Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My family and our two golden retrievers recently took over the family farming operation and moved to the country. Previously we lived on a 1/4 acre city lot. Now we're on 4000+ acres. Our goldens have adapted well to the farm, but unfortunately they have developed a habit of roaming, sometimes miles at a time (for reference our nearest neighbors are 2 miles away. This area is VERY rural). I have no doubt that they recognize our house as home, and they certainly aren't eager to leave every time they're off leash. When I keep one in the kennel, the other will never roam on its own. Has anybody dealt with this before? Growing up on the farm our Aussie mix had no roaming issues and was never on leash and there are other farmers with free dogs that seem perfectly content to stay at home. Not really wanting to keep one in the kennel or on a lead all the time. Any advice appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,176 Posts
I would fence in your yard. In most places, it is legal for someone to shoot and kill any dog that is harassing their livestock, so it's just not worth the risk of letting them roam, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
Fence would be my solution too. I have 7 acres. Less than 1 around the house is fenced for dogs. When someone has time to actually be out with the dogs and keep an eye on them, then, assuming they have a good recall, let them enjoy the entire property along with their human.

One thing I noticed with my own dogs and rescues I adopted and fostered is that the ones I raised here from puppies never try to escape the yard. Is that because when they're little they never go out without me? We walk the fence line, and if they show interest in the fence itself, they get a quiet ah ah. The dogs that came to me as adults were the ones always testing the fence - jumping or climbing over, digging under. Even those I adopted were never trustworthy the way from-a-puppy dogs were and are. I had to fill in every place where the fence bottom didn't meet the ground, and eventually ran a line of electric fence at dog nose level. I wonder if your dogs are showing a version of that. They never learned that 4,000 acres is theirs and the rest of the world isn't. They see the entire world as open to them now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,776 Posts
I had a farm and, while not 4000 acres, it was substantial. I had a few dogs over the years. When I was out working around the dog would stay with me, but if I could not watch the dog or I was inside the dog(s) were confined. I also found that two dogs loose was more of a temptation to run further than a single dog.

I had dogs that went with me when I went out to check stock, crops and fences on horse back. I had some that I could take out around machinery (they would stay back and out of the way) and others less smart that had to be left home. I NEVER had a dog out while mowing hay. EVER. TOO DANGEROUS.

You have actually answered your own question. When you are out working around and the dogs are with you or if the dogs will stay with you, then they can be loose. If you cannot watch them then one or the other needs to be kenneled or fenced so they do not take off and roam together.

I am assuming you have a grain or grain and cow/calf operation? I will say that while I farmed for 20 years and then (after divorce) did other things. I was successful enough but my best job ever was being a farm owner and operator. I never got monetarily wealthy farming, but it was the only job I ever missed. Welcome to farming!! Not easy but the life benefits are wonderful IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
My family and our two golden retrievers recently took over the family farming operation and moved to the country. Previously we lived on a 1/4 acre city lot. Now we're on 4000+ acres. Our goldens have adapted well to the farm, but unfortunately they have developed a habit of roaming, sometimes miles at a time (for reference our nearest neighbors are 2 miles away. This area is VERY rural). I have no doubt that they recognize our house as home, and they certainly aren't eager to leave every time they're off leash. When I keep one in the kennel, the other will never roam on its own. Has anybody dealt with this before? Growing up on the farm our Aussie mix had no roaming issues and was never on leash and there are other farmers with free dogs that seem perfectly content to stay at home. Not really wanting to keep one in the kennel or on a lead all the time. Any advice appreciated.
I use a combination of whistle (we trained Nico with flags) and also put a GARMIN training collar on. There are GPS units that do both but dramatically more expensive. If I get a ping he passed a flag I whistle or use a beep or vibration of collar. Should he ever get more than a mile from base I can always go pick him up with GPS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Fence would be my solution too. I have 7 acres. Less than 1 around the house is fenced for dogs. When someone has time to actually be out with the dogs and keep an eye on them, then, assuming they have a good recall, let them enjoy the entire property along with their human.

One thing I noticed with my own dogs and rescues I adopted and fostered is that the ones I raised here from puppies never try to escape the yard. Is that because when they're little they never go out without me? We walk the fence line, and if they show interest in the fence itself, they get a quiet ah ah. The dogs that came to me as adults were the ones always testing the fence - jumping or climbing over, digging under. Even those I adopted were never trustworthy the way from-a-puppy dogs were and are. I had to fill in every place where the fence bottom didn't meet the ground, and eventually ran a line of electric fence at dog nose level. I wonder if your dogs are showing a version of that. They never learned that 4,000 acres is theirs and the rest of the world isn't. They see the entire world as open to them now.
Fence would be my solution too. I have 7 acres. Less than 1 around the house is fenced for dogs. When someone has time to actually be out with the dogs and keep an eye on them, then, assuming they have a good recall, let them enjoy the entire property along with their human.

