Throughout course of my life, I've encountered my own share of dogs. From early childhood days, I recall having several dogs that stayed temporarily with us until my dad's next military assignment. Though my parents took good care of our animals, military life was unsuitable for animal adoptions as in most cases, animals were not permitted to go back overseas with us; thus we were inevitably forced to find homes for our pets.
In 1983, my parents adopted our first 'forever' dog. She was a beautiful, graceful German Shepherd mix. Because my oldest sister had small children, my mom kept 'Apollo' outside in backyard. Living in South, my family was virtually unaware of risk of heartworms . In Europe, heartworms didn't exist, and unfortunately, SPCA where Apollo had been adopted did not pass out information on these dreadful predators. While our Apollo was continually outside, she was even more susceptible to deadly mosquito infestation. After a short two years with us, we learned that our beloved Apollo had heartworms and died in less than 24 hours of our perceived understanding.
At time, I was merely 14 years old and deeply distraught and heartbroken over loss of our priceless family dog. It was at that time that I had consciously made an oath to never have an outdoor dog and to always seek preventative medicine so that something like this would never happen with my own, future animals.
In retrospect, I never imagined I would ever surrogate eight (8) dogs in my home - but Max, Zeus, Cujo, Hailey, Sharley, Tiny, Thor & Ozzie have become a cherished part of my family pack. Having all been neutered & spayed, annual checkups, immunizations, plenty of fresh water & food, heartworm preventative, and proper grooming - my dogs would never dream of 'escaping' their lap of luxury. Aside from having all love in world, my dogs lazily lounge on sofas, get to run and play on nearly an acre of fenced yard, and even watch Television - which is usually set on Animal Planet
One can never get me to stop talking about my dogs. They are comical, sincere, understanding, loving and in addition to being most grateful living things, give so much love and health benefits in return.
Many persons do not realize profound effects that animals have on us, but most importantly, do not understand effects that we have on them. Though puppies and kittens are adorable, soft, cudly and cute - all animals mature and take on their mature form - sometimes as big as a 140 lb rottweiler. This is when things can 'become sticky' for folks. Suddenly, cute black & tan pup is a massive bulk of clumsiness. He bumps into your living room endtable and breaks cherished lamp; velvety kitten is now a fully-grown cat and he's decided to 'redo' your tapestry with his claws; and 'Happy' dog isn't making you 'so happy' anymore because he is too hyper and keeps escaping your paradise home. So what is one to do?
First and foremost - and I cannot stress this enough - Spay or Neuter your animals. The sure-fire way to not only calm animals, spaying or neutering is also a positive way to reinforce and strenghten bonds between animal and human counterpart; and additionally has incredible health benefits, as these cost-effective procedures help to lengthen lifespans as well.
Okay, so now you've spayed or neutered your pet - but she still wants to squeeze her way out of fence to roam. That's understandable. She's been escaping yard whole time, and spaying isn't going to stop a learned behavior. So now what? My first suggestion would be to take your pet outside on a lead. (This should already have been one of first training methods taught upon adopting a cat or dog) Teaching basic commands will help her to understand that she has boundaries and has to adhere to them.
If lead technique still doesn't keep her at bay, a kennel can be purchased ranging from $40 - $400 (depending on size of kennel). A house kennel is appropriate for indoor animals who are exhibiting disallowed behavior such as chewing, biting, scratching, urinating, etc. These kennels cost usually less than $100 - again, depending on size of animal. An outdoor kennel, is excellent for training animals to stay inside your fenced yard. (Note: Never, under any circumstances, allow your animal to run freely.) Start by placing animals in your indoor or outdoor kennel if you have to go somewhere or if you will not be directly supervising them. Never use kennel as a means of punishment. Most animals may be a bit leary of kennel at first, but give them some time, and you'll discover that they love their kennel so much that it becomes a safe haven - and animals may even want to make it their permanent sleeping place.