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Dog that jumps fences- suggestions

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I "rescued" a 3 year old working dog, he's not worked for about a year. I know his history. He was allowed to run loose alot when younger and is a deer runner, they live in a state park where there are tons of deer. The previous owner really got on him for running away and now jumps fences to get away when someone is hollering, even if it's not at him. He probably would just jump fences anyway.


Prior to taking him permanently, I was helping out his previous owner and had him at my house, which has about 1/2 acre fenced yard with 4ft wire fence. I was putting him into a covered outdoor dog kennel when my pup went into the kennel (I had just taken off the dog's leash). I said in a disgusted voice to the pup "Tuck get out of there" This was enough to put terror into this dog, he ran out the kennel and climbed the fence in absolute terror, falling back once in his terror. The only way I caught him was when he was working the llamas across the road, and then he listened and would come to me.


Now that I have him permanetly I've been considering activating my inground invisible fence (which I had used many years ago when I had 2 dogs), so that he doesn't even approach the wire fence. Of course I would train him to the invisible fence, and I know that he would be able to run thro the invisible fence if he is that afraid. But I am thinking more on day to day letting him out in the yard, rather than having to take him out on a line all the time. Since he will jump fences, I'm not sure I'll be able to trust that he won't continue to do so.


I've been working on desensitizing him to someone yelling, so when I have him out on a line I'll holler at the other dogs, he response so far has been to come and stand next to me, rather than run away. So I've been working on this issue with him too.


I've also been working him on sheep, where there has been no indication of him leaving the sheep when I am correcting him. He was trained to the p/n level but hasn't really worked in a year.


Thoughts are appreciated.

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Nancy, if you have the actual Invisible Fence, call your local franchise and get a technician to come out and advise you. They are able to customize the dog's collar to help manage different problems. Jack's collar is programmed differently than my cat's collar. My local techs do a great job working specifically with each animals' needs.

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We have both systems at the rescue and most dogs respond very well to it. I will tell you that we have inbetween fences (to seperate the front from the back) that are 5 feet high and the Bc's clear them without difficulty.


There are dogs that will still cause problems but, they are hard core. Thinking of Dave in particular. He never responded to the invisible fence and still wouldnt care if he needs to leave hes gone.(storm noise phobic). He must climb fences to go out once he smashes open house doors.


With most dogs with odd behaviors we give them down time to get to know us and then we work with them. giving them a routine and trust base.


I guess what I'm saying is that the fence may work depending on how sensetive the dog is to that stimuli. Good luck

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I'm leery about an electric with a BC since they have such a high drive, they may run out but not back in. Silky is great with the little 4 ft green plastic/vinyl barracade fence, but I always monitor her unless she is tethered.



All my personal dogs are on Radio fence and they are well behaved with it.


BTW Rayenn and Silky welcome

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  • 3 weeks later...

We recently lost our 2 1/2 year old BC because of a similar situation. She was not a rescue, we'd had her since 6 weeks. She developed an extreme noise/storm phobia a few months ago and began jumping our 4 foot chain fence. So, we built a 6 foot wooden fence, which she also jumped immediately.

Finally we tried the invisible "electric" fence system. She knew the fence boundaries and would avoid them on a regular day.


From our neighbor's report, during an afternoon storm he heard her jumping at the fence repeatedly. Apparently, she got so worked up and panicked that she had a heart attack and died. This fence only made her more upset and did not deter her in the least.


Please, PLEASE DO NOT USE A SHOCK COLLAR or "invisible fence" on BC who is already having problems (especially behavioral/emotional).


You may want to search the threads here, I've seen some good advice on medications and other options for these problems in BCs. But I highly suggest using ANY other option before trying the "invisible fence".


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A couple of cautions - the first, with regard to tethering, is to make perfectly certain that the tethered dog can not get in a position to strangle. I have seen two cases where dogs that were tethered "far enough" away from a stall door (in one case) and a car window (in another), still managed to somehow get over the half-door or out the window. In the first case, the dog died. In the second (my own dog), he was fortunate in that he did not strangle and campers nearby saw him and released him, and retied him safely (and rightfully read me the riot act when I returned to my van).


Second, an invisible fence does nothing to keep out dangers - other dogs and so on. It also is easily broached by a determined, focused, or frightened animal. While many people use them and are pleased with them, I just could not trust my dogs to something so "invisible".

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I agree with not using a shock collar on a dog with fear issues. You don't know what connections might be accidentally made and shock training is deeply effective and hard to "undo."


I know it's a pain in the rear, but truly the best thing is to commit to leash walking for now. It does two things. It ensures the dog's safety, and establishes a relationship between you much faster, that will pay off in the future should mishap occur.


It's not a permanent solution and should not need to be. Count on a long-term investment, however. You know how they say a new working dog will take a year of regular work to really get in tune with you? Yup. But compared to the next ten years you'll get in return, just consider that there could be worse things you'd be dealing with (physical problems or aggression).


I've been there. I took in a runner and it did take about a year of leash walking before I could even start training him. I had no fences at my last farm so I had no choice. But he got to where I could hardly peel him off my leg if there were no sheep around. :rolleyes:


The power of a routine is an awesome thing in the life of a Border Collie. It just takes time and patience. Bless you for giving this guy a chance!

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How about using a regular electric fence wire on the inside and top of the present regular fence. That has stopped my dogs from getting into the sheep pastures. They have to be in the wrong place - on the fence - before they get the punishment. And you can control the strength of the charge on the wire.

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I can think of a few things friends of mine have used successfully for determined fence-jumpers.


Running a hot wire inside the top of the fence. Since the dog you're concerned about has fear/escape issues, though, there's always the chance that: (a) it still might not stop him, and (B) it might make his issues worse.


Loosely draping some chicken wire (or similar material) over the top of the existing fence, so that it makes a partial roll hanging over the inside a little. The idea is that the overhang is a more difficult obstacle to size up, plus if the dog uses his paws to boost himself over, he'll have a hard time getting a good purchase and tend to pull it down on himself. (I think I've seen variations on this called a "coyote roller.")


Any kind of overhang toward the inside of the top of the fence, making it harder for the dog to judge what's needed in order to clear the top.


Just some notions, none of which may work for you.


Hope you can get this guy squared away. It just never ceases to amaze me how some of these dogs can still find security and confidence in their work, even when they're having a hard time with other things which seem easier on the surface.


Best regards and 2 or 3 cents,


Liz S in S Central PA

Gift & Joss

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I agree with the posts that suggest not using the electric fence/collar. Even if he is trained to be alert to the barrier, one day there'll be a trigger and he'll be through the electric barrier and you won't ever get him back.


Scotty came to us as a rescue who'd been shocked to control his behavior. It only made him aggressive. He was also very sensitive to loud noises and shouting...if he thought anyone was even remotely upset, he'd just melt away into the woodwork (kinda tough for a sixty pound dog, but he did it!). He calmed down after about six months when he realized he wasn't going to be punished for being himself, an active Border Collie that needed a great deal more exercise and stimulation than he'd been getting. He wasn't a working dog, so we couldn't use that to help channel his energy and boost his confidence. Maybe there's a chance for you there to build a partnership with him.



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