog.

Last Thoughts

There are various solutions for properly containing your dog if you are unable to install a concrete fence on your property. Naturally, you’ll want to choose the approach that best suits your dog’s requirements. 

You may assist your dog get more physical activity by using the right sort of enclosure. It has the potential to make his world a lot bigger and more intriguing for him.


Watch This Video-

The “keeping dog on leash in backyard” is a question that is asked often. It can be difficult to train dogs to stay in the yard without a fence, but there are some tricks that can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if you have a dog and no fence?

A: If you have a dog and no fence, the best option is to find someone who can take your pet in temporarily. This will allow them enough time to search for an appropriate owner or place to adopt it until they locate one.

How do you train an adult dog to stay in the yard?

A: You can train an adult dog to stay in the yard by only giving treats when they enter the designated area.

How do I train my dog to stay outside?

A: If you have a dog, the first step is to make sure that they are healthy and get them acquainted with going outside. This can be done through training where your family members take turns taking care of the dogs while other family members go on walks or runs as an alternative to leaving their pets at home alone. As for how long it will take until your pet learns this new trick; sometimes it takes a few days if they were previously confined in one spot all day, but usually after about two weeks there should be no issue keeping them out during their favorite activities such as playing fetch or watching TV together

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