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Mc2 01-14-2013 05:42 PM

Need input please
Hello all...

I am a proud mom to a 15 week gsd who is awesome. I'm with her all the time as right now I'm home with my back and due to have a spinal fusion on Feb 18th. Well, I'm not going to be able to bend for months and I'm struggling to come up with ideas for caring for her when I have to be home alone when my husbands working. We just bought the house not long ago and building a fence is not in our budget for awhile longer with me not working. Right now she goes out on her tie down in the backyard and lots of walks. I'm not going to be able to hook her up to either when it's just us and I'm not always going to have someone around to help me all the time. I don't know how I feel about electric fences. Any input? Thank you so much.

JakodaCD OA 01-14-2013 06:02 PM

can you maybe find a school kid or person who would be willing to come over once a day or so while your recuperating?? School kid who loves animals would probably be great and not cost to much.

Good luck with your surgery!

JeanKBBMMMAAN 01-14-2013 06:29 PM

Dog Care When You’re Down - Whole Dog Journal Article just covered in their January issue and no paywall for this one!

You might be able to (depending on where you live) put livestock type fencing around your back door. You could probably do a nice little area for not a ton of money. Under $100?

Good luck with your surgery.

RowdyDogs 01-14-2013 06:43 PM

If by electric fence you mean one of those underground fences, I wouldn't recommend it. For one thing, they're more expensive than the livestock fencing JeanK mentions (T-posts and wire mesh fencing is about the cheapest fence you can get, at least around here, and it's easy to install yourself as well as being easy to remove should you want to install a nicer fence). They're also unreliable. Your dog may learn to stay away for the most part, but if something really triggers her prey drive or something, she may be over the boundary before she even registers the shock. I used to work in some neighborhoods where most fences were against the HOA (trying to preserve a natural mountainous look I guess) and I can't tell you how many dogs I saw on the street wearing Invisible Fence collars. And the worst part is then they can't even get back into their yards, because the stimulus that excited them enough to forget their boundary is gone and when they try to cross back over, they get shocked. Plus, it doesn't protect against other dogs, people or natural predators that might pose a threat to your dog. IMO fences are as much to keep trouble out as they are to keep your dog in.

Even if you're talking about a tape fence like are used for livestock, I'd recommend against it. They're cheaper than even a wire mesh livestock fence, but they won't keep dogs in or out. We used them for livestock and my dogs crossed over them easily, simply learning quickly not to touch the wire/tape but still sliding through it or jumping over it.

My best recommendation would be pricing fencing supplies at your local farm and ranch supply store. Tractor Supply Company is a decent chain store; otherwise, just look in the phone book under "livestock-feed and supply" or search online for "[your city] livestock supply." T-posts are a couple of bucks each; wire mesh fencing depends on what you want, but since you're buying for a dog rather than horses you can go for pretty cheap stuff (the more expensive stuff tends to be coated or otherwise safety-treated since horses are great at injuring themselves on fencing); and then you just need a T-post driver and some wire (either stuff you clip yourself and tie, or hangers) to attach the fence to the post. It's really easy and inexpensive as far as fences go, and since as I said it's also easy to remove (if a bit of work to dig out the T posts), you can even fence off a small area just to let her out in while you're down. Around here it would be very easy to make a decent-sized run for a dog with livestock fence for $100 or so, less than $100 if you've got the T-post driver or a sledgehammer you can use already.

If a fence isn't an option at all, I'd work on training her to climb on a platform outside. If you can hang the tie-out on a hook or something that you can reach, and train the pup to climb on a platform you can also reach, you might still be able to make the tie-out work.

I hope you have a speedy recovery! :)

JeanKBBMMMAAN 01-14-2013 06:47 PM

Here's a picture of part of mine (and my conjoined dogs ;)):

It really was inexpensive for the large area I did. I got the green kind - it's 5 feet high, with the posts 7 and 6.

Jag 01-15-2013 12:43 AM

Are you having the fusion that includes hardware? What part of your spine is being operated on? I had a fusion done in 2007 with hardware. I had braces for stabilization, and learned how to move by squatting instead of bending. This may be something you want to work on now. Physical therapy is going to be the 'make it or break it' part of your recovery. I have to warn you, though, that mine failed. Which means that I have been in more pain than before the surgery. Lots of other options have come up since I had surgery. Please explore them. Look on the internet and see the 'real life' stories of those who have already had those surgeries. As far as your dogs go, I don't think the tie outs will be a major issue. Just bend at the knees. Install hooks if needed to put the tie outs in an easy to reach place. Physical therapy won't give you any time to rest, trust me. You'll be walking less than 24 hours after surgery.

DollBaby 01-15-2013 09:32 AM

I agree with the OP on T posts and a roll of field fence. IF you do go electric stock fence, run enough strands that your pup can't crawl under or go over without touching it.. 4 or 5. That many keeps the coyotes and strays etc out of pastures and has kept my dogs in

Mc2 01-15-2013 02:51 PM

That's some great ideas!! When my hubby gets home hopefully we come up with something.

I am having spinal fusion of L4-L5 with hardware. My L4 is totally degenerated and I have a bad tear too. I'm only 30 and praying for a full quick recovery. The pain is unbearable.

MichaelE 01-15-2013 02:58 PM

I'll be using the T-post and field fencing too. I just can't afford to fence a 400' perimeter with all the gates and hardware and such with cyclone fencing at this time.

It's more or less just to keep her in the yard while my back is turned while we're outside. It's not to dump her in the backyard while I go and do something else without her.

jang 01-15-2013 02:58 PM

I had a fusion in 1971 with no hardware--used my own hip bone for the hospital bed and not allowed to MOVE for 10 days..then a steel brace for 1 year..No PT back then so recovery was a crap shoot..but still hanging in there all these years later..Best of luck to you..I have nothing of use to recommend for the dog, though...sorry

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