Is this even possible?

Gempress

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#1
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.
 

CharlieDog

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#3
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.
 

Romy

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#4
Yes.

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.
 

milos_mommy

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#5
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.
 

CaliTerp07

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#6
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!"
 

MicksMom

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#8
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.
 

Gempress

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#9
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.
 

Lyzelle

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#10
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.
 

Flyinsbt

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#11
Yes. He likely happened upon it by accident, but if he's that smart, he could have figured out how to replicate it.

I haven't had an escape artist (thankfully!) But my bitch, Tully, learned to unscrew the lid of the Vittles Vault to help herself to kibble.

this, if anyone is unfamiliar with one:



The lid has to be rotated several times before it comes off. Once she figured out how to open it, and I determined it was not because I'd forgotten to tighten the lid, I started storing it behind a door where she couldn't reach it. So, she opened the lid of the cat food Vittles Vault, which was a different shape, but the same kind of lid.



So, I put that in a cupboard. But since she already knew how to open the cupboard, I tried to secure it by putting a dog collar through the handles. She could chew through the collar, but wasn't a chewer, so I thought it would work. And she didn't chew the collar. She bit the plastic buckle in half, removed the collar, opened the cupboard, removed the Vittles Vault, unscrewed the lid, and ate a couple bites of cat food. Just to prove to me that she was smarter, as far as I can tell.

Do not underestimate your dog!
 

Romy

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#12
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.
A padlock? lol
 

milos_mommy

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#13
There was that time we got a new fence, buried it 2 feet down in the yard, laid a two foot wide area of bricks at the base of the fence, cemented it, and covered it back up with dirt.

Took Milo less than 15 minutes to dig down to the bricks, backwards to the end of the bricks, and halfway under them. He did, however, not *quite* make it to the other side.
 

Flyinsbt

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#14
There was that time we got a new fence, buried it 2 feet down in the yard, laid a two foot wide area of bricks at the base of the fence, cemented it, and covered it back up with dirt.

Took Milo less than 15 minutes to dig down to the bricks, backwards to the end of the bricks, and halfway under them. He did, however, not *quite* make it to the other side.
:rofl1: I love me some smart dogs, but they are sure harder to live with!
 

joce

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#15
My husky could. She could get herself wrapped on a tree and it would usually open or rub right on the ground. Any kind of snap.

We have not tied her out for years now.
 

Gypsydals

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#16
It wouldn't surprise me if he did figure out how, either by accident or on purpose. Smart dogs can be trouble.

I know the dalmatian we had growing up had figured out how to open the kennel door. She would not go over or under the fence, it was always through the way she came in. My dad tried a bolt in the hole both ways, a clip similar to what is on the end of a leash. He ended up using a padlock to keep the door shut.
 

milos_mommy

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#17
Another thing, if he's getting off the tie-out and it's the same clasp as your leash, watch for that. You said his recall's pretty good but IDK how he is with other dogs or traffic or whatever, but if there's any real risk you might want to hook him up with a second clasp.
 

skittledoo

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#18
Bamm and Cricket have unsnapped regular clip leashes multiple times. Usually if they twist a certain way when leashed they can get the snap to pop off their collar.

One day I was walking the dogs and hadn't realized that Cricket had unsnapped the leash from her collar. I must have been off in my own world or something. Anyways, I Bamm stopped to sniff something in the grass which jerked my attention back to the real world. I noticed the end of Cricket's leash was unoccupied. Moment of freak out. I frantically started looked for her and turned around to see her trotting down the road with her little prancy trot just proud as she can be that she outwitted me. Punk. Thank goodness she has a pretty decent recall.

That's why I LOVE my Northern Blackout leads that have the locking alligator snaps.
 

Gempress

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#19
That's a good point on the leash clips. I might have to see about getting a different kind of leash.

Why is it always Voodoo? Oh well. At least he does his best to keep me from being bored.
 

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