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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Letting out the Hound - Lucky Speaks His Mind

Casa de Lucky, insulated with hay.
I'm still migrating Lucky out to his new home in the old horse coral from the garage. After lining the coral with fencing, I led him out there to enjoy his new wide-open space. As long as I was out there throwing his toy around, he was content as any puppy could be but...

As soon as I shut the gate and began to walk away, the whimpering started. Him being the part Plott Hound that he is, he has a very gutteral, deep howl. I think half of his temper tantrum is from his young age and the other may be from being in a new, unfamiliar location.

King Lucky atop his Pride Mountain.
Add to that the fact that he has figured out a way to break out of his new home at least four times now means that I have some strategizing to do. Some quick detective work showed me a couple of his escape routes. The last one took a little more work. After blocking the escape routes with old car rims and adjusting some of the hay bales, I placed him in his pen once more. I walked a quick twenty steps and turned around.

That's when I caught a glimpse of where he was poking his head through the fence and decifered the most recent escape tunnel.  I sealed it up with bailing wire and we're back on task. But I'm not sure what temperature he can withstand at night. We still have snow on the ground and I haven't run an extension power cord out to the coral yet. Without having a heat lamp near his dog house, I'm not sure what his tolerance would be.

So for now, he's spending the night in the garage and when I get home from work I put him out. I walk in the morning, Wifey at lunch. I took the time yesterday (Saturday) to put together a dog crate. I covered it with tarp and then buried it in hay. The hay should act as a good insulator and wind block. I placed his dog bowl, complete with food, inside his kennel to signal that is where he belongs.

I went back into the house and felt triumphant as he wasn't howling away. I was surprised when I returned to check on him to find him perched ON TOP of the dog house...soaking up the sun's rays like a lion basking in the African sun.

Of course, he escaped a few hours later. So that is the state of affairs on Lucky. He has a new home and plenty of room to run, he just needs to adjust to it.

~OJD

24 comments:

sidetracksusie said...

Do you have another dog to put with him?

Do you have some hay bales to put under and on top. The cold will certainly radiate through the bottom of his crate.

We just moved here from Wyoming and the weather is a little less severe, but the predator situation is just as bad or worse. I count on my dog's behavior to indicate to me whether or not I should be leaving the house. If she won't go…neither do I.
I don't know what the wolf-lion-bear-coyote situation is where you are, but he'll be mighty stressed if he feels like a sitting duck, even though the bears probably won't come into the corral. When we lived in WA, the lions did take dogs, right out of kennels.
Lucky isn't feeling so lucky, right now.
I'm also getting used to the grey and fog.
Best wishes.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Why can't Lucky stay in the garage or house for the winter?

Anonymous said...

Ummm...the point of this excercise is? If you are thinking that your dog will be a good guard dog trapped in a horse corral, with sometimes a garage to run into and nothing to do all day but figure out escape routes-you need to start over. The point of having a dog is companionship, mutual trust and understanding which leads to protection and guarding you, your children, your home. This pup needs leash training so that eventually you can trust him OFF leash. Dogs guard and protect their territory. If he is never allowed in the house, he will never enter it to protect anybody. The house is not his territory. I don't care if it is a fou-fou lap pet, a hunting dog, or a military surveillence dog; all basic training is the same. Lucky is not getting that. Take a look at this site: Dr. Sophia Yin. http://drsophiayin.com/philosophy She is a superior trainer, and you will learn a lot about dogs. If you want a security system-call Wells Fargo Alarm. If you want a dog that is obedient, protective, and a joy to be around you will start over. All you are cultivating is a bark machine. -Stealth Spaniel

OrangeJeepDad said...

He has hay on the top, back and sides. Cardboard and blanket on bottom.

OrangeJeepDad said...

He's crated in the garage. I don't think he would prefer that over the outdoors. The garage is still dull of our things while we finish moving in. If he's not crated, he'll chew everything (pup)

Anonymous said...

