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Containing the digging dog(s)

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  • Containing the digging dog(s)

    Our four dogs have a large enough fenced yard. It's about 75 feet wide, and 250 feet long. Plenty of room to run, romp and frolic. And there's a dog door that leads into the house, where couches and beds abound. But, hey, there's the whole wide world out there!! Horses! Squirrels! Rabbits! Two of them want out. And they vote with their paws. Dig, dig, dig. We keep filling in the holes, sometimes with concrete blocks and bricks depending on how big and deep they are, and no one has escaped so far. Anyone have any ideas for keeping them in, and saving us the work of the daily hole inspection walk? Thanks!
    It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

    www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

  • #2
    Run a strand of hotwire near the bottom. Only takes once or twice to learn their lesson.

    Comment


    • #3
      Could you lay invisible fencing along the fenceline and just put collars on the diggers? They'd get zapped if they got close enough to dig...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by dacasodivine View Post
        Run a strand of hotwire near the bottom. Only takes once or twice to learn their lesson.
        This will work

        Comment


        • #5
          A friend of mine just told me this trick Lay some chicken wire on the ground inside the fence. Toss a layer of dirt over it or stake it down to hold it in place. When dog digs, he cannot get through the chicken wire. Now he can did elsewhere but not there.

          I have done the electric and it can be a pain to keep up if you mow nearby to keep grass clippings and dirt from building up along the wire. It does work, but expect to work to keep the electric working. My dog did figure out when it was no longer working and got out again.

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          • #6
            I fill the holes along the fenceline with dog poop - nasty I know, but it works, eventually they stop digging because they don't like digging up their own poo.
            There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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            • #7
              the invisible fence or the strand of electric wire will work.
              You DO take them out of their enclosure for regular outings, right? if not just taking them out on a daily walk/romp might be enough to stop the escape attempts.

              Comment


              • #8
                The strand of hot wire on the bottom will work SO well, that your fence can be off for over a year and the dogs will still go nowhere near it, despite the big hole that could easily be crawled through. Speaking from experience here... and thanks for reminding me to add "fix the hotwire in the dog kennel" to the "to do" list.

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                • #9
                  I breed JRTs and train and compete with a variety of dogs (we have 7 of our own plus fosters from the rescue) I didn't go the hot wire route for two reasons.

                  1 if it scares the dog badly enough the dog can become afraid of the yard. Had some clients who had a dog hit a hot wire and refuse to leave the house unless dragged for months.

                  2 If you have 'edgy dogs' if one yelps and panics it can start a dog fight (this is my main reason not to use it. My working bred JRTs are more edgy than I would like.

                  Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                  A friend of mine just told me this trick Lay some chicken wire on the ground inside the fence. Toss a layer of dirt over it or stake it down to hold it in place. When dog digs, he cannot get through the chicken wire. Now he can did elsewhere but not there.
                  This is what I did (only with plastic fencing). It works great.

                  Now if only I could figure out what to do with the climbers...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aven View Post

                    Now if only I could figure out what to do with the climbers...
                    Ack! So far none of my JRT's want to climb!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Our SKP Artist had to be contained with rebar mats sunk into the ground and bend inwards at the top.
                      She was so determined to get out, she would go anywhich way, under, over or through!

                      Another dog we dug a small trench around the fenceline, and anchored the wire in concrete. about 4-6 inches wide into the run. worked well for the digging part...didn't keep her from breaking the welded dog fence, eat her way through the plywood gate, or climb - but the fence wasn't high...thankfully she didn't jump.
                      Originally posted by BigMama1
                      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                      GNU Terry Prachett

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                      • #12
                        Hotwire route didn't work so well for my brother- his dog just learned to dig UNDER it. Invisible fence worked much better.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You might try, if you are game, a digging pit. This gives them an outlet for the behavior (digging) that is rewarding (stay tuned...) and is NOT the behavior you do not want (digging at fence line).

                          Pick a spot in the dog yard, dig a nifty wide pit, refill with soil and sand (so it drains vs turns to mud). Now, bury an assortment of AWESOME stuff in there: tennis balls, a favorite squeaky toy, a kong stuffed with a cookie, a bully stick, rawhides if you use them, etc. They will dig them up... next day, rebury a different assortment of fun stuff. And so on. Just rotate the fun treasures so they do not find the exact same things every day.

                          You might need to encourage them to dig in the pit the first day - make a little game out of it.

                          It isn't necessarily the clear choice - yes, they are still digging - but, they are digging where and how you choose AND they are having fun and being rewarded (through finding the exciting and tasty treasures).

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks for the suggestions. We tried the hot wire last year and had to take it down. It did stop the two that were digging, but it terrified the two that didn't dig so that wasn't fair to them. Invisible fence with collars just for the diggers is probably what we will try next. Much as I'd like to take them out for walks, we live near a busy road, and one of our dogs is always off like a bullet whenever he gets the chance. That's why he was given to us. We'd have to have all four on leashes. My husband and I do go out in the yard and play with them, and we could/should do more of that. The treasure pit is a neat idea, but I don't know how hubby will react to that.
                            It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                            www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well no wonder they dig, they are under-exercised and bored.
                              We'd have to have all four on leashes.
                              uh yeah and this is a problem somehow? even if you didn't have a busy road you should have them leashed anyway until you train a recall.

