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Old 02-03-2007, 10:46 AM   #1
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Keeping my dog away from the road

Okay, so you all know that Yeti is cute as a button, but she's pretty stupid. We've caught her down at the highway 4 times. I figure I best take some action on it. This highway is busy and I don't want her to get hurt or worse.

I figure I could tie her up, but being such a big dog that probably wouldn't be so nice.

My boss had this thing that he attached to his pup's collar and if the pup ever misbehaved my boss could press a button and it would shock the puppy. I know for a fact that the button got stuck a few times and the poor pup sat there getting shocked. I don't want that for Yeti.

There's also invisible fencing, but I've heard a lot bad things about that too.

Do you guys have any other experiences to share? Do you have ideas how to keep a 100lb pup off the road?
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:53 AM   #2
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Can she be kept inside? If so while outside start training her to stay within sight of you. I trained my last dog to stay within eyesight of me because she too liked the highway. After she got used to it Gert was my shadow. It was great.
If she has to live outside either building a fence or tying her up might be your only option. Invisible fencing only works so well. Our sheltie busts right through it and doesn't care. It all depends on the dog.
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:11 PM   #3
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I was having the same issues with my pyr but we don't have any roads, just neighbors ( i guess that could be worse). He's 2 now and it's as if the light bulb turned itself on one day. We still try to keep him confined to the corral but he still finds a way to escape but he now at least stays home and sleeps in the drive way.

I had the bark collar on Chimo but with him having so much hair and excess skin around his throat, it didn't work so I'm thinking it might be the same for your fella if you tried the underground fencing, also I've heard that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I do keep Chimo on a 30 foot chain that I tied to the ground in the middle of the yard so he has a big area to run around in and nothing he can get tangled up in.
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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Good luck, that's all I can say. My one dog had a terrible problem with this, good thing our road isn't busy. Plus, she loved visiting the neighbors and the cows. We tried everything but the shock collar to no avail. She would just sneak over when she thought we weren't looking. Heck, even if we WERE watching and hollering at her, she suddenly became deaf. If we could've afforded climb fencing would've been the best option!

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Old 02-03-2007, 01:14 PM   #5
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Considering the dog could be hit by a car or possibly even cause an accident, I think chaining or fencing might be your only alternative.
I guess I have a different point of view than many others, but I am an advocate for keeping dogs contained for their own safety.
If people exercise their dogs, chaining should not be a problem. It may take him awhile to get used to it, but the only time it is cruel is when they are left on a very short chain constantly with no exercise and have no shelter or access to water or food.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:29 PM   #6
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Before chaining, watch out for local laws. We actually have one that doesn't allow a dog to be chained for more than 3 hours.

As far as keeping her off the road - you probably need to work on boundry training. There are a number of resources, and I'm sure you could find tips online, although ideally the help of a trainer would be the best bet. Dogs can be trained not to cross a certain line, but it may take some work. You will need a few basic obedience items established before it can be successful, but once completed, the dog should not, ever, cross that line unless you tell them to. A good off leash recall, down, and wait should be established before starting the training. Until then, I personally would put up a kennel - chaining can work, and I have done it, but things can go wrong, too, and they don't learn anything (some chained dogs, especially protective breeds, actually can become rather territorial of their "space").

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Old 02-05-2007, 06:26 AM   #7
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When you figure out how let me know. I've lost 4 to my road already and I'm sure I haven't seen the last of it. Darn dogs anyway. <grumbling>

I've been watching the dog whisperer and he has yet to address this issue.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:29 AM   #8
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Re: dogs

Originally Posted by Range
Good luck, that's all I can say. My one dog had a terrible problem with this, good thing our road isn't busy. Plus, she loved visiting the neighbors and the cows. We tried everything but the shock collar to no avail. She would just sneak over when she thought we weren't looking. Heck, even if we WERE watching and hollering at her, she suddenly became deaf. If we could've afforded climb fencing would've been the best option!
I have to agree and I wish you luck! Had a Pyr that would not stay home for anything. Some idiot shot him from the road - on our own property. After a stay at the Vet and a few hundred dollars later......
I had to rehome him to a much larger farm as I could not stand to tie him up and he would NOT stay in the house. I have house dogs now.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:43 AM   #9
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A kennel for the times you aren't with the dog to supervise. If the dog can escape the kennel, then tying it might be the only option. Very few dogs can be left loose unsupervised and be trusted to stay within the boundaries we set for them.

