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Old 06-16-2012, 11:27 AM
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Default Dog Owners: New help designing escape proof dog fence

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I've been a multiple cat owner for most my life so I am totally green at this.

Two weeks ago, a hunting dog wandered onto our rehab farm house property.
He looked starved and was clearly lost. He was very mannerly and obedient. He wants to go into the house or the truck. He seems like he could have lived both in and out. For about another week, we didn't feed him. He continued to wander around our place and the whole country block.

We both broke down and couldn't take seeing him walking down the middle of the highway and cars dodging him. He even laid down in the road a couple times and we went and called him to us and out of there.

We tied him up at the edge of an old horse barn on the property. He could lay in the shade or walk in the grass. We began feeding and watering him twice a day. We also walk him for 20-30 minutes on the farmland twice a day.

We started asking everyone around if they knew who he belonged to. We read the lost and founds in the paper and on the community messageboards. We posted him on multiple facebook friend's pages.

So after this second week, we have decided to keep him. We can't take him home because of our 3 cats and there is no suitable yard for him.
We are turning our rehab house into my husband's new business so he will end up being out there for several hours 5 days a week.

We thought about taking the 16 foot cattle panels and fencing a large area for him. It could also be linked to the building he is rebuilding for his shop. We hope to put his food/water inside and a bed/rest area out of the heat and cold, via one of those electric dog doors.

He loves to run. So we want to know the best ways to keep him in and not allow for escapes. I have no idea if he will dig or climb or jump. But we want to be pre-emptive.

So to the expert dog lovers out there, could some of you share some advice and ideas with us?

Thank you,
Kathy and Tony
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:33 AM
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6' chain link fencing, bury the bottom 6" or so under the level of the ground you built on, both my Pitheads will hop right over a standard 4' chain link, but only my male has learned to climb the higher ones, and he's too lazy to unless there's something major forcing him to do so.

Just an idea, but you will have to find out what works best for you.

You now have a high energy dog, make sure he has plenty to keep him occupied, or he'll go stir crazy.

Good luck!
Old 06-16-2012, 11:39 AM
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Even Purely Purpose-Bred and Trained "Hunting" Dogs Live FOR Human Companionship. If he is left alone for the majority of the time, he will Get Bored, nd will develop Personality Disorders. Not like cats that don't mind being left on their own.

Will probably Dig, may climb pretty well, depending on breed and Temperament.

Huntin Dogs I have had just Adore Being With Humans, and will be pretty happy to accompany someone at all waking hours. Kinda sad to be left alone.

All Wood, Flat Panel, Eight Foot Fence is PROBABLY Enough, if it has Anti-Dig Features at bottom edge.

Once Knew a Labrador that could climb any "reasonable fence" - saw her go over Fifteen Foot chain-link once, and any number of 12-Foot chain-link ones. If the Fence was less than Eight Feet, it didn't matter what/how it was made, she got over.
Old 06-16-2012, 11:46 AM
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We hate to leave it alone too. All we talk about is what can we do???

We've also gone back to our friends and family to ask around if anyone wants him but no takers. They either already have dogs or already have cats and don't want the mix.

I will not take him to the shelter to be put down in 1 week.

I can't believe for a dog that is fixed, behaved, and obedient, the owner isn't out looking for him.

I guess the choices are: 1) let him eventually get run over on the busy highway while looking for food, 2) taking him to the kill shelter, 3) or keep him and see him when we are out there PLUS our 2 daily food/water visits. He's 5 minutes from our house, at least that's a good thing.

