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Old 08-11-2006, 08:03 PM
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Default Another Ripley problem

Ripley needs exercise. Off-lead exercise, and LOTS of it. I have been walking him for about 2 miles every day, playing fetch with him inside the RV and letting him swim in the lake. Whenever I'm outside, he's outside - mental stimulation galore. We work on obedience about 45 minutes every day, broken into 5-minute sessions so his ADD doesn't kick in.

Despite this, Ripley is WIRED. He wants to run, needs to run, and he can't while he's on the leash. I've been trying to get him to calm down for training today but I can't because he has so much pent-up energy. I'd have to walk for 10 miles to get him to wear out.

The place we are staying at is completely fenced in, but Ripley can squeeze through the tiniest holes. And he looks for the opportunity to escape.

I don't know if this is a training question but I want the advice of those who frequent the training board. A trainer I was talking to last night recommended an e-collar for him (she is a reputable trainer who uses positive, motivational methods, so this surprised me) because she didn't think I could get much farther with his training unless he was able to release some of that pent-up energy, and an e-collar would give me a bit of control over him.

What do you guys think of that suggestion? I'm so hesitant to try it because he IS a little guy. If he was the size of my Border Collie I would absolutely try it if it would mean him getting the exercise he needs. But I don't even know if they MAKE ecollars in his size!

What would you do to exercise this dog? I devote as much time as I can to my dogs but I still have a life outside of them, and spending 4-5 hours each day simply exercising Ripley is out of the question. He really needs to run free, but he can squeeze out of even the most securely fenced environments (we ripley-proofed our yard for months and still have to watch him to make sure he can't escape) and despite my most desperate attempts at training him, he has virtually NO recall once he gets wind of a good smell or sees something intriguing. Properly used, would an e-collar give me more control over him? Would it be enough so that I could let him run loose on this property and not bolt away?

Any suggestions or input are gladly welcomed. I am really trying to work things out with this dog but I know that without proper exercise, he will never be in the right state of mind to learn.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:12 PM
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Tiny little dogs use the Invisible Fence. We have a mini dachsund and a chihuahua next door with an Invisible Fence. They learned their boundaries immediately and don't get 'hit' anymore, but they always wear those collars when they're outside.

I don't know if it's the same if you're controlling something that gives them the little correction as it is when they learn a boundary for the fence, but I guess the collars are the same. The collars look kind of big and goofy on them, but they don't seem to mind, and they run and play and BARK.

Another woman has a cat who wears one to keep it in the front yard (also invisible fencing) while their husky, who considers the cat prey, is in the back yard.

Are you considering the electronic fence or just watching him and triggering the correction yourself?
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:13 PM
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I do a lot of house-sitting, and have been lucky enough to find a great way to exercise other peoples dogs who can not be off-leash. I work at a horse farm, and will toss them in the indoor ring with any other dog-friendly dogs who are around. They can tear around, wrestle, sniff, and do whatever their little hearts desire, and I don't have to worry about them disappearing on me.

Can you find any large enclosed areas like that? I'm pretty new here, and don't know anything about your dog, but is he dog-friendly? I find letting two or more dogs play together tires them out far faster than anything I can do! Maybe you can set up playgroups for him?

I've also wondered about those attachments for bikes that allow your dog to run alongside safely. I have no idea how well they work, but it's the other thing that popped into my head.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:17 PM
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Also, we have a tennis court in our neighborhood that is gated. I've never let my dog run around there, but I read in a doggy book once that a fenced in tennis court is a great place to let a puppy get some energy out.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:24 PM
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I'd look into the tennis court option myself, especially if it's one that has slats woven in between the links for that added privacy. He would love our outdoor daycare area. The indoor horse arena is also a good idea...or any sort of indoor sports area, provided of course that you have permission.

If you feel that this trainer is one you can trust to show you how to do it right, go a head and give it a shot. I know that you can't put up any I.F. where you're at.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:26 PM
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I think if it was me I'd run a strand of electric fence along the bottom of your yard. That way he doesn't have to run around with an electric collar on his neck. Hopefully he'll get the lesson quickly.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:31 PM
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I can't use an invisible fence here, it's not my property and digging up the grass would be a no-no. It would probably be a remote e-collar if I decided to try it, that's what the trainer recommended.

Ripley is dog-friendly with very small dogs, but unfortunately I can't seem to find any small dogs that are friendly with him! Most of the ones here are so calm and pampered, they just want to lie around on pillows instead of playing.. And Ripley doesn't mix well with bigger dogs - he is nice enough to them, but he zooms in circles around them until they pounce on him. They don't mean to, but they wind up hurting him.

A tennis court is a good idea. I wonder if dogs are allowed on them though? Ripley isn't an obsessive marker but he WOULD pee on the court at least once...

Sorry, I didn't explain well enough. I'm at a private yacht club, its not my yard. Ripley's a 5lb Papillon, I can't run him alongside my bike and I would worry about a zap from an electric fence killing him. LMAO
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:39 PM
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I was thinking a public tennis court. I don't think I've seen signs saying that they're not allowed, although I doubt that they intended them to play there! Then, again, the skateboarders, etc., that go on them occasionally probably weren't what the city had in mind either.

As long as no one's wanting to play on the courts at the time you go, I doubt you'd have any trouble.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:42 PM
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harness and a cotton long-line. he's little. he can run plenty on a 50 foot long line.
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:35 PM
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elegy I was JUST going to say that!

Get him a long line!! They are FABULOUS!

Riot sometimes goes on walks in the park with a 15' lunge line(my old horses's) and he just loves it.

Definately a good Idea for Rip! You coudl also get in those swivels that you turn into the ground to hook him to. They are about $10 roughly.
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