Some dogs are born escape artists, and with motive and opportunity, yours could be over the fence and down the street in no time. To prevent your dog from scaling the gate and making a run for it, you have to treat both the desire to escape and the ability.
Tip #1 - Take your dog to the veterinarian to have him fixed. When dogs are sexually mature, they do anything and go anywhere to track down a mate. Getting your dog fixed will curb his hormonal desires to escape and procreate.
Tip #2 - Play with your dog in the backyard. If you just toss him out the door and expect him to entertain himself, you've got another thing coming -- and it could be an empty yard. If your dog gets bored or lonely, he won't necessarily put up with it forever, and he could climb right over that fence looking for a little excitement. Even if you can't play with him the whole time he's out there, give him some toys to occupy his time.
Tip #3 - Walk your dog regularly. If he never sees the world outside his yard, he could get antsy and curious. Don't let him get so stir-crazy that he climbs the fence and runs. Take him for walks and runs around the neighborhood, satisfying his natural urge to explore.
Tip #4 - Replace chain-link fencing with smoother fencing that doesn't give your dog the footholds that allow him to climb his way out. Consider a fence height extender, as well. These add height to your fence, but generally also angle in toward the yard at a 45-degree angle, making it virtually impossible to climb out. These types of extenders generally require professional installation.
Don't leave your dog alone in the backyard when you leave home. Separation anxiety can drive him to escape. Also, don't tie up your dog outside and leave him there. While this may seem like a practical response to escape attempts, it can make him anxious and/or aggressive.
By Tom Ryan
About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.