Coated Wires (Support Wires) and Top Rails
Coated Wires (Top Support Wires)
Where formal appearance is not an over-riding issue, we recommend our black pvc-coated 13.5 gauge top support wire. That’s really for two reason. First, it saves money; and second, for dogs that like to clamber over fences these coated wires give them no obvious target.
Applying Top Support Wire: Our coated wires are typically applied in short runs about 60 feet long and are tightened manually. Start by passing about a foot at the end of the coated wire around the post that will serve to anchor it, and twist the 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 wire knot up to the top of the post. Proceed to unreel the wire 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: Our coated wires can be applied with hog ring staples (expensive because you need to buy the hog ring tool) or nylon 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.
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. (Top rails are often required by local codes for swimming pool fences.)
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. Please note that although these posts are 96 inches long, 4 inches fits into the next post in line, so their effective length is 92 inches. However, the place where two top rails join together does not have to be directly over a vertical post — it can be anywhere along the fence.
Compared to coated wires, the main disadvantage of top rails, other than their 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 coated support wire.