Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

Personal protection puppy training
This model allows gate to open one way while providing a stop for the other direction, keeping your pet from digging underneath or pushing the gate open when closed.
How to Keep Dogs from Digging Under a Fence GateSome dogs love to escape when confined to a fenced yard, and the easiest way out is often by digging under the gate. In my experience, that would almost certainly be: to provide adequate containment for their dog at all times. Some folks lay a cement footer around the base of the fence--often embedding the bottom of the fence into it before it dries. Alternately, you can dig down a foot or two and fill with cement, building a solid trench that the dog will encounter if he digs. You'll want it to stretch 2-3 feet inwards into the yard, and it can then be buried underground or tacked down and covered with rocks, mulch, etc. This will also discourage the dog who doesn't really dig, but simply squeezes under the edge of the fence.
In the case of weld wire, the edge of the ground fence is bent 90 degrees up, then attached (with pig rings or wire) to the vertical fence. Cattle panel and chain link lay flat, and just need to be attached securely to the fence with hog rings or heavy wire.
If the fence is lower than needed and adding onto it is impractical (or not allowed, as in the case of homeowners' association rules), then angled "lean ins" can be added to the top. This great article from Dogs Deserve Better details some other methods of installing lean-ins, including modifications for a wood privacy fence.
Even a simple piece of welded wire fence, laid horizontally across the top of the vertical fence and secured in place (similar to dig-proof skirting), will usually stop over-the-top escapes.
Here are some creative, inexpensive examples of lean-ins, for use with less conventional fencing types.
Serious fence rippers are rare, but usually do best in a very heavy gauge fencing material such as "goat panels". Cattle panels are very similar, but the holes are bigger (6" x 6" instead of 4" x 4") and will only contain large dogs. Naturally, at least one latch should have a clip or lock on it, to prevent the dog from flipping it up (intentionally, or even just accidentally by jumping and pawing at the gate). Some dogs simply don't respond well when they see activity on the other side of their fence. CAUTION: Fences with large mesh spacing, such as cattle panels or field fence, can result in serious injury if a person or animal is able to approach the fenceline. I have seen cases where dogs stuck their heads through cattle panel and bit passing humans, vacuumed up loose cats and small dogs, amputated limbs and ears from other dogs, and even killed large dogs by pulling them far enough through the fence and inflicting damage. On the rare occasion that your dog will simply not stay in any fencing you can afford, you can always put together a sturdy six-sided kennel as a last resort.
If the "Mag" Kennel is cost-prohibitive, you can build from scratch, or use pre-fab chainlink panels. Also, you want the horizontal support bar on the gate to face outwards, so the dog can't use it to stand on and climb out.
Remember that kennels can be combined, to give the dog whatever amount of space you can afford. When I first moved to my current place, I immediately fenced in an ordinary-sized backyard for the dogs to go out and play in. Long term, unsupervised tethering of dogs (with a chain or aerial runner) is strongly discouraged by most canine professionals.


