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the downside of having a fenced yard

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I'm with those who love my fenced yard! I wouldn't do without it.

 

Yes, it's kind of fun to do all of those walks with the dogs when we are on vacation and don't have our fence, but I"m always happy to get home and just let the dogs out the front door into their potty area!

 

Back when we lived in our old place - with three dogs - we had a tiny fenced yard. It was big enough for them to do their business, but not big enough for exercise. I either walked them on leash or took them to a local park. In the summer they got out quite a lot, but not so much in the winter when all of the sidewalks and roads were heavily salted. They mostly played in the house and that was just the way it was.

 

Moving to an acre was such a great change! We have our yard set up so the dogs have their small potty area and then the rest of the acre is fenced, too. So, we have separate potty and play areas.

 

I will say that I interactively spend far more time outside with my dogs now. Even in the winter, when it's way too cold fo rme, I go out with them on sunny days to play - even if it's just for a short time. And in the summer, we are out there almost daily.

 

I don't simply turn them loose in the yard to entertain themselves. Maddie is prone to escape if she knows she's alone out there. and the Border Collies don't seem to know how to do anything on their own except find something to roll in. Very occasionally I will leave them out there with toys, but I keep a close eye on them. Normally when I'm out, I'm either doing something with them, or just hanging around with them.

 

There's the safety factor, too. Recently there were dog poisonings not too far from where we live. It wasn't close enough that I'm super worried, but it was close enough that I am not comfortable leaving my dogs out totally unattended.

 

When they are just in the potty area - which is well off the road and right by our house - I don't watch them constantly. But they don't spend much time there.

 

I've forgotten a dog ever now and again, but never for very long. They all know to start barking if they really want to come in. And Dean has taken to alerting me when there is a dog outside, either barking or pawing to get in.

 

I don't know what I would do if a household member might really forget and leave a dog out for a long time, but as it is for us, the fence thing is just about perfect.

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Here's another *up side* of a fenced yard (couple of them, actually). I live in a very rural area, so some folks (like our neighbors down the road) just let their dogs run free. The fence keeps those dam* dogs out of my yard and out of my pastures. The give my livestock guard dog a fit, but she can't get to them and they can't get to the sheep, so it's just the annoyance of her barking at them from one side of the fence. Frankly, I'm surprised someone hasn't run over those dogs.

 

As I said before I take at least two walks a day on the "back 40" with my dogs. But the other day I couldn't get a vet appointment until 3 in the afternoon. By the time I got home it was nearly 5 p.m. There was still enough daylight/twilight for a walk, but it's *hunting season* so going out onto the back of the property after 4 p.m. is risky, and since I have no wish for either me or any of my dogs to be accidentally shot, it's nice to know that when circumstances prevent a walk, they still have a place to go to stretch their legs and go potty.

 

J.

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From [a] rescue's point of view, I will say that I prefer a fenced yard, but don't require one for every dog. But, if I get an application from someone who does not have a fenced yard and they are applying for a dog that cannot be trusted off-leash in an unfenced area, I do tend to look at their application with much more scrutiny. If they say that they are planning to exercise their dog in their back yard, my first thought is, "How do you plan on doing that, if this dog can not be trusted off leash in an unfenced area?" Yes, I realize that a recall can be trained, but some dogs are just never going to be trusted off leash, and the typical dog owner (i.e., not the people on this board) are not going to put in the effort and time needed to train a real reliable recall.

 

I also am one of those people who has a fenced yard, but I don't use it for exercising my dogs. It's simply too small for that. We literally load up all the dogs every day after work and take them to my agility club's field (a fenced area that used to be a baseball diamond) or to the beach. So, as Julie said, it's no more appropriate to generalize that people who have fenced yards are not putting in the same effort to exercise their dogs as people who don't, than it is to generalize the opposite. I do like the convenience of just letting them all out in the morning to potty, though, especially since I can sometimes have as many as 6 dogs and walking all of them before work would not be feasible. I also like to open my sliders on nice days and let the dogs come and go as they please. They often like to just lie in the yard or on the pool deck for hours on nice days. I like that I can give that to them.

