Animal Welfare Professionals

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Poll: Fencing Requirement

  • 1.  Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-24-2021 04:20 PM
    Hello All-

    Interesting question in the poll. How many of you currently have a fencing requirement and what is it? Do you only have it for certain dogs? or certain types of fences? Why?
    #AdoptionsandAdoptionPrograms

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    Christine D. Calder DVM
    Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
    Calder Veterinary Behavior Services
    www.caldervbs.com

    Veterinary Behaviorist
    Behavior Specialist, MPF
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  • 2.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-25-2021 08:19 AM
    We are an all breed dog rescue, about 2,000 adoptions a year, 9 years in operation. We do virtual home checks and if there is a fence we want to see that it and the gate is secure and what height it is. Because if there is a fence they will let the dog out unleashed and unsupervised. If there is no fence and it's urban we ask about lifestyle and leashed walks. We ask for their verbal commitment to leash walking. If it's no fence and rural we explain the dangers of running off, predator wildlife etc and again ask for leashed walks commitment. If we have a dog that exhibits boundary testing we'll opt for an owner with a 6 foot privacy fence (though that's no guarantee either.)  So we just try to match the dog to the environment and lifestyle.

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    Linda Lea
    Big Bones Canine Rescue
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  • 3.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-25-2021 08:47 AM
    Hi Christine,

    We do not have a fence requirement for dog adoptions. There are rare cases where a certain dog behavior might warrant us to require one, but it's very rare.  Our shelter is located in the Truckee-Lake Tahoe  area in CA and a lot of people up here do not have fences or the ability to have one (depending on the neighborhood they live in). Most people up here do not walk their dogs on leash, and that can make adopting out dog aggressive dogs very difficult, so sometimes an adoption like that might warrant a fence for exercise purposes, but again it's rare that we would require one. We try to limit adoption barriers as much as possible. 

    Hope that helps!

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    Erin Ellis
    Community Engagement Director
    Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe

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    Volunteer & Community Partnerships Specialist
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  • 4.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-25-2021 08:56 AM
    Erin,

    You mention fence requirements for dog aggressive dogs. What about other types of aggression such as territorial and fear-related aggression? Do you require fences for those dogs? Do you offer any post adoption support for leash reactive dogs?

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    Christine D. Calder DVM
    Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
    Calder Veterinary Behavior Services
    www.caldervbs.com

    Veterinary Behaviorist
    Behavior Specialist, MPF
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  • 5.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-25-2021 09:20 AM
    It really just depends on the situation/adopter and severity of behavior.  Extreme leash reactivity, fear related aggression, resource aggression, etc. could all fall under needing a fence if needed. It really does depend on where the potential adopter lives, level of experience, etc. We really don't set a lot of black and white rules, since it limits adoptions. We will offer support depending on the situation. Sometimes we will offer to pay for training or we will connect adopters to different types of resources to help. We have a few neighborhoods where putting in a fence is near impossible due to HOA's, so when needed, we have connected those adopters to different types of resources to help. 

    Here's a recent example (of offered support)... We had a situation arise with an adopter.  As the dog began to settle in the home, certain aggressive behavior traits started to arise. The adopters did all they could, but when it reached a more severe level they reached out to us. We gave them contact information to a local behaviorist and a list of resources that would help. The family put in a very high fence, both in the back and front and contacted the behaviorist. They went off of the recommendations of the behaviorist and adopted a second dog to have as a companion dog for their first. The dog cannot be walked safely, so with the companion dog at home and fence, the adopted dog is doing really, really well and the family finally has found a solution to the issues they were having.

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    Erin Ellis
    Community Engagement Director
    Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe

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    Volunteer & Community Partnerships Specialist
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  • 6.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-25-2021 09:00 AM
    Linda,

    You mention "boundary testing." What exactly does that mean?  It sounds like you provide a variety of adopter education. Do you talk about leash walking equipment and the pros and cons of each? 

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    Christine D. Calder DVM
    Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
    Calder Veterinary Behavior Services
    www.caldervbs.com

    Veterinary Behaviorist
    Behavior Specialist, MPF
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  • 7.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-25-2021 09:30 AM
    Re boundary testing,  if they put their paws on the top of a short fence while exhibiting prey drive, if they attempt to jump any fence, if they (eek) succeed in jumping a fence or jumping out of a pen.

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    Linda Lea
    Big Bones Canine Rescue
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  • 8.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-29-2021 10:04 PM
    We have always required a secure fence.  Here's why:
    -Our area, like most, has leash laws and most dogs (perhaps except the littles) don't get enough exercise just by leash walking.
    -Most pet dogs don't get enough play/running type enrichment generally, so without a safe fenced area, their welfare is decreased. 
    -Our dogs are almost always large and they need a safe space to run and play, etc. We don't want them relegated to living lives of constant leash restraint and house confinement.
    -Our dogs are typically sighthound breeds, who tend to have at least a large part of the predatory sequence in tact.  Not ensuring they have a safe space to run is not only a welfare issue, but having them off leash outside the property is a risk to their and other lives, both directly and indirectly.
    -You can ask people to commit and they can promise they will leash walk and won't off-leash them. Yet once they have the dog they are going to do whatever they want, whether that's not walk the dog at all, or take them out off leash.  I've seen both happen, including off leashing sighthounds--who were bred, trained, and worked to hunt small animals before rescue-- in public spaces  immediately after adoption.  This has resulted in terrorizing of wild animals and others'  pets as well as injuries to the off-leashed hounds.
    --Related to that, some folks simply don't want to take their dogs out for whatever reason.  Those dogs, without a fenced yard or at least small area, are relegated to lives as shut-ins.  

     

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  • 9.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-29-2021 10:16 PM
    We would require a fence as well on a case by case basis.

    For most of the behavior dogs, we preferred solid fences especially, the ones that were fearful or anxious. We wanted to ensure these dogs would have a safe and secure environment to eliminate without necessarily always having to put a leash over their head or be exposed to environmental stimuli that was often overwhelming and scary.

    The dogs with a bite history were required to have a fence especially if that bite was towards children or other animals. We didn't want these dogs tethered in the yard or left outside unsupervised. We also were not fans of underground or wireless fences. If there is no visual barrier, dogs (if motivated enough) will run through it and anything could walk into the yard. 

    Yes- we received some pushback about putting up barriers for adoption but this was also why potential adopters would fill out a pre-adoption survey so that we had a way to match these dogs up and make sure everyone had realistic expectations.

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    Christine D. Calder DVM
    Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
    Calder Veterinary Behavior Services
    www.caldervbs.com

    Veterinary Behaviorist
    Behavior Specialist, MPF
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  • 10.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-29-2021 10:54 PM
    Exactly! Thank you.

    --
    Rain Jordan, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP  
    Fearful Dogs Specialist

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    Protect Them All www.ProtectThemAll.org   
     

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  • 11.  RE: Poll: Fencing Requirement

    Posted 10-30-2021 10:17 AM
    We dont have fencing as a requirement for all pets. We do have some dogs that have certain behavioral or personality issues that may require a fence and we deal with those situations on a case by case basis. Overall we try to deal with each potential adopter with whatever thier situation is meaning if they live in an apartment or in a community where they cannot have a fence or they cannot afford one. We try to make sure the environment and lifestyle of the adopter is thr right fit for the dog.

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    Marissa Reid
    Clinic Director
    LifeLine Animal Project

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    Access To Care Specialist
    Clinic Management Specialist
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