Is your dog considered the Hairy Whoofdini on the block? Does the local animal shelter have your work, home and cell on speed dial?

A dog that gets habitually out can put you on the worst neighbor’s list. Your pooch’s escaping act can become very costly and, potentially, be a very dangerous problem.

Many neighbors don’t like seeing little brown nuggets all over their gardens and dead grass from too many dogs making use of the
same spot. Your romeo could get out and impregnate other females or worse your Juliet could return expecting to expand your happy little family.

Dogs that get loose can disrupt mail services, get into trashcans, attack other pets or be struck down by traffic. The worst thing that could happen is your loveable pet could go rogue and attack a child that was walking home from school.

Loveable pets have been known to severely maul or fatally injure anyone caught in their path. Ultimately, animal control and criminal enforcement will fine you for failing to control your animal. Your pet could cost you in property damages, medical bills, punitive damages, and sanity. If the dog severely harms someone, an owner will face jail time.

Why Dogs Escape

Dogs that escape are sending several messages. Unaltered dogs primarily escape for the opportunity to find a friend they can settle down with. Other reasons are they are exploring and looking for fun. Some dogs escape because their yard is no longer perceived as safe.

Here are several safe and humane solutions for dogs that are persistent escape artists.

To decrease a dog’s wanderlust, spay or neuter your pet. This will eliminate the dog’s pursuit of the opposite sex and prevent unplanned puppies.

Some dogs will stop escaping all together if owners expend their pet’s pent up energies. Owners that routinely take their dogs for walks, visit dog parks, or go to dog daycare will see a dramatic reduction and even elimination of escape tactics.

Training classes and obedience classes can greatly reduce a dog’s need to escape the yard.

There are those dogs that do not like their yards. The dog probably breaks out and then settles peacefully in the front yard. She probably exhibits no ill will and probably doesn’t even leave the front yard.

Other dog behaviors that will show a dog is not at ease in his domain include:

  • Excessive barking/growling/ attacking the fence on a daily basis.
  • Patrolling the yard more than usual.
  • Excessive urinating around the fence.
  • Howling , yelping or crying.
  • Whining and excessive clinginess most everyday.
  • Staying by windows or doors for majority of the day.
  • Only going into the open areas of the yard when his owners are in the yard.

If you suspect your dog is having a problem in his own backyard, you may need to see what the problem is. Excessive protective behaviors could mean something new and threatening is activating these behaviors. You may need to help your dog learn to cope by giving him play sessions, do long brushing and massage sessions, encouraging your pet when he’s displaying good behavior and discouraging unwanted behaviors.

Sometimes neighbors unknowingly contribute to your dog’s anxiety in the yard.  Lawnmowers and excessive activity next door can aggravate dogs. Asking a neighbor to give you a heads up before he mows can be a great help. You can then remove your dog from the offending noise or sit outside with your dog to give her confidence while your neighbor manicures his yard.

Children screaming, running and throwing things up against the fence can severely agitate a dog. Most neighbors are oblivious to how their child’s behavior can turn a once peaceful pet into a ticking time bomb. Helping your pet unwind during these intense moments will ease his aggression.

Socializing the dog to the neighbors will help ease the tension. Allowing the dog to have good times whenever the kids come out will help the dog associate positive moments with the children. This will help him decrease the need to attack the fence or build  confidence in a fearful dog.

If you have eliminated the common reasons for your dog escaping and there is still a problem, then,  look at the list of identified types of escape artists to find the solution or combination of solutions for your needs.

The Diggers

Use heavy rocks and dirt to fill in the hole.

Place heavy paverstones that are a foot wide or wider, along the bottom of the fence.

Trim nails to prevent dogs from digging.


Place dog in a comfortable harness and attach it to  a leash system.

Make sure leash is short enough to keep the dog from jumping and hanging himself on the fence.

Make sure leash allows animal to reach his dishes and bowls.

Allow the dog to have plenty of shade from weather conditions.

Move dog houses or anything else away from the fence that could be used by the dog to hop the fence.


Dogs that climb need to be placed on a leash system away from fences all together.

Another suggestion for jumpers is to build a  kennel with a sturdy rooftop. Dogs that will be confined for long periods of time should be allowed to exercise with supervision.

Dogs that Destroy the Fence

Old fence planks are easy targets for dogs to claw, chew, or squeeze through.

Replace old or weathered fence planks with hardwood,plastic lumber, brick, or cement.

Spray hot pepper on the planks to deter the dog from biting at the wood.

Trim nails to prevent damage to fence surfaces and to the animal.


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