We love our dogs. After all, they're man's best friend right? Few things are so fulfilling sometimes and so downright maddening others than dog-ownership. The cute and cuddly sometimes will give way to a jumping, biting, peeing terror that refuses to be contained. If you don't know the basics about how to deal with and train your dog, this can be hard to get through.
The Escape Artist
My dog is an unusually sweet 3 year old Lab/German Shepherd/Pitbull cross with a wonderful temperament. She's well trained and smart, she's good with kids and comes when I call. We are very happy with her.
We have however, had one major problem with our furry little friend: she escapes everything. This is no regular dog, this is canine Houdini. I started by putting her in the barn with the other dogs at our farm. Gone. Tried putting her in a stall in the barn after that. Gone. Tried everything and you guessed it, gone.
Now, our girl gets out by jumping over the wall. It's hard to believe, but she can climb a 9 foot wall and get out. We couldn't ever find a way to keep her contained and safe (she's been picked up by the police twice!).
You can't keep your dog safe and sound until you know how she's escaping so consider setting up a video camera or watching her through a window if she won't do the deed while you're standing and watching (most dogs won't).
Here's How To Stop A Dog From Escaping
1. Training, training and more training
There's no shame in asking for help. I'm not a professional dog trainer and you're likely not either. It's hard to get deep into the dog-psychology stuff when you have a busy life. Consider hiring a local professional dog trainer to help you sort out your dog's issues. Usually escape has to do with discomfort and anxiety and a trainer can help sort this out with you.
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2. Fill in holes
This can be easier said than done. If you have a large yard and a Burmese Mountain Dog that loves to dig, filling in holes might be a week-long project. You need to do this though if your dog is escaping under a fence. You might want to consider digging down a little extra and setting up some chicken wire or something so there's nothing other than another fence to dig down to.
Now a kennel can be a large dog run in your yard or it can be a plastic or steel crate. I would suggest building a proper outdoor covered dog run. If your dog has a safe, comfortable and fun place to be there's no reason left to leave! This has worked for my father's dogs for years.
4. Cable or rope
One option is to simply tie your dog to a fence or post while you're gone or not watching. If you do this, it's important to use a long lead so that your dog still has plenty of room to play. It's also good to leave her with a bone and some toys so she doesn't get too bored.
This is definitely best and easiest way to keep your dog in your yard. The Petsafe Wireless Containment System allows you to set how far your dog can travel from the base in any direction. You can set this up to 1/2 acre so no matter what your pup will still have tons of room to roam. When she goes beyond the circular area that you have set up, the system delivers a beep or a harmless static correction so your dog knows to stop there.
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Learning how to stop a dog form escaping can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. If you stick with it and teach your dog you can be sure that dog ownership will be a mutually wonderful relationship between you and man's best friend.