Teaching Your Dog to Stay in Your Yard

By Jason Smith

Dog on a Walk

The other day, my wife and I were leaving Taco Bell in Radcliff, when a man had flagged us down in the parking lot. He went on to tell me that he sees our Jeep almost every day when my wife drives to Vine Grove to drop off our son at day care. Of course, who couldn’t miss a Jeep Liberty with the words “WE SCOOP DOG POOP” displayed in large stencil font? The man stopped us to ask us a question. “What exactly do you do?” he asked.

I replied, “Once a week, I travel to residential properties and I clean up and remove the dog waste and haul it away for safe disposal.”

He appeared disappointed. “Do you do any training?”

“No, we do not train dogs,” I replied. I handed him a business card.

He looked it over intently and asked, “I was hoping to find someone who could help me train my dog to stay in the yard.”

This is a great question. The man lives in a house that does not have a fence and my wife sees him walking his dog on her morning commute. So he has a valid question: How do I keep my dog in my yard?

Install a Fence

The best thing I can recommend to help your dog to stay within your yard is to install a fence. There are many types of fences from which to choose. The most common fences I have seen on my weekly route include chain-link fences, privacy fences, and invisible fences.

Chain Link Fencing

The most basic fence would have to be a chain link fence. These have posts every few yards and the wire fencing usually follows a diamond pattern. This type of fence is useful for keeping your dogs confined to a central location. It does have its drawbacks, though. In one yard I clean, the owner had an Irish Setter who would often jump the fence to get out and roam. Two of his other dogs have found a weakness in the fencing as they are able to squeeze through a space and get outside the fence.

Invisible Fencing

This is a great option if you do not like a physical fence. While an invisible fence is great at keeping your dogs in, it does nothing to keep other dogs out.

Privacy Fencing

In my opinion, a privacy fence is probably your best bet when it comes to installing a fence. The reason I say this is that the tall wooden fence is high enough to keep a dog from jumping over it. In addition, the privacy fence boards usually come down tight against the ground, leaving little to no room for a dog to squeeze through.

Other Options

If you cannot afford to install a fence, an alternative solution would be to follow this man’s example and walk your dog on leash. You may also try training your dog to stay. Although you can teach your dog how to stay, don’t trust your dog to stay in your yard. Dogs are territorial animals and they will roam if given the chance. For a complete guide on stay training, visit http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&C=2&A=1643&S=1.

A Few Things to Keep In Mind About a Roaming Dog

  1. Roaming is normal behavior for a neglected dog.
  2. The number one danger for a roaming dog is becoming a hit-by-car victim.
  3. Roaming dogs spread disease (from soiling public walkways and private property with urine and feces).
  4. Dogs may become ill from eating something they find.

References:

Davis, K.D. (2006). Roaming dogs. Retrieved from VeterinaryPartner.com on January 31, 2013 at http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&C=2&A=2273&S=1.

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