Why Do Dogs Escape Their Yards?

I was watching It’s Me or the Dog on Animal Planet the other day… there was a pit mix named Cashmere who would regularly escape the people’s yard by digging under the fence.  Victoria Stilwell said that one of the reasons Cashmere was prone to digging out of the yard was most likely because she wanted to experience the wide world out there.

Running After Flyball
After Flyball Practice

She was, also, probably bored as she didn’t get enough exercise or mental or physical stimulation or maybe even enough linear motion.  Which I completely agree with.  My dogs get a lot of physical exercise since I bring them to dog sports practice… though Lucy and Angel don’t come with as much as they used to, they are older and are content laying on the couch and going for walks around the block with my husband.

But I was wondering what you might think of dogs, and how much they want, or need, to experience the world outside the home.

I think it’s an important part of a dog’s life to get outside of their yard and home and see the world. Not only for exercise and mental stimulation, but also for socialization so the dogs get used to other people and other dogs, as well as other animals and environmental scenery.  I do, however, have the goal of competing with my dogs in dog sports, and so it’s imperative for my dogs to be able to be stress free and confident in any type of situation.

But what about for a house dog?  I’m sure it depends on the dog… but still, I think it would benefit all dogs to get out into the world. Even for those dogs not participating in dog sports.  But a run in the park is invaluable and enriches a dog’s life.  I know I wouldn’t want to stay home in my box of a house, and box of a yard, all my life.  And I wouldn’t want my dogs to either!

I have never had a dog that was prone to escaping. Maybe some will escape no matter how much exercise they get… or how much mental stimulation? I am just wondering. I like to think I give my dogs enough to do that they won’t want to escape. Or so I hope!

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7 thoughts on “Why Do Dogs Escape Their Yards?

  1. My neighbor’s dog gets out ALL the time. Either the kids let her out or she leaves the yard because their fence is crap. They never get walked.. ever.. and they have no yard to speak of.. 10×10 ft maybe.

    She’s a great dog.. she’ll come right to me.. wagging her tail.. wiggling out of her skin so happy to see a person.

    She RUNS from him.. he equals the end of fun…

    Sew Crazy Dog Ladys last blog post..Looking kinda Meh

  2. Dylan once got out because he was trying to catch a rat. He didn’t go far though – just to the neighbors yard where the rat was hiding. Other than that my dogs always stay in the yard. I think people’s dogs get out of boredom because some people think that leaving a dog outside is the way to entertain it!

    Dogs should be kept safe inside when unattended. Then they would not get out!

  3. I think every dog needs a long walk almost every day. Of course, that’s not always possible for most people. But I still think there’s no excuse to not walk your dog at least four days a week for at least a half-hour. Older dogs like some of yours might not need the walk, but younger dogs do.

  4. I definitely think dogs get bored and need new scenery to stimulate them. At least mine do. They get so excited when we go to new places. All the new smells, sounds, and sights. I feel bad that we don’t walk them every single day but it’s been a long time since anyone has tried to dig out. 🙂 And the one time Quinn did we think we was just trying to follow a squirrel.

  5. It is definitely a good idea to let your dogs experince as much as they can from an early age.
    For me it definitely improved the confidence levels of our shy dog Daisy. The more she interacts with new people and places the better she is.
    I can still remember sitting at a cafe outside with her staring totally transfixed at a mum playing with her young child and holding her in the air.
    It was like Daisy was thinking “I didn’t know people could fly”!
    The more people that gave her a fuss when we were out the less shy she became around other people. It is definitely an important part of a well rounded dog.

    the three dog bloggers last blog post..Are You Too Soft With Your Dog?

  6. i haven’t ever had my dog try to escape from the yard. she’s an inside/outside cocker spaniel. and there are lots of dog parks that are fenced in and she gets along well with other dogs, and it’s a larger area for her to run around and get some energy out. it’s great!

  7. Mine escape occasionally, but they rarely leave our own property. They tend to head for the trails that we walk them on. I personally just think they do it when they’re bored, because they usually do it on a day when they miss a long walk, and it’s usually our jack russell leading the pack.

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