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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do I keep Cooper from escaping? This morning I found him in my neighbor's yard. Two weeks ago he escaped and had a 45 minute headstart. I found him after a 4 hour search.

Here's my yard situation. 6' wooden fence (spaced pickets). He found a loose picket; dug a little under the fence; and squeezed to other side. I repaired the slat and put down some rocks. After work, my plan is to bury rocks under the fence. I will staple chicken wire to the lower half so he can't stick his head through.

I've looked into pet GPS collars but the home zone is huge (much bigger than my yard). I purchased and returned the Tagg collar. The Garmin Astro 220 + DC40 bundle is expensive but seems like it might track better. Does anyone have experience with it? I check on my dog while he's in the yard but I can't supervise him 100%. I don't have hours to spend watching him sniff every blade of grass and woodchip.

The only other thing I can think to try is to make him wear a cone on his head. It would prevent him from putting his head through the fence and tunneling under might be more difficult.
 

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Beagles can be very good at escaping especially if they are left unattended. Some dig and some climb up and over. I have a 6 foot white vinyl fence all around and nothing they can climb on. My beags are never outside unsupervised. If you like to leave your beag outside, you might want to make a kennel run. Also, going for lots of walks and making sure that they aren't bored could help with escaping. If he is not neutered that could be a reason for the escapes too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I buried rocks where he was digging and put a small wire fence against it and that seems to be deterring him.

Walking him is very difficult. I take him him out twice a day but he doesn't always want to walk. On a good day, we'll walk 3 blocks in 45 minues but most times, it takes us 30 min to go around one block. His nose is always on the ground and veering off to the side. I have to redirect him. When he "puts on the brakes" and refuses to move, I end up picking him up and carrying him away from the spot. I do so much standing around that I could read a book. Do your beagles walk easily?

Recently, I began taking him to the dog park so he can run with other dogs. That tires him out, but I can't get there everyday.
 

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Hey Eowyn ,
Are you walking that dog or is he walking you?
Sounds to me like Cooper is keeping you in good physical condition.

You are doing the right thing by fixing all the places in the fence that Cooper can see as weak links in the chain so to speak for an easy way out.

The is what I do: http://www.tractorsupply.com/zareba-reg-2-mile-ac-low-impedance-fence-charger-1026380

Tsc will have everything you will need to install.

Select a location for the charger unit where you can get power to the unit. Make sure there in no power source to unit that Cooper can chew on. If power unit is not rain proof just cover with plastic bucket.

Attach to your fence about 8 in. above ground. Turn on. Problem solved...............


If I left anything out let me know.

oldhounddog



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi oldhounddog,

Can that charger be installed on a wooden fence? Also, it says "light to no weed conditions" and my yard has a lot of thick shrubs and plants. I will take a good look at my yard and fence to see how I can install it. That just might persuade him to stay in the yard.

I became an expert at training/walking my German Shepherd mix who pulled like mad and lunged at every dog she saw. But Cooper, is completely different. His nose drags on the ground and he refuses to move from a spot. He's happier smelling the ground than walking. Carrying a 45lb dog is giving me a workout. I think a wagon is in my future:). The stinker loves the dog park so I'll have to count on that for his exercise.

Thanks,
Eowyn
 

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My beags do walk pretty good on leash but it took time, patience and training. Molly is the super sniffer and luckily she only weighs 25 pounds so she isn't hard to move! Vazzle is kept on a short leash with a training collar so she really cannot sniff until we arrive at the park a few streets away. That is their reward. We walk them in the road not on lawns. Once they reach the park in our neighborhood they have the freedom to sniff. We are like you, the dog park is something we can't do everyday, we get there when we can and they love it.

If you continue to have troubles getting him to walk properly you might want to sign up for a training class. Molly took Basic Manners and Vazzle had private training provided by the place we adopted her from. Her training focused completely on walking on leash because she used to be a hunting dog and had no training.
 

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Hi oldhounddog,

Can that charger be installed on a wooden fence? Also, it says "light to no weed conditions" and my yard has a lot of thick shrubs and plants. I will take a good look at my yard and fence to see how I can install it. That just might persuade him to stay in the yard.

I became an expert at training/walking my German Shepherd mix who pulled like mad and lunged at every dog she saw. But Cooper, is completely different. His nose drags on the ground and he refuses to move from a spot. He's happier smelling the ground than walking. Carrying a 45lb dog is giving me a workout. I think a wagon is in my future:). The stinker loves the dog park so I'll have to count on that for his exercise.

Thanks,
Eowyn
Yes , you can install on wooden fence. I have wooden horse fence with wire horse fence and slats and my electric fence wire is run about 8 in from bottom all the way around. You would want to clear any weeds or brush before installing the elec fence. The more power the charger unit has the more weeds it will burn through. This is important if you have several miles of fence. For back yard use the 2 or 5 mile should work fine. I cut slots in a new bucket from Home Depot to fit over my power unit to make more rain proof. Once installed your dog will inspect and test the working fence no more than twice and the escape will be history. After about 30 days I turned mine off and only occasionally turn back on after making sure that nothing has fallen in the elec fence wire and no grass grown up into wire. This keeps all 10 of my hounds in each of three yard run areas and all powered by one charger unit.

