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We moved to a new house about 4 months ago. We used to live…

We moved to a...

We moved to a new house about 4 months ago. We used to live in the country where we had an invisible fence and it worked well for our 2 dogs. We now live in a subdivision and have a fully fenced back yard. Since we moved in, our younger dog, a neutered male yellow lab about 4 years old, kept escaping. My husband built a dog pen with a dog house and he kept climbing out of that, so my husband put barbed wire around the top. That didn’t stop him either. We live about 2 miles from a military base and when they are firing weapons, even though it is distant, our lab freaks out and wants to run away. We finally decided to install our invisible fence since that worked before. He tried escaping and got shocked a couple of times. Now he refuses to go outside and has started peeing and pooping in the house. I have a bad back and cannot take him out on a leash, so when my husband is at work, I have to get him to go outside. Even when I can get him out the door, he just sits on the deck and won’t relieve himself until my husband gets home and can take him out. Now my husband has a business trip and I can’t get him to go anywhere but on the porch, and that was a power struggle. What can I do?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Is this new behavior?

He has always been afraid of noises like thunder and lightning, and we did have problems getting him to go out if it is raining or storming. But even though he got shocked a couple of times at the old house, it didn’t stop him from going outside.

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the dog's name?

Hutch.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Hutch?

He is very healthy, just very sensitive and affectionate. I think the behavior is psychological.

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Answered in 26 minutes by:
3/10/2018
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20,391
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
Verified

Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Obviously he got shocked a few times so I can understand why he would be hesitant. There are a few better ways to stop a dog from escaping though usually an instant fence system works well when combined with a traditional fence. Let me go through a few options for you that will help keep a dog in.

One is using the same angled supports that are used with barbed wire but mounting chicken wire on them and angle them inward. When the dog tries to climb over, they run into the chicken wire angled in and can not climb over it. Another option is installing a wire with a few pvc pipes strung on it so when the dog reaches the top of the fence, the pipe rolls and the dog ends up back on the ground as the paws have no purchase. You can see a picture of this set up on this site.

https://www.facebook.com/RSPCAAustralia/photos/a.89644227983.87764.25261457983/10151932271357984/?type=1&theater

This set up is not only effective but also does not look too bad compared to the other option.

I think the difference between the old house and here is that he knew where the boundary was that the old house but doesn't here. I am assuming you likely used the flags initially at the old house and probably did not at this house. If that is the case, putting up the flags to alert him where the boundary is might help him feel more comfortable going outside. Installing the pvc solution on the fence would allow you to remove the collar and that might be enough to make him comfortable again and get him out the door.

Noise phobias is really a common problem. Many dogs have reactions to different noises. This is really a problem around the 4th of July and fireworks. For things like thunderstorms and loud noises like your dog is reacting to, some people tape the noise and play it back at lower volumes while playing with the dog and providing positive reinforcement for the dog's lack of anxiety while the noise is played at low volumes. Positive reinforcement would include calm praise and hot dog slices or other tasty treat (not regular treats. You then gradually increase the volume slowly until your dog is desensitized to the noise. Your vet could prescribe a medication called Acepromazine, which is a tranquilizer. You can read about this here:

http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/prescription/acepromazine-promace-aceproject-

Another prescription drug would be Xanax but I have to caution you not to give any prescription drug to your dog without consulting your vet first.

http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/prescription/alprazolam-xanax.

A new medication is available as well. Read more on this here:

http://www.sileodogus.com/

Many people get Rescue Remedy to help with noise phobias. Be sure you get the kind that does NOT contain Xylitol. You can read about this here:

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/rescue_remedy.htm

.

It may also be available in your local pet store as well. Benadryl is often used as it does tend to calm your dog. Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours. Benadryl in not a sedative though so it won't put your dog to sleep. Leaving a TV playing loud also helps prevent your dog from hearing the outside noises. Another treatment is Melatonin which you can read about here. It has been shown to work well for noise phobias.

http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/prescription/melatonin-melatonex

.

DAP collars might help a bit as well. They produce pheromones that mimic the ones produced by a nursing mom to calm her pups. It has proven to be helpful with this problem but was used in conjunction with desensitization so it is unknown if the collar or the training was the major factor in resolving the problem.

.

Since noises seem to set him off, you might want to start treating the noise issue as well as the escaping and anxiety issue.

I sincerely ***** ***** I have helped you. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen ( rating me now does not close your question). We can continue here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20,391
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for your suggestions - I will definitely try some of them. You are correct that we did not have the flags when we reinstalled the fence. We were planning to try that already. Thanks again!

You are very welcome.

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