View Full Version : Keeping the Dog ON the Farm- how?

Dec. 29, 2008, 10:14 PM
I rescued a little blue-heeler mix (with terrier?) several weeks ago. Now that she is more confident, she likes to wander farther away than I would like (i.e. crossing the farm's property lines). My other dog who goes to the barn is very good about staying nearby, and I didn't really teach him that-- he just prefers to. This new little girl has a little bit more ambition and wants to wander.

Is there anything I can try before I simply tie/ confine her/leave her home? I board so going to the barn is not mandatory-- but I would love to be able to bring her.

Dec. 29, 2008, 11:48 PM
Use a leash? Tie her up when you aren't able to have her at hand on a leash.
Train her to stay in the back of your truck/ in your horses' stall while you are riding. whatever.

Personally nothing pisses me off faster then people who have loose dogs somewhere, but that's mainly because I feel it shows a lack of respect for other people who take the time to snap a leash on their dog. But...that's just me.
Mine are always on a leash /tied/confined when in public places.

Dec. 30, 2008, 12:46 AM
Not sure what your barn rules are.....but unleashed, wandering dogs are the reason that I now have a "no dogs" rule at my place. Not everyone appreciates being approached by an unleashed dog, and many people are too polite, and just put up with it.

Is there a reason that you don't keep her on a leash or confine her somewhere (car, empty stall) when you visit the barn?

Dec. 30, 2008, 12:52 AM
You're saying that the dog leaves the property?

Confine her. Tie her. Do not let her run loose. I've never boarded at a barn that allowed dogs to be loose. Most won't even allow boarders to bring their dogs on the property. What's cute and fun to you is a nuisance to others.

Dec. 30, 2008, 02:13 AM
Please keep her leashed/tied, for her own safety if nothing else. She could get kicked, run over by a car, eat something dangerous (I've eaten fried chicken at the barn and thrown out the bones in the trash, as we don't have a barn dog. If someone's dog is unattended, it could be dangerous.)

There used to be a boarder that would bring their dog to the barn and let it loose. It used to piss me off because it would get into the cat's food and eat it, and tear open the bag of dry and eat that (breaking open a plastic cabinet to get to it!)

Dec. 30, 2008, 02:44 AM
If you do not have voice control over your dog that is equal to the control you would have if she were leashed, then LEASH HER. Allowing her to roam to other properties is a pretty sure fire way to get her shot, at least around here.

Dec. 30, 2008, 08:28 AM
Personally nothing pisses me off faster then people who have loose dogs somewhere, but that's mainly because I feel it shows a lack of respect for other people who take the time to snap a leash on their dog. But...that's just me.
Mine are always on a leash /tied/confined when in public places.

I totally agree. Actually it also shows a lack of respect for the well being of your dog also.

Put a leash on the dog or leave it at home. Pretty simple.

Dec. 30, 2008, 09:22 AM
Tie her up, lock her in a stall, or leave her at home.

Free-ranging pet dogs are the worst at chasing livestock and indiscriminate preying and harassing of wildlife.

Dec. 30, 2008, 10:23 AM
Perhaps I should have clarified. I would like some training ideas; i.e. other options besides leaving her home. Leaving her home is an option, as I mentioned. However, I am the only boarder and the BO allows loose dogs (indeed, she has several herself).

I can confine her at the barn, and have been doing that, but then the point of bringing her with me (i.e. allowing her some exercise off-leash) is moot.

To rephrase: has anyone ever had a dog that had to be trained to stay on the farm? If so, how did you do it? ETA: Were you successful?

Dec. 30, 2008, 10:46 AM
I have some ideas, but you won't be working at the barn while you are doing these, you will be working your dog. So plan on that.

Take some yummie treats and a long line, teach eye contact. When she looks at you, say "yesss", and give her a treat. When she won't take her eyes off you, move a few steps in one direction or another. Do this every day for a week. When you are there and cannot work her do not allow her to be loose. Every time she gets to practice wandering she gets better at it. Don't allow her to practice it. If she is there, she is working.

Next teach her a bombproof recall. Once you have good, solid eye contact, start to pick a stall with her there, keeping one eye on her. Remember you are not really picking the stall, you are really working your dog. If she begins to wander, call her, as she gets back to you mark it with a "yesss" and give a treat. Every time. Do this for a week. By that time, she should stick with you.

And for what it's worth, I agree with the others, loose dogs equal trouble. Mostly trouble for the dog in one form or another.

Dec. 30, 2008, 11:53 AM
threedogs- thank you. I just did some work on eye contact here at the house and she did well. We will do more sessions this week.

I am curious though-- even if I successfully teach her a good recall, are you still saying that it is "trouble" for her-- or any dog-- to be loose?