Is she obedient to you when you have her loose with you? If she is then you should be able to call her back when she strays off towards the road. If she ignores you then you will have to do some "groundwork" before she wins her freedom again. You will have to reinforce her training from time to time, most likely for several years until she matures enough and finds her adult routine.

The shock training collar can be a big help in getting her under control, but if you are really against it, then you can accomplish a similar result with a prong collar and a long rope. Be sure the prong collar sits high on her neck and is snug fitting. A loose fitting collar can cause injury to the dogs neck. I know there is debate about this and I won't go into it here, but trust me, high and snug.

Here's how to do it:
Walking with your dog on the long line allow her to stray into the "forbidden zone", then give a harsh voice command, one that comes naturally to you that you would be likely to use in an emergency where you don't really think about it, but just say it. Like 'NO" or "STOP" or something like that. You have to always use the same word every time. It's best to have slack in the line because after you give the command you're going to jerk the rope "HARD" and startle the dog. This might sound harsh, but if she yelps, that's good. The idea is to make the dog think that it's a terrible thing to go in that direction.

Don't spend too much time on each lesson. Maybe two or three REALLY STRONG corrections everyday until you see a change in her behavior. Instead of moving off towards the forbidden zone without a care in the world, she should look to you or at least act like she wants to avoid the area. She should respond to your voice command to avoid the rope correction. Don't forget to shout your command each time before you give the correction with the rope. You will use this voice command someday when she is loose and you need to get her away from the road.

If you are smaller like me and the dog weighs almost as much as you do, get someone who is stronger to help with the corrections. You have to make the corrections HARD and something she wants to avoid. After all, you are trying to save her life.

Caveat: Dogs are like people, some can take lots of correction and they don't care while others just need a dirty look before they start crying. Try to find where your dog is in this range and adjust your training to that. You don't want the dog to drop to the ground and cringe every time she gets corrected but you also have to make sure you get her attention and respect. Also, some dogs are pain aggressive and may become violent when corrected. If your dog is pain aggressive, this is not a good training technique. The prong collar can cause injury if jerked too hard. Start out with the dog on a six foot rope until she doesn't pull against the collar, then let out slack until she is 15 - 20 feet away. You will have to work up to this. It might take a few days before you can let out the line to it's full length.

Think of it as a child who keeps running in the road and just ignores your requests to stop. You would freak out and your child would get the message. The dog ignores you because he doesn't understand language, not because he's naughty, so you train him in a way he understands and hopefully save his life someday.

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Old 02-05-2007, 08:12 AM   #10
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When I lived back in New York, one of my co-workers had purchased an antalion shepard as a puppy. They also lived along a very high-speed, well traveled road... when they took the puppy to the vet (who know's them very well because they have a large number of animals)... the vet told them to take the puppy out to the road and basically scare it very badly, use a rolled up newspaper.. something light that won't hurt the puppy, just really really scare it... you'd rather scare it now than have it killed later he sad... the vet drove past the house once and saw the kids playing outside with the dog... the next time he came in, he said to my co-worker, you never did what I told you with that dog.. he was way to clsoe to the road.... and he was right, he never did....

I' ve never tried the concept with the road thing... I'm lucky that MOST of my dogs stay away from the road... I do have one explorer (Coco), but only when I am not on top of him, which doesn't happen often, because it freaks me out when he runs off...

I don't know how that concept would work on an older dog at all.. I don't know if it would even work, but I did use it in another way... I taught my rottweiler to stay out of the garbage bags by scaring her with them.... i taught her she needs to steer clear of cans outside, because bags might suddenly fall off the top of it... they also might chase her down... in fact in the house they will even jump out of the can and fly around and shake and just be scary....I really worried about her getting into stuff she shouldn't get into.. (I was going through a big chicken wing stage at that point in my life). I give her table scraps no problems, but their are certain things I DO not want her to eat.... she is not skittish by any means around garbage.. and sometimes she will still sniff it.. but she WILL NOT touch it... or anything in it... she is the only dog I taught that way and is the only dog that consiestly will not touch it...when we got Coco she actually came out to living room and wined to us because Coco was in the garbage....

Overall, I can try to catch them in the act and tell them no, but if I don't catch them, I can't correct them.. coco is the best example of that... left to his own devices, he just gets into trouble... especially if anything to do with garbage and chicken!

