Dogs escaping their yards or homes is a story as old as domestication. Since most dogs aren’t trained to survive in the wild, they are exposed to the risks of a world not designed for them when they get out; not to mention all of the risks that come with an industrialized area. However, people have been pretty clever in figuring out ways to protect their companions from the perils of an escape. Here are a few ways to keep your dog from escaping the yard:
1. Put Bushes Around Your Fence
You’d be surprised that, for some dog breeds, a fence isn’t enough to keep them in due to their ninja-like ability to jump and climb.
By planting shrubs and other barriers around the fence, you create an aesthetically appealing second barrier that may help impede their movements enough to prevent them from bounding over the fence.
Just make sure the plants you choose are safe for dogs and won’t help them escape easier instead.
2. Modify Your Fence
Certain areas of your fence are easier for your dog to leap or climb over. These are typically areas that have climbing aids, such as woodpiles. Once you identify these areas, you can add mesh to the top of a fence.
You could even curve the fence inwards to create a sloped, inward-facing wall. This method allows you to only modify portions of the fence rather than the entire thing and you can customize your methods to the abilities of your furry friend.
Install Coyote Rollers
Coyote rollers are beams placed at the foot of fences that spin when force is added to them. Originally designed to keep coyotes out of pens, they can also keep your dog from escaping the yard. These require a little installation, but it’s nothing crazy and is manageable.
3. Lay A Concrete Base
Some dogs are climbers while others are diggers. While a dog’s paws may be able to easily sift away dirt, evolution didn’t take concrete into account. Just pour some concrete at the footer of your fence to encapsulate the bottom.
Not only will this help anchor your fence, but it will also help keep your dog from being able to dig underneath it and escape the yard. You can apply some paint or add some plants or vegetation for aesthetics.
4. Obstruct The View
Some dogs are natural protectors and will respond to perceived threats. This can be especially troublesome if the danger isn’t perilous and is just a teenager walking down the street or a mailman.
Proper socialization and training early and often can help your protective dog be more comfortable with the unknown. But, they will still maintain their natural wariness of strangers and will be ready to protect their family. It’s no fault of your dog – they just think they’re doing their job.
However, you can easily cut down on the protective barking alerts by obscuring whatever view they may have of populated areas. A simple way of doing this is by purchasing some reed or bamboo thatching rolls.
Putting these over wherever is visible can help block the view of anyone or anything that would tempt your dog over the fence. You can also plant shrubs, trees, or other vegetation to help insulate your yard further.
5. Install Two Gates
An effective way of keeping your dog from escaping the yard is to build a two-tiered gate that requires two gates to be opened before entering the yard. These are commonly used at fenced-in off-leash dog parks.
A two-gate system adds a layer of security. If the dog gets through the first gate, there is another gate to contend with. This means that you will have to open two gates every time you enter or exit your yard, but it is effective.
6. Regularly Inspect the Security of Your Yard
Many dogs are able to escape their yards because it has become easy to do. Broken fencing, rusted gates, etc. can all be easy ways for your dog to escape the yard. And, they don’t even need to be a skilled escape artist to do it! So, it is important to regularly inspect the security of your yard.
Inspect The Locks And Latches
Gates are subject to wear and tear like anything else. Locks may break, screws may become loose, hinges disengage, and latches come off-center. Make sure to check these while giving your hinges a little oil once in a while so they easily engage the latch.
Double Check That Egresses Are Closed
This should go without saying, but many dogs get out because gates and doors remain open. Just give the gate a little nudge when you leave the yard every time to make sure it is latched securely and locked, and you may avoid some headaches.
7. Make Sure You Can Track Your Dog
Even with precautions in place, your dog can still get out. One way to help protect them and make sure they can get back home quickly is to make sure you can track them. Microchipping can help shelters identify you as the owner if your dog loses their tags and a GPS tracker can help you actively track where they are.
Keep Microchip Information Updated
Microchipping your dog is essential to keeping them safe. This small chip under their skin contains your contact information and allows a veterinary office, shelter, or rescue to scan your dog.
This allows them to quickly identify that the dog has an owner, who the owner is, and how to get into contact with them. As long as your dog has a microchip and the information is kept updated, you have a higher chance of getting them back home quickly if they run off or are lost.
Outfit Your Dog With a GPS Tracker
Even the best defenses are prone to error, and your dog may get out, despite your best efforts to contain them. Therefore, you may need a hi-tech approach to track down your wayward friend.
GPS trackers* (Amazon Affiliate Link) are easily installed on collars, and provide an extra layer of security. This is also a good investment if you go on hikes or other excursions because they allow you to find your dog in whatever environment they may escape into.
Most dog owners will have to deal with their pets escaping every once in a while. Your dog isn’t likely doing this to be rebellious or to get away from you. Instead, they probably saw something that intrigued them and took off after it or they just have an urge to wander.
So, make sure not to scold them. Dogs don’t have the same ability to rationalize cause and effect as we do, so you will just be damaging your relationship with them. It may also make them afraid to return or stay in the yard in the future. Just do everything in your ability to prevent your dog from getting lost to make sure that it doesn’t happen in the first place.
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