My Springer escapes from the backyard but only when we are back there, too

by Jenn
(Nebraska)

Our backyard chain-link fence is pretty shabby, we've had to place cinder blocks, rocks, and rods to the base of it to keep dogs and kids secure inside the yard.


We have two female springer spaniels who get lots of exercise and people time. Only recently has it been a problem for one of our female springer spaniels. She is almost 2 years old and her name is Lacy. Now whenever we or just my kids go into the backyard to play, Lacy finds or digs another way out. She runs in circles around the yard but is quartering farther and farther away. Eventually she will come back but not when I call her. She is flushing birds, chasing rabbits and cats.

Our younger springer, Tess, always comes when we call her (she is a year) and I never have to worry about her. So what is the deal with Lacy? We train them the same. I would like to try a whistle and dogtra collar to teach her to come (as I have read these suggestions in this forum). But there is also the issue of her escaping. Do we need to just bite the bullet and buy a new fence or is there some way I can train her not to escape whenever we are in the yard?

I think perhaps when we go back there she gets excited and is ready to work. Does anyone know a good resource to learn some field trial games to teach her? We don't hunt but I want to be able to stimulate her if that is what she needs.

Thanks!

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