PDA

View Full Version : New Owner; Frustrated by my Escape Artists



FatCatFarm
09-22-2009, 07:30 PM
We have almost 18 acres perimeter fenced in field/livestock fencing. It's older and not perfect but we've gone around and reinforced any weak areas we've found and have put chicken wire on the inside of the board fencing. Still our two Pyrs are getting out during the day while we're at work, going and visiting the kids in the cul de sac behind us. And the heck of the thing is, we're not finding any obvious exit point.

We got the Pyrs to keep coyotes away who have been heavily predating on the barn cats. The Pyrs have the run of the property but evidently, hanging out together with the Mini Donkeys, barn cats and horses just isn't entertaining enough. They do a wonderful job at night patrolling the property and giving warning barks to ward off any predators. But, they exploit any weakness in the fencing they can find during the day while we're gone. Don't know what else to do. Love the dogs, but can't afford to sink thousands of dollars into new perimeter fencing unfortunately. Was hoping that with plenty of room and a job to do, they wouldn't test the fence so. Very disheartened. Thanks for any help.

risestar
09-22-2009, 09:26 PM
I have found that they can squeeze in between the squares in the fence if it is too big on the bottom. Other that that, its usually up and over or under.

A lot of times, it can be as little as a change in routine. Usually, the more alpha of the two that get out will be the one that actually does the escaping, and the other one will just follow suit. Try penning up the dominant one during the day and letting the other one in with the animals by itself and see if theres a change. Then switch it up and allow the dominant one in by itself and see if there's a change. Sometimes theres less motivation to escape when its just the one dog. Then, try putting them both in together again.

If you can find the mode of escape, over, under or through, (look for tufts of white hair on the fence), people have had success by typing little bits of that plastic colored ribbon to the fence at intervals. If your dog is going over, tie it it the top of the fence, or on the bottom for dig unders etc

FatCatFarm
09-23-2009, 07:00 AM
Thank you for the reply. I have our female (Angel) up today as she is the ring leader. Our younger male, Gabe, just follows her anywhere. I'm wondering if we should rehome Gabe. We just thought two would be more effective against the coyotes; but now I'm wondering if we just created partners in crime. We plan to have both fixed anyway and I don't know if that makes any difference in their inclination to wander. Doubt it as by all accounts it seems a pretty strong urge. As I said, wondering if we made a mistake in getting a second Pyr. Any thoughts?

Kate53
09-23-2009, 12:16 PM
While I always think spaying and neutering is the best idea all around, I don't think that is the problem here. Pyrs naturally want to expand their territory....doesn't seem to matter whether they are "working" dogs or not...it's their nature. (Give them an acre, they'll want 5...give them 5 acres...they'll want 500). Unfortunately, if someone isn't available all the time to monitor the situation and the expense of secure fencing is not an option, it appears you might continue to have a problem. I personally doubt giving up one Pyr will change the situation. The Pyr that is kept will undoubtably continue to "expand" their guarding area. Pyrs get bored very easily. If you can possible afford it, I would suggest looking into an electric fencing system that might deter them from going beyond "your" boundaries. Good luck....

AmyL
09-23-2009, 03:34 PM
I agree with Kate. Electrice fencing works great with dogs, I have used it before. They make them for dogs or you can use the kind made for livestock...they just have a bigger "bite". It wont hurt them either way...I myself hit ours at least once a month by mistake when feeding the cows. A solar fencer runs about 200 dollars and the wire another 100 for 18 acres. Less than a vet bill if he gets hit by a car...... Good luck!

FatCatFarm
09-25-2009, 07:27 AM
We are now keeping the dogs up while we're gone during the day and letting them out as soon as we get home and for now they seem content with remaining on the property and not trying to escape while out at night; continuing to do their barking and warding. We've reviewed the fencing again and still don't know where they are exiting. They may simply be climbing. Angel climbed over a five foot stall door to get out just this past weekend and the inside of that door is flat and smooth with no toe holds. :rolleyes: Just wish they didn't view fencing and attempts to confine them as such personal challenges. :cool:

Kate53
09-25-2009, 07:59 AM
I found that my Queenie is nocturnal by nature as well. She sleeps a good part of the day after her morning walk and she remains alert most of the night while we are in bed. She often wakes us up with a bit of barking now and again from her look-out post on the queen sized bed in the guestroom! Her window faces the street we live on and she has a view from the front of our house. Perhaps you have found the answer....your Pyrs are too busy guarding at night to think about escaping! Do keep us posted on their antics.

