3 dogs, rental house, no fence - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-14-2007, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, if anyone cares to read, here's my situation. I just moved to a rental house for the winter. I have 3 dogs, a 4 yr. old lab mix, a 3 yr. old mixed breed, and a 1 yr. old labradoodle. I want to see them running around and having fun outside, but this house has no fence. They also don't always come when called. I feel like since they hardly ever have off-leash freedom, they go crazy when given the chance, and run free like lunatics. My biggest fear is that one will get hit by a car.

I went out and got some tie-out stakes, which of course is far less than ideal, but I thought it would give them some outside time. They also keep peeing and pooping in the basement because they're used to doing it outside by themselves from when we had a fenced-in yard. Anyway, the first time I had them on the tie-outs, the neighbor went in his backyard and all my dogs started barking at him and wouldn't stop when I told them to. He came right over and complained, so I haven't put them on the tie-outs since.

I have 2 little kids, so we take them on two walks a day with the jogging stroller and all 3 dogs, with a potty break mid-day and one at night after the girls are in bed.

I just wish they could get more exercise and listen to me and come when called and stop barking if I ask them to! And I want them to stop eliminating in the basement. I am so tired of picking it up, and it's like a toxic waste dump. I want someone to come in and tell me what to do to turn this into a better situation.

Oh, I sounds like a crybaby. Anyone have any suggestions? Oh, and I thought of a wireless fence system, but if they bark at people when outside then that isn't a good solution either.

Living it up with DH, DD 6, DD 4, DS 1 and
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#2 of 10 Old 12-14-2007, 12:14 AM
 
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For how long are you walking them?

I think that in this case you need to substantially lengthen the daily walks (like to an hour each). I also think that they need to be offered many more potty breaks--four a day is not enough. When I have dogs that need to be on-leash only, I offer a chance to potty every 2-3 hours.

If you can't take super long walks, I would talk with your landlord about installing a temporary fence. We've rented with dogs, and as long as the fence comes back out of the ground when we leave the landlords have never minded. We use hog fencing panels (rigid, strong 4.5' x 16' panels of heavy wire) and heavy-duty garden stakes; that's held multiple Danes, shepherds, rotties, etc. without issue. At this point we've done it so many times that we can get a 50 x 50 pen up in two hours.

Geez, I'm the editing fiend tonight. I wanted to add that a pen 3 panels by 3 panels (about 50 x 50) will run you $300-$350 for the whole shebang.
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#3 of 10 Old 12-14-2007, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not as long as I'd like. I live on a little road that loops around and we'll go back and forth a couple of times, and down the path to the water and back. It probably adds up to about 20 minutes each time.

There are a lot of neat trails in the area, but I would have to drive to them, packing all 3 and the girls into the car. I think that might be what I have to do, but then I'd have little time for other things!

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#4 of 10 Old 12-14-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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You could also tie the dogs out one at a time.

And not to be negative, but I hope you're prepared to lose your security deposit to clean the basement when you move.
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#5 of 10 Old 12-15-2007, 01:08 PM
 
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Surely your neighbor is not outside all the time???
Our dog doesn't like one of the neighbor either (I don't blame her, I have a special name for him myself) so I just bring her in whenever she barks at him. The rest of the neighbors, the school kids walking to the bus stop, etc. she is not allowed to bark at. I am the pack leader, I decide who is a threat/who to bark at. This is pretty much how I trained not to bark at the neighbors:

You need to take your dogs outside with you, one at a time, on leash, a 20 foot training line is nice for this. Use whatever method of correction that you normally use. (For us, it's a prong collar) Play in the yard with the dog, let him run around with the leash on but you can still get him back pretty easily or hold the leash if you have to, then calm down and sit on the porch (or set up a lawn chair near his tie out) and practically ignore him just keep him close to you. When the neighbors come out, if he barks tell him no (and you can add a be quiet command), if he barks even one more time say no and give a correction. Whenever you tell him to stop barking, you mean business. YOU are the pack leader; YOU decide who is friend or foe, you decide who to bark at and he must do what you say.

You will have to train each dog individually that barking at the neighbor is not permitted, and that when you say "shush" that you mean it before you can expect them to be quiet with each other there to distract them. You should get to the point that a verbal NO is just as good as a physical correction and a verbal praise is just as good as a treat.

I walk my chow/lab/mutt for about an hour a day (weather permitting) and she will walk an hour again in the evening if I have time, so I doubt 20 minute walks will do it.
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#6 of 10 Old 12-15-2007, 01:32 PM
 
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I also have 3 dogs. Mine learned very quickly that barking outside means they come in.
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#7 of 10 Old 12-15-2007, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks a lot for the replies. OneKnight, you are very right about the whole pack leader thing. This is something I am working on a lot. I know my dogs have dominance issues, otherwise they would listen to me, and not see other people as a threat!

The last couple of times walking them, I have stopped and brought them back every time they pull. I think it's helping already. I really like the idea of taking them out on long training leashes and working with them outside like that.

Yesterday I got the wild hair to pack everyone in the car and drive to the beach for some real exercise. It wasn't the best place to walk- the beach was covered with snow and pushing the stroller at all was exhausting, but then we went back and forth in the parking lot, in the melted snow and slush, walking nicely. I think we were all worn out from that!

So, maybe taking them to some walking trails that aren't covered in snow, and doing the training leash thing, and all the while working on being the pack leader will do some good.

Thanks a lot, it means a lot. Any other suggestions are welcome!

Living it up with DH, DD 6, DD 4, DS 1 and
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#8 of 10 Old 12-15-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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If you have some where to hang a line out side then, string some clothes line from tree to tree/shed/house whatever, thread it through a metal loop and your dogs can run up and down it. Not sure if you have room for three 'runs', but you could always just keep the leader on the line, or the one who is most likely to run and perhaps the others with stick around.


When my barker forgets the bark once rule and barks like crazy all I have to do is say muzzle or show it to her and that cuts the barking out. She gets one chance, then the muzzle goes on.

Maybe if you rehomed a dog or two?... I don't know how you feel about that, but if you are overwhelmed, and can pick who to let go, that might make tihs a bit easier for you.


as for pooing in the basement-ewww yuck. They need more supervision, to be out more, and either crates or to be short leashed in one area.

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#9 of 10 Old 12-15-2007, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Bunnyslippers. I might try the clothesline idea. I can't stand the idea of rehoming them, but I do need to step up to plate and take care of their needs properly.

A lot to think about. Thanks again.

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#10 of 10 Old 12-15-2007, 04:04 PM
 
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Your welcome. The clothes line worked well for my dog for years. She was a runner. She could hop and climb fences, trees and would just RUN!!!!!
so I made her the longest clothes line run I could- forgot to add I add a leash to the metal loop. The first time I just threaded the clothesline through the leash and she wore the leash out first day and escaped.
It took many years to contain and channel her boundless energy. She just loved to run and have her freedom. I am the same way though, so I totally understood her need for it.

Goodluck

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