If your dog house isn't insulated you need to put lots of straw in the dog house and pathways of straw in the pen so he's not standing on snow all the time, same with the chickens. I go through about a bale of straw a week (depending on snow fall). My dog loves getting fresh straw and throwing clumps of straw out to the chickens keeps them occupied. The straw also helps with the slick icy paths that I was too lazy to shovel before they got tromped down into mini ice rinks. But if your dog isn't used to the cold weather yet, I would bring him in. Kennel training is awesome. I'm too worried about fires for heat lamps, the chickens do fine without them, as long as there is low moisture in the coop.

OrangeJeepDad said...

Agree but Wifey is allergic to dogs so he really can't be a house dog. There is no perimeter fence so he immediately runs to the neighbor's unfunded property who usually has a female dog hanging around. He barks aggressively at her until he is reeled back in.

He needs training and I'm working on that but when I'm gone at work all day, I thought he would at least enjoy running around in the large coral versus a kennel in the garage.

Again, new place... no fence. Some neighbors have a buried invisible fence which I might consider. He is also not neutered yet.

CentennielMagnolia said...

Does his water in the dish freeze? Looks cold. I understand that your wife is allergic to dogs, so could you let him stay in his kennel in one of your daughters' rooms except when he's being taken on a walk? Dogs are pack animals and feel unhappy when they can't be with their pack. At least he wouldn't feel completely abandoned all day long.

Anonymous said...

Lucky isn't so lucky after all. I feel a deep sadness for his situation. If all you wanted was a living alarm system get some Guinea hens, they won't care if they are left alone and will kick up a loud ruckus when strangers enter the property. Consider rehoming Lucky, if you have a heart.

OrangeJeepDad said...

All we need is a perimeter fence and everything goes back to normal for Lucky.

janet adams said...

I do not approve of you having a dog and leaving it in the garage . Dogs are a social animal and want to be with you. He should be IN THE HOUSE.

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

Thanks for your opinion Janet.

The Orange Jeep Dad said...

One last time for clarity, we just moved. Two weeks ago, Lucky lived on 2.5 acres and accessed our laundry room via dog door. He had complete freedom to chase squirrels, lay in the sun or stick his nose into my backyard projects alongside everything I did.

At our new home on three acres, there is no perimeter fence and no dog door. I spent the first TWO days at my new property lining the horse coral with fencing so that he could have a large place to run around and bark at the animals next door. I also have the same crate he accessed via doggy door in our new garage and that is where he sleeps. He even has a heat lamp in his vicinity so that I can make sure he doesn't get cold in our new environment.

He is walked daily and even let loose to run on occasion, although he has made it a habit to run straight to the neighbor's house and either bark non-stop at his dog or poop on his yard (which I pick up). He is appropriately fed and watered, including dog treats from CostCo and table scraps. His outdoor water bowl is heated to prevent it from freezing.

I will not be the new neighbor who's dog runs loose and pisses everyone off. You know neighbors like that and more than once, a dog has lost his life in that scenario by a pissed off neighbor.

So, until I get a perimeter fence and dog door installed, he will continue to live in a warm garage and get his daily exercise on a leash unless we are in the horse coral where he will run about.

Rehome him? Seriously? Wow.

Anonymous said...

My dog is still a pup and hyper, she knows her commands but chooses when to obey, she'd run off, chase cats, etc. I finally broke down and bought a shock collar from amazon and I can not recommend them enough. The difference is huge!!! I trained her first with just the beeping sound as a good thing (treats!) so that she will come to me when I beep her. Using the vibrate gets her attention enough that she listens alot better. The shock only comes if she gets near the cat or chickens, which involves alot of stealth on my part. She's still not allowed free reign, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel. If you get one make sure it's waterproof, best $50.00 I've spent in a long time.

sidetracksusie said...

