Fences have a myriad of benefits: blocking your view of skinny dipping neighbors, preventing deer from chomping your garden, and giving you privacy when you’re relaxing on your patio furniture. Many of our customers are also thinking of the four-footers in their family when building a fence. Ideally, fences keep Fido and Fluffy safe from marauding animals and speeding vehicles. But in reality, many a Rover has been known to hatch an escape route. So today, in honor of September being Responsible Dog Ownership Month, we’ll examine some leading escapee personas, and how to contain them.
Escapee Persona 1: The Jumper
I’m young, agile and full of energy. To me, jumping a fence is an irresistible challenge. I’ll try again. And again. And again. Got it! I’m out! Now I’ll rampage around the neighborhood until somebody stops me.
Some dogs just love to jump. Border collies, Australian kelpies and those nutty Jack Russells are top jumpers. Frisbee-catching champs, such as whippets, cattle dogs and golden retrievers, also have plenty of spring. When you keep in mind that the world record for a doggie high jump – 68 inches — was set by Cinderella May, a Greyhound in Florida, you’ll realize that a shorter fence won’t cut it for jumping breeds.
The solution: If you are planning a new fence, go tall. If you’ve already built your fence, add a fence extension tiling inward towards your yard. Fido will quickly get tired of hitting his head on the extension, and desist. And make sure you’re not giving him any help. Keep lawn furniture and other launch pads far from your fence.
Escapee Persona 2: The Digger
I’m a hard worker. Honestly, some even call me a bit obsessive. You know that old saying about idle paws being the devil’s workshop? By that definition, I’m absolutely saintly. If you don’t see me in the yard, I’ve probably dug my way to China. Wait, this looks like the local park. I think I’ve just dug my way under the fence.
It’s easy to get mad at a dog who tunnels under the fence or digs up your flowerbeds. But they’re just following their natural behavior. Dachshunds, terriers and beagles were historically hardworking dogs tasked with digging up rodents. Huskies and other cold-weather dogs dig for warm spots to sleep in the winter, and cool spots to rest in the summer.
The solution: You can implant various kinds of footers at the base of your fence to stop diggers. We call it a puppy picket and it’s available as an add-on for a variety of fence styles. An L-footer is wire fencing set perpendicular to your fence. A concrete footer is even more effective for serious diggers.
Escapee Persona 3: The Naturally Petite
Hey, I wasn’t trying to escape! I just walked through. It’s not my fault I’m naturally petite.
Some dogs are too small for your fence to contain. They’re not trying to cause you trouble, but those widely-spaced aluminum pickets provide no protection to Chihuahuas, Yorkies and other small breeds.
The solution: Puppy pickets. This special fence addition with close-together pickets rises a foot or so off the ground. When inserted at the base of your more widely-spaced aluminum fence, it helps contain Fritz the dachshund.
Escapee Persona 4: The Anxious Barker
People call me high-strung, but how can you blame me? Post man! I mean, the world is full of exciting stuff, and it’s all going on outside my yard. Cat! Neighbor! I can’t help expressing myself. Squirrel! Squirrel!!!!
Some dogs have something to say about everything. Bassett hounds and beagles howl their news, Maltese and mini pinschers yap, Samoyeds and Keeshonds bark the arrival and departure of every neighbor. Leave them in the yard for any amount of time, and you’re liable to get complaints from said neighbors.
Solution: If all that visual stimuli is a bit too exciting, consider a solid wood or vinyl fence. Already have chain link fencing? Add privacy slats.
Escapee Persona 5: The Smarty Pants
I aced every test in obedience school, and never even needed to do homework. While the other breeds tried to differentiate “sit” from “shake,” I was planning how to steal the instructor’s sandwich. You think I don’t know how a latch works? Seriously?!
Some dogs are too smart for their human companions. Border collies, poodles, German shepherds, Doberman pinschers and labrador retrievers are especially likely to have IQs that rival their owners’. And some of these dogs have figured out how to operate a gate latch.
Solution: You need a more complicated latch. Or, if your dog is really smart, a padlock.
Need a little more help? Give your friends at Buzz a call and we’ll make sure Fido is safely contained.