Help - 6 Year Old Aussie Has Started Leaving Our Property
Gracie with new aussie pup
We have had 10 Aussies over the past 32 years. Never had a problem with any of them leaving our property. Except one was a digger and at 1-1/2 he dug out during a thunderstorm and got out.
The problem now is our 6 year old female (neutered, chipped) has found a way to leave. We have 7 acres, heavily treed and brush, plus a shelter dog now 9 and a 7 mo. old Aussie male. She has always been a good dog. The beginning of this year we realized the dogs had gotten out but only for a short time. We found a couple of tree branches that knocked down the field fence. We fixed it and walked the perimeter looking for any other holes. Anything we thought the dogs could squeeze thru we fixed.
The past two weeks the 6 year old has gotten out 4 times. The first time a neighbor was jogging (we are somewhat rural) and put a leash on her and walked her to his house. He called that night said he was concerned she might get hit on the road. He also sent me a picture showing he had her in the house chewing on a bone. Oh great I thought - now she's going to want to go over there all the time.
Anyway I am at a loss of what else to do to break this habit. When we find her out we bring her home and put her in the pen (10'x 10' with dog house). Normally our dogs stay outside most of the time. They love being out chasing deer, squirrels, etc. Once inside they go to the door to go out. I'm thinking by keeping her in the pen then maybe after a couple of weeks the idea of leaving will pass.
Also, I just ordered a tracker (like lost my phone tracker) in hopes that I can let her roam our property again but check my phone every 5 min or so and see where she is.
Any ideas - we love this dog but are at a loss.