DCS: Dexter Containment Systems

We have a 3 board fence on part of our road frontage to keep the canine vermin contained when vehicles come through.  It provides a psychological barrier.  As a physical barrier, it can be stepped through or squeezed under by motivated pups.  We used to have electrical wire that worked quite well.  But electrical fencing is a problem with vegetation, etc.

We've had Dexter on a long lead outdoors under our supervision for the last 3 months.  This umbilical cord was an important part of his training to keep him tethered to us physically and emotionally.  Because of his enthusiasm in attacking the girls, we also needed a way to get this 'trained' out of him.  That training evolved into the old yank and crank method.  A method of last resort I suppose.  But let's be clear, Dexter is a dog of last resort.  I would have NEVER chosen a dog with his habits.  But fate threw us together, and Mark and I are committed to him.

It has taken 3 very long months.  He has curbed his enthusiasm greatly, but now he is just in 'normal' all-out puppy mode. We want to give him more freedom, but in a mode that is safe for him, us and others.  Mark went to Tractor supply and bought some galvanized wire to provide an effective barrier underneath and between the fence boards.  It is wonderful to let Dexter out for bathroom and play without his dragging his lead (or us).

He has made progress in so many ways since we picked him up three months ago.  Unfortunately, since returning from vacation and dealing with eldercare issues, his 'formal training' has slid.  But his informal training has been a rich experience.  That includes allowing him sit on the sofa and socialize while inside (v. going to his puppy lair which is still in the family area).  Having a 'pacifier' something for him to chew on, is critical.  Otherwise he will find it.  I have a bone bucket where he goes to and picks up bones.

Dexter is, without question, the most destructive, exuberant dog we have ever owned.  He's like a Sawzall, grabbing and chewing on everything in site.  He literally cannot be left up to his own devices for a minute, unless he is in his puppy lair, which is mostly Dexter-proofed once I put a dog gate in front of my window to keep him from further chewing the window sill.

His biting is still a problem.  It is so habitual.  While the behavior has lessened, it is still present and still unacceptable.  I'm determined to keep our trajectory on obliterating this behavior which was so ingrained in him prior to our finding him.  At least we believe we can prevail.  Giving him more yard freedom and free play will greatly help in channeling his energies.  I need to ensure that I still walk with him, because that has been great for my physical conditioning.


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