Many dogs have hung themselves by jumping over a barrier, or strangled by wrapping tightly around a tree or pole. The chain or cable can become wrapped around the dog's leg, resulting in amputation or death. Tethering for long periods is psychologically damaging to dogs for several reasons, and can result in an anxious, frustrated, unstable, or aggressive dog.
A large percentage of child maulings and fatalities are caused by unsupervised children having access to tied dogs. I'm not really comfortable with the collar's metal pins chafing the dog's neck, for extended periods of time. This tool can even detain your dog OUTSIDE of your yard, should he choose to "take the shock" to chase an appealing lure, then be unwilling to take a second shock to come back in. True, a great many dogs who escape are not "trying to run away from home"--they just want the excitement and adventure of exploring the world and getting into trouble. Some dogs will quickly make a career out of getting out, becoming more and more proficient with each escape.
Large fenced areas can offer plenty of freedom--while still keeping your dog and community safe.
Dig Defence® and products of are manufactured from the highest quality galvanized American Steel. The easiest way for a dog to escape is by digging under the gate, since it has a gap under it to allow the gate to swing open and closed. This is additional fencing laid at the base of the vertical fence, and perpendicular (90 degree angle) to it. You may need to add on another 2-3 feet; weld wire fencing is easy to work with and generally sturdy enough for this purpose.
They can be expensive, but look nice and will dump a climbing dog right back into his yard when he tries to grasp it for purchase.
Smooth wooden fences, or sheets of slick metal or plastic mounted to the inside of a mesh fence, can also reduce their grip. The aluminium ties that come standard with fencing kits are rarely sturdy enough to deter a motivated fence puller.
Here is an example of an inexpensive "temporary holding pen" made from cattle panels (see Caution below). However, they do provide excellent peace of mind, in knowing that there's no way your dog could ever chew through them! The enclosure below was made with 4' of goat panel, topped with another 4' of chain link (up where the dog is not going to chew or pull). If there's a doghouse near the fence, he'll jump onto it and then jump over the fence from his new, high perch. This situation can also create something called "barrier frustration", which is when a normally friendly dog is so stressed by his inability to interact with whatever's on the other side, that he becomes aggressive towards it. Large fence mesh can be very DANGEROUS if the mesh is not protected by a perimeter fence, and should not be used in areas readily accessible to others (of any species).
If you have two or more fenced areas for your dogs, they should be separated by enough distance to prevent any physical contact. In some cases, it's also handy to install a gate at the opening (before OR after cutting the fence).
Chains and cables have so many hazards to the dog and others, that it just isn't worth the convenience.


This is even more likely if the dog is wearing a "choke" chain--ONLY a sturdy, properly fitted buckle collar should be used on a tie-out. They can also be snapped (especially at the hardware), if the dog hits the end hard enough with a running start. It's also no fun to have to unhook said frustrated, neurotically spastic dog when it's finally time to take him off the chain. The biggest one is that even if your dog stays in his own yard, this 'fence' does not protect HIM.
In my opinion, this system does not compare to a real fence and should not be used for most dogs.
Most dogs also need a lot of human interaction, in-house family time, walks, and other enriching things in order to feel peaceful and fulfilled.
If you can't extend the original poles, you may need to install an additional set of poles just inside the fenceline.
Additionally, some folks leave their fencing "wobbly" at the top--having it rise above the fence post height, or not stretching it perfectly tight--since a dog is often deterred from climbing an unstable surface. The fencing can also be stacked 2 rolls high, giving an 8' or 12' tall enclosure for much less cost than special-ordering 8 or 12 foot rolls! I strongly recommend a double entry for any dog who is human-aggressive, or who will ignore you and chase cats (or run into the street) instead of coming back when you call. However, continuous chargers correct the dog no matter when he touches the fence (no "freebies"), and the weed-burning models can keep the wire from being shorted out by grass if you don't weed-whack beneath them frequently. The aluminium ties that come standard on pre-fab fence panels are so weak that even a 10 pound fox can undo them. Much like a dog chained to a tree or runner, any outside threats such as roaming dogs, unfriendly people, and stray children are free to harm or harass him. Some dogs don't respect the collar and even if it is set to a shock level that is actually painful, they will still leave the yard. The panels can be slightly overlapped and stacked two panels high, giving an 8 foot fence that will also hold a serious jumper. If using this material, be sure to choose "fixed knot" mesh--otherwise, the dog will slide the wires around and make a big enough hole to escape.
You have to "think like a dog", looking for any tools he could use to get out & then removing them. It's also highly recommended for dogs who are brand new to you, or shy--these dogs might *never* come back, so if they escape, they might pay with their life.
It can reduce a lot of frustration, and curb escape attempts, if this dog cannot see what's going out there in the big bad world. Ideally, you want to make sure he is content, AND add serious reinforcement to the fence, as soon as you realise there is a problem. Field fence also usually has large enough holes for dogs' heads to come through the fence, and small animals--or small children's body parts--to wander into it.
Even high snowfall has resulted in animals being able to clear a (previously too high) fence.



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