A well-fenced backyard where your dog can wander, discover intriguing objects, and take a nap in the shade is essential for many dog owners. Except when your dog decides the grass is greener somewhere else and turns into a brilliant escape artist, it’s perfect. From the kitchen window, you can see them one moment, and the next, they are gone.
It is upsetting to feel like you can’t trust your dog even in your own backyard, along with worrying about their safety. Don’t give up; there are a few quite easy things you can do to prevent your dog from fleeing the yard or track them down if they do.
How (and Why) Your Dog Is Making a Run for It
Your dog can opt to stray if they feel lonely outside. Despite how lovely all that space is, they might prefer your companionship or might simply be yearning for a friend. A territorial dog may see anything beyond its border that it perceives as a threat to the house and will need to go out and repel it.
They might have discovered “treasure on the other side” in the form of a fun new playmate, food, a tempting stream of water, or a sizable field to play in. Of course, there are also hunters who hunt primarily for prey. They won’t be prevented from chasing a squirrel or rabbit that has just run through the yard by a simple fence. They might just be a young child or a puppy with excessive energy who needs more ways to burn it off.
Dogs can escape in a variety of ways. Some people are jumpers; they take off running from the ground and jump. Some people climb up the fence using whatever is there before jumping over. Other dogs are tireless diggers who tunnel their way to freedom. Then there are the fence-climbers, who can gnaw a hole big enough for them to squeeze through. The cerebral kind might discover how to truly open a gate. When the gate is opened, some dogs charge it and bolt outside before you can catch them. Dogs who are really determined will combine these methods.
Even if you have a lovely fenced-in yard, you should still walk your dog every day, despite the fact that it might seem counterproductive to do so. Your dog may be able to burn off some of their excess energy and prevent boredom while playing in the yard thanks to the excellent physical and mental activity that comes with a stroll.
For jumpers and climbers:
- Build a longer fence. It doesn’t necessarily need to be taller, but your dog will be discouraged if you add an inward-tilting part to the top. It will work with an L-footer or lean-in. Using farm wire to construct a sort of interior awning, you may create a lean-in by fastening it to the top of your fence. Your dog will be able to see the fence above them, which should discourage any climbing. The top of the fence has an L-footer that extends horizontally, acting as an awning-like barrier.
- Abolish the climbing aids. If there are any objects in the yard that are close enough to the fence that someone could use them as a climbing aid, such as wood piles, trash cans, playground equipment, benches, chairs, or boulders, make a note of them.
- Invest on a coyote roller. To prevent your dog from gaining the foothold he needs to climb the fence, you can connect these long, metal bars to the barrier. It rolls like a rolling pin when an animal tries to utilize it to achieve balance. They are made to keep predators out, but they also work well to keep a cherished pet inside. They do need end caps and mounting brackets, but you can get full kits online.
- landscape the area. Along the inside of the fence line, plant a dense shrub hedge. This not only makes for a harder jump, but it also looks fantastic.
- Place an L-footer facing in along the bottom of the fence. You can reinforce the base of the fence with chicken wire, hardware cloth, or a section of chain-link fence. Some individuals bury it purely for decorative purposes. However, you could also lay it on top of the grass and secure it with mulch, rocks, or even pots.
- Pour a footer of concrete. Even the most persistent digger will be stopped by this. The bottom of the fence should be buried in the concrete after it has been poured around its circumference.
For border patrollers:
- Restrict the view. A watchdog, guard dog, or any dog that monitors its territory will frequently leave the yard when it perceives danger. Put plastic slats through a chain-link fence if you have one. Rolls of bamboo or reed fencing are a relatively affordable solution for any form of fence. You only need to fasten it to your current fence with zip ties. It obscures the view and is not at all ugly. You can also grow climbing bushes or vines along the fence, however this takes longer to become effective, and you’ll need to keep the dog away from them while they’re growing.
More Tips for Keeping Your Dog From Escaping the Yard
There are some other steps you can take to make sure your dog is secure, regardless of how they get out of the yard.
- Install a secondary gate or an airlock. Create a tiny, contained space inside or outside the fence using a few lengths of fence and another gate. One gate must be passed through, closed, and then the second gate must be opened for entry or exit.
- Get a Puppy Bumper for your dog. This fiberfill-filled collar is designed to prevent pups and tiny dogs from slipping through tight spaces.
- Verify the security of all the latches on gates and fences. Add a lock or hook-and-eye closure to gates that blow open or latches that don’t remain closed.
- Make the yard a happy environment for them. The backyard ought to be a safe refuge, a place to hide, and a place to play, not a prison. Make that they have access to plenty of clean water and some cover. Bring out a toy that dispenses treats for amusement. To keep your dog interested, rotate their toys.
- Never let dogs outside unattended for long periods of time or if you can’t keep an eye on them. Being present with them in the yard is the best method to keep them there. Use the time to train, play fetch, groom them, or simply hang out. If their bestie is around, your dog will be less inclined to go.
- When you’re at home, keep your dog secure indoors so they can’t wander off and look for you or get taken out by someone else.
- Install a GPS tracking collar on your dog. These gadgets track and communicate your dog’s whereabouts in real time so you may use it to find him. They employ GPS technology, the same as what you’d find in your car or phone. Brand-specific device features can differ, but the majority use a smartphone app for tracking and monitoring.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that if your dog does manage to escape the yard, you shouldn’t punish them when you catch them or when they come back. Punishment won’t stop them from wanting to go away, and it can even make them hesitant to come back to your yard.