This sounds like a lot of work but really isn't when you consider repair of fence dig out spots and trying to find lost dog. You will prolly want to do this before the weather gets rough.

As for training , you need to start with basic obedience work and use your back yard fenced area for off lead work. Take a look at the thread "Having trouble with my Beagle" and you will get a good idea where to start with Cooper's training. A front clip harness and 6 foot lead will help with training and focus work. I will post more later, got to run.

oldhounddog



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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi oldhounddog,

I read the "Having trouble w/ my beagle thread" and that sounds a lot like Cooper. I have been clicker training him but the only thing he's learned 100% is "sit". I make him "sit" before he gets fed, snack, and playtime with toys. "Sit-Stay-Come" is improving but "down" seems like an impossible command for him. I'm home this week so he's going to the dog park every morning so he can run with his friends. I'll practice his training a little more this week.

I will have to get a front-clip harness. He wears a regular back-clip harness on his walks and I use a 6' leash. Pulling is a problem but not as much as the sniffing. I've tried walking him in the road but he still drags his nose along the ground just like he does on the sidewalk/grass. When our walks fail, I bring him inside and play with him. He likes to run full speed around the house when I toss toys to him. Playing this game doesn't work outside because of the scents that distract him.

I'm looking into training classes for him. I'd like for us to practice these commands as part of a group so he learns how to cope with doggie distractions.

Eowyn
 

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Eowyn ,
Training classes will be a plus for sure. Before doing the class , go and watch a class and make sure you are comfortable with the method used and talk to a couple of folks taking that class and ask questions and be informed.

For best results , keep training upbeat and fun , train often with short sessions and you will get a good feel for what works for Cooper.

When having trouble with a down command , try changing your position in relation to Cooper when giving down command. For example: try standing to the left or right or even from a sitting position b/c standing in front of him may be a little scary from his point of view.

Take a look at this and pay close attention to the trainers hands , methods and timing of reward.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NHqAW66-gE&feature=youtu.be

Train often , have fun , and make sure to use a release word after commands. The basics will give you the ground work to continue training on your own , and always make sure that Cooper sees their is something in it for him.

By the time cold weather sets in you and Cooper will be ready for some fun inside nose work games.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJxG--4t3SU&feature=player_embedded


Always , always be patient and consistent , using a calm tone and friendly expression b/c you and Cooper will be best friends forever..............

This training exercise has great value. IMO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiMGJBxRtBw


Best , oldhounddog



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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hi oldhounddog,

The videos were helpful. I really liked the one that taught scent finding. Cooper will like playing hide and seek with his kibble. that will be a good game for the winter when we're not outside as much. I'm familiar with clicker training, having taken my previous dog to the class. Cooper responds well to the clicker and is very motivated by his kibble. He eats a small portion of his dinner and the rest is used for training. He knows "sit, stay, and come" in the house. He almost has "down". I haven't begun any training outside yet because of the distractions. Definitely making progress.

Eowyn
 

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Hi Eowyn & Cooper ,
Today I was looking at the leaves falling and I couldn't help but wonder how the training with Cooper was going and if you have done any outside work yet?
Also, fill me in on clicker work if that is what you are doing , I'm curious as I've never done any clicker work?

I always enjoy the cool weather as long as it is not too wet or wind chill not too high. My dogs like to go in any weather, hot , cold and even rainy as long as no thunder. As for me , I can only take so much being an old dude, so have to take things in moderation so to speak.

Also , How is the fence mending going and what did you decide to do on the elec fence wire we talked about?

Best , oldhounddog



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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi oldhounddog,

I haven't done much outside work with Cooper yet. He's getting better indoors with sit, stay, and come. The "down" command continues to elude us. The clicker works well with him. When he sees it, he immediately sits.

With all the leaves in the backyard, Cooper has to sniff every one so he's too distracted. Leash walking is improving. We're doing more walking and less stopping; although, we still have some slow days. He goes to the dog park on weekends and plays with all the big dogs. He surpised me a few times when he came when called.

Cooper doesn't mind the cold now....mornings are in the high 30's, but when the temps really get cold, will he need a jacket? My other dogs had super long and thick coats and didn't need them.

As it gets colder, we'll play more scent games indoors. I've hidden carrots under a cup and he was very happy finding them. I'm trying to keep his snacks healthy because he's still 4lbs overweight. Luckily, Cooper isn't fussy with food.

The fence remains the same. There are too many shrubs to install electric. He seems to have given up his quest to escape.

Take care,
Eowyn
 

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Hello Eowyn ,

I am so glad things are good with you and Cooper. The fact that he came to you when called shows he is improving which is a credit to the work you are doing with him. A success story in small steps is great and will only get better with time , and , I'm sure all that walking with Cooper is good for you too.
Sounds like Cooper is no longer interested in digging out of the fence area , a good thing. Good luck and health to you and your pack as we go into winter weather. Stay safe.......

Best , oldhounddog



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