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Keeping Dog on property

Jill Bell

Joined: Jan 23, 2012
Posts: 3
Hi Everyone!
I have a maremma (Italian livestock guard dog) that won't stay on my property. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to keep him at home.

I have read through various livestock guard dog publications and found a PVC triangle to 'fence' train dogs, so I've made my own using a harness and a PVC triangle. Please see the attached pictures. At first the triangle would just lean so he could easily go under a fence, so I put a harness on him to avoid the lean, but this has only minorly deterred him.

PLEASE any suggestions??!! My neighbors are kind in calling me about him being on their property, but they are getting tired of it.


Jacques Lanteigne

Joined: Jan 04, 2012
Posts: 13
some dogs don't like Citronella oil. you could plant a Lemon Balm called Citronella balm. check 1st to see how your dog reacts to the smell. try with a citronella grass stalk. works for me but I have smaller dogs.
Jill Bell

Joined: Jan 23, 2012
Posts: 3
Thanks Jacques for the reply!

I live on 22 acres with 4 rows of barbed wire at the boundary. I can plant the citronella balm at the places he tends to leave at, but I don't think it's feasible to do the entire perimeter.

Please keep the suggestions coming!


Joined: Jan 24, 2012
Posts: 2
Tried to answer this 4 times, not doing 1000 words again a fifth time.

Edit: of course, thats the one that goes through

Some learn best by reading
Some learn best by watching others
Some just have to pee on the electric fence for themselves
A Philipsen

Joined: Jul 10, 2011
Posts: 57
Location: OR - Willamette Valley
Can you run a hot wire along the fence? I was having some trouble with mine starting to wander too, but she got shocked a couple times and now she won't even test any fencing, just in case it's electric.
Raven Sutherland

Joined: Nov 09, 2010
Posts: 128
Location: Massachusetts
Gracie Philipsen wrote:Can you run a hot wire along the fence?
I was having some trouble with mine starting to wander too,
but she got shocked a couple times and now she won't even test any fencing, just in case it's electric.

this is quite true.... i had a neighbors dog stuck in the cow pasture wanting out of it... but it wouldn't go near the electric fence gate.
So i thought...i'll solve this, and unhooked the gate and now it's open by 15 feet wide. The dog still refuses to take the chance even
though i walked thru it twice saying, "it's ok, no gate". The dog ran up and jumped over the invisible gate even though none was there.
that taught me allot about dog behavior.

what you need is a shock color and a hand held buzzer so as you walk the dog around your property line and it gets to close to the border
be ready to zap it accordingly until it learns where not to walk.

Digging around on a piece of ground in my home town
waiting for someone or something to show me the way.
Olanga Jay

Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Posts: 31
I have 5 dogs. 4 understand hot wire. While one does not care. He knows it will hurt, but not for long, so he does not react to shock. I'm too looking for way out from this situation...

Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 122
Location: sub-tropics downunder
waht sort of fence do you have? nothing like a good fence built to do the job and some obedience training to never let the dog jump.

also i thought these dogs did best when they were bought as a working dog ie.,. some sort of flock herd to live with and look after, lady up our way has one for her sheep/goats not sure which and the dog lives with her animals very happily. they have a rural block couple of acres and the fence will be the rural norm just dog wire.

the poor animal looks miserable in tha yoke assembly.

generally any working dog breed not suited to simple pet status.

wonderful looking dog hey?

4 stran barbed wire won't necessarily stop a dog put up a 5 foot dogwire fence, not going to be cheap aroung 22 acres but fence off a smaller compound are say an acre or 2 around the house. we trianed 5 of our dogs not to go beyond teh 4 strand barbed wire fence but they where bitsas no pedigrees, working dogs need to be worked, you will need some toys and ablle so teh dog can play go fetch, that may go a long way to fixing the problem.




With peace and brightest of blessings,

"Be Content With What You Have And
May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."


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Jill Bell

Joined: Jan 23, 2012
Posts: 3
Thanks for the replies -

I'm not ignorant about the breed - yes, he IS a working dog and he has work to do. I have an abundance of animals he is to protect! He's been bonded to chickens since he was a pup. But this breed is known to roam too. He wanders off because it's more fun to chase the cows next door than to do his work.

The yoke may look unpleasant, but it's better than getting shot, like our last dog who wandered. Also better than being tied up 24/7.

We do have a house yard fence, so maybe I'll close those gates and see how we go.

He knows which fences he's not supposed to go under because I've taken him the entire perimeter and whenever he's strayed I've scolded him and he's understood. He is consciously choosing to do this despite his training (maremmas are free thinkers)

Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 122
Location: sub-tropics downunder
yep ok! don't remember saying anyone was ignorant, but whatever hey?

try reverse psycholgy (not a mind control advocate but) instead of scolding speak words of poitive kinds, like our current dog has too much bull terrier(pig dog they know but one thing attack and kill) in her cross breed with a kelpie, but we are winning instead of rousing when she savagely barks at this dog and not that dog passing we tell her she is a good girl and got to be and ahve a sleep she loves her beds. we are now winning where we were going horse yelling before. she is learning not to chase kangaroos or wallabies and hares, she has learned to not even bark at them so her interest has been lowered. when we have our own place 1.25 acres with 5" dog wire fence and dog safe farm gate she will relearn her boundries, she will have ownership. she has also learnt to walk beside us not ahead of us or behind us, does not pull on the leach when it is on, comes to heal, only reward is a kind soft word, don't believe in treat rewards

teh first years of their age is the best training time

balls in your court

lovely dog still looks sad.

