|Learning to respect fences is part of the work we do with the LGD. We want our dogs to respect the barrier even if it is easy for them to jump over or get out of.|
|As the cattle gates do not contain the sheep, we usually attach some field fence to the gates. At times we need to fortify the gates with a few layers of fence, particularly when dealing with pups who can shape-shift through any size hole.|
Usually, once the dogs are about 6 months old, they accept that fencing is a part of their environment and they rarely see the need to challenge it. On occasion a naughtier, yearling dog might decide to challenge it again and it important to stay one step ahead of the dog. It must never be allowed to learn to escape, it is better to kennel or tether the dog and fix the fence, than allow the dog to continue to escape. Every single time the dog escapes, it is rewarded for this behaviour (adventure is a reward) and it will keep doing this, becoming increasingly fanatical in finding ways out. We have a policy that if a young dog escapes, we will directly send it packing back to the sheep. We do not pet or talk nicely to it, it gets sent back by chasing it back, telling it in a stern tone of voice to go back to the sheep and maybe even tossing the odd object (do not throw the phone) that happens to be in our hand at the dog. The dog needs to understand that this behaviour is unacceptable and that we will no reward bad behaviour.