Old 06-16-2012, 11:58 AM
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:59 PM
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I was given a 9 year old Queens land healer and I have no complete enclsure for her .She is in the house with me but I leave the door open as long as I am home .I have a magic screen so it is easy walkin in and out and no flies .
She took to me right away and I give her positive reinforcment often , especially when she comes when I call or whistle. There is a road that is heavily used near by but all it took was telling her "no" when she approached it and she listens .
By far the smartest dog I have ever had in my whole life , and I've had a bunch.
there are still a few tricks I am workin on with her but for the most part I never have to worry about her leaving. She is her own person still ,and likes attention, but doesn't need it ,like other dogs I've had .
Having cats and introducing a dog can be interesting , but if they smell one another on you , in time their currosity might just supprize you.
Cats can deliberately triger the chase mode in a dog if they wish , it is a choice they make .
Either for an excuse for a fight or just to be playful ,because they KNOW they are supirrior.
If the dog has had expirence with cats he will ignore them after a brief encounter.
An inexpirenced dog however is like puddy in their hand/paw (cats), the do won't know what to make of these pincushions mislabeled pEtS.
Old 06-16-2012, 02:26 PM
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Electric Fencing powered by a solar charger is more economical and portable, you can buy the cheap plastic insolators and set up a run with cheaper fencing and train your new friend to be responsible. If he climbs, set a line above his head and let him learn by experiance not to climb. When he changes to digging under, reset the line down low to start the learning process over again. Over time he will learn to be content. Some dogs learn so well, that you can take the electric fencing away and use it for other animals or sell it and recoop your money. If electric fencing works for 2000 pound Bulls, it will work for Dogs. Also keeps unwanted wild animals out.
Old 06-16-2012, 02:36 PM
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If you already haven't done so, take him to the vet and see if he has a micro chip. Most hunting/working dogs are kenneled trained. Then you just have to let him out for excercise and potty breaks.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:43 PM
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One other thing .
you are rescuing this animal and he knows it .
Animals tend to be more devoted to their rescuers than to original owners.
Through abuse , I undrstand why humans don't have the same loyalty, another subject .
If the animal has not been real successful out on his own, he will bond with you and pay closer attention to you .
Be consistant in your commands ,not creative. That is too much to assimlate.
Wether it is sit ,stay ,come ,fetch , go to bed, do not improvise in the middle of training you and the dog.
if you are stable the dog will be stable as well, he will take his ques from you.
the more time you spend together, it will seem as though you have one another wired.
He needs you ,the cats don't think they need you.
If it is a work dog breed , give him a job , one you train him to , walk a spicific path in the perimeter of the yard /house ,walk it every single time you walk with him so that he knows it is important to you.
If you can observe him on his own walking that path , wait till he has fininshed it, and only then reward him. If you reward him ahead of time he will misinturpret the goal.
When he obeys positive reinforce that action. if he has accidents ,speak to him as you would a child , like "What is this?" and point at the problem , he'll know . be consistant and don't for the sake of time restraint ignore an insident , it will confuse what your priorities are concerning him.
It's best not to be derogitory, they won't understand it except you are mad at every thing . He won't know how to process it ,except to be afraid .
Fear is not what makes friends, period.
If home life with you, is better than what ever it was before , he will love you .
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:07 PM
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Dogs show unconditional love.
Lock your dog and your girlfriend in the trunk of your car, come back two hours later… Who is happy to see you….
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:37 PM
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Start with a standard fence and give your dog the benefit of the doubt. He may be used to being in a fence, it may not be his fault he still isn't behind one. I have had my share of jumpers and diggers. You have already gotten some good advice about burying the fence. Jumpers and climbers? For big dogs there is a hobble you can buy. They can walk and run - they just can't jump. You can also tip the inside of the top of your fence inward.
Old 06-16-2012, 08:49 PM
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What breed is he and how old?? Can you post some pictures?? If he is that well trained I bet he is chipped.
Old 06-18-2012, 05:47 PM
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Wait to see if he is a digger or a climber. Keep a eye on him though a window so he doesn't see you. If he climbs over put up a single strand of eletric fence along the top of the fence. Won't need to keep it on all the time after he learns what it does. If he diggs you can put a 2 ft strip of mesh wire on the top of the ground around the bottom of the fence. He won't like the way it feels when he goes to dig out. Can cover it with a thin layer of dirt of bark chips. We raise rat terriers and they are very crafty at times.

