How To Keep Your Dog Safe & In His Own Yard

Unless your home doubles as a bonafide prison, there’s always some possibility that everyone’s favorite canine companion will engineer some means of getting out. And while the idea of your dog roaming the world on a series of humorous escapades sounds like good storytelling fodder for a Disney movie, the reality is probably not going to play out that way.

Keeping your pooch within his boundaries is a two-step process: you not only need to figure out how he’s getting out, but why. If you can pinpoint the issue at its behavioral source, chances are that you’ll have a much easier (and less costly) solution on your hands.

The “Why”

First, consider some of the possible motivating factors for your dog’s flighty tendencies.


  • Your dog may simply be lonely or bored if they are left alone for long periods of time or have few outlets for their energy.

Solution: Give him more time with people to channel that energy. Walk or train your dog daily, provide interesting toys, or find a daycare center for them to spend a few hours.

Mating Urges

  • Dogs start having an urge to mate around six months, and that peaked drive will cause males, in particular, to seek out other dogs.

Solution: Have your dog neutered if it’s male or spayed if female. That will help ensure that your dog won’t want to roam and that you won’t be surprised with a litter of puppies you hadn’t planned for.


  • Perhaps your dog is afraid of loud noises: thunderstorms, firecrackers, and so on.

Solution: Desensitizing him to the sound is a good route, but may require professional training to work. You can also consider anti-anxiety medication from your vet or keep them indoors and create a “safe place” for them to go to when they’re startled, preferably in a basement or windowless room where the stimuli can be muffled.


  • Perhaps your dog is escaping shortly after you leave the house? Showing strong attachment to your touch and presence when you’re back? He may just have separation anxiety: something that can happen if your schedule has changed recently or you’ve moved.

Solution: This one gets a bit tricky, and requires counterconditioning and desensitization techniques to address: things that are best learned from a professional.

The “How”

Perhaps the above solutions are enough to keep your pooch safely at home, but you’ll probably want some physical measures in place as well. Decreasing his motivation for escape is the catalyst for a permanent solution, but it’s always good to have backup.

Some dogs may be able to jump fences or gates, but most climb over or dig underneath them. For the scalers, reinforce your fence and add an extension to it: those made of metal won’t be vulnerable to holes, and a top that tilts inward at a 45-degree angle will work better at stopping their climbing than making it higher will. For the diggers, bury chicken wire beneath the base of your walls (sharp edges inward) or lay chain-link along the ground.

A Homebound Pooch is a Safe Pooch

If nothing else, quality is always a good rule of thumb. A sturdy security gate across any openings in your yard and whatever doors that your pet may get near will do wonders in keeping him from chewing his way to freedom or slipping past you when you’re entering and exiting the house. A solid-steel variant (like the kind we just so happen to sell) is likely your best bet: they’ll not only keep your pet safe, but you and your home better protected to boot. A real win-win!