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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody, I'll try to keep this short!!

Myself and my fox red Lab, Slim, are new to the forums and looking for some behavioural tips. :)

Slim was a rescue at an estimated 12 months of age, he was adequately named as he was severely deprived, skinny, distrustful and terrified of everything from a collar to a waterbowl!!

He's now around 2-2.5 years old (we think!), but we have recently moved house to a much larger property with rural post and wire fencing (our first mistake)! The fence is quite sturdy with wire mesh to ground level, but in some places can be pushed up and dug under (evidently with minimal effort from Slim).

He has realised that he is alone (he used to have a playmate, who became quite aggressive after a fight and must be kept separate now), and takes every opportunity to slink under the fences to visit our neighbour's resident poochs. He is often found napping in their beds!

This in itself is a worry, but he also loves an adventure, and the dog catcher fees are stacking up! We have tried putting him on a run, which I feel terrible doing, whilst securing the fences to the best of our ability (we can't afford to have them replaced or repaired professionally), but he seems to get through barriers like bricks, logs, and now he is starting to jump them...

I have grand plans of installing a doggy door in the shed, and creating a cheaper, secure, new, professional fence to make a reasonable sized pen, but I fear he will still be miserable and lonely! Is it worth getting another lab just to keep him company, how can I be sure this is the problem?? If so, should I introduce an adult or a pup??

His inside behaviour is fairly good, but I'm still not sure if he is properly house trained. He was left in the house (with the unimpressed cat) all day for the first time, and there was no mess, but I'm still nervous about this and having grown up on a farm struggle with the idea of animals belonging in the house!

Any hints, tips, experience and advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks everybody!!
 

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G'day! I'm also from Oz (although I live in the UK at the moment) and I also have a fox red lab :) Where abouts in Oz do you live?

I think, personally, that Slim's safety is more important than anything. Thus, I feel that you should kennel him (with a run of course) for his safety. I like your grand plan of creating a run around the shed and making that his quarters while you're out.

Do you work fulltime, is there anyone else at home for him during the day? He's obviously bored, but getting another dog is not always the right answer - another dog would simply learn all his bad habits and there'd be two of them constantly escaping, so your dog catcher fees would double :)

Are there any dog walking services in your area? I'm not sure how rural you are, but if you're within 20-30 mins of a town then there's a chance that there'd be someone nearby who can come and walk him while you're at work. If you walk him before you go to work, and then someone comes in and walks him in the early afternoon, he'll be tired and sated and happy and sleep the afternoon away, and won't be miserable at all!

I have no probs with kennelling a dog provided there is adequate shelter from the weather (both heat & cold depending on the season & your location), a fresh supply of water which can't be knocked over 10 mins after you leave for work and then leave him thirsty all day long, and enough room for him to walk & stretch & toilet away from his sleeping quarters.

I completely understand the idea of struggling with animals in the house, I grew up the same and dogs were never allowed further than the veranda! But here in the UK things are different and it is the norm to have animals in the house... a kennelled dog can be just as happy as a house dog though, as long as he receives the right kind of attention regularly.

Another idea - have you thought of mind-toys for him, stuff to keep his brain active during the day? And also some training - obedience, agility, tracking, any classes near you that you could join? You'd both probably get a lot out of it, and if you do a little bit of training every day it will keep his brain active and then he'll be happier to stay home and snooze the afternoon away :)

I have to say though, if he does keep on escaping, I would be inclined to chain him or kennel him immediately just for his own safety. You can get really long cables to use as a running line (instead of the short 2m chains that you buy in Woolies).

Have you any pics of him for us to see??
 

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As Ness says it is better if your dog is safe and unable to escape and hurt himself.

Do you have anything like this in Australia? They really are ideal and as you can see it has a Dog Cabin attached to it for the dog to get out of the rain or to keep cool.



I have five Fox Reds by the way :D .
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Scubabe said:
G'day! I'm also from Oz (although I live in the UK at the moment) and I also have a fox red lab :) Where abouts in Oz do you live?

Another idea - have you thought of mind-toys for him, stuff to keep his brain active during the day? And also some training - obedience, agility, tracking, any classes near you that you could join? You'd both probably get a lot out of it, and if you do a little bit of training every day it will keep his brain active and then he'll be happier to stay home and snooze the afternoon away :)

Have you any pics of him for us to see??

Thanks for your great response!

If you're familiar with country VIC, I live in the home of Ned Kelly! (if not, you could google it). We are ten minutes from a larger centre, where we both work full time. When we get Slim there was a 3rd member of the house who was home most of the day, but unfortunately he has moved on and Slim now spends 7-8 hours alone. :(

I'm going to buy some mind and food toys for him this week! We had tried when he was younger but he was completely disinterested, now that he's without a pooch pal he might be more willing to use them.

I will have a look at dog walking services, currently he gets a quick morning walk and long evening run (which I find helps him sleep at night rather than disappear into the darkness or start rummaging at 3am if he's inside).

I am keeping him on a 25-30 meter run when we're not home, which also gives him access to some shelter and bedding. And of course food and water! This is temporary and we're making sure he's getting lots of extra attention.

I'm considering making him a 'housedog' but, I'm not sure if it's suitable being that we both work full time. Your idea's have helped! Keep 'em coming everyone!

PS. I'll work on the pics, I have lots but they're not on the PC just yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ettinsmoor said:
As Ness says it is better if your dog is safe and unable to escape and hurt himself.

Do you have anything like this in Australia? They really are ideal and as you can see it has a Dog Cabin attached to it for the dog to get out of the rain or to keep cool.

I'm thinking something along those lines, but attached to my shed instead of a kennel. He is a bit of a digger, and I don't have a suitable paved or sealed area to put something like that, but the design would be similar. :)
 

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What material is your shed made from? If it's wood or plasticy, then it's not a good material for labs - they can eat out of a wooden shed in a few hours :)

And of course I know where you're from!! I lived in Seymour for a few years ;)

I gotta say, 8 hours alone for a lab is a very long time... I live 10 mins from where I work, and I pop home at lunchtime if the dogs are all going to be alone for the day - but that rarely happens, as my hubby works shifts and we have a walker, but anytime our dogs are alone greater than 5 hours I will pop home for 40 mins at lunchtime. We have a game of footy in the front garden, and sometimes I'll take the young pup out for some training, then we have a quick walk to the top of the hill (the dogs get told to run up down the hill a few times to add extra "tuckering out" into the walk) and then I go back to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Scubabe said:
What material is your shed made from? If it's wood or plasticy, then it's not a good material for labs - they can eat out of a wooden shed in a few hours :)

And of course I know where you're from!! I lived in Seymour for a few years ;)

I gotta say, 8 hours alone for a lab is a very long time...
"The future's in Seymour today!" Loved that ad! I certainly agree its a long time to be alone. I'm trying to organise a slightly longer lunch break so I can get home for a quick play/walk.

This is part of the reason I am considering a playmate for Slim. I'd much rather he had some company when I can't be there. It's a colourbond shed, so he doesn't have a chance of getting out of it.
 
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