 

And as far as forgetting dogs outside, I've done that. Actually, it's not so much that I've forgotten them, as they managed to sneek out without me knowing. When I say, "they," I mean Milo. He has done this to me several times. Twice a week, I come home from work at lunch time. If it's a nice day, I will leave the sliders open while I'm home so the dogs can go in and out and also just to let in some nice breeze. Milo, who is usually in the back part of the house sleeping, will occasionally sneek outside while I'm getting ready to go back to work. When I come home a few hours later, there he is. Of course, these are nice weather days, so there's no chance of him getting too hot or too cold (can a dog ever get too cold in FL? LOL). I'm sure he probably just enjoyed hanging out on the pool deck all afternoon and watching the squirrels running on the telephone wire. Still, I don't ever leave dogs out on purpose when no one is home.

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I think it's safe to say that most of the folks here who have the luxury of a yard in no way consider it a substitute for actually interacting with their dogs.

I agree that most folks on here don't consider a yard a substitute for interacting with their dogs.

 

However, I will say that a large chunk of my friends have dogs (not BCs) and they do seem to think that as long as a dog can hang out in a yard all day they are fine. I have friends who leave their dogs out when they go to work, come home and feed them and then stick them back out in the yard again while they go out. They hardly ever interact with their dogs and then they wonder why the neighbors complain about barking, the yard is dug up, trees are destroyed, etc.

 

It may not be the fact that they have a yard, though. They would probably just leave the dogs in the house all day and never walk them if they didn't have a yard!

 

I'm just generalizing from my experience.

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Up until this summer, I barely had a back yard, never mind a fenced back yard. Let me tell you, I love it! The dogs are never out without one of us because well, Daisy barks at everything when she gets bored and the current foster dog is a digger. The first bathroom break of the morning is a quick one in the back yard when my bf comes home from work, they are in and out. They are allowed out unsupervised at that point because they are so excited to get back in to see him. When it's cold, they don't generally stay out too long anyway, but when it starts warming up its a little harder to get them in the house. The other day Cash didn't want to come in because he was goofing around and Jason forgot him outside for 20 minutes. He was a little chilly and has not goofed around since and promptly comes in when I call. Other than that I'm always out there with them playing and goofing around.

 

As for the rescue thing. We do require all adopters to have a permanent fence. All of the dogs we rescue have lived their lives as strays and a lot of them (esp. the adults) have not had good experiences with people and they are all usually flight risks and used to roaming. Especially in the beginning. It's for the safety and well being of the dogs 100%!

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I let Raven out last night and forgot she was out there. She waited for about 20 minutes then barked. I have to admit I felt horrible for forgeting her but she didn't seem upset at all.

 

I let all my dogs go out at one time or another without supervision and we don't have fencing, just no where to run off to and dogs that I know don't choose to wander.

Lil the LGD is their chaperone when they are out.

Pach who's deaf goes out alone or he's not comfortable enough to do his business, I could never do that without Lil, I'd worry that he'd not find his way back or couldn't hear me calling. When he first came here we took about 2 weeks of walking him on the flexi so he'd get the lay of the land.

I let him out last night and when I was ready to let him in I couldn't find him. So I started flashing the porch light. Within a few seconds, here comes Pach with Lil right on his butt.

It does help that the windows are so big and there's so many that I can pretty much see the dogs at all time unless it's dark out.

Yep...I love that Lilly dog!

Being out alone or in a small group could never take the place of walks or excercise. They mainly go out and sniff around, do their business and unless it's the young ones who choose to play with Lil, they're right back on the porch waiting to come in.

I don't know what it is about Lilly the almost grown up Akbash but everytime I see her I get all warm and fuzzy inside. I love ALL my dogs but right now she gives me the most warm fuzzies I've ever had. I don't understand how some people can say they don't or you shouldn't befriend your LGD's, She is my best outside buddy! Doesn't hurt that she is doing a fantastic job of keeping the predators at bay too.

She feels like my favorite pair of slippers at the end of a hard day.

Go figure....

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With several recent threads it seems folks are just looking for ways to insult those who lead a different doggy lifestyle....

At the risk of going off on a tangent, along the route in our suburban community where I walk Annie every day are a number of dogs that are restrained by invisible fences. The neighborhood where I walk is affluent (unlike mine). I see these dogs out every day, confined to their properties, no toys, no distractions, no people with whom to interface, lying on a lawn or a driveway forlornly. The dogs are basically expensive purebreds, and I wonder if they are beloved pets or simply status symbols. I feel so sorry for these dogs; Annie and I stop to say hello, I pet them for a bit, and they seem so grateful for human companionship. Then I think about the people on this board who sometimes differ in their viewpoints and approaches; but I could not visualize any one of you doing what these people do to their dogs. You all love your dogs, you own them for a reason (not because they are status symbols), and you interface with, and provide companionship to, your “furkids”. I just want to let everyone on this board know how much it means to me to interface with others who love their dogs as much as I do. Perhaps we have different perspectives and different approaches; but each of us does what we truly believe is right for our loved ones. I appreciate all of you, and your guidance and wisdom; but most of all, I appreciate the fact that, when I am downhearted about the misery and abuse that Mankind heaps on our “furkids”, there is always someplace I can come to have my faith and my perspective restored.

