OPTIONS: top rails and SUPPORT lines FOR DOG FENCES
Dog Fence Options: Introduction and Fence Types
Fence Posts and Post Spacing
Digging Barriers and Braces
Post Tools and Footings
Top Rails and Top Support Lines
Zip-ties and U-nails
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A top rail will give your dog fence a finished, attractive look and will keep the top of the fence firm. It does add significantly to the fence's cost, but in terms of looks it's definitely worth it. The top rails we offer are all black, to match the rest of the fence, and consist of 1-3/8 inch black round posts that fit snugly into one another.
The main disadvantage of a top rail, other than its cost, has to do with climbing. Some dogs like to clamber over fences, and a top rail gives them something to hang onto. Hence, if your dog is so inclined it's wise to keep the top rail out of reach by making the fence tall, or else to replace the top rail with a less expensive top support wire.
Top Support Wires
Where formal appearance is not an over-riding issue, we recommend black pvc-coated 13.5 gauge steel tie wire to provide top support for both metal and polypropylene dog fences. That's really for two reason. First, it saves money; and second, for dogs that like to clamber over fences this sort of top support wire gives them no obvious target.
Applying Tie Wire: Tie wire is typically applied in short runs about 60 feet long and is tightened manually. Start by passing about a foot at the end of the tie wire around the post that will serve to anchor it, and twist the tie wire tightly around itself four or five times until you have what looks like a little hangman's knot. Cut off the excess. raise the tied wire up to the top of the post, proceed to unreel it down to the other anchor post, cut the wire, leaving about a foot to go around this second anchor post, pull the wire tight (not vastly tight, but enough to support the top of the fencing), and tie another knot. That's all there is to it.
Attaching the Wire to the Fencing: This can be done with hog ring staples (expensive because you need to buy the hog ring tool) or zip-lock ties (inexpensive but time-consuming to apply). In either case you need to apply one staple or zip-tie for every foot of dog fencing. In general, it is best to use our strong 8-inch zip-ties for this job when you don't need to apply more than about 200. On longer fences the time required to apply the zip ties makes the much faster hog ring stapler cost-effective.
If you're considering a hog-ring stapler, we offer two. One, which has a conspicuous red handle, is less expensive if you don't need over a thousand staples. The other, which has a black handle, is better for longer jobs because its staples come in packs of 2,500 that staple-for-staple are less expensive.