My Great Pyrenees Keeps Escaping – What Do I Do?
If you have ever parented a Pyrenees or added one to your farm to protect your livestock you know roaming is their second name. I can no longer count the number of times I have had to chase mine or drive for miles while chasing her GPS collar signal. I live in the country and have significant acreage around me. This minimizes the risks and inconveniences associated to roaming dogs but as a responsible dog owner I still worry.
When it comes to raising livestock guard dogs this is not my first rodeo. With that said, there is always a dog that tests my limits. Most recently we decided to adopt a rescue Pyrenees with a history as a escape artist. Not only is he prone to wondering around he has a well developed taste for domestic kitties. This is bad news for our neighbors. So far we have been successful at both containment and tracking and this are the steps we are taking:
Large Area Electric Dog Fence
Instead of keeping Julius contained to the chicken and goat area we have expanded his territory to almost 10 acres. This gives him sufficient space to guard, roam and explore. In addition to flag marking for the area of containment and consistent reward-based training for backing up we installed no – climb horse wire to impede movement from one crossed-fenced area to another.
Our electric dog fence is installed in a loop that covers the perimeter and we used The SportDOG Contain + Train Electric Fence. This tool made sense for use because it is both versatile and expandable. We use the collar corrective features with remote when Julius heads towards the fence chasing a bunny or squirrel often after we give him a command to halt the chase and he disobeys. For the record, we are using the lowest setting and it appears to be working.
Mock Electric Collar 24/7
Julius is smart and he figured out when we took the collar off. Electric dog fence collars cannot be worn 24/7. Constant contact can result in skin injury. Instead, we built a regular collar with a faux box that mimics the weight of the e-collar and we have Julius wear it when he is taking breaks from collar use.
Neck Preparation, Long Contacts & Collar Fit
Julius is hairy and proper fit of electric collars is essential for their health and safety. In order to ensure proper fit our collars are outfitted with long contacts and we trim (not shave) the hair around his neck. When positioning the contacts we move the collar back and forth until we are certain there is full contact against the skin. Proper collar fit prevents injury and ensures Julius can wear his collar safely for long periods of time.
We go look for fun when there is none at home. While your dog may be a working dog he still has needs. This is of particular importance if your dog works alone. Get your Great Pyrenees dog a variety of dogs and puzzles to stay busy and in place.
You may be tempted to rebuke your dog for having escaped. Don’t. Your dog is doing things on instinct and it does not understand the severity of their infraction. When your dog returns celebrate its return with praise and enthusiasm. We all want to come to a place where we feel loved.
Electric Dog Fences as a Stand-Alone Solution Are A No No
Don’t rely exclusively on invisible fences and flags. Their instinct to roam is far greater than you will ever imagine. Ensure your dog is contained in a safe physical barrier. If possible one that does not provide visuals of creatures to chase or socialize available on the other side. You are responsible for the safety and welfare of your dog. Do your best to keep your puppy where it belongs.
I purchased my electric dog fence here at Dog Fence DIY, They invited me to write about my personal experiences in raising a complex working breed. These are my personal opinions and what has worked for me, I hope it helps somebody but always remember that each dog is unique and it may be necessary to adjust your strategy based on the personality of your pup.