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We have a 2 and a half year old dog named Saylor that we got as a puppy. She is a mixed bag of border collie, lab, saint bernard, and german shepherd (we think!). She looks like a german shepherd but smaller. Saylor was an absolutely perfect dog. Well trained, good manners, and never had any issues with keeping her outside in our fenced in yard when we were gone.

Around 4 months ago we got a new female puppy named Zoe. We thought it would be great to get a playmate for Saylor who is a very active dog (She can play fetch until your arm falls off). Saylor was slow to warm up to the puppy, generally trying to keep as much distance in between them as possible. We tried our best to give them equal attention, and play with them together. We also did our best to make sure that the Zoe didn't bother Saylor too much by distracting Zoe when Saylor was obviously tired of being bothered.

We are starting to see some uncharacteristic behavior from Saylor that we need to correct immediately. Whenever Zoe and Saylor are together, whether it be in our backyard at home (privacy fence), the backyard at our parent's house (chain link fence), or in a kennel at the lake (one of those tall 4 pannel chain link kennels) - Saylor now escapes. Or at least tries to. Saylor started climbing the fence and/or jumping it at our parent's house and last weekend Saylor chewed a board off of the gate from our backyard and was attempting to dig under it. This weekend at the lake she broke through the bottom of the kennel and squeezed her way out. In none of the instances has she tried to run off, she just comes and finds us wherever we are. It also seems to only be an issue when Saylor is penned with Zoe, however there aren't any other issues between them. They get along fine inside and out.

We keep both dogs free in our backyard while we are both at work, but it hasn't been necessary the last couple months due to us working from home because of the virus. However in a couple of weeks both my Fiance and I will be going back to work. We live in a residential neighborhood of a city and can't have Saylor getting out of the back yard.

Does anyone have any tips that could help fix the escape artist behavior? My current plan is to install some concrete pavers under the fence gate to remove the current dig spot, which wouldn't stop her from just digging somewhere else. We are also prepared to chain Saylor up in the back yard, but we don't want it to be necessary since in the year and a half we've lived here she has never once tried to get out like this.

P.S. - This weekend at the lake we were able to allow her to escape multiple times so that we could discipline her when she did, but it seemed to have very little impact on her behavior. We eventually had to chain her up inside the kennel so she couldn't reach the faulty panel.

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NEVER kennel two dogs together in a chain link or other 10X10 etc kennel. EVER.

The mistake here is you brought home a second female. Two females can end up in a "bitch fight" and they will fight until one or both are dead or so maimed that euthanizing is the answer. The fight not be today. It might not be tomorrow. It will eventually happen.

Saylor wants away from the new dog. Probably not all the time, but most of the time. The more she escapes the more she will continue to do so because it is self rewarding.

Here is the answer. Separate the two dogs. It means physically separate in the house and outside. Separate the yard into two sections. Separate in the house and separate dog doors etc.

The other option is to get rid of the new dog. People have the misguided idea that dogs need dog friends. They don't. Most do not even like other dogs. Two dogs of the same sex are often an issue, especially females.

What seems wrong is to tie up the older dog and essentially punish her when she has been a good dog all along and the mistake is yours of bringing in a second dog.

How long are you gone at work? You could put one dog in a crate and let the other dog have yard access. If you DO crate a dog, be sure that crate is in a room out of sight and inaccessible to the loose dog.
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