                              I just DON"T understand people who get dogs, often multiple dogs, and stick them outside and just ignore them. Why?
                              Basic dog ownership: every day you shall feed, water, and exercise your dog. If you don't want to or can't, don't get a dog.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                Well no wonder they dig, they are under-exercised and bored.

                                uh yeah and this is a problem somehow? even if you didn't have a busy road you should have them leashed anyway until you train a recall.

                                I just DON"T understand people who get dogs, often multiple dogs, and stick them outside and just ignore them. Why?
                                Basic dog ownership: every day you shall feed, water, and exercise your dog. If you don't want to or can't, don't get a dog.
                                Just to point out that taking a dog for a walk isn't much exercise. I can walk all day and its actually less tiring than letting them tear around the yard after a frisbee (or each other) And that actually exercising your dog may not make any difference what so ever to digging (or climbing)

                                My dogs can run 3-4 classes all days of a three day agility trial and still come home to dig or climb. (I just want to relax with a glass of wine lol) They can come home from a race meet (the whippets) and still tear around the yard barking their fool heads off. Yes there tends to be less shenanigans after a show weekend, but they are still the same dogs with the same habits.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                  Well no wonder they dig, they are under-exercised and bored.

                                  uh yeah and this is a problem somehow? even if you didn't have a busy road you should have them leashed anyway until you train a recall.

                                  I just DON"T understand people who get dogs, often multiple dogs, and stick them outside and just ignore them. Why?
                                  Basic dog ownership: every day you shall feed, water, and exercise your dog. If you don't want to or can't, don't get a dog.
                                  Hmm. My 2 boxers are MORE hyped up after a jaunt at the park (complete with fetch and swimming for an hour). My female is a lunatic and wants to play HARDER when we get home.

                                  FYI, I live on a very busy state road and "stick my dogs out and ignore them" all the time. They run around for hours and play with each other, sometimes sun bathe or swim in their baby pool. Sometimes they are outside from 8 am to 5 pm with their toys and and food and water. They're 6 and 7 years old and no sign of slowing down yet.

                                  and my female digs up the fence line ALL THE TIME. Squirrel hunting.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Wendy, I respectfully disagree with you. My dogs have a huge yard, and access into a 2600 square foot house. The yard extends all the way from the house to the barn so the dogs can walk to the barn with me without leaving their fenced in enclosure. Not the same as running free, but they get exercise with a lot less risk to their lives. We were given these dogs for various reasons because we have a big fenced yard. The Newfoundland previously ran loose in Kentucky and his owners gave him to us. The JRT is sweet but stupid, and easily distracted. A guaranteed trained recall would be a stretch for her. The pointer would probably be fine loose, but we tried for months to find his previous owner after he moved in with us a few years ago. The old lab/basset mix is happy to sleep in the sun on the deck. They have toys, they get playtime. They just don't get to run loose on property that fronts a five lane road with subdivisions on all sides of us and cars that don't obey the posted speed limit. In a community where there is a leash law. I'm sure you have the best interest of my dogs at heart but we'd be devastated if anything happend to them so for now they're staying fenced.
                                    It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                                    www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If you go with the shock collar & perimeter fence, please make sure you actually train the dogs to the system rather than just throwing up the fence & the collar on the dog (sadlly this is what most people I know using the system do ...)
                                      If you can make time in your daily routine to mentally work the diggers, this may help more than any physical games (your dogs are out alot & have the opportunity to self excercise but many dogs require more than that) - often people need to actually join a doggy 'obedience' or 'tricks & play' class to get the pattern established for the human and the dog; if you haven't done any classes or one-on-one time with each dog, this is a great way to really establish a bond (ie communication) with the individual dog.

                                      You can also try setting up a 'digging' zone (with the perimeter marked with a physical 'barrier' such as 2x4's etc), sand works great: bury treats in this area (when the dogs are elsewhere), encourage/reward digging in the 'zone' - this is more effective for alot of dogs than trying to say "No Digging".

                                      Thanks for being the 'last' home for these dogs - taking in other peoples less than perfect dogs is truly special!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I agree that digging is not always a sign of boredom or lack of exercise, my 4 dogs do it because we have moles in the yard, so they take great pleasure in trying to dig them up if they hear/smell one in the yard. And occasionally the mole tunnel runs along the fenceline. It is not a matter of trying to get out, they are just doing what dogs do. And occasionally they actually get one (ugh).

                                        Lucky for them I am not a fanatic about how my yard looks (will never be a candidate for Home and Garden for sure), and my dogs get to live in doggy heaven out there.
                                        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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