/ Run Away Dogs

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Got a recurring problem with our dogs, and would appreciate advice from anyone who's been in the same situation?

Basically, we've got 2 springer spaniels, mother and daughter, and they are escape artists! they love to run away, at every opertunity! We've accepted that it's in their nature, and so have learnt that one of them must always be on a lead (they'll only run together, never alone)
However, thismorning, they did something they've not done before, they escaped from the garden. We put a nice fence around our garden so that in the morning, we could just let them out for a wee and a bit of a run around while we got ready for work, before going out for a walk etc, but today, for some reason, they've decided to jump the fence and run off (first time in 3 years that they've done so!)

So, now we can't even trust them in our own back garden...what should we do? Simple solution would be to get rid of one of them, but it's not so simple, because then we have to choose! some people have suggested electric collars, with an 'invisible boundary', but they're illegal in wales, and knowing our luck we'd get caught! I could increase the fence height, but that'd be a few 100, and really ruin the garden, making it more like a prison!!

We're kind of at our wits end! please help!!

oh, and if you're wondering, they've still not been found, they're out and about, enjoying themselves, and we're just hoping that someone finds them and calls us!
richyfenn on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):

A friend of mine has a similar issue with his parents dogs that if let loose together they run off and attack other dogs! It can also happen if they're out on their own for a walk and meet one of their brothers or sisters (litter has been kept fairly local to each other).

I'd consider planting prickly plants to grow along the top of the fence if you don't want to raise the height, that might deter them a bit.
Edradour - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):

Kebabs...
mkean - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):
What is your fence like? Could you string a taught wire about 6" above the top, which will make it a lot harder for them to clear it?
mkean - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Fickalli:
I've got a springer crossed with a Dyson and it eats whatever it finds, kebabs give it the arse from hell.
rocky57 - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):

If you don't want to higher the fence, can you lower the garden?
mkean - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to rocky57:

+1 ;-)
Padraig on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):

DO you know why they run away? Are they speyed? Is one of them on heat? This is the the main reason dogs run away. Other reasons can be boredom, not being interacted with enough, not enough excercise, etc. Just my thoughts not accusing BTW. Hope you get em back safely.

Lukeva - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): Loads and loads of exercise, then more. A tired dog is a happy dog. They have too much energy to burn... well that is my experience anyway
Scarab9 - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):

agreeing about the exercise thing. You've got a very hyper breed there and some of them need ridiculous amounts of exercise to keep them sane. How long are they left during the day on their own? how many times do you take them out a day and how long for?

As for raising the fence, apart from the look of the thing you don't necessarily need to have a higher fence (as in buy a new fence), you could tack a bit on to raise it.

Also are they definitely jumping it? there's no new gap under that migth have have been dug away?
stumpy - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): Unfortunately the exercise thing does not really work with a springer (in my experience). My spaniel will come out and work from 8.30 to 4.30 with an hour break for lunch, we then take him out for a walk with the other dogs for an hour anf he goes 100% for the walk, after this he is still the last of the dogs to settle.
One thing to try may be a citronella collar, I had to use one for him as when on a walk he would only come back when he wanted to.
SCrossley on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):
Whatever you do, do it smartish http://travel.aol.co.uk/2012/10/23/farmer-shoots-dogs-dead-after-escaping-kennels-while-owners-on-ho... this was an awful case.
drunken monkey - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Lukeva: Have you ever tried tiring a springer spaniel out? Not going to happen.
alanlgm - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to drunken monkey:

I have 2 and i am lucky that i can leave the gate open and they dont bolt but i agree it is totally impossible to tire them out.

as for suggestions i know its not a nice way to have them in the garden but could you set up some sort of lead that can go along the fence so they can still move around but not actually run off.

