Wednesday, December 4, 2013
To me, this is a very important subject to talk about because one of my dogs recently got hit and killed because he managed to escape from our yard. But I feel that no matter how much someone writes on this topic, they cannot cover all of the ways a dog can possibly escape without suggesting to have them locked in a concrete cellar. Usually though, only a few precautions will prevent your dog from escaping.
First, find out why your dog is trying to escape. Separation anxiety, sexually motivated roaming, boredom and fear are a few reasons. If you can find a reason for your dogs escaping habits, try to find a solution, such as caging, neutering or providing toys for entertaining. Sometimes there is no clear reason as to why your dog is escaping, or he may escape once if the opportunity arises or he becomes scared, as in my dogs case. It is so so important to prevent this before it happens.
Next step is to make your yard as escape proof as possible. Make fences at least six feet tall, and if your dog is a jumper or climber, make the fences curve inward at an angle.
Make sure the fences touches the ground so that there is no room for your dog to squeeze under. Don't be fooled with chicken wire fences, ours was touching the ground with heavy rocks holding it there, and somehow our German Short-haired Pointer pushed the rocks aside and squeezed under a space only a few inches high.
Make sure all gates can be locked from the outside so your dog cant nudge the latch and open it. This also makes it easier to check if your gait is securely latched.
Usually if your dog isn't actively trying to escape, this should be enough to prevent him from doing so. I'm sure I haven't written about half of the ways you could and should prevent your dog from escaping, as everyone's situation and yard is different, but these are a few pointers that should get you thinking; hmm... will he be able to fit through there?
This was all said and done for our yard, it was virtually dog proof and we left for the day thinking our dogs didn't have a chance at escaping. But that day the roofer was coming, it was the only thing different about that day, the only thing that could have scared our dog enough to escape. Our dog did just that and was killed hours later.
If you know that something is going to be different about that day, like fireworks, a thunderstorm, a loud party, a stranger coming over to your house, make sure your dog is caged or put in a place where he absolutely cannot escape. Even if your dog is totally fine with strangers otherwise, he may find someone climbing on his roof is worth jumping the fence for.
It's better to be safe than sorry, trust me.