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Discussion Starter #1
My brother told me last night that he and his wife basically do not want their dog anymore. I'm not sure what breed of dog she is , but she's fairly big, black and kinda skinny. Anyway, she keeps digging and getting out of the yard and they are getting tired of it. They have an electric fence but I guess she is still digging underneath, like foot and a half deep holes. He was saying he wants to give her to my parents which I think would be a bad idea...they don't have a fenced in yard and they have a dog already and several cats...my brother admitted that Bailey hates cats. I suggested that maybe his in-laws could take her and that maybe she wouldn't be so bored because then Bailey could play with their dog Belle. But he said they both dig out when they are together (his in-laws bring Belle over to play with Bailey on most days since they live right by them). He mentioned that hitting her was not helping the problem...I didn't comment on this at the time because I could tell it was not the time to do so, but obviously he is confused if he thinks that will help the problem...I doubt she knows why she is being punished.
I think she is pretty bored...I don't think they really play with her anymore and I they used to have her in a nice front yard with plenty of trees...now she is in the backyard with nothing but one small tree in it.
They said they do not want to spend $300 on a new fence thing (I think maybe one that shocks the dog when they come near it...I'm not sure what he was referring to when he talked about it).
I was maybe going to suggest that he needs to put an ad in the paper and find another home for her. I think it is pretty sad...it is his wife's dog that she had before she even married my brother (over 5 years ago) and I can't understand her wanting to give her up. I guess they are just tired of her getting out and then having to search for her all the time.
Does anybody have any suggestions that I could give them?
 

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I never had a dog dig under the fence, so I don't personally have a solution for you. It doesn't sound as if the inlaws' house would be a good move. I'm assuming they are thinking about the "no fence' type fence. It gives the dog a shock if they touch the property line. It's sad to think of the dog getting shocked, of course. I wish I knew the proper name for this. I found this idea on Google:

According to http://www.westieclubamerica.com/behavior/digging.html

a good way to prevent digging under the fence is to dig a trench, spread chicken wire over it, and fill it in firmly.
 

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You dont even have to dig a trench. Tie the chicke wire along the bottom of the fench with zip ties. Make sure that about 2 feet extend from the bottom of the fence into the property flat against the ground and secure the chicken wire to the ground with tent stakes. You Can if you want to, just throw some dirt over the top to conceal the wire. No way is a dog going to dig through that. It would cost depending on the yard size but my guess is about $75. Go to the local feed store since they're cheaper than the hardware store for the chicken mesh and a camping store for the stakes. If you have an army surplus store, they could be cheaper there too.
 

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Chicken wire works well.
I have a dog that digs holes also but not at a fence line. With him, I bury some of his feces in the holes, that way he will leave it alone. Granted, he usually just starts a new hole :roll: In his case it's most likely some rodent under the ground he's trying to get at though. For a fence digger, I'd suggest the chicken wire. I have friends who use the invisible fences for dogs that go over/under fences, but those actually take a lot of training to have them work properly. They are really not a "quick" fix.
Another thing they could try is to pour some concrete at the base of the fence. Make the first foot or so along the fenceline undiggable.
 

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They need to find a new home for their dog. If they are unwilling to put any effort into finding a solution for the digging except to get another type of electrical fence then they are not going to be willing to do behavior modification with her either. The fact that they hit her means that they don't understand behavior modification in dogs.

There are plenty of dog rescue agencies around the country. Can you help get a list together of those places in your area to give to him?

The one solution I can think of if he is unwilling to give up the dog is to install a dog run which tethers the dog to a leash which is attached to what looks like a clothes line. Other folks who have "digging" dogs have also installed large sandboxes where they then have taught the dogs to dig but, again, this takes patience and practice to get the dog to understand that the sandbox is the appropriate place to dig.

I truly feel for your position in all of this. It sounds like you know what's going on is wrong but are caught between saying what is on your mind and alienating your brother :(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, I got some more information last night. I don't think they have an electrical fence that is working and that is what they don't want to spend the money to fix...I guess it is broken. They have a chain link type fence that goes around the backyard. The backyard is about half an acre so I don't know how much that would cost to put in chicken wire.
She is getting out every night and then she will go down to his in-laws house where Belle (in-law's dog) is. Then she wakes up his father-in-law (barking and trying to get into Belle's pen with her) and then the father-in-law has to take Bailey back to her yard at 3:00 a.m. every night. So I guess it is getting frustrating. I still don't know why they couldn't just keep the two dogs together each night in Belle's pen...she has a kennel and I think they said it was 8 by 16 ft. (maybe 8 by 22, I don't remember) but I guess his father-in-law doesn't want to do that.
They didn't sound like they were sure of what they were going to do. I will probably try and talk to them again and ask them about chicken wire and the possibility of her going to live with the in-laws. If not, I think they need to find her another home. :(
By the way, she is a plott hound. http://www.treehound.com/treehound/html/plott.html
 

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Is the dog spayed? When my doggy Polo wasn't neutered yet he would jump 6 ft. fences and runaway all the time. He even jumped 7 ft. fences 8O
 

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Looks like a beauty and, as its part of the hound group, a VERY DETERMINED DOG!!!

