How To Keep My Dog From Escaping My Backyard? – Many dog owners want to ensure their canine friends stay safe in their backyard. In some cases, a strong and sturdy fence may very well be able to keep your dog safe and secure in your yard. In other cases, you may have to do a bit more to deter your dog from escaping, especially if you own an “escape artist” dog, such as a Siberian Husky. In this article, we’ll provide 7 tips to help you keep your dog from escaping your backyard – no matter what size or breed you own. To learn more about what fence may be right for you and your needs, contact the experts at Jay Fencing now!
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How To Keep My Dog From Escaping My Backyard – Our Top 7 Tips
If you’ve ever dealt with a pet’s escape or near-escape, you know how stressful that situation can be. You love your dog, care for him, and now he’s trying to run away? Why? In order to prevent another escape from happening, it’s important to know why your dog might be attempting to escape.
According to The Humane Society Of The United States, most dogs try to escape simply because they are bored or lacking adequate social interaction. Dogs are highly social animals, and most thrive on human interaction – especially from their families. They may have too much energy they need to burn off or want to run off and do something fun (like play with your neighbour’s dog!) They may not have enough toys or mental stimulation.
Your dog may also be escaping due to fear. Is your dog afraid of thunder or other dogs, or shakes whenever a loud truck or bus drives by? If your dog is alone in the backyard and confronted with his fears, he may try to escape to avoid it. Click here to read about other reasons why your dog may try to escape.
If you notice your dog is becoming an escape artist and want to nip this behaviour in the bud, don’t worry! There are many things you can do to not only dog-proof your backyard but also get a handle on this and other negative behaviours.
Tip #1 – Invest In A Fence
If you don’t have a fence already, installing a new fence is one of the first and best steps for keeping your pup safe in your yard. The type of fence you choose is up to you! If you have a small dog or a dog that has no interest in escaping, you can select a lower fence such as a picket or chain link fence. These fences create an obvious barrier and many dogs are contained by them without a problem. If you have an escape artist dog, you may want to invest in a higher fence that will be hard for your dog to climb up, such as a board-on-board wooden fence.
Some dog owners also invest in an invisible fence. An invisible fence is not a physical barrier at all but an electronic collar your dog wears that will shock or vibrate when your dog crosses a border. Keep in mind that although invisible fences work very well for some dogs and may be ideal for you, they do require significant training to work. You cannot simply put the collar on and expect your dog to understand what’s going on! Some dogs don’t mind the mild shock/vibration and will escape even using the highest shock setting.
Tip #2 – Secure The Top Of Your Fence
Sometimes, all it takes to keep your pet safe on your property is to install a fence. Other times, a fence may not be enough. Check out the 6-second video below to see how quickly and easily this Border Collie scales an 8-foot fence!
If you’re worried that your dog may attempt an escape like the one above, there are preventative measures you can take. Consider installing a portion of your fence at the top that curves inwards. This will help stop your dog from running at a 90-degree angle and jumping right over the top like we see in this video. You can also consider buying a Coyote Roller. A Coyote Roller is like a large rolling pin attached to the top of your fence. When something tries to get into your yard (or in this case, out of), the pin rolls and the animal loses his grip. You can check out Coyote Rollers here!
Tip #3 – Secure The Bottom Of Your Fence
Some dogs are not big jumpers or climbers – but that doesn’t mean they won’t find a way out of your yard! Other dog owners have problems with their pup digging underneath their fence to escape. This can be especially dangerous if you have a chain link fence, as the metal can snag their fur or skin, leaving a nasty wound. The good news is that there is a solution for these type of escape artists too!
One solution is to secure the bottom of your fence with concrete. A well installed concrete footer will make it impossible for even the most avid diggers to get under your fence. You may also want to bury chicken wire at the bottom of your fence (ensure the sharp edges are rolled inwards).
Tip #4 – Plant Shrubs or Bushes
Planting shrubs or bushes along your fence can help prevent your dog from getting a running start and gripping onto your fence. Some bushes are large enough to actually block your dog from the fence, while others are thorny or uncomfortable and your dog will want to stay away.
