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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 4ft fence in our yard. Right now our GSD is 9 weeks old.

If properly trained, execised, etc will he still be hopping over it?

I really don't have money to get a bigger one but I don't want to worry about him hurdling it in the future.
 

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Some dogs do, others don't.

What I've found, is that young dogs left alone and unattended in the yard for more than a short time are more likely to jump the fence. They get bored. Have no guidance. What's on the other side of the fence may seem much more attractive for the moment, and they CAN get over 4'. And some dogs are diggers, so instead of going over, they have fun digging under and can escape that way.

But if we are out with the dogs for the first year or so, and they just get into the mental habit of not going over the fence, then it does seem to then be more of a barrier that they don't test. Once the first years of 'puppy' with the testing new things is over, they then seem to respect things like a fence much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My goal is to be able to leave him outside in the future when he is old enough when I go places for a few hours.

I'll probably do some training stuff involving the fence and when we are in the yard to teach him not to go near it, hoping that will help.
 

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your GSD will be able to jump a 4ft fence depending what is on the other side - cat, squirrel, small snack-like kind of dog.

if he is always attended out there it is probably not a problem. i personally would not leave him alone outside with a 4ft fence when i am not at home.
 

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I can't tell you how impressed I am that you are thinking of this now, before you have a problem! Good for you!
My own policy is to never have my dogs out in the yard if nobody is home to watch them. I have a 6 foot wooden privacy fence around my back yard, and a 4.5 foot chain link fence that separates the dog side of the yard from the human side of the yard. It's not that someone has to be out with them, but there does need to be an adult home and actively keeping an eye on them in order for them to be out.
To be honest, I wouldn't recommend your dog be out in the yard with you gone regardless of the fence size. You will never know what he'll do when faced with a new, perhaps exciting activity going on outside his fence. If you are always home when he is out, you can step in and bring him in before he gets so stimulated that he goes over the fence (or under it). Or before your neighbors call animal control because he spends the whole time you're gone barking at the dog that lives two blocks over.
Keeping him well exercised by getting out with him and playing fetch or some other human directed game daily will help take care of his exercise needs (along with a couple of walks) and crating him in the house while you are gone will keep him and your home safe.
It just takes one incident to break your heart and kill your dog!
Sheilah in Idaho
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was thinking of making the yard bigger and extending the fence but if I never leave him outside for a period of time unsupervised, is it worth it?

I live in a city type area. Houses ontop of houses. Luckily I live on a corner lot which gives me a full lot of just grass which is huge for a city but to all you country folks, its not big at all. Half of that area right now is fenced in.

If I can teach him to play fetch in the yard, without a fence and not run off, I would be happy.

One little step at a time I guess.
 

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I think it's great that you're thinking of this now as well.

A four foot fence is more than enough if you're outside with your dog, playing fetch, doing some training, or just hanging out in the yard with your dog Some things you may want to teach him if you're worried about him eventually hopping this fence is a good solid recall and a command to stop him dead in his tracks, such as an emergency "DOWN" command.

Personally, I think that you should never leave your dog outside unsupervised, whether you have a four foot fence or a six foot fence - especially if you live in a city. When dogs are left outside unsupervised, they become an easy target for people who don't like dogs or kids who just want to tease them. Your dog might get harassed by having rocks or sticks thrown at him, for example. And dogs that are left alone can't be corrected if they bark at everyone passing by and become a nuisance to the neighbors, too. Those are some things I'd consider.
 

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I believe that the dogs should never be left outside unattended too. I doggie sat for two dogs that climbed over a 6' fence and butted the top off the enclosure with their heads.
 

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It depends on the dog.
My dog is in a 5 foot privacy fence when we're outside with him.
My fiance was standing right next to him when he sailed, easily, over it to chase cats.

Other times he shows no interest in what's on the other side.
 

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I personally wouldn't risk leaving a dog outside when I'm not at home. The dog could take off, someone could take your dog, another dog could jump your fence to "play" with your dog, a random storm could hit...maybe I'm just paranoid.

Are you worried about him destroying the house when you're not home? Crate training is a good way to prevent that. I also have a friend who uses her second bathroom as a crate when she's not at home. Not much to destroy in the bathroom! We used our laundry room for our GSD, but my Dad had to change the knob. Dixie figured out how to open the lever-type French knob (!!), but she couldn't open the regular round ones.
 