At your leisure…I've been there, I've moved 14 times, not counting from one house to another in the same town, check out the 4H dog project and get your "doggiest" kid enrolled. They will love it, Lucky will thrive, and he'll get highly socialized at the same time, which won't make him less of a guard dog. Your girls will get to meet other great kids, too, and the family component of 4H is as good as the families that make it up, so get in there and be part of it.
Hounds run, it's a fact. He's probably never going to stay home without fencing. My mother had a heinz 57 that had GSD and hound in it and she would run as fast as she could, yodeling and yelping through the "shock zone" and go off and do her thing, which was run and hunt. Bad part of the buried line is that she couldn't get back in and would lay across the road until she was seen by mom, who would unplug the system and go get her. NOTHING changed this event, she was walked , played with, etc. but if she was outside alone for five minutes, she was gone.
It's why I don't have an Irish Wolfhound despite our love of the breed. If I had a ranch instead of a farmette…but we absolutely love our labrador, who is smart, sweet, friendly to others in public, plays well with other dogs, but is the quiet warning I need when large predators are near our house and I think I need to go out. She loves our chickens, cats and horse, as well.
Best wishes for you and Lucky.

OrangeJeepDad said...

I scheduled a local fence company to meet at my house in two days to give me a bid.

OrangeJeepDad said...

I scheduled a local fence company to meet at my house in two days to give me a bid.

KnowNothingCityKid said...

Get the girls involved if they're not already. Eight family members and only two walks a day. I understand your situation but my dog is like my child. You should do everything you can for them.

I would also suggest putting hay or straw IN the kennel. Most dogs like to burrow into it and it will keep him warmer. The hay around it is good, but one whole side is open and the ground is cold.

Hope everything works out. Can't imagine what 3 acres of chain link will cost you!

CentennielMagnolia said...

When I asked about the possibility of leaving your dog in a kennel in one of the girls' rooms, I meant temporarily only, until you can make arrangements that will keep the dog safe from predators and happy (being with his pack and getting sufficient exercise).

Lisa said...

Haha Orange Jeep Dad you opened a can of worms didn't ya? I'm with you a dog is a dog after all. We have plenty of cold and snow here and our dog prefers outside to in. He's shorthair pit (yes I know ) and he's fine out as long as he listens. If not he goes in crate on porch that's covered in wool blanket for up to 8 hrs if we go away. He is fed as much as he wants. We have a small farm, he prefers the sheep and cow feed. He drinks their water also. Shocker he's an animal. He does get to sleep inside against my wishes. I've seen where he licks and what he eats, yuck but that's my husband who likes him too. In the summer he stays out for sure. You are not inhuman in my book, no to rehoming that's foolish. Do you and stand tall with your decisions.

OrangeJeepDad said...

Thanks Lisa. I had Wifey read my post cause I couldn't figure out what generated all the negativity. Lucky gets out several times a day by multiple family members and this is only temporary until I get a perimeter fence. He gets dry dog food, canned moist dog food, table scraps nearly daily and dog treats. I must have just miscommunication in my post.

Just because he does not sleep in my bed doesn't mean he has a rough life.

OrangeJeepDad said...

He has zero chance of getting attacked by predators. The only time he isn't accompanied by a family member, he's in a fully fenced (horse fenced) horse coral.

OrangeJeepDad said...

$6,000 for back yard.

jenny said...

I'm assuming that $6,000 is not on the cards at the moment.
My husband reminded me what is commonly done here in Australia, (probably there as well) and we have done it before with great success. Put the dog on a runner. If you haven't seen one before, it's simply attaching a cable wire, strong enough for your dog, to a post and then the other end, whatever length you want, to another post. Cement a post in if need be. Keep the wire high enough that the dog doesn't get caught up in it. Attach the dog to a good length of lead, and use a clip to attach the lead to the runner. The lead will slide up and down the length of the runner giving the dog freedom of movement within the space allocated by you. Actually we use a smaller version of this when we're working in our garage with the door up, so our dog can move around but not leave the driveway area. He's only 12 months old and still being trained. He loves it. It gets him off the hand held lead, so he can be with us and not put in another area of the yard. This is a cheap and fairly easily achieved solution. Hope it helps .

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