Many people confine their dogs within their yards by having a proper fence. For some dogs a four foot fence is all that is needed, but for others a six foot fence is required. The problem is that not everyone has a fenced yard.
A Dog Run
A dog run is usually an enclosure made out of chain link fencing. For some dogs, such as huskies, it may need to be covered at the top. Dog runs are often small, they allow the dog to be outside but do not allow it much space to run. They are a solution to the problem but may not always be the ideal solution.
Keeping the Dog on a Chain
Many people keep their dog on a chain while it is outside. This works well to prevent it from running away but can create other problems. Some dogs, kept on chains, have shown signs of increased aggression over time. As well the dog is at risk for being attacked by other dogs or being stolen. Some animal shelters will not adopt dogs out to homes where they will be kept on chains.
Electric Fence Systems
There are many electric fence systems on the market today. Most involve a wire being buried just underground, and a collar on the dog that gives the dog a shock when it gets too close to the wire. This is often referred to as an invisible fence. The dog is still vulnerable for attack from other dogs.
Training a dog to stay within your yard is a bit tricky and nearly impossible for some breeds that love to run. It requires you go out with the dog and every time it tries to leave the yard, you call it back, and give it a reward. After a time the dog should stay within the confines of the yard, however, as mentioned, certain breeds, such as those with high prey drives (eg hounds, huskies, and so forth) , will often run off if they see something worth chasing, even moving cars. In general this really only works well if you are home a lot and the dog knows its pack is in the house. This method can never be fully trusted.
Why a Fence is Best?
Having a fence really is the best solution to prevent your dog from running away. When we look at the other options we see they all have problems. Without a fence there is no way of stopping other dogs from coming into your yard, attacking your dog, or spreading disease. The fence also offers some safety against theft of the dog.
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