A client recently sent an email to me stating that she and her small dog had been attacked for the second time by a Siberian Husky that escapes his yard during her morning run.
At a charity event the past weekend, a woman told me that her Rottweiler keeps getting out of the backyard and finding himself in confrontations with other stray dogs.
My neighbor’s Cocker Spaniel gets out of the front door periodically. He is sometimes seen chasing his dog into the street.
It seems as though the residents of Dallas have a hard time keeping their animals in confinement.
When keeping your dog contained, here are a few things to consider.
• The breed of your dog: For example, do you have a hunting dog? If you aren’t hunting or simulating some aspects of hunting, your dog is not living the purpose of his life and an aspect of that purpose is to run and cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Many of our favorite breeds were not meant to be kept in confinement. It would be a shorter list to create that of which are content with confinement. Regardless of your breed, you need to secure your borders. I frequently do a perimeter check of my backyard looking for compromised areas and checking locks on gates.
• Know your dog: Does he have the ability and will to climb your fence? If that’s the case you’ll need to never leave him unattended. A backyard is not a babysitter. If the thermometer read 72 degrees, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and a cool breeze was blowing and I still would not under any circumstance leave my dog in the backyard for an amount of time beyond what is needed to relieve himself while I watch through the kitchen window. If I want him to enjoy the beautiful day, he does so with my supervision. It doesn’t take an intelligent dog long to figure out how to open an unlocked gate or for a service person to enter the yard on the wrong day. You have to give your dog an outlet for his energy. Many dogs break out of their confinement because they are bored and unfulfilled. It’s not right to leave a dog in a backyard or house all his life taking him out for a walk once in a blue moon when you decide it’s a pretty day to walk the dog. I make a point every day to exercise my dog twice. In summer weather, I work him out in the early morning for 30 minutes and in the late evening for 30 minutes to ensure that I’ve met his needs for exercise and novel environment.
• Train your dog: If your dog is trained you won’t mind leaving him indoors where he is safest. If he’s trained he won’t try to bolt out the front door every time you come home from work. And if he does follow his instinct out the front door to catch the squirrel that got just a little too close you can easily call him back. No harm, no foul. Every day dog’s on the loose are in danger of the elements, traffic, other dogs and unkind people. One of my saddest memories was learning that a foster dog I had placed was hit by a car after his adoptive owners carelessly left the backyard gate open.
Please don’t put your dog in danger by not providing it proper containment, supervision, an outlet for his energy and training.