Last but not least, backup plans like a microchip or a GPS-enabled collar increase the likelihood that, even if your wayward pup does escape, he will be discovered safely and promptly afterward. Prepare now to prevent your dog’s subsequent escape attempt since you cannot place a value on your piece of mind.
Tips for Responsible Dog Owners
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Figure Out Why Your Dog’s Digging
Understanding the causes of your dog’s behavior should be your first step. Is he one of the dog breeds whose nature includes digging? Is he a young man with excessive energy? Does he experience anxiousness when you leave? Or is he attempting to flee for some other motive?
Once you understand the causes of your dog’s fence-digging, you can put the right plans in place to make things right for everyone.
Set Up a Digging Zone
If your dog is a natural digger and the standard deterrents aren’t working, this works especially effectively. You can prevent him from escaping by providing him with a location where it’s OK for him to dig. He can express himself in this way, and you can still keep him from harm.
By sandboxing or covering the digging area with loose soil, you can teach your dog where to dig. Then hide toys or other secure items in the ground for him to find. Be sure to congratulate him when he locates them.
Tell your dog “No dig!” if he digs in an area where he shouldn’t. making a loud noise or speaking firmly and loudly. Take him there right away, and give him credit for digging there.
Additionally, you can make it unpleasant for him to dig in certain spots by covering them with chicken wire or big boulders. You can take off those covers and get your landscaping back to how it was once he knows where his digging location is.
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Exercise
Make sure your dog gets adequate exercise if you suspect he is digging to amuse himself. You ought to play with him with energetic toys like a frisbee and take him for at least two daily walks.
Getting advice from a dog trainer and teaching your companion new skills or exercises might also be a wonderful idea. This amuses him and, if the dog is young, aids in letting some of that extra energy out.
Make sure your dog has safe toys or a reward dispenser to keep him occupied when you’re not home. That offers him something to do other than burrowing around the yard or under the fence.
Humanely Fence Burrowing Animals Out of Your Yard
You should take humane measures to keep those burrowing critters out of the yard if you believe your dog is hunting. Because hazardous substances can damage pets as well, you shouldn’t use them to kill them.
If you want to keep those bothersome rats away, you might try something like a capsicum mixture. That may deter them from entering your yard and assist in reducing your dog’s digging tendencies. To prevent them from entering, you can either use a chain-link fence or bury chicken wire at least six inches underground.
Praise the Good and Ignore the Bad
You may want to spend extra time playing with your dog and take him for walks at least twice a day if he is digging to attract your attention.
In order to stop his digging, you should use different strategies if you are confident that you are paying him enough attention. Start by ignoring his negative attention-seeking behavior and lavishly complimenting him when he behaves well.
He will learn from this that acting well earns him the attention he seeks. Make sure he has a lot of dog toys, and use those toys to play with him. In this manner, you can leave the toys behind when you go, and he will associate them with you.
Make Sure His Environment Is Safe, Appealing, and Free of Escape Incentives
There are various ways to stop your dog from escaping if you believe that is what it is doing. The first thing you should do is get your dog neutered or spayed if you don’t plan on breeding it. That suppresses their innate urge to rove around looking for a mate.
Bury chicken wire at the bottom of the fence if you have already done so or can’t because you’ll be breeding your dog. Ensure that the wire’s edges are rolled away from the yard.
Large pebbles can also be partially buried along the fence line to deter him from digging beneath them. Another effective method is to lay a chain-link fence close to the fence and anchor it to the ground along the bottom of the fence line. Your dog’s walking companion will find it uncomfortable if it gets too close to it.
Alternatively, you can just bury the fence line one to two feet into the ground. Your best pet’s ability to dig far enough to escape is hampered by this.
What should be used to stop animals from gnawing through a fence?
The size of the animals you want to exclude will determine the size of the wire mesh you choose. Small rodents cannot be kept out by standard two by three-inch fencing that is galvanized or plastic-coated for weather durability. However, it will keep out woodchucks, raccoons, and opossums. If you wish to keep out smaller animals, use one-by-one-inch galvanized wire.
How can my fence be made dog-proof?
Depending on your budget and your dog’s needs, there are a number of various ways to keep your dog secure if you’re beginning from an existing fence. The following suggestions can help you dog-proof your fence:
- 1. Secure the fence’s base. You must make the bottom of your fence or wall deeper and more secure if your dog digs. To make digging more difficult, you can add more staves, an L-footer (an L-shaped extension at the bottom of the fence), gravel, bushes, a concrete footer, or any other kind of material.
- 2. Increase the fence’s height. If your dog likes to climb or jump, you’ll need to focus your DIY dog-proofing efforts up top. Rollers, longer fence staves, or chicken wire can be used to increase the height (long metal bars that go lengthwise along the top of your fence). Also take into account your landscaping; you might want to remove any trees, shrubs, or outdoor furniture that your dog could use to scale the fence.
- 3. Construct an extra fence. An additional line of fencing can be added around the gate area or the entire property as a fencing option. Your dog will find it much harder to avoid the wall as a result, although doing so can be costly and time-consuming.
- 4. Block the vision of your dog. Your dog is more likely to want to escape the fence and to draw attention from other animals or people if they can see through the fence. Your dog’s vision of the fence line can be blocked off by boards, dense netting, or a solid wall, which will lessen their desire to escape.