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She’s a Keeper

October 12th, 2013

Miss Tara is really settling in.  I figured you’d all be clamoring for an update. We finally got her new tag with our address and phone number, I’m sure you can guess that we found a handmade version. This one is from The Copper Poppy, a small shop in New Hampshire.
Tara 5
She is really getting the perimeter training and has been doing very well at it. We purchased a roll of surveyors tape in yellow to mark the area we want her to stay in. Yellow and blue are both colors that are easily seen by dogs, we wanted to give her visual clues, particularly in winter when the leaves are off the trees. Right now it’s the edge of the woods that make up the perimeter, but when the snow starts piling up they won’t be as prominent.
Tara 1
Tara 3
Tara 2
Mr Chiots has been taking her around the perimeter several time a day, at first she was leashed, but now she gets to run free. She rarely needs correction to stay inside the perimeter. A few days ago, we let her off her chain and she raced around the perimeter as fast as she could. It made us nervous as first to see her take off, but she ran right around the area we’ve been training her to. Training a new dog reminds us how much work we put in with Lucy, she’s great, not because she’s just a great dog, but because we put in many hours of training. Investing time now with Tara will pay off in the future.
Tara 4
I now even let her outside without being chained or leashed, of course I keep an eye on her. She seems quite happy and has done very well with the chickens and the ducks. She still doesn’t have our trust fully, someday she’ll earn her stripes and be allowed out without supervision, that will take a while though. We’re happy she’s progressing so well.

If you have a dog do you let them run free or do they need to be chained or behind a fence?

14 Comments to “She’s a Keeper”
  1. kristin @ going country on October 12, 2013 at 6:02 am

    We have three dogs–the dog that belongs to us (as opposed to the MiL) stays near the house without fences. The MiL’s dogs don’t.

    We might have a new puppy soon, and if we do, that dog is going to be well-trained whoever’s it is, because untrained dogs are super annoying (to say nothing of in danger when they go to the road).

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  2. Marina C on October 12, 2013 at 6:10 am

    We have an electric fence around our two acres. That works very well, basically, it is the same kind of perimeter training you are doing. At first, they get walked around and ear the signaland when familiar with the drill, they also get one small shock when they get too close. From then on, the fence auditory signal acts as a reminder to the dogs as to where the perimeter is.
    Our labs only get a small shock once, and the auditory signal is enough thereafter. In fact, if we take off their collars, they still won’t go to the perimeter now.
    I thought that was mean, but after losing one dog to the road many years ago, and trying the shock on myself first to make sure it was humane, I decided for us that is was better than chaining them in.
    Tara looks wonderful, please give us a photo of Lucy now and then!

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  3. Robin on October 12, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Tara’s beautiful and sounds like a faster learner.

    Our dogs are well-trained and always loose. They’re farm dogs. The English shepherd was very interested in 19 turkeys walking up the road toward some of our apple trees. She’s not allowed in the road so she had to find another way to scare them away. She left my side, went behind the house, behind the pond, down a path and stopped inside the edge of the woods by the road. This placed her in front of the birds. One bark sent the turkeys on their way. Mission accomplished. I want to be as smart as my dog.

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  4. Nita on October 12, 2013 at 9:15 am

    She is beautiful! And so thoughtful looking too.

    We live between two busy roads, so while it would be nice to train our dogs to never go in the road, the hazards are just too great, log trucks, tourists, car rallies etc., so we keep them fenced within the zone one area that contains the gardens and orchards, that way they can be “free” to a certain extent and they can discourage the deer and elk from coming in the food growing area. Most of the fencing is for the livestock anyway, so we just make sure it is dog-proof on the roadside.

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  5. Joan on October 12, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Our dogs Molly and Sandy run free when we are out with them. We are too close to the road, and they roam too far, for them to ever go out without us. At night they go out on leash only to protect them from porcupines and skunks. I’d love to make a small fenced-in area so that they could be outside more, when we don’t have time to be out with them.

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    • Susy on October 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      We definitely do leash at night with Tara so she doesn’t find a porcupine. Lucy is allowed out whenever she wants without any kind of restraint, even at night. She learns quickly and once meeting a porcupine cured her of chasing them (thank goodness).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Bettina on October 12, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Ours have to be fenced, with a 2m plus fence. They are Borzoi, i.e. Russian Wolfhounds and since there are a lot of prey animals around (from rabbits and hares to badgers and the stray cats) they need to be inside the fence.

    Like all sighthounds their prey drive is huge, and while most of them can be called off if we are close enough and if we see the animal before them, there is no way they would not go after one without us. And since you cannot watch them 24/7, fencing it is.

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  7. Jennifer Fisk on October 12, 2013 at 10:09 am

    My GSDs, Fran and Reyna, are loose most of the time and always when I’m outside. My house is 1/4 mile off the nearest road a distance which isn’t much for a dog to cover but being GSDs they don’t want to leave the proximity of their person. In the darkness of morning now, they will sometimes chase deer or coyotes away but don’t go far. When I’m not at home and they aren’t with me they are either in their crates in the garage or in their outside 10×10 chain link kennel.
    I have used Invisible Fence in the past with excellent results and I highly recommend it. The real IF brand can enclose at least 40 acres. As evidenced by Tara’s progress, training is the key.

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  8. KimH on October 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I dont have a dog now but when I did, none of our dogs were chained or fenced in. Oh, I take it back.. we had an Australian Sheppard that we had to have in a chain link yard.. we lived in town for a year and he liked to run since he was a cattle dog..
    The only other critter I’ve ever had to chain up or keep in a fenced in yard was our wolf. He still got out of the yard on occasion, even when we put up electric fence along the tops & bottoms of the chain link & privacy fence.. He never ran off though.. he just wanted to explore the neighborhood.. One of my neighbors called me one time telling me that they found him in one of their bedrooms.. The wind had blown their front door open, & Shiloh found his way in & then the wind blew the bedroom door he was in shut.. haha.. He was just laying on their bed, taking it easy! :P

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  9. Chris on October 12, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Wow, she is just a beautiful dog…such an expressive face! We have two dachshunds, Sophie and Tillie…what more can I say…indoors most of the time under their blankies! :)

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  10. Natasha on October 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I agree, she is a beautiful dog.

    We have two dogs, a bulld

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  11. Natasha on October 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Sorry! My baby hit my phone and posted that before I was finished.

    We have a bulldog and a black lab. Both are trained to come when called and they do. We are on 5 acres and far enough from the road that they can go out on their own a bit. The bulldog wouldn’t roam far, even left to his own devices. He is the laziest dog I know.

    I love having trained dogs. It makes life easier.

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  12. elizabeth on October 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    It makes me so happy to see somebody taking the time to train a dog so smartly. I admire you. Thank you!

    Reply to elizabeth's comment

  13. Teresa on October 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    What a beautiful girl she is. Glad to see she’s being so well trained, but I wouldn’t expect less based on what I’ve seen on your site.
    We don’t have a dog at the moment, but since we live in town (and my husband is the animal control officer), we couldn’t let a dog run free. We used to let the dog out under supervision and he rarely took advantage of it to sneak off, but our neighborhood’s busier now and we’re near one of the main streets that runs through town. The cats stay inside too, but since they were raised as house cats, it doesn’t bother them.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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