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okay, this may sound like a basic, silly question. But our yard isn't completely fenced. One side has rail-road ties about 2-3 ft. up, and we're going to be putting fencing on top of that in a month or so. Does that automatically disqualify me from dog ownership until it's done? I plan on having an indoor dog, so s/he'd only go out really for pottying and play time (with us), and I plan on off-leash training. I see plenty of people around here who have small and/or non-existent fences, and their dogs don't run (not that I've noticed anyhow). Is that really smart, though?

Anyone?

Thanks!!!
Sarah
 

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Sarah you are wise to ask. I would never take a chance like that--when you off leash train, you have to be either (a) with a group of dogs so your dog will stay with the pack or (b) in an enclosed area until you are sure your dog is fully trained. I'm a big believer in off leash training but you have to do it in a secure space. A four footed pup is always faster than a two footed adult.
 

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I dunno, my dad has never ever had a fence. He has successfully off leash trained all of the dogs he has had. I think it takes a lot more care, but it can be done.

ps. I wouldn't do it if I had a kid out there with me. You would need to give the dog your whole attention.
 

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If it is a month or two before your fencing will be done I would keep your new dog on a leash until then or just wait to get the dog until the fence is done.

We have a super long leash for our dog and an unfenced yard. Our dog has gotten out without a leash a few times and he ran fast and far. There is a busy street nearby so it is not a risk I am willing to take at this point.
 

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I don't think a fence is absolutely necessary, but boy would it be nice. We don't have a fenced yard. One of our dogs will run off if he gets loose, he thinks it's a merry chase. The other knows the boundaries (though since she's become a teenager I've had to revoke that priviledge). We use long lines to take the dogs out and play with them, play ball, chase them around, etc. I doubt they'd want to go out alone even if we did have a fenced yard.

I WISH we had a fence... it would be so much easier for them to run and play without getting tangled up.

If it's just going to be another month I don't see it being a huge issue... other than the fact that some rescues won't adopt out to people who don't have a fully enclosed yard, that is.
 

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Its sure a PITB to have a dog w/o a fenced yard. Its so much easier to just open the door and let them run and potty. (Of course mine is weird and sometimes I have to walk all the way down the deck stairs to get her to actually go in the yard, instead of just sitting there staring at me through the kitchen door.)

I would recommend a long lead line, you can buy a tie out that you can stick in the ground and you can tie the dog out for potty breaks. I say this having dogs who sniff and walk and sniff and walk and sniff before they can pee or poop and I dont have the patience to stand there holding a 6 ft lead waiting on that nonsense. If you have a quick potty-er, it wouldnt be so bad to go out there with a leash.
 

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It depends on how soon you're getting that fence up. For me, a fence is insurance against bolting. There WILL be a time that your dog runs out the door ahead of you, and a fence will save its life. I also have an enormous and exaggerated fear of those "traipsing through the countryside" dogs--the ones who take off from the yard and are gone all day but eventually come back--because that is begging for a lawsuit or mandatory euthanise if your dog happens to get in a fight, is perceived to have barked at or threatened a human, etc.

So I would sell you a puppy if you had your existing setup and a commitment to fence within the next few weeks. I would not sell you a puppy if you were going to rely on what you've got and just do "off-leash" training--for most breeds, that's going to be spectacularly ineffective.
 

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It is definitely easier to have a dog with a fenced in yard!
We let our dogs out front (where it's not fenced), but they both have a very low chase drive, they are well trained, and we're at the end of a cul de sac. If we were missing even one of those, it wouldn't be happening. With the border collie we used to have, Piper, there is NO WAY I would ever trust her outside of a fenced yard not on a leash. She was super smart, but all the training in the world wouldn't add up to a hill of beans if she saw anything running.

A month of keeping a dog fully on a leash isn't a big deal though. You just have to be prepared to get your shoes on every time they go to the door. lol. And it would make you appreciate the fence a lot when it's done!
 

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We always put up fences for our kids because they all seem to become escape artists as soon as they learn to walk. Now that we have a dog - a Jack Rusell of all breeds - we REALLY appreciate having a fence!! He is such a crazy little pup that he needs all the fences he can get!
: And it is sooooo easy to just open the door and let him go out to potty!!
 

