Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I love my dog Chloe. I rescued her from the pound, and I have worked with her to help her overcome a lot of her issues such as dominant/aggressive behavior toward me and my children, food aggression, and pulling on walks. She has made a lot of improvement.

Some bad behavior that I just can't seem to break is very bad dog aggression, and her drive to bolt out the door and run the neighborhood. She's always trying to get out and when she does she is totally unresponsive to commands.

However, she has become a liability recently because of her very strong prey drive. She has killed birds, and skunks which although she smells afterward is not that big a deal. But yesterday she got out again and she found the farm down the road. She killed one of their chickens. The farmer saw it and came to my house to tell me he is not holding it against me, but not to let it happen again because now that she knows all his animals are there, she will go back there again and kill his livestock again. He has cows, horses, and pigs too, and the last thing in the world I need is for her to kill or harm one of his large animals.

We try very hard to keep her from getting out. We walk her daily, and keep an eye on all the doors, but we have 6 children in the house and inevitably some doors get left open and when they do, Chloe sneaks out.

I have read up on wireless fences and while they work for mellow dogs, it does not appear that they will work for a motivated dog like mine. I know that she would see something to hunt and kill and run right through the wire. A physical fence is not an option because we cannot afford to fence the entire yard including a gated driveway. And anyway, at some point the gate would be left open and that would defeat the point of the fence.

I'm at the end of my rope here with her. I am in love with her, but I can not have her be a serious liability. I'm in need of options here. Is there anybody that has any suggestions for me? I would love to keep her, but I don't know if I can ever overcome these issues in her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Im not much help I suppose but just wanted to share my opinion

I would be concerned with 6 children in the house with a dog who is as agressive as yours sounds. I work for the FD and we recently had a call where a 4 year old lab bit a 4 year old girl in the face. We also had an incident locally where a 2 week old child was killed by an otherwise "perfect" family pet. Both HORRIBLE incidents. Im not posting this to frighten you, just to express concern for your 6 children. I don't have an anti-dog bone in my body until the safety of someone I love is compromised.

Hopefully you are able to somewhat tame your pup so it can remain a beloved part of the family. Im sure its new home with your family is a paradise compared to its old living arrangement.

Good luck (sincerely, not sarcastically)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I wasnt trying to say that the dog was going to harm anyone, I was just expressing concern because the poster used "very bad dog aggression" and "6 children." Maybe I interpreted it the wrong way
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,066 Posts
If you can, I wouldn't waste money on an electric fence, but install a REAL fence. It doesn't even have to encompass the entirety of your yard...just a good gate system.

I actually had to go to an E-collar to stop my Shepherd from crittering on Rabbits.

A kennel run or house kennel (if you don't already have one) is also good when she can't be supervised
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,170 Posts
During times when you can't consistently watch her, how about putting her on a long lead? I wouldn't use it as a permanent solution, but it may help until you figure out something else.

Good luck. It sounds like a challenging situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,204 Posts
Do you have a screen or storm door on your doors? Somes that slam shut as soon as your out them? That might help with the escaping. Maybe even baby gate off the rooms where doors are so the pup can't go into those rooms.

From day one with my dogs I taught them that if they go near the door before I ok it, it gets slamed in their face. My current dog refuses to go near an outside door until I ok him. I litterly stood there and would open the door and when they would go to head out the door, slam it in their face or close it quickly on them so it would surprice them. MIght try working on that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
640 Posts
If you can, I wouldn't waste money on an electric fence, but install a REAL fence.
I would have agreed with this until about a month ago when we had an invisible fence installed for our three dogs (one of whom is very prey-driven... I've witnessed her kill a bird, ignoring my screams and attempts to get her to "leave it," and my in-laws saw her kill another bird... she chases squirrels like crazy etc.).

I can't speak for all types of electric fence, but this one (it's an Invisible Fence brand) has been nothing short of a miracle for us. All three dogs happily stay within the boundary, even when children run by, cars speed past, squirrels or birds scamper out of range, etc. Distraction training is a key part of the training so they learn not to go with their prey instincts when the prey is out of range.

We planned on getting a fence, but even ugly chain link was going to cost thousands. The other problem is that we have three smarties on our hands... if anyone could figure out how to get over or under a fence, they could (they had a few digging episodes, they know how to climb, etc.). Our biggest problem before we got the invisible fence was that they were so quick to dart out of a door, even a garage door as it was closing, and then they were off (literally 5-6 houses away within seconds). So I know that they would easily dart out of a gate even during the split-second it took to close it.

Anyway, I wouldn't have believed it could contain my three wild ones if I didn't see it daily with my own eyes... so it's worth considering. (The company I used has a money-back guarantee... if it's not working for you, they'll give you ALL your money back. Kinda hard to go wrong with that IMO.)

Another option for low-cost fencing is the Best Friend Fence (http://www.bestfriendfence.com). Someone was kind enough to post about this when I was considering the invisible fence... although it turned out not to work for us because our property is very hilly, it could work for you. It's low-cost and supposedly nearly invisible until you get fairly close to it. I wouldn't leave a dog unattended with it because they'll likely dig under it if they really want to escape, but for containing a dog when he darts out a door or something, it could be perfect for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks everyone for their advice and input.

I've decided to put up auto-close gates on all exits from the house and also get stronger auto-close mechanisms for my screed doors. Hopefully that will keep the doors shut when the kids forget to shut them. We'll see.

She has made so much improvement in the year that I've owned her. She was a bag of issues when I got her. She had been taken back to the pound twice and was on death row. She's an adult 90-lb mix breed so her chances of getting out of the pound alive were pretty bad. I've put so much time and effort into Chloe and it seems a shame that a natural prey drive would be her undoing. I don't think there is a way to work that out of her system, so I figure I'll just have to control it as best I can.

She already gets tons of daily exercise with our walks usually lasting about 90 minutes per day, so I know that it isn't pent-up energy that makes her want to be out. Its her drive to explore and hunt.

BTW, I appreciate the concern for my children around her, but I think the difference between my family and the families that have their children hurt by the family pet is that I don't trust her around my children without me present. I realize she is an animal and I must never lose sight of that fact. That being said, she is incredibly patient with the misery my younger children inflict on her (nothing serious, just 2-yo stuff). She just takes the lovin' they dish out and looks at me as if asking "Would you please get them off me?". She's at the point of rolling on her back to my 2-yo for a belly scratch, and that's amazing for a dog with the issues she had a year ago.

Wish Chloe and I luck.

BTW, this is the post that made me think of doing that to keep her in. Thanks Darkmoon.

Do you have a screen or storm door on your doors? Somes that slam shut as soon as your out them? That might help with the escaping. Maybe even baby gate off the rooms where doors are so the pup can't go into those rooms.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top