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did my dog learn a lesson

Posted by nat0209 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 29, 12 at 18:26

We have a dog whom we can't retain. We built an invisible fence and he learned to run through it. Yesterday, he got out of our yard, chased a bus and got hit. Luckily, he did not break any bones, ligaments and will recover.
My husband says our dog is very smart (I agree) and he learned a lesson and will not chase another vehicle again (I disagree). What do you think?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

I doubt it very much. The dog does not have the ability to associate being out of the yard, chasing a vehicle, and getting hurt on just one episode.

Not saying it could not happen, but it would be very rare.

Since the invisible fence does not deter him, it is time for a real fence or controls outside.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

Dear Handymac,
What do you mean by controls? He gets out of the "regular" fence, so am curious of your other ideas.
Thank you.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

when you say "regular" fence, what do you mean exactly?


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

"The dog does not have the ability to associate being out of the yard, chasing a vehicle, and getting hurt on just one episode."

Repetition is integral to learning;
you have to repeat the alphabet a bunch of times before you remember it, you have to practice parallel parking a bunch of times before you can do it well.

How many times does you think a dog can survive being struck by a car to "learn"?

Confine that poor dog somehow.

If he digs, pound short lengths of re-bar (at the big box home improvement stores) into the ground along the base of a real fence.

If he climbs, run a hot wire along the top of a real fence.

If you can't afford a fence, keep him inside the house & take him out on a leash for walks.

I wish you & your dog the best.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

What type of fence did you buy? Have you spent time training him on it? Some electric fences are better than others and/or are more appropriate for the size of the dog. As long as you have the wire installed, if you did buy a cheaper brand and need to upgrade, you may be able to use the existing wire.

It is really, really important to train properly tho. However smart you think your dog may be, he still has the mentality of a small child and needs to be taught.

My dog got clipped once by a car, but never learned to stay out of the road. Handymac is right. They just don't have the ability to do all of that associative thinking without, as Sylvia said, repetition, which you obviously cannot have.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

I have two dogs, both are smart in their own ways, but the Dachshund is dumb as a stump when it comes to cars. We have a fenced in 1/2 acre but it's with an old picket fence and he manages to find a tiny hole to fit his long narrow body. So after he escaped for four hours a year ago, he is tethered to a chair in the porch. I won't risk it because on walks he actually occasionally lunges for vehicles while on leash. Other dog wouldn't leave the yard if the gate was open and would not chase cars.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

Perhaps he's bored and goes out to find something to do.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

Many years ago we had a dog who would get out of the yard every now and then. One day, she escaped. She ran in the street, got hit by a car and was carried home by a kid that saw it all. We rushed her to the vet and she had all sorts of injuries. She had to have a splint put in her leg and the vet said she would never have the use of that leg again.

Well she did --- she was running just as before 6 months later. AND --- she never ran out of the yard again. Yes, the vet was amazed because he doubted too that a dog would ever learn that lesson.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

I too wonder how much training you did with the invisible fence. If he was properly trained and still doesn't mind the zap a good quality invisible fence company will have larger battery to use. Is your dog a long coated dog? Shaving some fur where the prongs are can help. Also is the collar on snug? It has to be touching the dogs skin. I used IF in the country with 2 hunting terriers and it works well when we were outside. One used up batteries much faster than the other by standing within the 10 ft warning and letting his collar buz. Like 4 batteries to her one battery a year. Also are you sure you have no break in the wire? Ours was hit by lighting once after about 6 years and IF fixed it for free.

This post was edited by eandhl on Mon, Dec 31, 12 at 7:37


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

Excellent points, Eandhl.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

thank you all for your responses. I will take his collar out around the fence tomorrow to check whether the fence is working properly. He is a blue heeler, so medium haired dog. Maybe we can increase the "zap".
By "regular fence" I mean the fence one builds that is 5feet high.
Wow, Ryse, your dog is amazing. My dog is right now, heavily medicated on pain meds, quite subdued so I'm unsure how he will be after he heals.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

Eandhl covered the major points to check on your IF, but the mistake most owners make is not taking at least 2 weeks to train their dogs and not leaving flags up as a reminder for the dog. If the dog has learned to run thru the charge, then you'll probably need to increase it. Just be sure to retrain him once he's healed..........and use the flags.

