When we post profiles of dogs that are ready to be rehomed on our social media, many profiles rehoming conditions require secure gardens with proper fencing and we regularly receive comments that it is unreasonable or impossible to provide secure fencing, particularly in rural homes.
We thought it would be useful to explain our reasons and why we request it.
In most cases our dogs come to us with a minimal history. They can come from different backgrounds but one thing that is a constant is that they now have us to look out for them. It is our responsibility to place them in an environment with as low a risk as possible of being exposed to injury, straying, theft or getting into inappropriate behaviour like stock worrying, chasing bikes or cars, nipping passing dogs or, worse, people. We are not perfect and we do not always get it right but rest assured we do everything we can to match our dogs with the best home possible.
Imagine how our kennel team would feel if one of our precious dogs was placed in a home without secure fencing and, when let out to toilet, it wandered onto the road and was killed, or trundled into a field of sheep and was shot. With the best will in the world, no-one can or will watch a dog outside all the time, that is not a realistic expectation.
How would we be viewed if we knowingly homed a dog with an unsecure garden and that dog ran out and nipped someone or something. The dog is then labelled a biter. We would be responsible for knowingly setting a dog up to fail.
So what do we look for ? The main criteria is a secure area that the dog can be let out in, for toilet breaks, which doesn’t require someone having to take the dog out on a lead. An area immediately accessible from the home, not a run at the end of the garden for them to be left in, ideally an area immediately outside the back door so that at any time of the day, the door can be opened and left open in nice weather for the dog to toilet, sunbathe or play without fear of it running off. In the case of an apartment home, a very specific dog would be required and would be assessed accordingly.
Acceptable boundaries : We look for ‘hard’ fencing ie posts with wire mesh of an acceptable height or solid walls of an acceptable height (depending on the dog), solid or near solid wooden or composite fence panels. Gates also need to be secure and of similar construction. If your boundary is hedging it needs to have wire mesh through it or on one side, as hedging is prone to having gaps at the base which a dog could push through. We do not condone the use of electric collar fencing systems and don’t rehome to properties who use these.
Having spent weeks or months with these dogs every day, helping them to adjust from their previous life and preparing them to live in a home, their safety will always be our priority.
The majority of dogs have been strays or have noses that could lead them into mischief, but we sometimes have dogs that can be rehomed to more open environments , as with everything in life, there are exceptions. This document is to explain why we ask for secure fencing for the majority of dogs.