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How to stop your dog from escaping the garden

For some dogs, figuring out how to escape their garden is a full-time occupation. You block one exit route, but the next day your Houdini hound has found (or made) another.

We all know the risks if your dog does find their way out of the garden, so what can you do to keep them safe? 

Check all your boundaries

If there’s a gap in your fence, your dog will be the first to find it. You should regularly walk the perimeter of your garden to check for any escape holes and block off any that you discover.

Check garden gates are secure

You’d be surprised how easily your dog can figure out latches on garden gates. Make sure the latches are well out of their reach or secured in a way that your dog can’t undo by themselves.

Prevent them from jumping the fence

Checked your boundaries but can’t find any holes? There’s a good chance your dog is jumping the fence. Consider installing a taller fence, planting shrubs in front of it or installing cat netting. Move furniture placed against the fence, which they could be using as a platform to jump off of.

Prevent them from digging under the boundary

If your dog is more of a digger than a jumper, you need to prevent them from digging under the boundary. You can install mesh around the base of the boundary that will prevent them from digging there or place large, heavy stones along the bottom of a fence to restrict their access.

Cockapoo puppy sitting on a picnic blanket

Why do dogs try to escape their gardens?

There’re lots of reasons that your dog may be particularly intent on escaping the garden. Understanding why they want to get out can help you figure out how to prevent it without needing to make big changes to your garden.

They aren’t getting the right amount of exercise

If your dog has a lot of unspent energy, they’ll find their own outlets for that energy – and that could include trying to escape the garden! Make sure they’re getting the right amount of exercise with a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor.

They need more mental stimulation

Dogs love to use their brains – and figuring out how to escape the garden is a great puzzle as far as they’re concerned! Why not try some enrichment games and activities, or find a dog sport that taps into their breed’s unique talents?

They spend a lot of unsupervised time in the garden

If your dog is a serial escape artist, you may want to reduce the time they spend in the garden unsupervised, giving them fewer opportunities to plan their escape!

They are trying to get to a female dog in heat

If your dog is an intact male and they can smell a female dog in heat, they’ll do anything in their power to reach her. It’s a strong, instinctual response, and hard to manage with training alone. If you suspect there is a female in heat in the neighbourhood, you’ll want to be extra cautious when letting your dog out in the garden.

They don’t have access to water or shelter

Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water, shelter and somewhere they are comfortable going to the toilet, especially if they are ever left unsupervised in the garden.

There are distractions outside the garden

If your dog can see or hear lots of distractions outside of the garden, they’re going to be even keener to escape. If this is the case, consider installing a boundary they can’t see through and supervising them in the garden.

Cockapoo running in field

What to do if your dog escapes the garden

Track them down

The most important thing you can do is figure out where they’ve gone. Depending on how long ago they escaped, this can be difficult, not to mention stressful. Make sure they’re wearing a PitPat Dog GPS Tracker at all times in the garden, so if they do escape, you simply need to head to the PitPat app to find out where they’ve ended up.

Alert your neighbours

The chances are your dog hasn’t wandered too far, so make them aware so they can keep an eye out. Local Facebook groups are a great way of spreading the word quickly.

Don’t chase

Most dogs will be able to outrun their humans, and a game of chase seems like great fun to them. Instead of chasing, call them back with a positive, excited tone and some of their favourite treats or toys – they’re much more likely to come back if they think there’s something in it for them. Just keep them in your sight at all times and try to ensure they don’t head on any roads.

Read our tips on what to do if you lose your dog

There’s lots more that you can do to find your dog if they’ve escaped and gone missing. Read our article on ‘What to do if you lose your dog’ for more information.

As with any doggy behaviour that we don’t like, prevention is better than cure. By following these tips and figuring out why your dog is trying to escape in the first place, you’ll be able to outwit them soon enough. But in case they do figure out a new escape route, make sure they’re always wearing their PitPat GPS. It’ll give you the peace of mind that you’ll be able to find them if they ever get out again. Get yours for just £149 with no subscription.

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