My mate has "cat proofed" his garden so his cats cant escape and this consists of a row of tennis court style fencing of abouta foot up from his fencs and then the same coming into the garden from that so it creates a right angle. it being the tennis court style fencing means that you dont block out any light making it prison like and also he has grown climbing roses along it and it looks good along his fence.

my latest spriner is only 8 months and we currently have the chewing problem oh the joys of owning dogs
Punter S Thompson - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Lukeva:
> (In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC)) Loads and loads of exercise, then more. A tired dog is a happy dog. They have too much energy to burn... well that is my experience anyway

They're springers.

The OP'll collapse way before they do.

I had to build a wall around the garden in the end to keep Molly 'the cooler queen' from escaping.

Put a 6 foot fence around the garden , came home to find her sitting on top of one of the poles. What she couldn't climb , she dug underneath.

Don't get electric collars, if the dog runs they'll get through the 'barrier' but may not fancy walking back trough it.

A wall is the only way I reckon.



In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): Cheers for advice folks. I think there's been enough Springer owners commenting that tiring them out just isn't an option! the fact that one of them always has to be walked on a lead also doesn't help with making them tired!!

they get all the love and affection a dog could hope for at home, they eat well enough, get regular exercise, have toys and regularly curl up on the sofa with us in the evening, there's nothing we can offer them as an incentive to stay.

Could build the fence up, tennis court style, but is that just a temporary measure, until they work out another way to run...the fence we have worked for two years, maybe they'll just look for a way around the new one? maybe wait for someone to come through the gate, then run out behind them? and to what point can we keep modifying the house to suit the dogs?

Its looking more and more like seperation is the only option...might be a dog looking for a new home soon, but how to choose between them? either way it's going to be heartbreaking :(
StuDoig - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):
Rather than fortification of your garden or getting rid of one of them (traumatic for you and the dog) - consider more training or professional help with training (classes). Plenty of folk have multiple working / energetic dogs and manage well.

My folks have been involved in training dogs for a few years (so by no means experts but better idea than most) and one tip they gave us was that its nigh on impossible to train 2 energetic dogs together. Split them up for training session and classes and you'll get a much better result. Not a fast process (think 1year + and a lot of tears) to get them up to a good level where you can reliably let them off the lead and recall them.

Won't guarentee they don't break out again, but will make walking them easier and reduce the chance that they'll disapear.

Also think about making your garden more interesting for them (food filled chew toys, bones etc) as this'll make them more inclinded to occypy themselves within the garden.

Agree with all the above comments about avoiding shock collars! Horrible things - just beating the dog into submission.

Good luck and hope the mutts come home soon!

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): Long shot, but do you have any friends or family that could take one of them off your hands. At least you will still be in touch with them?
Punter S Thompson - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):
> they get all the love and affection a dog could hope for at home, they eat well enough, get regular exercise, have toys and regularly curl up on the sofa with us in the evening, there's nothing we can offer them as an incentive to stay.

That's rational thinking, dogs don't work like that.

This might help ...
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/dog_paradox

By the way I've great sympathy for your problem and hope you find a soluion.
Lukeva - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): I realise that! I used to have two, they are well suited to farm/working life (not that that helps much) and is not meant condescendingly, at all.

They do not tire easily but will be less inclined to bolt; it is almost exclusively a lust for exercise that triggers an escapee dog. That's why I stressed the level of exercise they need, it may suppress their lust to run free. Admittedly they do just like to be outdoors, generally covered in mud and stinking if I remember
Gwain - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): I had the same problem with one of mine, she used to find a way out no matter what. I ended up putting up a high line with a chain (less tangle ,no chew)lead coming down an clipping her to that every time she went out. Sometimes breaking the habbit by making it impossible to escape stops the behaviour all together(It's called supersticious learning).Try to keep hold of both dogs, so many in rescue centres at the moment, also there is no guarantee that the other will stay when they are on their own. Have they come home yet? Good Luck.
PixieNinja - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): we had similar problems with our 2 jacks, although they didn't run away together, we had to reinforce the fence that they went over and under.
Also you said they only run away together, could you not let em out one at a time when just going into the garden. And how old are they? Ours eventually grew out of it.
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): Happily, they've been found, about 7pm last night. They were pretty tired, seems that 12 hours non-stop running does the trick for wearing them out!!