 

That’s enough rambling for today, I guess…Someone left the gate open…I think I’ll go for a walk…

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I can't believe Grady didn't bark! How polite!

 

If I forget about Vala in the backyard, after about 15-20 minutes, she stands waiting politely at the back steps and does one short quick bark. Then if I don't come for that, after about another 5 minutes, she goes into alarm mode. Literally, RUFF. (pause) RUFF. (pause) RUFF. The latter has only happened a couple times... I think I was on the computer writing to my agent (the only thing that distracts me enough to forget about her, and my PC is all the way in the front of the house) and the other time for some strange reason had decided to get in the shower and thus missed the first bark. (I can be very absent-minded... I felt really bad both times. But Vala seemed fine. She was just like, um, hello, I pottied, let me back inside with you mom!)

 

Grady doesn't know a speak command does he? You could have him speak before he comes in to teach him to bark if necessary. Or would that be a bad thing to teach? Vala is so polite about it.

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With several recent threads it seems folks are just looking for ways to insult those who lead a different doggy lifestyle....

 

Yeah, I have a fenced in small-medium sized back yard (which I fenced in myself, for the sole purpose of giving my dog a place to run off leash) and I take Vala for 2 mile walks every day, part of which involves training in a nearby park/field. So I most certainly do not use my back yard as a crutch as is apparent by Vala's behavior on the couple of occasions when I have happened to accidentally leave her out there alone for longer than 15 mins or so (basically a potty break interrupted).

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I agree with Pansmom. My yard is tiny and only used by the dog for a quick pee when it's raining buckets, and for sunny-place naps. My yard is tiny and pretty filled with container plants. It's mostly a space where my cat can be outside for awhile each day. The high fence with bird-netting around the top keeps him in. While having a big fenced yard would be wonderful, my experience when I did have a big yard was that if I turned them out they would cruise the perimeter, pee &/or poop and then stand around waiting to come back inside. :rolleyes:

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It might be interesting to mention that I didn't have physical fencing (invisible only at the time) when I applied and was approved to adopt two different BCs from two different respected BC rescues. I since have fencing (it's only 4ft sheep fencing, so realistically, anything can get in or out) but it's a deterrent and my dogs know and obey not to mess with it to get out in any way. I also have 4 acres fenced for them, so they definitely have plenty of space when they want it - or when I want to walk the perimeter with them instead of hauling them to a park where they have to leashed or subjected to annoying dogpark dogs. No sidewalks or non-driving places to tromp to around my house.

 

Of note, my dogs act like I don't even give them the time of day when they meet people (esp River, you'd think I didn't even pet her) so just because dogs look forlorn and unattended in their yard, doesn't mean they always are. :rolleyes: I ALWAYS look outside when they bark and I can defintely tell the difference between the UPS guy driving up the driveway bark and something more sinister like a coyote or a ranging dog.

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The other down side is they can jump over it, dig under it, and occasionally just plain go through it if not supervised :rolleyes:

 

Liz

 

 

Goodness, yes. We just moved to a house with a yard, and if I so much as left the dogs outside while I ran in to answer the phone, Daisy would find a new creative way to get through the fence. I THINK I've got all the holes fixed, but you never know with that one. I'm convinced that she plots very strategically so that I won't find her secret escape routes.

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Yesterday I misunderstood the UPS guy bark. All my dogs love the mail lady, the UPS guy and anyone else coming to visit. But I misunderstood the delivery guy bark and went to the door in my robe...Raven was on my heels and flew out to not so nicely greet the guy. I think she got confused cause I was confused. It was a new guy so he was just standing stock still waiting for me to tell him it was ok. HE looked greatly relieve to find out they were all friendly including Raven who was right at his butt!

 

I have a wonderful mail lady story to tell...

A week ago I was going out and as I drove down the hill I saw the mail lady on her reg. route. We had forgotten something so my son had gone back in the house. Our door isn't working quite right so sometimes it doesn't shut all the way. Plus we have no fencing to speak of.