Planting shrubs or bushes not only helps keep your pooch away from the fence, but it can also help obstruct his view. Your dog may want to escape if he’s patrolling your yard and sees ‘danger,’ or if he’s excited about another person or dog and wants to play! Blocking his view is a good way to keep his attention focused inside your yard instead of outside it!
Tip #5 – Make Your Yard Fun
Many dogs leave because their own backyard is too boring (or even too scary). If your dog spends time outside in your yard, you should ensure that it’s a fun place to be. Make sure he always has access to fresh, cold water and shelter. Provide special outdoor toys that he only gets when he’s in the backyard. You can also bring out puzzle toys that are mentally stimulating, such as treat dispensing toys. If your dog feels happy and safe in his yard, he will be much less likely to escape.
Tip #6 – Secure Your Gates
Some dogs will never try to scale a fence, but might be opportunistic! If your gate is flimsy or someone in your household has a habit of leaving it open, your dog may be at risk. It may seem extreme, but it’s always best to double check your gates before leaving your dog alone in your yard. The extra minute it takes to check could end up saving your dog’s life.
If your gate’s latch is faulty or not as secure as it could be, consider hiring a professional to fix your gate or, if you were planning on getting a new one anyway, replace the entire gate. Working with a professional can help you select a gate that works well for you. Some dogs can even figure out how to open a gate! Let your fence/gate installers know about your dog so they can help you find a pet-proof lock.
Tip #7 – Monitor Your Dog
The truth is, the very best way to keep your dog safe in your yard is with constant monitoring. Your dog can’t dig a German-Shepherd sized hole if you are right there watching the whole time! They can’t become fixated on people or other dogs outside your yard for hours, or figure out a way to open your secured gate while you watch.
Your dog will also be much more likely to want to stay in your yard with you there too! Most experts do not recommend leaving your dog alone in your backyard when you are not home or unable to watch him for long periods of time. Dogs are resourceful and can get into a lot of trouble when bored and left alone. Not only do you have to worry about escapes, but they could get into a fight with another animal (like a skunk or a raccoon), get injured, or eat something they shouldn’t (such as a toxic plant).
If an accident or injury occurs when you aren’t home, you won’t be able to know exactly what happened, unless you have security cameras installed that can see every inch of your yard. Of course, each situation is unique. It’s up to each dog owner to weigh the pros and potential risks of free reign in your yard.
Other Tips From The Humane Society
Proper training and enough physical and mental exercises are some of the best ways to ensure your dog will not have the desire to escape your yard. Here are some tips for dog training from The Humane Society.
- Do not chain or tether your dog – In some places, chaining or tethering your dog when you are not around is actually illegal. However, even if it is legal in your area, chaining your dog is not an appropriate solution to an escaping pooch. Chaining your dog can actually lead to aggression and much more serious problems.
- Don’t correct after the fact – Correcting your dog after he has already escaped will not do you or your dog any good. Dogs only understand corrections if caught in the act (e.g. attempting to escape). If you punish your dog after he has already escaped, he will not understand why. This will likely just make him afraid of you – potentially leading to more escape attempts.
- Do not punish, correct, or reinforce fearful behaviour – If your dog is escaping due to fear or separation anxiety, punishing will only make things worse. You should also ensure you are not reinforcing fearful behaviour (e.g. petting your dog while he is shaking or scared). If you’re worried about your dog’s anxiety, consider working with a local behaviourist.
- Use positive reinforcement – Using negative reinforcement (such as squirting your dog with a hose when he attempts to leave) is very difficult to do correctly and may just make your dog avoid those behaviours when you’re around. Learn about positive reinforcement and train accordingly.
Rely On Jay Fencing To Keep Your Pets Safe!
Call on Jay Fencing to install your new fence now! When you work with a professional fencing company, they can help you decide on the right fence style for you, your dog, and all of your unique preferences and needs.
They will also know and understand fair pricing, and will only do the highest quality work. Avoid confusion and skip right to the beautifully installed fence of your dreams with Jay Fencing!
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