Escaping from the Yard

July 23, 2015 3 min read

Escaping from the Yard

Did you recently install a fence and your dog is still getting out of your yard?

Dogs are naturally territorial and like to patrol familiar areas. For many, a trot around the edges of the yard, a walk or a trip to the park satisfies the urge to check out known places. However, some dogs feel the need to escape from their yards so that they can explore alone. 

Some dogs repeatedly escape or attempt to escape from their yard by jumping or climbing the fence, digging under the fence, opening a gate, chewing through their tether, or running through electronic fencing. Once they escape, some dogs may run away from home and explore, while others may curl up on the front porch or some other place near their home.

Many things can cause escape behavior in dogs, including fear, the desire to roam and explore, to seek socialization with other dogs (including searching for a mate), or anxiety because you aren’t at home.

What do you do if your dog continues to escape? There are several things you can do that ensure that your dog stays in your yard. The first, and most obvious, is to install a fence. We can help with that and offer you affordable fence solutions tailored to meet the needs of your property (and to contain your dog).

In addition to a fence, make sure you have your dog microchipped at a vet. That way, if he does escape, the chances are increased that you will be able to locate him. Also include a dog tag on his collar with your phone number.

Now, let’s keep your dog in your yard in the first place….. 

Fencing should be secure and high enough to prevent your dog from jumping over it. If your dog can climb, you’ll need to cover the inside of the fence with a smooth surface such as plywood or flat, vertical boards to eliminate “toe holds” where your dog can put his feet in order to climb over the fence.

Fill in gaps where your dog may squeeze through the fence— at corners and gates—and fill in gaps between the bottom of your fence and the ground where your dog could dig out. If your dog attempts to dig under the fence, a reliable deterrent is to bury chicken wire under the ground at the base of your fence. Roll the sharp edges of the chicken wire inward, and place large rocks over the dirt along the edge the fence. Another option is to lay chain-link fencing on the ground.

If your dog can jump incredible heights, consider installing an electronic fence in addition to your physical fence. A relatively sure deterrent is to build a covered kennel area inside your yard.

If your dog has learned to run through an electronic fence, add a physical fence as well.

If your dog can open gates, keep them padlocked. If your children sometimes forget to close gates behind them, install a quick, self-closing system. A local hardware store or contractor can help with these projects.

If you have a fence your dog can see through, blocking his view of the outside world may help reduce or eliminate his urge to escape.

You also should check with your veterinarian, or a certified dog trainer, if he continues to try to escape. They can help you to rule out behavior problems with your dog. We can assist with physical containment by helping you with your fence….a vet or dog trainer can help you with ongoing behavioral issues.