Is Your Dog An Escape Artist? 3 Common Canine Escape Tricks And How To Foil Them

Posted on: 18 June 2015

You know your dog loves you, but sometimes you wonder if it's trying to drive you nuts. Many dogs are just too smart for their own good, and once they figure out how to escape a fence, it isn't long before they're doing it all the time. Here are a few ways you can reign in your adventurous pooch and secure your yard.

Escape Trick #1: Leaping Or Climbing Over The Fence

This problem is most common with shorter fences, like the ubiquitous 4 ft tall chain link or wire farm-style fences. However, some determined or athletically gifted dogs can climb or jump fences as high as 6 ft, so don't think having a slightly taller fence will instantly solve your problem.

For jumping dogs, you can complicate their furry little machinations by planting bushes on the inside of the fence. This makes it harder for the dog to judge exactly how high to jump and also forces them to try and jump farther than usual. Just remember to occasionally go out and check whether Fido has gotten himself lodged in the shrubbery during a failed attempt.

Climbers can also sometimes be dissuaded by bushes, but you may have to try a different tack for a truly determined fence climber. Try topping the fence with coyote rollers, which are loose-fitting sections of padded pipe which spin when your dog tries to get purchase on them, causing the pup to fall back into your yard. Alternately, you can also add a small section of fence that bends sharply back into your yard, which makes it impossible for your dog to get over the top of the fence from the inside.

Escape Trick #2: Figuring Out How To Work The Gate

Some very smart dogs can learn over time how to work simple gates, especially ones secured by a small latch or a U-lock. Other dogs simply learn that if they push hard enough on the gate, they can squeeze through the gap between it and the fence without ever needing to unlatch it at all. Similarly, if your gate relies on a heavy object to hold it shut, dogs will often figure out a way a move the object and free themselves.

For clever pups that learn how to work locks, the fix is as simple as upgrading to a proper padlocked gate with a key. Yes, it will be a little inconvenient to have to keep unlocking it every day instead of simply undoing the latch, but it's also entirely dogproof.

Fixing a gate that can be distorted to let your dog out or one that swings open on its own is pretty simple too. All you need to do is affix a long cane bolt which will reach from the top of the gate to the ground. This ensures that the whole side of the gate stays closed, and it should keep your dog from being able to brute force its way out.

Escape Trick #3: Just Plain Destroying The Fence

Some dogs are big enough and energetic enough to simply make a mess of your home's fencing. They tend to do this by chewing up wood board or throwing themselves at chain link until it distorts enough to scoot underneath.

Bushes on the inside of the fence work as a good deterrent for dogs that throw themselves against it, since they won't be able to build up any speed for their assault. In the long term, you should probably consider upgrading your fence to vinyl or aluminum slats, which are harder to break and can't be chewed up like wood.

It's also important to remember that dogs driven to escape and destroy fences are often fairly smart pups that are victims of extreme frustration. Consider whether your dog gets enough daily exercise and enough mind-stimulating play during the day. In some cases, paying extra attention to your pooch can reduce negative behaviors and make them more content to stay in the yard. 

For help selecting the right fencing for your needs, contact a local residential fencing company and explain your situation to them.