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Old 02-20-2005, 08:01 PM
Bobo Bobo is offline
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Default Snoop the escape artist

I am looking for some advice on keeping my two year old Doberman in the yard. He is constantly digging underneath the fence. The yard is about1/2 of an acre so he has room to run, but he digs holes as fast as I can fill them. Any training tips or ideas on physically stopping him from getting out will be appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:34 PM
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poodlesmom poodlesmom is offline
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One suggestion would be investing in an Invisible Fence to put on the outside perimeter of your regular fence to keep him from being able to take the time to dig under it.
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:57 PM
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CreatureTeacher CreatureTeacher is offline
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I'd recommend a few things here. First, get a roll of chicken wire about three feet wide. Then get some buddies who you can pay with beer and get digging. (Make sure you call the utility companies.) Bury the chicken wire upright all the way around the perimeter of the yard, as close to right under the fence as you can get it. Make sure that when you bury it, you pack the dirt as tightly as you can. This should keep him in the yard.

Next, you need to give him a place where it's okay to dig. You can't get rid of a digging instict, but you can channel it into something less destructive. Go grab some 2x4s, about 4-8 feet long, and use those craftsmen skills to nail them into a square frame. Place the frame on the predetermined sacrificed ground, and go at it with a shovel. Turn up the dirt up to about 3 feet deep. Don't dig it out, just loosen the dirt real good. Let your Dobie (my favorite breed by the way!) watch you do it. Then let him watch you bury some really fun things there; a stuffed Kong, a raw chicken leg, one of those really smelly pig's ears...anything that will pique his interest, especially anything smelly. Bring him over and show him how to dig the treats up. I'm willing to bet he'll get it pretty quickly.

Now you've removed his ability to dig under the fence, and way, WAY more importantly, you've removed his desire to do so. Refill his "toy box" every few days with different fun things. Bury them only in the wooden frame, so he knows this is the only place he should be digging. Remember that variety is the spice of life--be creative!

Last, and just as important, start up some clicker training! Dobies are so, so smart. They need almost constant mental stimulation. Here's a great book to get you going: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training by Pamela Dennison.
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:21 PM
Bobo Bobo is offline
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I appreciate the advice guys...Thanks
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:08 PM
gaddylovesdogs gaddylovesdogs is offline
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The invisible and wire are good ideas. Digging area too--fence-in a small piece of land (maybe 4x5 or something), but leave an opening. Whenever you find him digging around the fence or anywhere else unaproppriate, redirect the behavior to the special spot. You can encourage this by burying toys and treats there.

If necessary, you could consider an "up in the air" chain. One cord is attached to trees or your house (or both) and another chain hangs down. The chain that hangs down attaches to your dogs collar or harness. This way he has room to roam, but can't escape. (Unless he's an collar slipping artist too )
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