Not only was it in the teens but really yucky out too.

So the door comes open, some of the dogs go out (which I wouldn't worry about cept it was freezing out but I guess the door was open) and the mail lady had a package to deliver. If she didn't have a package she'd never have come all the way down the road to the house. She sees all the dogs out (or at least what she thinks it all the dogs, I'm sure Jazz would never step foot out the door with Mick out there) and gets them all in, puts all my mail right in the door then makes sure it's shut. Then writes me a note telling me she was sorry she couldn't get the last dog in and that my door was open!

 

I read the note before I got down the road. All I could think of was that she put Lilly the LGD in the house too! But nope there was Lilly and Mick on the steps with the rest of the dogs put away and the door solidly shut.

 

I was so pleased that I called the local post office and asked to speak to the supervisor on duty. You could tell he was ready for some bitching just cause of the season...when I thanked them and told him how wonderful I thought the mail lady was you could tell I had made his day!

Next day, I wrapped a small gift and wrote a thank you card for her. she promptly wrote back how much she enjoys my dogs compared to the reg. dogs around here.

Warmed my heart!

Fencing is good to keep things out but I've never relied on it really keeping things in. When I had good fencing down in AR, I spent my days always figuring out how the darn sheep got out one more time! We finally put up electric around the whole 40 acres and they finally stayed home.

 

I've only lived in one house where we had dog fencing and we put it up ourselves. We lived an a huge hill with major traffic. I remember freaking out so bad when we first moved in that we had the fencing done in a weekend. The dogs never did try to get out but I felt safer. And I'm not to proud to admit I shove the dogs outside on occasion just to give myself a bit of quiet time. And I find nothing wrong with that!!

Different strokes for differnt folks is my motto! Whatever works.

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That's a great story! Gotta love it when people go out of their way just out of kindness :D I'll bet the post office doesn't get very many nice calls this time of year.

 

 

I can't believe Grady didn't bark! How polite!

 

If I forget about Vala in the backyard, after about 15-20 minutes, she stands waiting politely at the back steps and does one short quick bark. Then if I don't come for that, after about another 5 minutes, she goes into alarm mode. Literally, RUFF. (pause) RUFF. (pause) RUFF. The latter has only happened a couple times... I think I was on the computer writing to my agent (the only thing that distracts me enough to forget about her, and my PC is all the way in the front of the house) and the other time for some strange reason had decided to get in the shower and thus missed the first bark. (I can be very absent-minded... I felt really bad both times. But Vala seemed fine. She was just like, um, hello, I pottied, let me back inside with you mom!)

 

Grady doesn't know a speak command does he? You could have him speak before he comes in to teach him to bark if necessary. Or would that be a bad thing to teach? Vala is so polite about it.

 

Grady doesn't bark. He has this yowly bark thing when someone comes to the door or if he feel threatend by someone on a hike, but that's it. He taps the door knob to go out and that's how I knew he was out there. He was tapping the door knob to come in :rolleyes: Maybe I should put a bell out there.

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That's a great story! Gotta love it when people go out of their way just out of kindness :D I'll bet the post office doesn't get very many nice calls this time of year.

Grady doesn't bark. He has this yowly bark thing when someone comes to the door or if he feel threatend by someone on a hike, but that's it. He taps the door knob to go out and that's how I knew he was out there. He was tapping the door knob to come in :D Maybe I should put a bell out there.

[/quote

 

Dont put a bell out there unless you dont mind listening to jingle bells , LOL.....Your dogs will drive you batty :D

My dogs learned that trick in 15 minutes and found it extremely funny how well they had mom trained. You know the old trick of ringing the doorbell and running like hell ? Well ..thats what they used to do.. :rolleyes:

Dontcha just love Border Collies ? :D

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One thing I have done for winter is put a straw-filled crate covered with a tarp on the porch right next to the door. If I'm slow getting a dog in, they have a warm place to snuggle till I get there to let them in.

 

J.

 

This I should do for my cat. She's more of an indoor creature in the late fall and winter (mainly because I won't let her out once small game season starts) but there are times like tonight when she streaks out when the dogs go out. Then I'm out there every fifteen minutes shaking a can of cat treats until her royal purr-ness decides to come home (Guess you can tell who's been out in the cold tonight!

 

Liz

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We have just recently started letting my 6 month old BC out with the other BC in the yard on his own. Before we used to take him out on leash to empty then play. What I thought was a "really reliable recall" turned into a "maybe later, mom".