kimba's momma
09-26-2009, 04:10 AM
I agree with Kate. Electrice fencing works great with dogs, I have used it before. They make them for dogs or you can use the kind made for livestock...they just have a bigger "bite". It wont hurt them either way...I myself hit ours at least once a month by mistake when feeding the cows. A solar fencer runs about 200 dollars and the wire another 100 for 18 acres. Less than a vet bill if he gets hit by a car...... Good luck!
we use the above ground cattle fencing here.and it works wonders for all my dog's...though I only have 1 great pyrness shes only 5 months old right now.but we do however have several escape artist dogs though and the above ground electric fence system works wonders. we have up regular woven wire fence around our yard.and have the eletric fence running along the inside of the woven wire fence....sofar they will not go near it...it's called fi-shock you can buy it on line or at any lowes stores...it doesn't cost that much and also will not hurt or kill a small 16 pound dog either....good luck....

fluffylove
09-27-2009, 02:30 PM
have the dogs bonded strongly to the livestock? Are they actually from a line that produces good dogs? Not all pyrs are good guardians. Once they have a strong bond you are usually ok. Altering them doesn't do a thing. Remember in France when they had them, they had to keep them intact, how else would they reproduce the ones that wouldn't run from a fight? Just pyrs like to take over as large a territory as possible. Talk to your breeder, there's a good bet. Other comments are aboslutely right, they want MANY acres to patrol!
Good luck. IF your girl is more dominant than the male, getting rid of her may cause problems in your male. ONce 'alpha' is gone, the younger can act out, and start doing silly things that before he would not have dared because he was kept in line. something to consider. Talk to the breeder, I wouldn't bother with vets.
Remember, if their heads fit, so will the rest of them. I've heard horror stories of electric fencing and personally would never even consider it. Once the dog gets out, they will not come back in. Adrenaline in a dog is very powerful and most pyrs will blast right through it, eventhough they are trained, a big enough incentive and see ya!

FatCatFarm
09-28-2009, 03:46 AM
Angel is what I'll call a hand-me-down so we got her from the person who got her from her breeder, but our understanding is that she was from stock kept with goats. Be that as it may, Angel was much better with the livestock before we got Gabe. Where the mini donkeys were, so was Angel. Since his Gabe's arrival, she and he have obviously bonded and she cares less about the livestock. Had to retrieve the dogs again on Saturday. If we're not out to the barn before daybreak, they will take off again. Running electric fencing around the entire property, especially the back of it which is pretty heavily wooded, is not practical as I would imagine we would have to run several strands to prevent them from going either over or under it. Have also heard of people having that problem as mentioned above, that they will go through it to get out then refuse to brave it coming back in. Also, their abundant hair can greatly impede the ability of the fence to deliver any shock and will act as insulation. Before we had field fencing as cross fencing, our miniature horses with their thick manes would cross fence lines with impunity as all they had to do was lift a line with their manes and walk through without getting shocked. We have elected to rehome Gabe and hope Angel will resume her affinity for the other livestock once he is taken out of the equation. *Crosses Fingers*

DPW
09-28-2009, 08:12 AM
Personally I'm a big fan of electric fencing. Does a fantastic job at keeping livestock AND dogs where they're supposed to be. Most failures of electric fencing occur because of human incompetance and/or ignorance.
I've never heard any horror stories involving electric fencing but I'm sure they happen on occasion. But considering the hundreds of thousands of miles of electric fence being used in this country today I'd say the ratio of horror story to success story is extremely low.
The only instance I would not use electric fencing is where small children would have access to it.
If anyone considers electric fencing just do your research and install it properly. There are dozens of different materials, energizers and setups to choose from.

FatCatFarm
09-28-2009, 08:24 AM
We have used electric fencing for years and currently use polyrope electric fencing around the top of the cross fencing to keep the horses off of it but it is not without it's problems with grounding out from branches/trees falling on the fence to lightning taking out the charger. My stallion was always the first one to tell me the fence was compromised because he would be on it. But when it comes to determined small furry things, i.e. dogs and ponies, I'm not impressed with electric fencing unless you're able to use alot of it so nothing crawls through. If we were talking about just our yard here, I'd just put in an invisible fence but we got the Pyrs to be coyote deterrents for the property house, yard, barn area included, but if they're constantly leaving the property, it obviously defeats the whole purpose of having them in the first place. I think our mistake was getting Angel a partner in crime thinking two would do the job better. Now it remains to be seen if Angel will resume sticking with her "pack/herd" or will continue focusing on foiling attempts to confine her.

