Dogs are the Houdini's of the animal kingdom, and can escape at a moment's notice. They love to roam, but an off-leash dog is considered dangerous. There's the possibility of being picked up by animal control; there's also tragic consequences, such as being hit by a car or stolen. To protect your dog, you must take preventative measures to stop him from escaping. The following lists five ways you can keep him from running off.
Remember: should your dog escape, it's up to you to find him. Strangers or animal control may come upon him before you do. Make sure he's outfitted with an engraved ID tag that includes his name and at least one phone number. Without a nameplate identifying him and you, he may be found but not returned.
1. Exercise Your Dog Daily
Loneliness and boredom are two of the most common reasons your dog takes off. He's in need of attention because he's a pack animal. Take him on long walks and he'll receive the undivided attention of his best friend and the added bonus of vigorous exercise. Then, when he's in the backyard he'll be too tired to dig under the fence or fiddle with the gate.
2. Replace or Mend Your Fence
Large dogs can jump over short fences, so you may need to replace your current fence with something taller. An entirely new fence isn't needed if your dog has figured a way out of the gate or a way under the fence, such as digging a hole. Simply replace the gate's latching mechanism. For diggers, bury some chicken wire along the base of the fence.
3. Spay or Neuter Your Dog
Unneutered males and non-spayed females will escape in search of true love. Talk to your veterinarian and schedule your dog to have the noninvasive surgery. Not only can spaying or neutering your dog stop his desire to escape, it also contributes a longer, healthier lifespan.
4. Give Your Dog Something to Play With
Dogs can become bored (just like humans) with the same playthings. Scatter a lot of toys and treats around your backyard to keep him engaged with his surroundings. Interactive toys are great, but make sure they're specifically designed for dogs, so that there's no chance of choking. Indestructible toys, treat dispensing toys, tennis balls, puzzles, and sensory toys are all great examples of backyard toys that will keep your dog busy.
5. Train Your Dog Not to Bolt out the Gate
Sometimes, dogs escape when a gate is left open or when people are passing into the yard. Dogs bolt because they don't understand they're being bad; the freedom is almost as rewarding as a delicious treat...But, not quite. You can teach your dog not to bolt by rewarding him with treats when he stays calm.
Dog Collars Boutique reports that "The 'come' command is your best friend in this situation...It begins with leash training. Walk your dog in a dog-friendly off-leash location (or, your backyard). Hold a treat under her nose, drop her leash, and run a bit away. Yell, 'come,' and then feed it to her immediately. Do this enough time and your dog should learn the command forever."
If you follow these steps, you will be able to keep your dog contained. The most important thing is that you never correct your dog after he's already escaped. He will not understand why he's being punished and the punishment will have little impact on his behavior. Instead, wait until he's done the right thing and reward him; it's then that you will see significant change.
For more information on licensing, check out this neat infographic:
- World spay day(localnews8.com)
- Four things to consider when asking if your dog is right for a doggy day care…(goldcoastpets.com.au)
- Working toward a no-kill nation > Too many unwanted pets are euthanized each year; spay and neuter is critical.(newsreview.com)