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Safe Gardens and Fencing

If you have recently adopted a rescued dog or if you are fostering a dog, until you get to know the dog well, please expect the unexpected!


Some dogs can and will…

  • Jump a fence, even 6ft or more, from standing.
  • Squeeze through tiny gaps in fencing.
  • Dig and squeeze under a fence in seconds.
  • Escape through open windows.
  • Push through cat flaps and jump over baby gates.

Too many newly adopted dogs are escaping their new homes, especially in the first few hours and days. Some dogs are sadly never found and others are injured or killed on the roads.

In cases of newly adopted ex street dogs, your dog might try to escape because they aren’t used to living in a home and being confined to a garden. They might be spooked by the sudden noise of your neighbour’s lawnmower, screaming children playing nearby, or frightened by a passing motorbike that back fires. A sudden boom of thunder, random fireworks, a passing hot air balloon, helicopter or even a fence panel flapping on a windy day can also frighten a dog. Using a broom to sweep your path, lifting a washing line prop or using a hosepipe could terrify a dog who has experienced abuse. Your dog also might attempt to escape to chase a cat, search for food, locate a female dog on heat or they might just want to explore their new neighbourhood! Some dogs arrive confident and happy to explore your house and garden, for other dogs stepping over the threshold of a doorway and entering your garden can be terrifying and overwhelming. Dogs who are very fearful of humans, doorways and other narrowing situations might choose to go up and over or squeeze under a fence rather than choosing the obvious exit or escape routes us humans might expect!

Until you get to know each other, please supervise your dog in your garden at all times. Try to look at your garden from your dog’s point of view. Many people are shocked that a dog could escape from what they considered a secure garden. Even large dogs can get through very small spaces!

  • If your dog is comfortable wearing a harness, a long line attached to a non slip harness will keep your dog safe and allow your dog to explore your garden in a relaxed way.
  • Please don’t use a tether as unsupervised dogs can get tangled and panic. They can also chew through rope and leather leads in seconds if determined.
  • Check your garden boundaries regularly, especially after strong winds.
  • Supervise your dog when visitors are entering and exiting your property. Make sure your doors and gates are shut securely, don’t rely on others!
  • Ensure your dog doesn’t have access to potential hazards such as slug pellets, poisonous plants and bird fat balls.
  • Make sure your dog wears an ID tag and that his microchip is updated immediately he is in your care.
  • Research canine body language so you can understand how your dog is feeling and what s/he is communicating to you.

When you have established a good bond and relationship with your dog you will gradually get to know what might worry them and what might motivate them to escape, but this takes time…

Take things very slowly so you don’t overwhelm him. Every dog is an individual, so please take extra care to keep your dog safe in those first few weeks and months.

© Caring for Rescued ex Street Dogs


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