Updated: Mar 16, 2021
How to Escape-proof Your Yard
No matter how structurally sound you believe the fence around your yard to be, there are a surprising number of ways that your energetic dog can try to escape.
According to the American Kennel Club, different dogs might try to escape in different ways. Here are the main methods used by dogs when attempting their escaping act from a fenced yard:
Jumpers. These dogs take a running approach, building up speed and attempting to launch themselves over the fence in one go. You might need to take special care around jumpers if you have quite a short fence.
Climbers. Resourceful dogs try to use other objects in the yard to gain some leverage in their mission to scale the fence. This could include anything from garbage cans to chairs.
Diggers. If they cannot make it over the fence, some dogs will start digging holes in the ground to get under the fence. Many will often burrow furiously until they achieve their goal, so don’t expect them to get tired and give up along the way!
Border patrollers. This is less of an escape technique and more of a warning sign. Some dogs will be extremely territorial of your property and patrol the border of the yard on the lookout for danger. If they see another person or animal through the fence, they might decide to scale the fence to ward any threats off.
Why does your dog want to escape?
It is important to remember that if your dog tries to escape your yard, it doesn’t mean that they want to be away from you. They often have unexpected motives, or ones which you can work on eliminating.
The first step to escape-proofing your yard is trying to stop the escape attempts from happening. Some dogs want to escape because they have seen something exciting on the other side of the fence. This could include other animals, food, a stream of water or a large open area.
A fence will not deter an energetic puppy or young dog from trying to escape and chase down a squirrel or bird that hops past the yard.
If you have a dog that likes to patrol the border of your yard, consider a fence that blocks any views. If you have a chain-link fence, a smart solution could be using plastic slats to cover the exposed areas.
Usually, the best ways to prevent escape attempts from happening in your yard is making sure your dog is feeling physically satisfied from walks during the day and blocking views that could allow your dog to see other animals near the yard.
How else to escape-proof your yard
Now you have a better idea of why your dog might be trying to escape your yard, here are a few ways to work on making it more escape-proof:
Making alterations to your fence. If you have a jumper or a climber in your home, it could be worth considering adding a structure to the top of your fence. Something that angles back in towards the yard would work best, since it would make scaling the fence much tougher.
Looking for any climbing apparatus. Between garden tables, garbage cans, play equipment and large rocks, your dog could use a variety of items in your yard to climb over the fence. Make sure you remove these so your buddy has a harder time finding a way to escape!
Using a concrete base. This is a surefire way to deter any diggers from burrowing under the fence. Pour concrete along the base of the fence and ensure the fence gets attached to the concrete.
Making the yard a happier place. Your dog should enjoy spending time in the yard playing with you! If you don’t have the time to spare, make sure they have shade, water, treats and toys.
Ensuring all gates are secured. It’s a simple solution, but checking that all your gates are bolted shut will prevent them blowing open and allowing your dog an easy escape!