DPW
09-28-2009, 11:06 AM
Our perimeter fence is standard run of the mill field fencing. To keep the goats, masters at finding week spots in fences, and the dog from getting out I installed Premier1's Intellitwine offset about 6" off the ground.
Cider "discovered" it after two days. Walked up and sniffed it. Zapped him on the nose. An extremely tender spot I would guess. He ran all the way back to the barn. Which was almost 1/4 of a mile. He now patrols along the fence but does not attempt to cross.
Cider also respects the portable electric netting we use to hold goats in certain areas. Our old buck, about 275 lbs, also respected that netting. Even when in rut. He tore two holes big enough for him to go through in woven wire field fence to get at the does. But the electric netting held him back. The manufacurer suggests you do not use it in this situation but it worked for us.
If you think a dogs adrenaline is powerful motivation wait till you see an almost 300 pound buck goat with horns in full rut. Good fencing is a must.

FatCatFarm
10-05-2009, 04:32 PM
Just an update. We successfully placed our youngest Pyr, Gabe and Angel seems no longer interested in escaping the confines of our property now that she no longer has a partner in crime.

FatCatFarm
11-24-2009, 03:18 AM
Just thought I would give an additional update. As last posted, we wound up placing our younger male Pyr in order to solve our escape artist issue and having Angel as an only Pyr pretty much eliminated Angel's wandering. She'd just every once in a while go over the fence to take a dip in the neighbor's pond but that was it. However, with the return of cooler weather, so did the coyotes and they run in packs here and we were again concerned that one Pyr against a pack of coyotes was not good odds. On another message board I belong to (Chronicle of the Horse) I had broached the issue of our Pyrs and our coyote problem and a very knowledgeable person on there who keeps LGD's told me that she would never keep two young Pyrs or any LGD for that matter without having an older, experienced dog to act as anchor and show them the ropes.

So, I placed a want ad and actually wound up with two more adult Pyrs: Margot 6 yrs and Angie 2. The addition of these two dogs has worked out beautifully. Margot came straight from a goat herd that was disbanding and is definitely top dog, but everyone gets along and none are trying to leave the property, and last but not least, we no longer feel victimized by the local coyote population which I suspect is now giving us a very wide berth.

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!

Milu
11-24-2009, 10:53 AM
Ah, fantastic! Now there's someone to show Angel the ropes- a role model rather than a playmate. I hope your flock stays safe!

ragingbull83
11-24-2009, 06:40 PM
Well Great Pyrs and the House Cats are natural friends so cant offer you any advice there and your motivated Gp can jump really high mine the other day jumped into a open window in my Dumptruck that was six feet in the air.
If they cant do that they will dig as good or better then you can do with a BackHoe under the fence.
I know that DPW has some good suggestions on an Electric fence I put one in at my office and it has worked well

kimba's momma
11-25-2009, 10:15 PM
Well Great Pyrs and the House Cats are natural friends so cant offer you any advice there and your motivated Gp can jump really high mine the other day jumped into a open window in my Dumptruck that was six feet in the air.
If they cant do that they will dig as good or better then you can do with a BackHoe under the fence.
I know that DPW has some good suggestions on an Electric fence I put one in at my office and it has worked well
I've been reading everyone's threads here,but havn't been here in awhile.I own a female 7 month old great pyreness and also a 2.5 yr old kuvasz mix and 5 other non live stock guarding dogs. we have our yard fenced in also with an above ground electric cattle fence system.and sofar my gp kimba has never escaped nor even tried too.I've always been told this breed roams if given a chance too.she has never tried escaping sofar...maybe because my other dog's won't even attempt to escape the yard,unless we are on the outside of the yard close by,then they want to be out there with us.I don't know but sofar I have a wonderful great pyreness...only issue I had with her is nipping at your legs when she was younger.I worked with her on stopping that.and after a couple of weeks she stopped doing it..anyways I hope all of you here have a Happy Thanksgiving...take care.... :)

fluffylove
11-26-2009, 09:29 AM
pyrs when bored will think of things to do. Keep the brain occupied, get walking and running around and make sure you get a better fence. My parents yard has a four foot fence in the back, if that. Dogs have NEVER jumped over. I have a 4yr male and 1yr female. I keep them occupied and having fun. They have memories like elephants, if they keep wanting to escape they will find a way.