Having a deck or patio outside your home is nice unless you feel as if you're under the watchful eyes of your neighbours every time you're outside! You might also want to add some privacy to that space if you live close to a busy roadway or are otherwise bothered by noise. Whatever your reason for needing some added privacy outdoors, note a few pros and cons of different options, so you can more easily choose what's best for your home.
Outdoor curtains can add some fabric to an outdoor space, which tones down the look of a wood deck or stone patio pavers. However, you do need an overhead track for the curtains if you don't already have a pergola or other frame installed over the area. Also, while outdoor curtains are very durable and rugged, they will need occasional cleaning; many will be dry clean only, so consider that cost and the hassle of taking them down and rehanging them after every cleaning.
Privacy shades also need an overhead frame if one is not installed. They are good for providing shade from the sun and not just privacy, and many are very thick and meant to insulate against sound.
The one drawback to shades is that they work from the top down, so they may not be much good for blocking the view of neighbours who are also sitting on their patio. You would need to close them all the way to the ground or have a frame with a bottom panel that blocks the view of those seated. The same is true of active dogs; unless the shades are closed to the ground or there is a panel to your patio frame, shades won't block their sight of your outdoor area.
Privacy screens come in a wide array of materials, colours and styles, so they can also offset the look of wood or patio pavers and coordinate easily with your outdoor furniture. They don't require any type of erected frame and can be moved as necessary; since most have hinges between panels, you can even fold a screen to adjust its width.
Some outdoor privacy screens will be made to absorb sound, making your outdoor space quieter. Wood screens can also be painted over the years for when you want a fresh new look to the screen. You can also hang planters or outdoor lights from the screens to enhance your exterior space.