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Hi again everyone,

I joined in September 2006 and my last post was not long after...I was posting about problems with integrating our boxer Bailey into our home with our other dog Santa of similar age - both are female and they have been in fights. Also there was a lot of adjustment on our family's part to Bailey being a crate dog with a small bladder, and having to watch the two dogs carefully when they're together. And the need to supervise the dogs outside for "doing their business" was new since Bailey and Santa killed a neighbor's rooster in September 2006. (We live in ten acres.)

Since I last wrote, we've been on quite the journey. Bailey is still with us and we love her even more, but oh what a journey! We've been through a bit of training (which helped immensely) and we have changed our schedule to accommodate Bailey's small bladder, letting her out every couple of hours (leashed walk), even though we both work full-time and our college kids are gone at unpredictable hours with their jobs and relationships. (Yes, she's been checked up at the vet.) We have yet to install a fence. Today on our longish walk after breakfast, in which we each take a dog's leash so there's no possibility of them getting into a fight, we saw Bailey dig into a mole's hole or some such - rocks and dirt flying at incredible speeds - the hole getting deeper and deeper. She didn't even let a tree root stop her - she munched at it until it, too, disintegrated. She made quick work of that mole hole! We laughed as we often do with her antics - see especially the new photo I uploaded to my album "pdenchfield" in which she found a way to get into trouble on a 30-foot tether a few feet from hubby in the garage - but we also eyed her digging prowess with concern because we have to take it into consideration for a fence! We are thinking about a five-foot fence or maybe we should six-feet - with chain fence underneath to help deter digging. But we're not sure six feet will do it. (And we are going to keep the perimeter small for now for budget reasons - maybe 1/4 acre.) Although she does stay within the boundaries of our house as defined by the less-than-two-foot boundary we place at the end of the closet (unless she manages to nudge it aside with her nose). I have seen her jump when excited and I don't doubt she would find ways out of a fence if we left her out too long unattended. (We plan to only let the dogs out one at a time, when we're home, max 10-15 minutes.) I wonder what kind of distractions would compel her to escape.

Dog bites are another part of our journey. When Hubby tried to break up a fight between Bailey and our other young female dog, he was bit and his long-dormant phobia from a childhood dog bite was reawakened. It was touch-and-go there for a while as to whether he'd agree to keep her. But when I got home from a Saturday morning errand a few days after the event, they were the best of friends again.

Barking at people on the road is relatively new. We walk our dogs on the dirt-and-gravel road by our house, and rarely encounter we saw our neighbor jogging and Bailey was very upset. (Meanwhile Santa was friendly as usual.) We are guessing Bailey thinks the road is our (her) property. We are thinking about improving the walkway trails on our property and walking her there instead. Can anyone comment on boxer feeling of territory?

The previous owner was yet another chapter. The situation in which we received this boxer was mired in mystery. My daughter and I were reuniting with her dad's family members out of state, who we hadn't seen in over 10 of them, a 20-something cousin, had recently moved near the other family members along with a roommate. It was my understanding that he and the roommate shared the dog. The cousin and his sister, who was fostering the dog temporarily (five months into it), had jokingly suggested we take the dog and my daughter latched onto the idea. We took her home a couple days later. That was July 2006. Only recently I found out Bailey was the roommate's dog, and the roommate was the 2nd owner, before the cousin's sister. (We were #4.) I finally got contact with this roommate (I had many questions about expectations of boxers and such) and it was right after a fight between Bailey and Santa (our other young female dog) in which we thought Bailey could have died. I was worried about her safety. I jokingly said he could have her back and he jumped at the chance. I agreed to bring her back if the family also agreed.

Well the exercise of considering this newly available option gave us all pause. And when I looked into Bailey's eyes and told her I was thinking about sending her back, I could sense that she didn't like the idea. We had more input when the Invisible Fence rep came out. Her boxer had recently passed away and we could see how much she missed him. We decided we couldn't part with Bailey. We would continue to use tethers on the opposite sides of our couch to keep Bailey and Santa safe. So that was a few weeks ago. We continue to "love on" Bailey.

I welcome any advice on fencing containment system designed for boxers, with us being at home (not out during the day when we're at work) and suggestions on helping a small bladder. The other day after I put too much carpet fresh down and vacuumed, Bailey peed on the blanket we have on the couch. She spends a lot of time on the couch and never did this before so I don't know why she would do that. Maybe she felt like we were taking away her smell and it wasn't a bladder issue at all.

Thanks for reading my rambling,
near Seattle, WA, USA
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