Chris Stelzer

Joined: Feb 17, 2011
Posts: 118
Tie a rope around a decently heavy tire. Like a truck tire. Tie that around his collar.

This might work, it's not cruel, it just limits his mobility. I have experience with 7 livestock guardian dogs. 1 of them, who was pure Great Pyrenees would NOT stay on the property. I have 7 strands of HOT high-tensile fence. The damn dog still got out, and unfortunately got hit by a car and died. After this I tied the tire on another dog who was wandering. After a while I took it off and he sort of stopped. It's all about the breed of the dog. Some will just expand their range, every day, farther and farther out.

Hope this helps.


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suomi--Nicola Lloyd

Joined: Aug 19, 2009
Posts: 47
Location: Finland
Hi Jill,
It seems like you have pretty much tried everything!
We also have a Maremma, she is 5 years old and we are really lucky as she stays on our property. We have sheep and chickens which she protects.
Our property is smaller than yours,its only 5 hectares around the house and we have the whole thing fenced in, and we have never had problem with her going off the property.
They are a great working breed.

Good luck with your dog, let us know how it goes!

Brice Moss

Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
If the dog respects your wishes the trick is to catch him at it when he is being sneaky and not just scold but convince him you are angry to the point of violence. That moment of thinking you are about to kill him when your treatment is usualy mild leaves a dog with a lasting memory that that particular behavior is not cool
Jay Green

Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
If the dog stays primarily in a yard area and if that yard is under an acre in size, a good wireless fencing system by Petsafe is a great investment. I've used it for the past 6 years on my GP/lab mix and my Lab/AS mix dogs without a single escape. I also have a perimeter fence but a blind dog could find his way out of it easily...the Petsafe has paid for itself over and over and kept my dogs on my acre, with my livestock(sheep, cows, chickens) and right where I need them.

Before I got that system, the GP mix gal would r-u-n-n-o-f-t whenever she took a notion. The $800+ vet bill to repair her leg after she got hit by a car was enough to convince me that I needed something to keep her home.

If that's too costly, I agree with the tire and chain option. Couldn't be more miserable than that PVC triangle.
Cj Verde

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 2389
Location: Vermont
Jill Bell wrote: But this breed is known to roam too. He wanders off because it's more fun to chase the cows next door than to do his work.

I have a maremma who is hard to contain but with 125 acres I let him wander & hope for the best. Maremmas do tend to have a 1 mile radius unlike Pyrs who can claim a 15 mile radius!

I watched this dog climb a 6' fence so you may need to keep that triangle on him. Maremmas are shape shifters!

My dog does escort deer off the property but I would not say he "runs deer." He does go to the neighbor with cows but mainly when they drag dead calves out towards the woods. It's like a buffet for my dogs! The farmer used to get upset until one of my LGDs came right over to her and sat down. The dog never once looked at the cows, ducks or other critters so she was finally convinced that the big white dogs who occasionally visit wont actually harm her livestock (dead animals are fair game). If your dog is actually chasing the cows that is a harder sell.

I would post some questions to Maremma specific sites. The yahoo group I followed formed a new Forum and they are very helpful.

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Cj Verde

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 2389
Location: Vermont
andrew son wrote:I mostly away from home and I want a dog for the home protection.

Do you mean mostly away during the day or mostly like a 2nd home? Livestock guard dogs really are better off with livestock to guard. They are not attack dogs. They act defensively and do what they can to convince predators that there are easier meals elsewhere. One of the methods used to convey this info is to bark at night. They also bark during the day as suspicious things like low flying planes or strangers.

If someone comes on to my property that they've never seen, they will stand between me and the stranger. They would try to protect me but not attack on demand.
Jay Green

Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
Why not just place a hot wire on the inside of your fences at digging under and climbing over heights and be done with it. It will also help this dog in protecting the livestock. It's a cheap and effective solution to what is sure to be an ongoing problem.
Cj Verde

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 2389
Location: Vermont
I think electric works better in theory than in practice. It wouldn't work for me due to snow. If a Maremma wants out he will find it.
Jay Green

Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
I call that natural selection...if they are too stupid to obey boundaries, even those enforced by electricity, then they will probably die on the road or get shot by a property owner. End of problem, in my book. Then you start over and try for a more intelligent and trainable animal. Keep going until you get one that will be the one that you need for your homestead....sort of like dog culling.
Cj Verde

Joined: Oct 18, 2011
Posts: 2389
Location: Vermont
Unfortunately, I agree.

So far so good though. Actually we did loose our first Maremma under suspicious circumstances. My husband got into a disagreement with someone who wanted to hunt on our property and the next day our problem dog vanished. We never saw either one again and that's a good thing.
Jay Green

Joined: Feb 03, 2012
Posts: 587
That's what I call a win/win!

The problem with the livestock guardian dogs in the US today is that casual breeders are breeding and selling them as livestock guardian animals but are not selectively breeding for their original traits of bonding with and staying with the herd~more and more they are being utilized in suburban areas and losing their natural traits~be it through irresponsible breeding or through being underutilized on small acreage. In other countries there are no fences and herds are pretty much on open range..and so are the dogs. They wouldn't last long there if they wandered off and didn't do their jobs and only the specialized and capable animals would be kept for use.
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