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We rent half of a house that doesn't have a fence. So he only goes to the bathroom on walks. But we HAVE to go for a good long time or he will have accidents. Sometimes we go to the dog park or I take him to the dog daycare I work at. But unfortunately there is no just letting him out in the back yard. Although our dog is older and does best with just going out once a day.
It took us a while to be able to do off leash training with him but now he is an old pro. I suggest finding a hiking trail with not much people traffic that is fairly wooded. The key is it has to be an area where your dog is unfamiliar, and just a bit worried about losing you. His insecurity will make him naturally want to stay close to you. Then you can try out off leash in the middle of a big field. Although you do always have to be careful of your dog trying to run off after rabbits and things. If you try off leash, and he bolts, catch him and just wait a few more months. The biggest thing that makes off leashwork is the bond between you and your dog.
 

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After moving from a situation where I could let my dogs out into their own fenced space at will from one where I couldn't, I decided that I will never again live somewhere without a fenced yard. It's my #1 priority. It is doable to have a dog without it, but it's so much harder, on us and on the dog, that to me it's not worth it.
 

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We haven't ever had a fenced yard.

For some reason our lab knows the boundaries and thats where she stays.

When I was a kid we had a dog who liked to run away. Though I know a fence wouldnt have kept her in as she could jump and climb. Amazing dog, she was a blast to have as a playmate.

I would say it really depends on the dog as to whether it needs it needs a fence or not.
 

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I guess I should add that I don't think dogs should be in unfenced yards even if they won't run away, because fences don't just keep dogs in, they also keep them out. If your dog is going to be outside without supervision, I think it is a lot safer to have a boundary between it and the rest of the world.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
I guess I should add that I don't think dogs should be in unfenced yards even if they won't run away, because fences don't just keep dogs in, they also keep them out. If your dog is going to be outside without supervision, I think it is a lot safer to have a boundary between it and the rest of the world.
good point!!! i've seen both ends of that situation: when i was a child, we had a dog that escaped and was hit by a car and killed
: and my cousin's dog (small terr x) got mauled/killed by the nieghbor's doberman. for those 2 reasons, i'm extremely cautious about always having my dogs either 1.fenced in -OR- 2.on a leash. i know dogs can be trained to be safe off leash, but you never know if a roaming dog w/an irresponsible owner will come by and harm or kill your dog. i guess it's like driving defensively--i know i'm a safe driver, it's the person next to me that i'm worried about.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by peridot83 View Post
We rent half of a house that doesn't have a fence. So he only goes to the bathroom on walks. But we HAVE to go for a good long time or he will have accidents. Sometimes we go to the dog park or I take him to the dog daycare I work at. But unfortunately there is no just letting him out in the back yard. Although our dog is older and does best with just going out once a day.
It took us a while to be able to do off leash training with him but now he is an old pro. I suggest finding a hiking trail with not much people traffic that is fairly wooded. The key is it has to be an area where your dog is unfamiliar, and just a bit worried about losing you. His insecurity will make him naturally want to stay close to you. Then you can try out off leash in the middle of a big field. Although you do always have to be careful of your dog trying to run off after rabbits and things. If you try off leash, and he bolts, catch him and just wait a few more months. The biggest thing that makes off leashwork is the bond between you and your dog.
I really don't think this is the best way to off-leash train your dog. "Try it and see" can have very bad consequences. To start training you use a long line so you can retrieve your dog if they decide to wander off. Also doing off-leash work in a FENCED area is definitely a good idea (with a long line!) just for safety's sake. If the dog gets loose and figures out he can run away it's going to be doubly hard to teach him not to. The long line helps you enforce the rules even when he's "free"... you really can't let your dog disobey you and you never want to be in a position where you can't back up your commands. (Basically our trainer said that until your dog is fully trained you DO NOT want to use a command unless you are POSITIVE you can enforce it. Ie "Come!" if a dog gets loose and you keep yelling "Come! Come!" the dog learns Come = I can ignore it. Not good.

And I agree with avengingophelia about unfenced areas and supervision. So many people suggest to us to just "use a tie-out" and we refuse to do that for our dogs. For one thing all Zeeke does is bark if he's not right with us, and mainly it's a safety thing... stray dogs and wild animals and such. As I stated before, we don't have a fence but our dogs are only outside with us, on long lines to play and go potty.
 

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Oh, I definately agree to work on commands in a fenced area first like a dog park. I should have meade that more clear. But dogs know there is a fence there and they also are aware of a leash no matter how long it is. So their behavior is going to be different the second you drop that leash. There is always an element of risk, because it is an unkown situation.
 

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The best advice I have read on recalls and such is that running towards a dog will make them run away from you, like a game. Walking away from them and calling them to you that way is a ton more effective for most dogs, because they want to go where you go. When I take Daisy hiking with her 50 ft lead dragging, I just walk along at my pace, let her sniff around behind me and when she gets too far behind, I call her and keep walking. She comes running to me. Its been working great. I still like having that long lead on for insurance, though.
 
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