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I have a 4' fence, and I do regret it. If you have a choice, get something higher. Since you don't have a choice, and neither do I, just keep a close watch. Don't allow experiments in jumping and climbing. My dogs have never ever jumped the fence or come close to doing so. However, I never leave them out when I'm not around. I bring them in the minute I hear a bark. Dynamo (her again, of course), is forbidden to stand on two legs at the fence as I'm afraid she'll think of climbing. If you get lots of snow in winter, you lose height in the snowdrifts. However, even when they could have hopped over the fence, they didn't try, they didn't know better, and by being on duty when they are out, I can make sure they don't learn how low the fence really is.
 

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Depends upon the dog. My new 18 month old female jumped my new 5' fence to come to me. I will be putting up an electric wire on top very soon. My others never even thought of going over my old 4' fence.
 

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Your dog may be fine with a 4' fence.
Your dog may never climb the fence or dig under it.

However;
another dog could jump into the area
a scumball looking for a bait dog may steal yours for that purpose
a neighbor that wants all dogs in the neighborhood to stop barking may throw poisoned meat in there
kids may tease your dog or throw things at him
an oil man/meter reader may not close the fence behind him

These are simply not risks worth taking, even for a 1/2 hour jaunt to the grocery store.

If your concern is the dog being unattended in the house then crate train for the time you're away.
 

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2 sides of my yard have 4 foot fences (they were there when we moved in). The gate is 5 feet and the other side is 6 feet (we put that one in since there wasn't a fence on that side). We can't afford to put new fencing in either. We planted grape vines around the perimeter of the 4 foot fence, so there is a visual barrier on the fence too. Also, there are shrubs and flowers along the fence line, so the dogs have been taught to "keep out of the garden". So far, my dogs have never challenged it.

I was watching a leerburg video the other day, and he addressed this problem. He said that one way to do it was to add an electrical fence wire (underground fence) to the top of the fence with the collar. That way they get "warned" if they get too near the fence, and it teaches them to stay away.
 

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Originally Posted By: KodisMom

I was watching a leerburg video the other day, and he addressed this problem. He said that one way to do it was to add an electrical fence wire (underground fence) to the top of the fence with the collar. That way they get "warned" if they get too near the fence, and it teaches them to stay away.
We were advised by a few people to try this method also ....
any other thoughts about this?
 

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Over the years, I've had two fence jumpers. Ringer jumped a 4' fence to visit the "girl next door" (she was a spayed GSD, he was neutered, but it was still love
). I put up an electric fence about 24" inside the 4' fence and that stopped him.

If I was outside the 4' fence, Niki would clear it like it wasn't there. He also went over the 6' dog pen like Superman. He NEVER went over except to be by my side.
 

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My entire yard is surrounded by 4' fencing and I see no problem with it if you do training as well as supervise. There have been times I can see his ears perk up when he sees a cat or dog go by...I used these times for training by telling him "leave it" followed by treats and lots of praise when I see him turn it off. I too agree with most here when they say your dog should not be left outside unsupervised or for extended periods. I am not outside with my dog every second but am always checking on him and listening. His bark tells me there is something of interest and I immediately respond. So far he has never made an attempt to jump or dig but he has not had much of an opportunity to do so.
The one thing that can cause a big problem depending on where you live is snow which was mentioned earlier. It was in the winter that we learned this by watching Floyd make a short jump over the fence to protect our neighbours house and yard from the mailman. It was a few hours of hubby shovelling to correct that problem and we are now careful of where he blows the snow.

I see no problem with a 4' fence if training and supervision is always there. Not everyone can afford to re-fence a large yard especially if there are suitable options.

Until we added our GSD to our family we always owned Siberian Huskies, now that is a different story. All 4 of my Sibe's could clear a 6' fence from a sit as well as dig a tunnel to China just to go exploring and of course run...run...run... No fence was adequate for them so we purchased a panel dog run (30' X 60') in order to make custom shape and size, chicken wire on top and chain link fencing under the gravel all wired to the panels. This dog run was attached to a wooden shed with raised dog houses. In the end they removed the wooden walls and siding to escape lol. Huge investment but for dogs that hated to be inside in the winter due to heavy winter coats they needed a secure, safe and sizable structure.

Ok I am done blabbering, I guess it depends on the owner and the dog.

Cathy
 

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Beware: cheesy Gate Latches vs Smart GSDs

We have a 6 foot wooden privacy fence but our adopted/rescued 2.5 yr old can pop the traditional fence gate latch (found on 99% of fences) in seconds. He hits the top of the gate with one paw and the latch with the other, when the gate springs back from his weight the latch is open just long enough that the "pin" is able to pop out,, then he simply pulls the gate open.

Bought a very large deadbolt made for fences and that solves the problem. It's sliding pin is about the size of an adult thumb and I think it was around 7 bucks.

Would NEVER leave him on his own outside for more than a minute or two though, he's crafty and I'd miss him too much if something happened to him.
 
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