Otherwise, a regular fence with hot wire at the base and along the top should easily keep the dog in the yard.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

I would never use or recommend an electric fence to clients or adopters. Heck, most of the rescues I work with won't adopt to people with them due to too many directly related tragedies. I'm sure you can Google and turn up the many reasons for yourself rather than me listing there here.

One thing you might not turn up in your searches is that some very intelligent dogs can learn to quickly drain the batteries by standing close to the line, just enough so it's not too painful but still close enough that the collar is activated for long periods to run through the batteries. Then they can pass freely without any shock at all.

Another thing you might not turn up is that animal control quite often finds loose dogs with their shock collars still on. Talk to your local animal control if you don't believe me. I have.

There's nothing like a real fence and if you have an escape artist, then a triple system of a real fence, a tie out line and supervision. Green chain link virtually disappears against grass if visibility is a concern. If you're not allowed to have a fence where you live, then a tie out line and supervision if you don't prefer walks every time. You can also teach boundaries. PM me if you'd like instructions on training that.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

Yes, you can increase the zap. My Airedale Terrier was running through our electric fence when we first got it so the installer came out and changed it to a a stronger zap and that took care of it. He got zapped once and never again.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

I've also read about dogs draining the batteries by standing close to the line but I don't believe it. Everyone who owns a dog in our neighborhood has an electric fence and they all work very well.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

Ms. Minnamouse said: One thing you might not turn up in your searches is that some very intelligent dogs can learn to quickly drain the batteries by standing close to the line, just enough so it's not too painful but still close enough that the collar is activated for long periods to run through the batteries. Then they can pass freely without any shock at all.

The reason this won't come up in any searches is because it's total BS. A dog - intelligent or not - doesn't have this cognizant capability. Seriously, MM? C'mon.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

If underestimating the intelligence of dogs makes you feel better about your own limited level of intelligence, then more power to you. However, my post was directed to the OP and I'm not really interested in your simple thoughts. Have a great day.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

For my dog right now, I just use a 20 ft tie out and stand there and watch her. That way I know if she's done her business and make sure she isn't getting into any trouble out there. She is a house dog. She gets her exercise by taking her on long walks.

And to answer your question about learning a lesson? HA! NO WAY! I mean how any times does it take a dog to learn heel snapping the collar...a thousand? HA! They just don't remember things like that.


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RE: did my dog learn a lesson

NAT - A 5-foot fence is nothing for a heeler or aussie. My SO had an Aussie that could almost clear a 6-foot fence, and scramble over an 8-foot fence. The only reason that dog stayed in the yard is because he wanted to.

Look up "coyote rollers". They prevent the dog (or coyote) from getting traction at the top of the fence by rolling out from under its feet. You can retrofit them to existing fences.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hadGePBfADI

Notice that the dog isn't doping a clear jump, as a horse would, but grabbing with front paws, pulling up and scrabbling up the fence ...

http://www.huskycamp.com/security.htm

Or, use inward-leaning security guards, with sturdy chicken wire so he can't get to the top of the fence.

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MizAnnThrope - We had a cat that learned to evade the temporary hot-fence we used to keep cats off the swimming pool cover in the winter. And some dogs are as smart as cats - especially the working dogs like Aussies and heelers.

The wire ran on pegs, each inserted into a 12x12 wooden base for stability. He would carefully step onto the base of one peg, making sure all four feet were on the base, so there was no path to ground through him. Then he stepped over the wire, getting all four feet onto the other side of the base, then stepped off.

The dogs may not be deliberately running the batteries down - with knowledge of batteries, etc. - but if they get as close to the wire as their pain tolerance can stand out of curiosity or desire to go that direction, it has the same effect. They will be going closer and closer as the batteries weaken until one day it's too weak to contain them.

And if a dog learns that they can dash across the area despite the pain, it's all over for that fencing method.


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