Dec. 30, 2008, 11:59 AM
If she's youngish and strongly wants to wander, I think you're out of luck. Most dogs will only do what you want if a) they share that desire or b) you're actively watching them. A lot of what passes for good training is actually just the individual personality of dogs, and owner luck:) If you had a couple of weeks to focus on dog A, you could probably train her to hang out near the barn reliabley 95% of the time, even when you weren't really watching her. If you had a couple of years to focus on dog B, you might still never be able to take your attention off her for more than 5 minutes without a 90% certainty of having her mosey off. I've had both - my beautifully 'trained' dog who never left the yard, and the 'untrained' dog who would still, at age 10, vanish over the horizon if given half a chance.

Dec. 30, 2008, 12:32 PM
To rephrase: has anyone ever had a dog that had to be trained to stay on the farm? If so, how did you do it? ETA: Were you successful?

Back when we boarded our horses and had just one dog -- we trained our big guy over about a month, by one of us basically keeping a good eye on him and calling him back whenever he wandered more than 30 feet away from us (he already had the aptitude to be off leash and listen -- I'm just talking about training him not to wander off at the barn). He got the idea and was good -- but we found that he was only good when he was by himself. If he found a "partner in crime" off they would go together to explore. So we stopped bringing him so much, and when we did he would be leashed if there was another dog around.

Now that we have the horses here at home and have another dog (also a hound mix), they are BANNED from the barn that is outside their fenced in 1.5 acre domain. I've given them lots of chances -- but together they are not to be trusted.

Dec. 30, 2008, 02:13 PM
I think, in general, loose dogs without a pretty high level of training are going to find trouble.

One thing I didn't mention is to keep the long line on her when teaching the recall too.

I hope that a week will help. If you see improvement, keep doing it. If she sticks by you for 5 minutes, I'd treat her for staying.

Platinum Equestrian
Dec. 30, 2008, 06:22 PM
Invest in putting in an underground dog fence... it's the best investment you'll ever make!

We have around our entire farm. Our three dogs and and even the cat wears a collar. YES, our cat - we figured it was better than her wandering and getting smooshed on the road. It's wonderful.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 31, 2008, 01:21 AM
Now before people flame me, I acutally don't use it for the shock, I use it for the "call" feature. I have my own farm and my dog (an american bulldog lab mix) will stray only if the neighbors are out and she wants to say hi, or if a small animal needs to be chased.

Although my neighbors are very friendly with her I think its rude to have her go over there, and its unsafe (and unfair to the animals) to have her chase them. I can call her but that doesn't work as well, and if she really gets going she can't hear me as well. The collar has a really long range and makes a sharp whistle nose that catches her attention.

I taught her (away from outside distractions) that the noise means "COME". She can be 100 yards away and I just press a button and she happily comes running to me, she gets a pat, a treat and doesn't have to be leashed.

oh.. and the shock.. I will be honest, I have used it. One time my horse was rolling (Bella had never seen that, she was a rescue and didn't grow up around horses) and started barking and nipping at the horse. It upset him, he started running and a chase began. This was not safe and she got a shock. She's never chased a horse again.

Dec. 31, 2008, 01:28 AM
Look for the thread on radio fences in either OT or this forum in the last week. You can train the dog and plug it in at the barn and she will stay in a 90 foot radius of the barn or smaller depending on how you set it.

I have absolutely no problems with dogs at he barn and have never been at a barn that did. However, its is a hot COTH topic and many people do not like dogs at the barn. If your barn allows it then you are just fine.

Dec. 31, 2008, 03:01 AM
I bring my dog to the barn about once a week.

That day is the dog's day. I have a bag of treats, close her in the aisle with Martin and me and have her work on stay and come - she's very good already- but the barn is a distracting environment. I groom while I do this. Then I usually lead both Martin and her out (if she's listening good she's off the leash) to the ring where I'll tie her up out of the way in a quiet corner while I lung him and then reverse the routine. I have had her follow us around the hay field when someone else was around in case I had to hand off Martin and chase her down if she was bad- but she never was (I will throw her treats from the saddle too.)

So, basically I just try and re-enforce her basic obedience (which is really good) and slowly extend it in little steps.

This is just what I do, but it's been working. Everyone seems to like my dog and she is a lover- but I tie her up anytime I have to do something where I cannot supervise her- this keeps her from finding trouble and unlearning her manners :lol:

Good Luck!

Dec. 31, 2008, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the ideas, folks. :cool: We have lots to work on and some things to try.

A lot of what passes for good training is actually just the individual personality of dogs, and owner luck:)

I must admit this is probably the case with my other dog-- he is a pleaser and very in-tune to body language and tone of voice. I've been spoiled, clearly.