Staying in the yard

How can I get my dog to stay in the yard?



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Staying in the yard

One topic that seems to come up year after year with our trainers and behaviorists is the concept that dogs and sometimes even cats can be trained to stay in the yard. In our lost pet department one out of five pet owners reporting their pets lost state "he never leaves the yard", which is ironic as they are reporting their pet lost.

While dogs and cats make fantastic companions they are still in fact animals. It is true that many prefer to stay near home however their instincts and curiosities make it impossible to enforce this without a physical barrier. You may think your pet is staying in your yard for days, months, even years but it only takes one trip into a world they cannot understand for them to get hurt or killed.

 There is a true story that is told during training when a new employee will be taking lost that calls. An older gentleman called in to activate his membership on Monday afternoon. During activation you chose that he allows his pet to run to run free. This is normally not allowed as it is considered a responsible pet ownership. The operator was so convinced by this gentleman that she put them on hold to speak with her supervisor. She explained that the man was retired almost never left his home and that the dog was 13 years old. He swore the dog never left the porch in 13 years. He lived in the country on a dirt road and never has any cars pass by his house. He not only convinced the operator but she was able to convince her supervisor and the man's membership was activated. The following Friday the gentleman called in again. He was reporting that his dog was dead. It had been hit by the trash truck early that morning. He told us in tears he wished he had listened to our advice.

 There is no way to teach a dog or cat to stay in the yard without a containment system. There are many attractive, even invisible, options available to keep your dog contained. The cost can be minimal but the rewards will last a long, long time. Currently there is no containment system to keep a cat in the yard and should be kept indoors or walk on a leash.






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