One of the biggest problems we have is that we don't have a fence and so we don't really have a good place for Coal to run of some of this excess energy. We tried going to the local dog park but did I mention that the dog is psychotic? Living on a cul-de-sac that backs up to another cul-de-sac means we end up with a very odd shaped lot that does not easily lend itself to fencing. Running our property line with regular fencing would be extremely expensive as well as butt-ugly! The only real solution we could come up with was live with the chain untangling and digging or invest in an underground fencing system. I have heard mixed reviews about these things but we decided to give it a shot. We could have installed it ourselves, but that seemed like a ton of work (with iffy results) so we hired an expert to install our system.
Nate came out on Wednesday and installed the fencing in no time flat. If you don't know how these things work, they bury a cable underground and then mark the boundaries with bright red flags. Coal loves to chew on flags, so he quickly learned that maybe this was no longer a good idea! He tried to bite the first flag and got his warning signal and he was not happy about this at all!
Yesterday, for the first time ever, we played a wicked game of fetch with Coal in the backyard. He was untethered and ran and ran for almost an hour. And when his mommy threw the stick over the boundary line (on accident), he didn't even try to go after it. This morning, a tasty looking piece of trash was blowing towards him. He ran right up the flags and laid down and patiently waited for it to blow over the line so he could destroy it.
So my review after 4 days? It was worth every penny that we paid for this system. I can see a huge difference in Coal already. I'm not ready to let him out without supervision yet, but we are getting closer. What can I do? I can let him out with a leash and he doesn't bolt. He will happily lay down on the patio with us and just enjoy the fresh air. He will actually play and run - fetch, soccer, or just crazy, excess energy running! The other benefit, I haven't heard him sit on top of the hill and bark incessantly at the bunnies in the neighbors yard.
He is really good about the boundaries in the back, but for some reason, he is completely freaked out by the front yard. We can't get him to cross the line even if he doesn't have the receiver collar on. This makes taking him for a walk a little difficult! We might have to resort to putting him in the car to take him off our property for walks. That works fine except for the days that Dr. Evil and his family have a party (which is like every other day). We will keep working with him and hopefully soon, we can let him go without a leash and he will stay put!