How to Prevent Your Dog from Escaping the Yard
For many dog owners, a beautifully fenced garden is a must, where your puppy can frolic, smell interesting things and sleep in the shade. It's perfect - unless your dog thinks that the grass is greener elsewhere, and he becomes an escape artist. In a minute you'll see him out of the kitchen window, in the next one he'll be gone. Besides worrying about his safety, knowing that you can’t even trust him in your own garden is frustrating. Do not despair; There are some relatively simple things you can do to prevent your dog from leaving the grounds.
How (and why) your dog makes a run for itself
Your dog can choose to run around because he is lonely out there. As nice as it is to have all these open spaces, he may prefer your company or just look for a friend. A territorial dog can see something beyond its borders, which he believes threatens his home. That's why he has to get out there and fight it off.
Maybe he found a "treasure" on the other side: a new friend to play with, food, a tempting jet of water or a large field to walk on. And of course, there are the prey-driven hunters. A mere fence does not prevent them from chasing a squirrel or rabbit that was just running through the yard. He may just be a puppy or an adolescent who needs more outlets for his incredible energy.
Different dogs have different escape routes. Some are jumpers; they run from the ground and over. Some use everything near the fence to climb up and then they go over. Other dogs are tirelessly digging for freedom. Then there are the chewers who can make a hole in the fence big enough to slip through. The deep thinkers can figure out how to actually open a gate. Some dogs storm the gate when it is opened and run away before you can catch it. Determined dogs will use a combination of these techniques.
Although it sounds counterproductive, you should take your dog for a walk every day, even if you have a nice fenced plot. The great physical and mental exercise that accompanies a walk can help your dog consume some of his energy and keep him out of boredom when in the garden.
Creative ways to keep your dog in the property
For Jumpers and Climbers:
- Extend your fence. You don’t necessarily have to make it higher but adding a section to the top that tilts inward will deter your dog. A lean-in or L-footer will do the trick. You make a lean-in by taking some farm wire and attaching it to the top of your fence, so that it creates a sort of awning on the inside. Your dog will see fencing above him and that should deter him. An L-footer extends horizontally from the top of the fence and also creates an awning-type deterrent.
- Remove climbing aids. Go through the property and watch out for everything near the fence you can climb on: a pile of wood; Trashcan; Slides for children or play equipment; even a bench, a chair or a boulder.
- Buy a coyote roller. These are long metal bars that can be attached to the fence to prevent your dog from getting the hold he needs to overcome. When an animal tries to gain a foothold, it rolls like a rolling pin. Designed to keep coyotes out, they are just as effective at keeping a beloved pet in the house. You need mounting brackets and end caps, but you can find complete kits online.
- Add landscaping. Plant a hedge of dense shrubs on the inside of the fence line. This not only makes the jump difficult, but also makes a good figure.
- Attach an L-footer along the underside of the fence with the front inward. You can use chicken wire, metal cloth or a piece of chain link fence attached to the base of the fence. Some people bury it for aesthetic reasons. But you can also put it on the grass and hold it with stones, gravel, mulch or even planters.
- Pour a concrete footer. This stops even the most determined digger. Pour concrete along the perimeter of the fence and dip the fence floor into the mix.
For border police patrollers:
- Block the view. For a watchdog, a staring dog, or a dog patrolling his territory, it is often the sight of "danger" that drives him out of the property. If you have a chain link fence, run plastic slats through the fence. For any type of fence, bamboo or reed fences are a relatively inexpensive alternative. Simply use cable ties to attach it to your existing fence. It blocks the view and does not look bad. Although this takes longer, you can also plant climbing shrubs or tendrils along the fence. But you have to protect them from the dog until they have established themselves.
More Tips for All escapists
Regardless of how your dog leaves the property, you can take various other measures to ensure his safety.
- If you have a gate that was often accidentally opened or left open, install an airlock or double gate. Take a few fence lengths and another gate and create a small, enclosed area inside or outside the fence. If someone wants to get in or out, he or she must go through a gate, close it and then open the second gate.
- Get your dog a puppy bumper. This is a fiber filled collar designed to prevent puppies and small dogs from slipping through small openings.
- Make sure that all locks on gates and fences are secure. If you have an open gate or latch that does not remain closed, add a lock or Velcro.
- Make the Yard his happy place. The property should not be his prison. It was to be his sanctuary, his shelter and his playground. Make sure he has plenty of fresh water and some shade. Bring out a treat toy for fun. Turn your dog's toy to raise the dog's interest.
- Do not leave him alone out there for a long time, or never if you can’t supervise him. The best way to keep him on the property is to be with him. Play with him, brush him, use it as a training time or just hang out. He will be less interested in going if his best friend is there too!
- If you are away from home, keep your dog in the house so he will not escape to look for you or be taken by another person.
When your dog escapes from the garden, it is important to remember that you should not punish him if you find him or when he comes back. This will not relieve his desire to escape, and it can scare him to return to the Yard.