Home Depot has a pretty good guide for building wire fences. If you prefer a post and rail look, you could always add a few rails to the design. It would make it look a little better and add some strength as well.
The result might look something like this:
I recently built my own garden fence from chicken wire and cedar. It managed deflect a 'direct hit' from my 80 lb. dog running full tilt. (I made the mistake of letting her in the backyard right after I finished it. It was dark out and she couldn't see the wires.) She's not a jumper, so we only had to make the fence 3' tall.
- For the posts, I ripped down cedar 2x4s that I got from Home Depot for $6.50 each. I made four 4' 2x2s from each one, and mitered one end to a point. Then I hammered them into the ground so a full foot was buried.
- Next, I stretched and stapled the chicken wire between posts.
- The gates are just a 2x2 frame, braced at 45° at each corner.
- I'm still in the process of adding a top and bottom rail. I'm ripping 2x4s into 1/2x4s and screwing them to the posts. So I get 24 ft of boards for $6.50, rather than 8 ft.
Here's the fence in progress, with 80 lb dog for size reference: