Saturday, 21 November 2009

I thought that my garden was escape proof - until my dog tapped on the front door!

Is your garden secure? Can your dog get out of it? Are you sure?

I thought that my garden was secure and that my dogs could not get out until one day ....

What happened was this...
I let my 2 greyhounds out into the garden and closed the back door.
My garden has 6 foot hedges all round with a wire fence hidden in the lower part of the hedges. There is a 6 foot solid garden gate. Escape proof  to a large dog. Well, I thought so!
Olive cried at the back door so I let her back in. Boris was out of sight - you can't see everything from the back door, so I wasn't worried.
I waited a while but he didn't come back, so I took a look around but couldn't see him! He didn't respond to my call or my whistle. Concerned, I went to the front door with the intention of searching for him.
Then I heard a tapping noise. I opened the front door and there he was - knocking with his nose!

How did he get out?
I checked the garden and I think that he had pushed his way through some dense shrubs at the bottom end where I  hadn't put any fencing. He wouldn't normally do this, so there must have been something of high interest next door.
My neighbours garden adjoins mine at the far end, with a pathway which runs alongside the length of my garden. It comes to a courtyard area and to our two houses.
I am thankful he came to the door and waited, because he could have got out on to the road.

Dogs can push through small holes. They can also scrabble over fences. So you really have to think dog when making your garden secure!

Tips on making your garden secure for your dog
  • Think dog and take a good look around your garden. Get down on your hands and knees!
  • Can he climb or jump over the fence or gate - is there a foot hold?
  • Can he squeeze through (it can be a very small gap)?
  • Can he dig under? Slabs placed at the base of the fence can stop this. Attaching chicken wire and burying it into the soil works well.
  • Chicken wire is a cheap way of dealing with problems. Secure it to broken fence panels, to cover holes, attach it to stock fencing or open barred gates.
  • Raise fences by a significant amount (otherwise you just teach your dog to jump!). Trellis is a neat solution.
  • Use tree stakes and chicken wire to fill gaps in hedges. ( I did this cheaply and effectively).
  • Buy a big roll of chicken wire from an agricultural merchant - it is a lot cheaper than a DIY store. Treated tree stakes are cheap as well.
  • Move benches, etc. away from fences. Your dog will use them as a step to get out.
  • You can make a tall garden gate quite cheaply and easily. Use planks of  tongue and groove. Lay them flat on the floor and tap together.  Cut 3 pieces of wood to make a Z-shape. Nail these to one side of the t&g. Use oval headed nails and hammer them right in. Use cheap, traditional hinges and a catch. Hang your gate on solid posts. Paint the whole thing with an oil-based paint. Have a look at some at a DIY store or garden centre to see how they are made. I did this because I couldn't get the size gate that I need at a reasonable price.
This post has been edited to add the info that I missed out before!

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