Hope this helps.
Old 06-18-2012, 06:06 PM
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we would roll chickenwire into a 5 or 6 inch tube and bury it under the fence. When the dog digs he will catch his nails in the wire and stop digging.
Old 06-18-2012, 06:11 PM
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We built an escape proof pen for the shelter where I used to work, using chain link that we pulled out of the dump. Extending the fence underground won't work with a serious digger; he'll just dig deeper. We took the junk chain link fence and rolled it out flat on the ground, one edge butted up along the bottom edge of the fence. We wired the two together, and then dumped a few wheelbarrow loads of dirt on top of the ground wire. After a while, the grass grew all through it and you quit seeing the fence. Except of course at the base of the standing fence, which is where the dogs always dig. They hit the floor fence and go no further, and it never occurs to them to back up 6 ft and tunnel under.

On the top we lashed on some flimsy welded wire, again junked. It sorta sits upright but is weak. When the dogs attempt to climb up or jump, it bends and dumps them back to the ground when they reach it.
Old 06-18-2012, 06:36 PM
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It depends on the dog. I have lived with an incredibly tenacious escape artist for about 7 years, and there are some dogs you just can't contain without a sedative. He ground the enamel off his canine teeth from unraveling chain link fence. He climbs, he digs, and if that doesn't work he just starts tearing at whatever is between him and freedom. Doors, windows, doesn't matter. If he is still unsuccessful, he will actually hurt himself. Last year, he snapped a 4x4 that we cemented in the ground. The only thing he won't break is his own neck. If it weren't for this phobia, he'd be the perfect dog. On a leash, he could be a seeing-eye-dog, he's so gentle.

I kept my late German Shepherd inside the exact same kind of cattle fence you're talking about. We welded a gate out of a partial panel with a metal plate so it only pushed inward, and built it into a pentagon shape with a shed on one side. She could have gotten out any time she wanted, and didn't even try.

The moral of my story is that every dog is different. I wouldn't invest a lot of $ until you see how this dog handles containment. Start small. Try the cattle fencing, and stay close enough to observe and rescue if needed. Don't just leave him there alone at first.

We also live in a house with 4 cats and 3 dogs. We had to establish the cats as dominant members of the pack and teach them not to run from the dogs, but they all do fine together. If it is at all possible, try to do this.

The others are right. Dogs are very social animals and do not do well alone. Especially not at night. You and your neighbors might not sleep well at all if he's a barker. If you're worried about the dog getting into trouble at home at night, you could try a crate. That would give the cats a chance to relax too.

Good luck and kudos to you for trying to do right by this animal. I hope it works out for everyone.
Old 06-18-2012, 08:00 PM
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The dog might be fine with the cats. Ive always grown up with cats and dogs. If they do fight side withe the cat. Had a very large enfmglish springer spaniel petrified of an 15 year old cat who couldnt jump on a kitchen chair. The mean old cat would sit by his door to go out and the dog would cry half way across the room because he wanted out.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:07 PM
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We built a 7' cedar privacy fence around our back yard for the dogs as well as for privacy.

You guessed it, our little cow dog dug under it in five seconds. $5K worth of worthless fence. But I was not to be deterred.

I ran one strand of cattle electric wire about 6" up from the ground on insulated stand-offs nailed to each post. You could hear that dog yelping two Counties away. She has never dug out since, and the electric wire has been inoperative now for months.
Old 06-19-2012, 01:18 PM
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I would try introducing the dog to your cats. I have a husky and lab/hound dog mix and both dogs get along with my cats just fine. Trust me if the dog goes after the cats, they will put the dog in its place. My cats will even sleep with the dogs. My cats are 3 years, 12 years and 15 years. My dogs are 14 years and 2 years. My wife even has a hamster and while the cats were curious at first they ignore the thing now.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:53 PM
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I live in Jeffco Missouri. I install dog fences as a profession.....I own my business this is ny profession. Send me a Message if you are nearish to Jefferson county. If not send me a pm if you need any advice.


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