I'm all for positive association and doing the right thing and getting rewards... but for this case, when it is your dogs life on the line, it may be worth it to scare her.... and she may need more than plastic garbage bags shaked in her face....

I think your best short term bet would be to put her in a smaller confined area when you can't watch her, until you figure out a longer term solution...

My vote is no on invisible fence.. I have seen too many dogs run through it... they need to be properly trained with it as well, but dogs with thicker coats like that.. my friend actually had to shave her dogs neck so it would have the contact... also, I know with training shock collars you are supposed to wash the posts and the dogs neck weekly where they make contact.. and I'm guessing that the fence systems are like that as well... so their may be a mantience aspect to it as well..

Boundary training may work well as well... but if she is more stubborn, she may be like Coco and still bend the rules at time, especially if the tempation is still their.... and the invisible fence basically uses boundary training I believe... I am not well versed in it, so don't hold me to it...

One thing I do know that works with my big dogs though, which might work as a fence solution... is electric horse fence... with a big charger for thick coats.. and enough strands...just the plain 12 or 14 guage wire... it might not be the prettiest fix.. but it could be a medium-term fix, and fairly inexpensive... I use it to line the bottom of one my dog "turnout" areas and it keeps them from digging... I will sometimes turn them out in my horse pastures... they really will respect; it has enough charge, and it will keep out other animals as well... we have a 50-mile charger for less than 2 acres of fencing.... it may sound like overkill, but I originally got it to keep Coco from getting killed by my pony.. who he has an obession with. They will not touch that fence, or even get close to once they test it's boundaries, but it has to have enough strands close enough together that they can't step through it. or go under it...

Good luck!
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:37 AM   #11
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Sweet Pea, the type of boundry training I've used is similar to what you described with the newspaper - "you really, really don't want to cross this line, because if you do, it's going to get really, really scary, really quickly". I also avoid taking the dog across that "line" unless I need to - so, if it's the road, I just won't take them that direction (IMO, the more you take them across, the less "scary" the line will become).

Granted, I've never worked with a Pyr, but even huskies can be trained to boundries if you work at it - granted, it's a LOT of work, but it can be done. I would imagine a Pyr would be similar in this particular situation (as far as stubborness/brains go). The above method I've seen proven to be very effective on rotties, shepherds, border collies, and even my mom's husky that she kept as a house dog.

I've known of very few people who had good luck with invisible fences. Personally, I've used the shock collars and had them work very well - invest in a decent one, and you would probably avoid most problems (I would hazard a guess that the one you heard of that got stuck on was either a cheap model, or they let it get in disrepair - say, sticky buttons for example - and continued to use it). The good ones aren't cheap, but I have found my to be very useful in some of the "transition to long distance, off leash" commands and training.

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Old 02-05-2007, 11:19 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the advice! Lately she's been living in the house, and when we do let her out she goes out to the barn with me, or she goes out for 10 minute potty breaks even then we keep an eye on her. I do have a kennel but it's very small, I borrowed it from a person who has a jack russel! It does the job, but it's only a matter of time before she really out grows it. I figure after I get her spayed that should help, but I guess until then I may have to tie her up in a safe place.
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:39 PM   #13
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I just simply made the road a life or death situation. I drew "my" line at a certain distance from the road and anytime they approached this line it became life or death to them. Not that I would hurt them but they had to understand what I was teaching them. I would yell, scream, chase, throw rocks, etc. at them until they were back up to the house. I want them to be scared to go near the road. When Trucker was a little puppy, he tried to follow me down and I booted his butt all the way back up to the back door where I praised him really, really well. He never tried to follow me again, but everytime they wait at the top of the driveway for me they get praised once I walk back up.

To this day my BC/rott won't go within 50 feet of any road at home, at my parents or even out trail riding. Trucker the Aussie will sit down right next to Jasper and do whatever he does. When I go down to the mail box they will sit at the top of the hill and wait for me. When I leave the yard to ride down the road they will sit at the top of the hill for a while and then go lay by the backdoor until I get home.
Make that 6 years!

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Old 02-17-2007, 08:44 AM   #14
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Boundary training is great! Our dogs have a terrible habit of coming in the garden and tearing up half the plants. Each year before we till it up, I let my dog loose and we run around the garden. I run back and forth in the dirt and each time my dog sets a foot in the garden I go nutso on her and then throughout the whole summer she is the perfect dog All it takes is repetition!
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