I'm confused, too, b/c it does seem like there is a simple solution BUT I am not the person who would have to take care of the extra dog. It does sound like you will have to ask all of these questions that you are stating to us, though, to get comfortable with the situation (if you can get comfortable with it).
 

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It sounds like she is mainly running away in the middle of the night? Couldn't they just bring her inside at night?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My sister-in-law is a neat freak. She doesn't want to have animals in the house. I can't say I blame her too much...I don't mind having cats in the house, but I don't know if I myself could handle having a dog in the house.
 

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How about a kennel at night? Or a crate which are much cheaper anyway? She's have to crate train though. I went to Big Lots and bought a massive crate for my boy at night foir like $35. Just a thought. The crate could be kept outside too!
 

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shlanon said:
My sister-in-law is a neat freak. She doesn't want to have animals in the house. I can't say I blame her too much...I don't mind having cats in the house, but I don't know if I myself could handle having a dog in the house.
We have five dogs and 2 cats. None of our animals are outdoor animals. Our dogs range in weight from 55 lbs. to 90 lbs. The cats are FAR messier than the dogs and require a lot more upkeep. I have to clean their litter boxes and their fur is everywhere.

Dogs that are kept indoors are not "dirty" at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, I will mention the crate idea also.
It's not that I think that dogs are "dirty" necessarily. It's just that everyone's home that I have been to that has an indoor dog, has had that "dog" smell to it, which I don't like. Maybe not everyone's home is like this, but all the ones I have been to have been. And some of them were homes where I knew they bathed the dog very often.
 

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this feels like I am belaboring the point, but people say the same thing about cats :) In fact when we sold our house the real estate agent told us that in the top five turn-offs for buyers was ANY lingering owner of kitty litter or cats--including IN THE SPACE where the kitty litter was. This made for a very tense week while our house was on the market as I worried constantly that potential buyers would smell it which is so ridiculous b/c Of COURSE they are going to smell it b/c it's there 8O
 

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Sounds like your brother and sister in law have "lost interest" in the dog. With any animal there is a commitment no matter what the problem and its not there anymore if he is hitting the dog instead of looking for the right answers. Im glad your there to guide them in the right direction. Dogs are pack animals. Obviously this dog wants a companion. Couldnt be more clear. BTW is a beautiful hound! I hope your in laws can take him if not start searching for a good rescue.
 

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Do they never do anything with the dog? So they have a hound breed, its confined to a yard all of the time - is it walked/played with/talked to/groomed? I would be willing to bet that she's digging out of boredom, frustration, loneliness and unhappiness. If they aren't prepared to look after their dog, they need to find her a home with someone who will. Is there a breed rescue that could help? Plott Hounds can't be so common that their breed rescue is full up? Where are you?

http://www.houndrescue.com/ These people might be able to help with her, or at least give you more contacts?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I honestly don't know how often they do things with her. I may be making some assumptions here. It just seems like she does not get as much attention now that they have a human child. I know they sometimes let her in the front yard (supervised) and let her chase squirrels and I know sometimes they walk her. She also has the in-laws dog come over to play on most days (don't know for how long). I'm sure she is bored though...she has plenty of room in the backyard to run and play in but I'm sure she misses having all the trees and squirrels to chase and I'm sure she would prefer having a dog companion there all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Okay, I have an update.
My brother and SIL ended up bringing Bailey to my parent's house on Christmas Day. Apparently, my mom did not think they would really do it and was being nice saying they could bring her to them if they "really needed to" and I wish she had just told them not to.
Anyway, my parent's little dog (Scratch) has freaked out. She is very territorial and also has been abused in the past, we think, so she is NOT happy. She barks like mad whenever Bailey is around her. Also, Bailey would chase my parent's cats if given the chance.
They have her chained in the yard on a leash type thing and my dad walks her and lets her run around each day. She has already broken off out of her collar once and my parents had to buy her a new collar and a longer tether/leash thing so she could walk around more since her other one was so short. They are afraid to just let her run around all the time since she would scare the other dog and the cats and also she might run away.
My parents put an ad in the paper and posted a sign at the vet's office with her picture. "Free to a good home" I don't know if anyone is going to want her since she is 7 years old, even though she is a cool breed, I guess. I know there are a lot of dogs that need homes.
I am ticked at my brother and SIL. They are making this my parent's problem and responsibility to find Bailey a new home when it should be THEIRS. Why can't they keep her chained in THEIR yard and go out and find someone who wants to take her, instead of giving her to my parents who obviously don't? My mom does admit that she should not have been such an "enabler" in this whole situation. My husband thinks that they are just doing this so that they do not feel guilty about giving their dog to someone...they gave her to my parents, so technically they are not the ones "getting rid of her". I don't know, just a theory of his. I told my mom that if no one calls them about wanting her, then maybe they should give her back to my brother and SIL and tell them that THEY need to find her a new home. I would be more than willing to help them, since I live in the same area.
Argh, this is just frustrating and I hope that Bailey does find a great home where she is loved and wanted.
 
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