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My parents have two dogs. The smaller of the two is used to roaming free, coming back to the yard whenever she feels like it. She's been known to wander several kilometers and then coming back to the house, many times.

My parents just moved to a new place, and in the new place there's a road close to our house in which cars drive fast. (I wouldn't call it a highway, it has 2 lanes in each direction, but cars drive fast.)

One time when we were taking the dogs for a walk, she tried crossing that road and almost got run over. She knows how to cross roads but she's not used to cars that drive so fast.

Now the question is what to do about her. I'm afraid that one day she'll wander off, go to the highway and get run over. What can I do? I can try to make the fence so she wouldn't be able to escape, but I don't know whether that'll work, since she's a small dog so it'll be hard to block every single hole.

Is it possible to somehow train her to not go near that road, or to cross it carefully? She's not a well trained dog.

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    Even though laws differ from one country to the next, it is worth a thought that in some countries, when a dog running free causes a car accident, it is the owner of the dog who will pay for all the injuries and repair bills. Think about a five car chain collision - and what it might cost to you(r parents). – Esa Paulasto Mar 12 '14 at 10:45
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The last sentence of your question, provides some insight to the answer here. If your dog is not well trained now, and she is used to wandering, it would take significant work to train her not to leave the yard. While not impossible, without constant supervision while she is out, it is unlikely to be successful.

You also indicate concern that the fence can be made so she is unable to escape. This is a valid concern and limits your options for keeping your dog safe.

Given the available information I would suggest a cable run. There are multiple images and products available via internet search. I have used the devices very successfully over many years.

The idea is that an overhead cable is installed running between your house and a post or between two trees, or something similar. A leash or chain is suspend from the cable which is allowed to slide (or roll) up and down the cable giving the dog lots of room to roam, and keeping the dog safe and secure.

Extremely Important There must be nothing for the dog to get tangled around, or anything (like a picnicking table) for the dog to climb on while connected to the run. Dogs can be seriously injured or killed if the leash gets caught (i.e. jumping off a table the dog can get hung)

Normally an eye hook is screwed into the house near the door (over head height). A post is placed firmly (dig deep, use concrete to secure) in the ground 10 - 20 yards (or meters) away. A cable is run between the house and the post. A pulley is used to connect a chain or leash to the over head cable. Measure out from the post the length of the chain or leash and put a cable tie or block that distance from the post. You do not want your dog to be able to go around the post.

Put a second eye hook near the door at the height of your dogs neck. When you unfasten the chain or leash from your dog you can clip it to this eye hook and it will always be easy to find.

picture added by Esa Paulasto

MAKE VERY SURE THERE IS NOTHING FOR THE DOG TO GET TANGLED ON. Depending on your dog and your situation there are many variables, it is up to you to ensure you have created a safe system.

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    +1 : as always for difficult cases like this, first prevent things from happening, and then think about training the dog. – Cedric H. Mar 10 '14 at 11:16
  • +1 , Though just a note that this solution may not be good for all dog breeds. Overhead cable running leash for dogs is quite common here in Finland, but I was told not to make one for my pyrenean shepherd. They said it would make the dog insane. I'd guess there are other breeds like it too. – Esa Paulasto Mar 11 '14 at 21:20
  • @EsaPaulasto This "They said it would make the dog insane" sounds worthy of unique question. Would you care to write it? – James Jenkins Mar 11 '14 at 22:54
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    +1 for doing something now. The dog is going to be killed if allowed to roam. – Carey Gregory Mar 12 '14 at 4:27
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    Here, pets.stackexchange.com/q/2527/278 – Esa Paulasto Mar 12 '14 at 10:25

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