So back to the leash walking. He does come with the pack , but thats not what I want , obviously.

But I did find out that meowing got him coming back real fast ! The yard is over two acres and like everyone's covered with 20+ inches of snow , so going to bring him in with leash (like I should when he doesnt come when called) is not on my 10 ten to do when its 20 degrees and dark , LOL.. But yes , I "meowed" and he came a flyin ...LOL.. :rolleyes:

Regressing only a little with the RRR , but other than that he does beautifully with his training.Everything is new to him in the field , so I did expect him to be exploring the back fences. But you could imagine how "sill" to say the least I felt standing at my back door "meowing". My older female Nem who is extremely reliable just looked at me and seemed embarrassed by my actions , ignored me the rest of the night , so did the boys. :D LOL...

And no , I dont rely on the yard for their stimulation and exercise. ( just in case you were wondering) :D

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Here's another *up side* of a fenced yard (couple of them, actually). I live in a very rural area, so some folks (like our neighbors down the road) just let their dogs run free. The fence keeps those dam* dogs out of my yard and out of my pastures.

 

^^ Definitely.

 

I can't imagine letting my dog outside with no supervision AND no fence. :rolleyes:

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Most of our neighbors think dogs should be "smart enough to move" when they come barreling in doing whatever they are doing that day, so I don't leave the dogs out alone in the unfenced yard except very early morning and after dark. Otherwise they play in the fenced acre+ "dog yard" by the haybarn.

 

Drum and Coal are chief door knockers when the crew wants in. The leap up and "knock" with both front feet on the screen door WHAM!. Basically its the BC Big Bang Theory of getting doors opened.

 

Harley thinks the door should open to the magic stare. Izzy yodels at it. Not quiet as effective as shear banging

 

Yards are just yards. They only create laziness if the dog owner allows it. Vis versa I know a lot of yardless dog owners that because of the repetitive requiring walking they allow sloppy leash manners and mess up their dogs that way. Again, you get exactly what effort you put forth.

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I guess count me in with Julie P...I've always had a fenced yard, in town or out in the country. I can't imagine not having a fenced yard. We have a deck and then a pretty good sized yard, and in nice wx, my dogs spend quite a bit of time there. I never worry about them being on their own for any length of time (except Mike, who will jump the fence if he hears shots or motorcycles :rolleyes: ) so I do monitor him...but the others do just fine out there. They also either get worked, or taken for walks/runs out in the back pasture most days...I guess I can't see why on earth anyone would not want a fenced yard LOL if nothing else, saves my house from at least a bit of dog hair....

 

Betty

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I have a $4,000 fenced yard, which as I learned after spending the $$, Buddy hardly uses. He simply does not want to be out there on his own. He also doesn't like to poop unless triggered by the scent of some other's dog's poop, so the best I can get out of him is a bladder-empty in the yard. Probably related to "don't poop where you live" mentality. I can live with it; it gets me out walking twice a day. At any rate, the fence has stopped my yard from being the pathway for neighborhood teenagers "cutting through," which it used to be - so that's a good thing. I shudder to think what might happen if a kid were cutting through and I happened to let Buddy out to pee.

 

My dog won't come for "meow." I have to say "chicken" to get him to come in if he's sniffing something of interest. I suspect the neighbors laugh at me.

 

Mary

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I don't have a fenced area/yard, but I surely would love to have one, for all the mentioned reasons. But, at least not having one does mean that this lazy old lady has to walk/exercise her dogs herself, which is a very good thing indeed - just not always appreciated by me in rainy weather or the dark...

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Harley thinks the door should open to the magic stare. Izzy yodels at it. Not quiet as effective as shear banging

 

The Eloquent Stare. We had quite a time teaching Samantha to bark to be let out, and we'd seem to have to re-teach her every so often. That's the reason I started baby gating my bedroom door at night. If Sam needed to go out in the middle of the night, she'd stare in silence at the back door, which of course did not wake me up. Then when I did wake up, it would be to something nasty to deal with in the living room.

 

However, the Eloquent Stare does wake me when it's directed at me from only a couple feet away. Or maybe I feel the slight breeze from the Hopeful Wagging of the Tail.

 

Shoshone has no problems whatsoever giving a very loud and forceful "I need to go out NOW" bark, followed by the "I need to come inside NOW" bark.

 

Buzz was the only one who whined at the door, for in or out. And, he loved to sunbathe.

 

Ruth

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