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Old 06-13-2010, 05:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Train to NOT jump fence?

I have two German Shepherds (brother and sister) who are about 7 years old. I have two major problems with them that I can't seem to break and that is due to me not teaching them correctly. The first problem is with the female one Storm. She started to jump the fence about 2 years ago when she heard gun fire or a thunder storm. To solve that problem I put up an electric fence with the wire on top and the box under the house. She touched it once and never messed with it again for months. Now she jumps the fence everyday about 3 times a day and at night I have to put her in a crate bed which she actually loves. I hate putting the dogs in a crate but I can't put one in and not the other.
I have tried watching her do it and catch her in the middle of it and pull her back, yell at her, put the fence higher, etc. I added wood to make the fence another foot and a half higher but she just climbed it anyways. The thing shocks her but she doesn't care anymore. I am completely out of idea's on what to do. She is a great dog and doesn't harm anyone and stays around the house when she gets out but the neighbors dont like them because my male dog has a problem with wanting to fight other dogs and he fought and killed the neighbors dog that kept coming over my house.
Storm the female can stay out in the front and if I am working on my car she lays next to me the whole time but will eventually wonder off into the woods but come RIGHT back. I do not let her out when I am working though because I do not want her thinking it's OK to come out and try jumping.

I'd greatly appreciate ANY advice here on what to do!
Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Keep your dogs in the house when you can't directly supervise them.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That is not an option, they will eat the cats, plus they are outside dogs and get dirty everyday no matter how many times I wash them.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Why are they outside dogs? My dogs will chase my cats, so I don't leave them loose together when I'm not home, but I have a chain link pen in my garage for the dogs with a dog door to an outside run. It's down the side of the house, and separately gated inside my 6+ foot wood fenced yard. When we're home they're indoors with us unless they don't want to be. But when they're outside, they're secured and not out roaming the neighborhood wreaking havoc.

If I had a fence jumper I'd buy or build an outdoor kennel and put a roof on it so they couldn't jump out if I were unable or unwilling to trust them loose in the house or crate them.

You've already had one dog killed because your dogs don't stay in the yard, and although your female hasn't done anything similar yet, she gets out of your yard several times a day. Now that she knows she can do it, she's going to continue doing so, no matter how much training you do, unless you make it physically impossible. All the training in the world isn't going to take that knowledge away - you can't un-ring that bell.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
they are outside dogs
This is why your dogs are jumping the fence. They are BORED. German Shepherds are a breed that craves being around their humans and they are also a breed that needs physical AND mental exercise everyday. Just being out in the yard gives them neither structured physical exercise nor does it give them any mental exercise. It's boring. There's more interesting stuff outside the fence - other animals, critters in the woods, things to sniff and stuff to see. This is why they escape.

If you want to contain your dogs safely, for their sake and that of your neighborhood, build a proper dog kennel with a roof (or some type of cover at the top). If you want them to be happy, get involved with them - sign up for an obedience class, for example.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info, opinions and advice. As for spending time with them, when we are home we spend quite a bit of time. Until the past month, we would let them in the house with us at night for a bit and keep an eye on them and the cats, but lately it's been raining out every day and as soon as they go out they roll in mud and become messy. Instead of washing them every single day I have let them stay outside. Even if I am in the back yard playing with them she still wants to jump. As for killing the neighbors dog, the neighbors dog did not need to be in my back yard eating their food.
Seems that the only thing to do is build a pen with a cover over it and that's that. Hopefully soon when it dries up and I clean them up nicely I can start brining them in at night again and day when it's hot out and then the rest of the time put them in the yard when I am working outside. When I am gone I can put them in the pen with the cover. I have a separate fenced in area in the back with a big dog house to fit 4 dogs and enough room for them to play around in that I may just buy a big roll of chicken wire for and cover that entire area. I do not like to keep them locked up because they are big dogs and always like to run around and play but this area for when I am gone is plenty big enough for them (may take a LOT of chicken wire but oh well).
Now that you guys mention attention (which I thought about it being a possible reason), it seems that EVERY time we are all gone for more than 2 or 3 hours and come home she is out of the yard. She will hear the car and come running out from the woods to us. I will put her back in the yard and go back there to check on them and spend time but she will run straight back to the gate and jump again. Odd thing is she ONLY does it at the gate and nowhere else. The yard is also just under 2 acres so it's not a very small back yard, they have plenty of grass and woods to run in and the sunroom to the house is always opened for them to come inside in case it's too hot out with plenty of water and two beds.
Reason I say this is because I dont want anyone thinking I have these two dogs who are out in some small yard with no beds, water, food, no room to run and play and get no attention. Sure we are not around 10 hours a day to play because of work.
Anyways, I have learned that there is no way to train her to stop if she keeps doing it and the only way to solve my problem is a roof over an area. This will be my project for this coming weekend.
Thanks again for the info guys and if anyone else has anymore suggestions, feel free to post them!
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You mention spending time with them, but you don't say anything about DOING something with them. Do you ever take them for a walk? Or a road trip to a park or trail? (On leash of course or they'd probably take off on you.) Building a secure confinement area for them is certainly the first good step - but this will do nothing to solve the basic problem - which, as the poster above said, is boredom. In fact once you have them contained you might be looking at another problem, and that is nuisance barking because they are frustrated and can't get out. From your post I get the impression that these dogs basically are responsible for their own exercise and entertainment, which, as you have a fair amount of space is OK as far as it goes. But what they are lacking is structure - just like kids which aren't given boundaries and human attention you have a couple of delinquents on your hands. I don't know what the availability of obedience classes is in your area - but that's what you all need to enroll in. I don't think your dogs see you as the leader, and this would help you to establish this. The problem with dogs living outside is that they don't see themselves as being part of the "pack" - they bond to each other but not to you. Being with people is especially important for GSD's whose ancestors worked all day in the fields with a person (the shepherd.) They are not independent dogs (like the sled dog breeds e.g.) which thrive "doing their own thing." So.... good luck with the shelter, but I think for real success you and your family will need to a) bring the dogs inside and b) give them more structured exercise, both mental and physical.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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When I take my dogs out on the trails in the rain or after a rain, they get filthy. Even when it isn't raining, in the morning the grass is usually wet from the dew, I have to dry off thier feet before they come back in the house. I put an old flannel sheet down by the back door, towel everyone off. Most of the sand stays on the sheet & I just shake it out. If I leave them outside, after they dry, they are clean. Even the little white one, and she loves to run thru mud. Most of our soil is sand, maybe thats why it just falls off them. I also have a 6' fence.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a fence jumper too. I was curious if maybe those no jump harnesses would help?
I have arescued mutt waiting for a home and she is a terrible escape artist. she gets out of pens with lids, electric fences, everything. She has escaped our local pound about 5 times as well. I had hoped the electric fence would do the trick, but she will take the shock and run. So, I had thought to try the no jump on her.
We arent allowed to use tie outs here
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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why don't you put them in a pen, it's enclosed?
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