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Glad2bhear's avatar

What should I do with an escape artist dog?

Asked by Glad2bhear (163points) June 2nd, 2021
19 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

We rescued this beautiful 1 year old Husky a month ago. Our backyard is fenced so he should be able to do his necessary business back there. In these few weeks he got out of our yard twice by digging under the fence. I filled the holes with rocks or bricks, soil then wood covered with more rocks or bricks. But I cannot do that for the whole yard! So, what the heck should I do?

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kritiper's avatar

My dog was a very powerful German Shepherd. If I tried to chain him with a large, heavy duty guard dog choke chain, he would just pull on it until the large rings on the end elongated, then he would slip out of it, or simply let it get loose, twist it up between his ears, and then let it fall off. So I had to get a regular section of ¼” chain, with a “S” link, put it over his head to the point where he absolutely COULD NOT slip out of it, and pinch the “S” link together (with vise-grip pliers) so the collar would not/could not come apart or be destroyed.
Then I made a length of ¼” chain, the same stuff as the collar, that was about 21’ long with brass heavy duty swivel clasps on each end.
What I did next is not what I’m going to tell you.
Make the length of chain about 25’ long. Dig a hole in the middle of the yard far enough away from any objects that the dog make get tangled in, and deep enough to completely bury a concrete building block. Tie the chain around the block and bury it. Tie the dog to the other end of the chain.
This is about the only thing you can do with a dog like yours, who sees every attempt you make to contain him as a game that he must circumvent.
Remember! Desperate times call for desperate measures, ESPECIALLY when it comes to dogs that are as driven as yours to get away!!! You GOTTA play for keeps!

What I did to my dog, which, of course you can also do, is to secure a section of ¼” aircraft cable to the house (near the back door) and the other end to a outbuilding and hook the other end of the chain to this cable so the dog has run of the entire yard. Be careful the dog can’t get hung up on anything and hang itself! This method may be more difficult because the dog can get tangled on more stuff.
I would suggest the buried concrete block.

smudges's avatar

I have heard many times that Huskies are a special breed of dog and there are certain ways to deal with them. If it were me, I’d do all the research I could about Huskies, including talking to the Humane Society, Husky rescues, dog experts, books, etc. It may be that escape is one of their traits and people may have found ways to deal with it. Seems like I’ve heard they need a lot of interaction and proper training due to stubbornness on their part. I say proper because some people think all you need to do is punish an animal, which is exactly not what to do. Hopefully someone with a Husky will see your question and help out here.

sorry's avatar

Don’t leave him unchaperoned in the back yard long enough for him to dig holes big enough to escape from. If you go the ‘chain him up’ route, put it on a long line and don’t leave him out for longer than 10 minutes. Take him for walks instead where he can get exercise and do his business. If this breed isn’t exercised it will destroy things.

longgone's avatar

I hope you live in an area where chaining him up is illegal, as it should be. It’s abusive and dogs often hurt themselves badly by getting tangled up in their chain.

That said: the answer to your question depends on your expectations. If you want a secure place for your dog to hang out unsupervised, you will need to spend a lot of money to extend the fence underground. And afterwards, you might still need to strengthen it in other ways (i.e. height). If you’re just trying to make sure you can let him out to pee and he won’t make a beeline for the fence, the solution is easier:

What I would do is to maximize the backyard’s appeal and make sure your dog is exercising properly both physically and mentally. This means lots of hidden treats in the grass. Frozen Kongs and other chew toys. Perhaps a sandpit for digging, or a paddling pool, or a rope to tug on. Daily hikes, runs, or bike rides. A year-old Husky needs to be running for at least three or four hours a day. That’s what they were bred for, and if you can’t provide it this is not the right dog for your family. Walks should preferably be off-leash so he can take in scents, if that’s safe. Clicker training can be great mental stimulation – check out “Kikopup” on Youtube for inspiration and techniques…have fun, and good luck with your furfriend!

KNOWITALL's avatar

I agree with @sorry. Stay with them. I have a digger and dogsit a fence jumper. Outside the house they are always supervised or on leash.

crazyguy's avatar

We had a relatively small dog (fully stretched out on his hind legs, he was under 4 feet tall). He was a pit bull X. This dog was an escape artist who would put Houdini to shame.

We put him behind a 4-ft high fence, that he could not possibly jump over. However, he could and did climb over it. In doing so, he would cut gashes into his underbelly, but he did not care.

Unfortunately, he was also a biter, so we had to put him down.

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smudges's avatar

@crazyguy Yeah, that’s the solution…kill it if you can’t train it. Much easier than finding someone who can help the dog.

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crazyguy's avatar

@smudges My wife just reminded me – we did not put the dog down. He just ran away.

smudges's avatar

@crazyguy Retraction submitted. Glad to hear it, but feel bad for the poor pup.

YARNLADY's avatar

I used a layer of chicken wire fence on the ground in front of the fence, held down by stakes. That worked for our dog.

crazyguy's avatar

@smudges That dog was no pup. We had it for at least three years, and it never grew in those three years. So I estimate his age at at least four years.

crazyguy's avatar

@YARNLADY That is a good idea. We never tried it, but I am certain, that would not have worked for our dog, who was ok with fairly deep cuts to his torso in order to be free.

smudges's avatar

@crazyguy I didn’t mean ‘pup’ as in ‘puppy’. Pup is an endearing term like pupper, doggy, doggo, good boi, etc. I know that technically pup means a puppy or a young dog, but those of us who love animals have all kinds of nicknames for them, like I use the term ‘buff’ to mean buffalo, and ‘meowzer’ to mean cat.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@smudges Chonk boi is my favorite, but in our household everyone has human names. haha!

smudges's avatar

@KNOWITALL LOL too funny! I like that.

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