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Thread: Escape Artist in the Making?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    South West WA
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    287

    Default Escape Artist in the Making?

    For the First time EVER I saw my beloved Gyspy out the front of the house without me or my partner. I was completely shocked!
    I flew outside grabbed her and put her straight in the backyard. Lots of growling from me and she knew she was in trouble.

    I walked around the yard and found despite one of our fences being low (she has never even looked at jumping the fence even when taunted by kangaroos or people calling her) she had dug her way under the house where she wiggled through the tiny gap under the house. The most annoying thing of all, is my son and I had just half an hour before, finished playing fetch and running around the yard with her and (I thought) had warn her out for a few hours, before My partner was to take for her usual run out at the horses.

    Anyway I have settled down since the incident and was wondering if anyone could give an idea why a 2 year old normally perfectly behaved Dog would suddenly do something like this. She gets plenty of excersice, full access to food and water, Plenty of toys in the yard, Inside with people as much as possible.

    What worries me most in the last year over 20 dogs have been stolen and that if this becomes a habit she wont get picked up be the ranger but someone else.

    I am looking get some bamboo rolls to make sure she wont be tempted to jump the low fence and I have blocked of the side of the house where she dug out. And untill the bamboo is in place I am not letting her out of my sight. No more heart attacks if possible

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    Your back yard set up sounds similar to mine. I am planning on grabbing some bamboo rolls as well as our new place only has 4 foot fences and I am worried Phi will jump them if I leave her there so at the moment the dogs are housebound unless I am outside watching them or for short periods only. Like you hoping having 6 foot bamboo rolls around will discourage them from jumping. We also have a house raised off the ground, luckily the entire place is fenced, but I have blocked off the side so they can't get into the front yard.

    Could have been anything really. Maybe she saw something under the house she wanted/was interested in, dug through and then found herself in a new area and explored and ended up in the front yard, obviously she wasn't intending on taking off anywhere otherwise she would have before you got a chance to grab her. May have been completely accidental ....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    South West WA
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    287

    Default

    Thanks Keira & Phoenix. I hope that is all it was. fingers crossed it doesn't happen again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    Default

    Erm.

    Self re-inforcing

    Digging a hole is fun.

    Crawling to somewhere relatively new for exploring is fun.

    so that's two reasons why your dog given the opportunity will have another go sometime. Hasn't got a lot to do with the amount of exercise and stimulation you give her obviously. Fetch isn't particularily mentally stimulating so you might want to mix in a few things that challenge the dog's thinking eg sit stay run tug, hide and seek etc.

    Definitely want to dig proof the fence, and maybe make the fence higher.

    I suspect my dog could easily jump certain parts of my fence but I think she won't unless freaked out by something, because she's tried it once and got hung on the pickets. Fortunately we noticed and sorted it but she's been reluctant to jump near that gate since. And I don't leave her outside alone when I'm not home.

    The thing I worry about is someone deliberately or accidentally letting her out the gate. If I was going to leave her outside, I think I'd have to put in a second (taller) gate and lock it. And lock the back gate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    South West WA
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    Default

    thanks Hy, I understand what your saying.
    I know digging is fun but I can honestly say she isn't normally a digger. I understand about under the house being intesting but I am more baffled how she fit lol.

    Gypsy loves fetch, we jazz it up by throwing more than one ball at a time, throwing them in in long grass trees ect, to make her find them. She plays with her fav soccer ball when no one can play with her. We have tried other games she just isn't interested.
    The only other game really enjoys is chase after my 3 yr old son around the house and backyard but he generally is holding a ball that time :P

    As for locking the gate... we don't have one. To get out the front yard we go through the entire house. I am also home most times and when I go out for more than 30mins Gypsy comes with me.

    As I said I am organising more dog proofing of the yard, higher fencing where needed and I have blocked of the side of the house where she dug out and the rest of the house she has access to has concrete stopping her from a repeat preformance of today.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    Default

    I'm guessing something under the house smelled really good and from there, she just went forwards...

    You might want to "transfer the value" of the ball to other things. Eg use the fetch throw as a reward for doing whatever you feel like asking her to do. Like the treat after a "click" or "yes". So start with something simple like a sit. Then throw. A sit-drop then throw, then maybe some shaping, ie reward (throw the ball) once for each different thing she does but don't throw if she repeats herself. This encourages her to try new things. And then you can go for tricks. Eg roll over, crawl, bow, bark on command etc. The idea is to get her to think, instead of obsessing about the ball.

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