Posted by: New Ridgeback Owner | 2004/10/25

Wandering Ridgeback

I have a ridgeback male who is about 2 years old. I got him from Animal Welfare about 6 months ago. My problem is that he jumps over our 6 ft wall and goes out gallavanting all day and night. When he decides it's time to come home (be it 2am sometimes!), he won't jump back over the wall, but will bark outside the gate and drive our neighbours insane!! He has been nuted, and I was told that he should settle after about 3 months but to no avail! How do I keep him in? We take him for walks on the beach most evenings, so he does get out. We've have had him chipped. I'll never tie him up. Please advise!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi New Ridgeback Owner
This is an extremely difficult problem to solve because it is self-rewarding to your dog: every time he gets out he has positive experiences. Apart from trying to make his life in your property more interesting with toys, bones, company, access inside the house and a view out, the only other thing to do is make your wall inpenetrable. There are various ways to do this ranging from electric fences to inwardly angled fencing on top of your walls. Some people have successfully dug "moats" on the inside of the fences to make the fence seem higher. There are also special dog electric fences which can be erected on top of walls or along the bottom so he cannot get to his jumping up range. There is also a wonderful electric device called an invisible fence, which involves burying a wire around your perimeter and your dog wearing a collar which emits a sound if he goes near, but a slight shock if he goes too near the boundaries. See Securipet's website. You also need to get him to sleep inside your house at night. Walks should be on a long lead, not free (at least for the first and last few minutes) so he associates being outside with being on a lead. He must be under your control at all times, so practise doing recalls with treats to reward him. After he has been wandering, when he does come home, ignore him if possible while he's outside the gate, but welcome him and praise him when he's inside the property. Never reprimand him or punish him or he may never come back.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Carol | 2004/10/25

he is also in all likelihood looking for company the male ridgeback I had years ago was also a wanderer we eventualy found the house he was visiting and they had a 10 yr old that my doggie had palled up with ... they asked us if they could keep him and that was the end of his wandering .... also keep him inside at nite he is in real danger of being poisoned

Reply to Carol
Posted by: Acineth | 2004/10/25

Put a rope "fence" about 1 meter in front of the wall. This will put him off during his run up.

Neutering won't help - once they are in the habit of wandering they will continue to do it. Being outside is very rewarding for them.

I had a dog who would climb a tree to get out of the garden - but then claimed he couldn't get back in. Is the jump back in higher, or are their plants or somehing in front of the outside?

Reply to Acineth

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