now to work out what to do! I think we're going to have to tie them up when we let them out, for now, maybe do that for a year or so, then see how they are after that.

also, GPS tracking collar for christmas I think, only need to put it on one of them, they always stay together.
thin bob on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC):

The 'high wire' sounds like a reasonable quick fix while training, as does the trellis on top of the fence with climbers on it (plants, not rock athletes! :-) ) Russian vines grow quick, according to my Dad.

An alternative (though perhaps not as quick or cheap) is a smaller obstacle before the fence so they can't get a run-up to leap over the main fence (watch a war film for inspiration:-) ).

And do read the Oatmeal cartoon, it's brilliant!
IainRUK - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): They do cat proof fencing..

I'd be against separating.. they obviously have a great bond.
IainRUK - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Re exercise.. You won't tire a young spanial out.. like you won't tire a collie but you can take the edge of the them.. make them handable, In my experience..

How old did you say they are? I find that once a dog reaches 5,6,7 years old they lose that edge too, calm down a bit.
alanlgm - on 15 Nov 2012
Glad they are back :-)
In reply to IainRUK: they're only 3 and 2 years old respectively! I guess that's the "teenage rebelion" age!!?

I think a high wire, more walks whenever possible, and a tracking collar should make a good solution for now. The High wire is preferable to the trelis I think.

Seperation is far from ideal, will be avoided, but if they manage it again, despite new measures benig put in place, it'll have to be considered!

And the Cartoon was Brilliant, thanks for that, it lightened up my day a bit.
Lukeva - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): Glad to hear they are back! There you go, can't you spare 7hrs a day to run them ;). Good luck with them
Steve Perry - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): Put a lead from collar to collar, I've seen this work out in the hills with dogs.
ads.ukclimbing.com
rocky57 - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Steve Perry:
> (In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC)) Put a lead from collar to collar

Or, put a short bit of 7mm cord between their front legs, like they do with the donkey's in spain. You could probably get away with thinner cord, but that might be a bit cruel as it is likely to cut into them a bit.
IainRUK - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): Aye... not a good age..

I'd be wary about connecting them when loose as dogs trap themselves even with their collars alone..
ollieollie - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to carrot_boy (North East Wales MC): train them properly(not meant as it sounds) have springer and a vizsla myself and train and work both. have spent a great deal of time and energy on proper training. i really suggest if you having probs like this have a couple of sessions with a GOOD GUNDOG trainer, should only be about 20ish each lesson. there some good trainers in wales. pm me if you want their details. training is the long game!!

good luck
Sarah G on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
It's how hounds are trained. That's why they are referred to as "x number of couple" eg 9 and a half couple of hounds = 19 hounds.

Mind you, with hounds they put a young one with an older one, so as to have the younger one get to know its job; if both the Springers are a bit lively, there may well be tears before tea time!

In the short term, yes, tethers even at hoy me (like the idea of the kitten-in-the-strawberry-patch overhead line) and long lines when out walking. It is impossible to tire out a Soringer, but even when on leads, doing a few miles bike helps. Alfie the Springer and Cookie my field cocker run fantastically well on the lead when I'm on the bike- I join their leads together at the handle loop so I don't inadvertently drop one. When one stops for a wee/poo, I drop the leads and I have time to stop the bike and grab the leashes before they run on. When Alfie spots a rabbit, I have a turbo-charged pushbike!

Sx
Sarah G on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G:
'scuse they typos, am on my 4th glass of red vino.

Sx
Sarah G on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Sarah G:
Oh, when hounds are coupled, the tether is between the hounds on the collar, they aren't hobbled!

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