One thing I noticed with my own dogs and rescues I adopted and fostered is that the ones I raised here from puppies never try to escape the yard. Is that because when they're little they never go out without me? We walk the fence line, and if they show interest in the fence itself, they get a quiet ah ah. The dogs that came to me as adults were the ones always testing the fence - jumping or climbing over, digging under. Even those I adopted were never trustworthy the way from-a-puppy dogs were and are. I had to fill in every place where the fence bottom didn't meet the ground, and eventually ran a line of electric fence at dog nose level. I wonder if your dogs are showing a version of that. They never learned that 4,000 acres is theirs and the rest of the world isn't. They see the entire world as open to them now.
Fence would be my solution too. I have 7 acres. Less than 1 around the house is fenced for dogs. When someone has time to actually be out with the dogs and keep an eye on them, then, assuming they have a good recall, let them enjoy the entire property along with their human.

One thing I noticed with my own dogs and rescues I adopted and fostered is that the ones I raised here from puppies never try to escape the yard. Is that because when they're little they never go out without me? We walk the fence line, and if they show interest in the fence itself, they get a quiet ah ah. The dogs that came to me as adults were the ones always testing the fence - jumping or climbing over, digging under. Even those I adopted were never trustworthy the way from-a-puppy dogs were and are. I had to fill in every place where the fence bottom didn't meet the ground, and eventually ran a line of electric fence at dog nose level. I wonder if your dogs are showing a version of that. They never learned that 4,000 acres is theirs and the rest of the world isn't. They see the entire world as open to them now.
Thanks for your thoughts. I have wondered too if my dogs would be less prone to roam if they had been raised on the farm as puppies. That said, the problem really is a "two-dog" problem, since if I have one kenneled or on a lead (doesn't matter which one), the other has never offered to take off. In their own minds, they love to go go go, but only if there is a buddy. If myself or my wife is that buddy, they're happy. If its their other dog companion, they're just fine with that, but don't recognize any boundary. Indeed, there are no real boundaries, even visual ones. Even most cattle fences were torn out a long time ago as only a few landowners still have cows. What I'm really asking myself is "can these dogs be TRAINED to respect a soft boundary (i.e. a set of flags or another visible, but penetrable barrier), or is it basically hopeless to allow both off leash without supervision. Comments so far suggest otherwise, and that may be dead on... but I might challenge myself to see if it can't be done. One question for you. Did you ever have more than one dog at a time? If so, did the dogs adopted as adults encourage puppies to push the boundaries? Also, did you notice whether breed made a difference? My wife's family has some Akbash dogs for their sheep. With minimal training they never leave, but that's what they were bred for. Goldens have little to no home or herd protection instinct, which I'm guessing contributes to this problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
3GSD4IPO.
Sounds like we have had similar experiences. Once thing I'm glad is that the dogs have wisened up to the machinery fairly well. I was a bit concerned that they wouldn't It is a grain operation, so no mowers. Farming has been a good transition so far, except for being so remote!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I use a combination of whistle (we trained Nico with flags) and also put a GARMIN training collar on. There are GPS units that do both but dramatically more expensive. If I get a ping he passed a flag I whistle or use a beep or vibration of collar. Should he ever get more than a mile from base I can always go pick him up with GPS.
Froven, I'm very interested to know how happy you are with your approach. How often has your dog broken the boundary and run out? Do you have more than one dog? How long did it take you to train your's to the flags? I've considered doing something similar myself, and have balked at the cost of the dual-unit collars. Cell service is sketchy out here, so not sure how the reporting system would work. Most places have at least a bar, but canyon bottoms are cell service dead zones. A dog jogging at 10-15 mph can cover a LOT of ground really fast, so I basically have to know within 1-3 minutes of their escape to do any meaningful enforcement and recovery. Looking forward to your repy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Just one dog and trained pretty easily in 3-4 attempts. The tracking collar operates on a GPS signal and works pretty much everywhere. I removed flags from long driveway and I have let him cross the street when neighbor is here. I watch him as soon as I know heading that way. Since a puppy he is trained to my whistle but I used collar for a few years. Rarely used the shock except for training to flags. As I said, if I were going to do it again, I would get the Garmin training collar with a tracker. The signal can come every 3 minutes or much less if you (or dog for that matter) are tracking. If you are happy knowing where they are every minute or so, and they have room to roam, no training really needed.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top