A friend of mine had a border collie mix named Sable, who was always finding new ways to escape from their fenced backyard, even escaping from their kennel. She could squeeze through spaces you wouldn’t think a dog could fit through, climb chain link fences, knock out weak fence boards with her head and figure out when the gate wasn’t latched closed. All of which was impressive, but how this dog actually escaped was the icing on the cake.
Every other day when my friend and her family would come home from work, they would find the dog’s chain up and over a tree branch in her kennel. It wasn’t until Halloween morning that my friend figured out what the dog had been doing. She looked out the window to make sure that both dogs were okay before leaving for work, but only saw their other dog Goofy in the kennel.
When she walked outside to find Sable, she found the dog sitting 6 feet off the ground in a tree. Sable had figured out how to climb the tree that was in the dog kennel. It was cute at first, until they realized one day they might come home, and find that she had hung herself. So they had to leave her off her chain.
It was only a couple of days later when Sable really did escape. With no other signs, they came to the conclusion that Sable took advantage of the fact that when they took off her chain, she wouldn’t hang herself climbing the tree. She got out this time by climbing the tree, walking across a strong tree limb and jumping down on the other side of the fence.
Sable was determined to leave the family, even though Goofy was content not to follow her. There are just some dogs that need more freedom than others. Think about your dog’s environment when choosing your next puppy.
There are a few other things to take into consideration, to avoid another Sable story:
Your Home’s Size and Environment
The dog you choose needs to be compatible with the space you live in yourself. If you live in a small, one-bedroom house, a miniature schnauzer would be a better fit for you than a St. Bernard. Having too big of a pet in too small of a home will leave both of you miserable. And miserable pets act up and have a greater chance of running away.
I have found that smaller dogs are happiest in a secure home, rather than being outdoors. The lack of feeling secure can cause a pet to run away to find a place where they feel safer. In the case of a small dog, this can lead to them putting themselves in even more danger when they try to escape. They will be content just spending the day inside, on the bed or comfy chair. If they need help getting up to a higher location, you can get them pet steps for small dogs for access to a bed or chair.
Your Home’s Location
Where you live, not just your home size, also plays a large part in which dog breed will work better for you. Dogs like Sable need room to run around for hours and explore. Places like farms and ranches, or up in the woods where there are no fences are ideal for the “exploratory” dog. We had a German-short pointer that would chew through or dig under fencing to get out and roam. Pepper was finally adopted by a family that lived on the side of a mountain; last I heard, he was still “king of the hill.”
These types of dogs that have a greater need for Frontline plus flea treatment because they are outside most of the time. Make sure they have the monthly treatments that protect them from fleas and ticks. Bathe them from time to time to keep their coats clean, and take advantage of that time to inspect them for any pest or injuries.
And by the way, Sable was found, and later moved in with a friend on down the road who walked the fields every day, with a four-legged friend by his side.
About the Author
Jane Warren is parent and foster parent to many pets that have needed a loving home. When not caring for her many pets, Jane writes helpful advice for other pet parents, for her own website, www.pamperthepets.com, and other related sites.