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Old 10-25-2012, 03:28 PM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Default Is this even possible?

I can't believe I'm even asking, but here goes: is it possible for a dog learn how to undo the snap on a lead and take it off his collar?

Of course, Voodoo is the reason why I'm asking. Our backyard only has a 3-foot fence, so we use a tie-out as well. The tie-out gives them access to about half the yard. The tie-out is mainly for Zeus, since Voodoo has a good recall and is very respectful of boundaries. However, we put the tie-out on Voodoo whenever we're not directly supervising him, just in case.

There have been multiple (at least 5) incidents of Voodoo becoming unhooked from the tie-out. It's only Voodoo, never Zeus. We've never seen how it happens. We put Voodoo on the tie-out, turn our backs for a bit, and suddenly Voodoo is off the tie-out and sniffing something interesting on the other side of the yard.

We blamed mechanical failure. We thought that maybe the catch wasn't closing properly, or maybe Voodoo's collar d-ring is spaced in such a way that the snap doesn't grip well. We've replaced leads and collars both, and it still happens.

It suddenly occurred to me today that it only happens when Voodoo is trying to check out something interesting in the yard that is out of reach of the tie-out. That's when I got the crazy idea that Voodoo might somehow be unfastening himself. But how could a dog even physically do that?? Scratching at the clasp?

For now, we're changing out the tie-out clasp to one of those quick-connect chain link connectors. That should fix it. But I still wonder if it's possible that Voodoo was somehow unhooking himself.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:31 PM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:33 PM
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CharlieDog CharlieDog is offline
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I think it is. Indy will walk out of our tie out all the time. I never catch her doing it though. We finally added a carabiner clip thing to it that locks and now she stays put.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:51 PM
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Romy Romy is offline
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My boss's old wolf hybrid could unsnap his tie out. He was tied out inside a giant yard with 8' chain link because he figure out how to climb the chain link.

Anyway, is there something Vood could be rubbing his neck on? Bo learned that if he pulled the line taut and rubbed the snap against a tree repeatedly it would snag and he could unhook the snap and slip free.

It had this style snap on it. He's the only animal I've heard of that could undo one without a person helping out.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:12 PM
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milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
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I've never had a dog who had ACTUALLY figured out to unsnap their own lead...but Tom did often unsnap his when jumping around and pawing at his own collar trying to get to something interesting.

It's totally possible he figured out how to unsnap it, but more likely it's just not that strong of a clasp and he can wiggle it undone.
"My favorite color is green, green like newly cut grass. When it comes to green with envy, though, you can stick it up your @ss!" ~ Grammy
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:16 PM
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CaliTerp07 CaliTerp07 is offline
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This thread makes me happy. There are dogs who are even more of an escape artist than Lucy is.

(Sorry, I know that's no consolation to you, Gempress!"
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:16 PM
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darkchild16 darkchild16 is offline
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Its the Vood of course he can

I for one am shocked that you thought you would never be asking this about Voodoo
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:26 PM
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MicksMom MicksMom is offline
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Way back when, our Husky/GSD figured out how to undo the snaps on those cheap chains they sell in supermarkets, etc. Once we replaced them with snaps like the one in the pic Romy posted he was fine.
My Labrador Retriever Was Handler Impaired
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:58 PM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Romy, that's exactly the same snap on the lead. Vood can't reach any trees, but he can reach one of the corners of the house. My husband thinks he might be scratching at it with a hind foot somehow, with the d-ring laid flat against the collar nd the little thumb latch hits the collar material and bounces the whole thing off the d-ring. I dunno.

I don't think it's that the snap is weak. We thought it was that initially and replaced the tie-out, but it still happened. Maybe the design of the clap makes it easier to slide open?

In the past, Voodoo has figured out crate doors, gate latches and certain doorknobs. I'm really starting to wonder if he somehow learned how to slip off the lead. I might have to see if I can borrow a video camera and see what's actually going on.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:22 PM
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Lyzelle Lyzelle is offline
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Yep. Totally possible. Zander can open doors, gate latches, and knows how the garage door opens. He can open cabinets, drawers, kennel doors, remove other dog's flat buckle collars, and...well, you get the idea.

Smart dogs are smart. Nothing is "proofed" past their intelligence, they just keep learning.

The best I can suggest is try to find something more secure that doesn't give way to a steep learning curve of things he's already figured out.
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