Robin and I were with a current Home Dog Training client in Canton last Tuesday on a follow-up session with him and General, his three year old Bloodhound.  The obedience commands were coming along quite well and General’s bad habit of stealing food and begging at the table had all but disappeared.  Our client had another question for us.  He mentioned that he always let his dog out in the back yard.  He wondered if it would be safe to assume that General could take care of himself without any supervision.

We always tell our clients that a responsible dog owner needs to make sure that his dog is healthy, healthy, safe, and happy.  Your back yard is often a wonderful place for your dog to be if you have taken the proper precautions to maintain his safety.  We would like to share our check list for a safe and secure back yard for your dog:

  • FENCE:  Your back yard fence should not have any holes or gaps that would give your dog the opportunity to get our.  In the same respect, it is also a good idea that you have made sure that nothing can get in the back yard.  Inspect your perimeter to check for any gaps at the bottom of the fence or loose boards that could easily be “nudged” to create an escape route.  Try placing chicken wire at the bottom of the fence and having it lay on the ground to eliminate any digging you dog may attempt to escape.  
  • INVISIBLE DOG FENCE:  No matter how well you build your standard fence, some dogs will make it their life-long mission to find the weak spot and escape.  Adding an invisible dog fence with your standard fence almost always fixes the problem.
  • POISONOUS PLANTS:  Investigate your back yard to assure that there aren’t poisonous plants by the fence or in flower bets.  Check with your local nursery and vet hospital to get a list of the plants in your area that may be poisonous to your dog.
  • LAWN CHEMICALS:  Every once in a while your gardener (or you) will put down chemicals such as fertilizer or weed killer on your grass.  Make sure that you do not let your dogs out on the grass for several hours up to a day after the material has been applied.
  • SIDE GATES:  It may be hard to believe, but we have discovered that most dogs get out of the yard because the side gate has been left open or slightly ajar.  Make sure that you have hinges that have the gate always close when anyone goes through the gate.  Open and close your gates at least once every two weeks to make sure they are still aligned properly and automatically close.
  • THE POOL:  Make sure that your dog knows where the outs are located in your pool.  Even if he doesn’t like the pool, he could always fall in by mistake.  He needs to know the exit routes.
  • TOYS:  It is always important to have “stuff to do” for your dog while he is in the back yard.  Balls, rope toys, Kongs, Frisbee’s, and deer antlers are a few toys your dog will like to play with.  It is probably best if you have both outside toys and inside toys.  This is to make sure that those “dirty toys” don’t get into your clean home.
  • WATER:  You must constantly hydrate your dog while he is running around in the heat in the back yard.  Have a big bowl of water out in the shade with some ice cubes in it.  Since metal bowls heat up so quickly, I recommend that you use a plastic water bowl.
  • SMALL DOGS:  For dogs under 8 pounds, NEVER leave them unattended in the back yard.  Hawks are always in the air and a small dog is lunch to them.  We have heard of dogs up to 8 pounds being picked up by hawks and taken away.  When in doubt, always look up.

These are just some ideas to keep your dog safe in the back yard.  A good rule of thumb is if something doesn’t feel right, it probably is wrong. 

Please call Robin or myself at (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help.  We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Canton Georgia.  Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Canton Georgia.