dog jumping over fence

Top Tips to Stop your Dog from Escaping Out of The Garden

Top Tips to Stop your Dog from Escaping Out of The Garden

Dogs get out of the garden for different reasons such as; loneliness, boredom, territory protection, prey instincts and separation anxiety just to mention a few. How to stop your dog escaping from the garden may be more straight forward than you think but it is important to assess the reasons why the dog is escaping. It is every dog owners wish to prevent their dog from getting out of its play area which could be a section of your garden because they may get into fights, get hit by a vehicle, eat garbage or worse still come into contact with poisonous plants or sniff poisonous chemical remains that may have been disposed of wrongly. Also, free-roaming dogs are a threat to children, livestock and even other dogs on leash. So, how do you stop your dog from getting out of the garden?

Train your dog not to bolt out exits

Dogs develop the habit of bolting out exits or doors because they get rewarded for escaping. They get to enjoy a fun trip outside, play with other unsupervised dogs and engage their owners in an exciting chasing game. Hence, the repeated escapes once a dog manages to escape once. Teach your dog to wait at the door until you open it for them and to never go out on its own. Always rewards its good behavior like not escaping after the training. Your dog will stop getting out of the garden to enjoy treats from you.

Secure your garden

Ensure that your garden area is well secured to keep the dog from getting out. You may be able to use a 6-foot fence to secure the area because most dogs cannot jump over it – you could also consider digging in a chicken wire along the fence line below ground. When a dog is determined to escape, it can do anything to gain access to digging under the 6-foot fence. The chicken wire will be uncomfortable for the dog, and may prevent deter the dog from digging. You can also place concrete or wood blocks at the bottom of your fence to discourage digging. Try to avoid picket fencing as this can cause serious injury to your dog or cat if they impale themselves on the stakes. If you have an uneven garden terrain, consider having a smaller dog run that should be confined to one corner. Another alternative for securing the garden is installing underground or invisible fencing. The hidden fence uses a small computer collar that interacts with a signal that surrounds the property. When the dog enters the “no go zone” the dog’s collar reacts to the radio signal and gives the dog a high pitched warning beep to alert the dog that he or she is in the wrong area. If the dog continues the collar gives out a low level static shock (correction). The dog will have been trained to know where the “no go zone” area is located through a training protocol that uses both vocal and visual indicators. Over the years there has been negative press on the use of electronic dog fences, often referred to as electric dog fence but recent studies have dispelled the myths, indeed a study into cat containment reported that there are no negative long term effects with using an electronic fence. (Lincoln 2016) http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2016/09/1265.asp. 

Driveways and open boundaries

Driveways are always going to be a weak point, as are open areas which cannot be fenced due to planning restrictions. These areas really are ideal for using electric dog fences. Escaping dogs will always use the weakest point on a property and an open gateway or clear area is a golden opportunity for a dog to make a bid for freedom. An underground dog fence will operate invisibly and effectively 24/7 to prevent the dog or cat from escaping through the vulnerable area. Owners often install electric gates to keep dogs and cats off the roads, however, most dogs will quickly learn that when they hear the buzzer they have an open opportunity to not just run out but amble out at a steady pace. An underground dog fence can be fitted in conjunction with electric gates to prevent the pet from escaping when they hear the buzzer.

Consequences of an escaping dog

If your dog escapes and is caught by a council dog warden you may be issued with a warning, a caution or a fixed penalty fine. You may even be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000 which can be an added incentive to stop your dog from escaping! Also further controls can be given to the owner.  In some cases the dog may be transferred to a local kennels whilst the owner is located at a heavy daily cost or even transferred to shelter and possibly re-homed.

 

Exercise your dog

A dog that only stays and plays in the garden will eventually get bored, tired, stressed, frustrated and unhappy. It will look for ways to stay engaged and break the boredom and thus, escape. Therefore, it is advisable to walk your dog every day if possible so that it can experience a new environment, remain engaged and interact with other dogs. Exercises not only boost your dog’s socialization skills but also stimulate its mind. Walks in the park are more exciting to the dog because it gets to explore a new terrain and play with other dogs. If you exercise your dog daily or regularly, it will not have the urge to get out of the garden when left unsupervised because exploring the neighborhood would be a regular affair and there would be nothing new to look forward to.

Conclusion

Just like human beings, dogs like adventure and getting out the garden offers a unique type of adventure where they get to enjoy outdoor without being on a leash or under their owner’s supervision. Hence, you should keep your dog engaged while in the garden and do not leave it unsupervised for long periods – this may not be a fall-proof method to stop your dog from escaping but it will certainly be helpful. Escaping dogs are a nuisance as well as a danger to the public and livestock and whether it is an underground dog fence, a conventional wooden fence or a dog run owners should take steps to keep their pets safe and under control.