Houdini - the dog - Utah Wildlife Network

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Old 07-14-2020, 09:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
PBH
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Default Houdini - the dog

This is not a hunting dog. She's just a sheep dog, and we don't have any sheep. She's a really good dog.

Recenly, she's figured out how to escape the back yard. It hasn't been a big deal, because once she escapes, she just stays in the front yard. Often times she'll start barking at the gate so someone will let her back in the back yard.
But, still, she's not supposed to be in the front.

i put up a camera to try to figure out how she's doing it. Unfortunately, all i'm getting are pictures of the sprinklers, a fox, and some robins. i do get pictures of the dog too -- just not how she's escaping!

We did watch her this morning, and I think we have it figured out. All the way in the back corner we have an old wood pile. She climbs the wood pile and steps over onto the cinder block wall. She then proceeds to walk, like a cat, all the way to the front of the yard along the wall, and jumps down.


Any suggestions on preventing this? Maybe just place an obstacle on top of the wall (5 gallon bucket)?
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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All the way in the back corner we have an old wood pile. She climbs the wood pile and steps over onto the cinder block wall.
Move the wood pile away from the wall.
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is NOT the "K.I.S.S." game. I'm sure we have some engineers around this site that are just waiting to make a complex solution out of a simple problem....
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Maybe try conditioning her to stay off the wood pile--then you don't have to move anything, set up barriers, etc...

I'm thinking you could walk her around on a leash over by the wood pile, if she steps foot on it, correct her with the leash and verbally. Repeat a bunch of times.

I don't know if this will work, just throwing it out there. Most sheep dogs are extremely intelligent, so she may learn quickly. On the other hand, maybe she's too smart for her own good and will find a loophole. Good luck.
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Another thought--maybe her new interest in getting to the front yard is related to the fox visiting your front yard? Get rid of the fox, get rid of the fence climbing problem?
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Maybe increase the difficulty of the challenge?
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Gdog -- Sally (the Border Collie) is extremely athletic! She just might be able to complete that squirrel obstacle course!!
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is NOT the "K.I.S.S." game. I'm sure we have some engineers around this site that are just waiting to make a complex solution out of a simple problem....
Ha! Just being me every day is complex enough, so I have to KISS. It's the only shot I've got!
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Add a small shelter structure with a roof that extends past the edge of the woodpile. Dual purpose solution there that will keep your wood dry, and prevent your pseudo-feline from her current access route.
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Old 07-14-2020, 01:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What kind of sheep dog are we talking about? You mention she is smart and athletic, so I'm assuming she has some border collie in her.

Sorry- after raising border collies for over a decade, I can confidently say your sheep dog is likely smarter than you and me and most engineers. So simple obstacles or even moving the pile may now not be enough. BUT- the plus side of that is she should train well- if you are up for the challenge.

GDog- great video. Very entertaining.
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