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Old 4th May 2012, 04:05 PM   #1
Tacita
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Wireless Webcam?

Our dog recently got out of our back yard, which is completely enclosed with at 6 foot wooden privacy fence. There are no holes, or dug out spots. The fence is stable, and when I pushed as hard as I could, I could not get the gate to open wider than about 6 inches. He digs at the gate but there's no way he could have squeezed through it.

So are there cheap webcams that I could put outside and record what he's doing while we're gone, that are wireless and have the computer record what's happening? We'd ideally like two, because he throws himself against the door to the garage as well (we think). We want to know what the heck it is he's doing all day that has us coming home to random injuries, and the latest where he somehow got out of a fenced in yard. And we don't want wires stretched all over the place, and really want to put one outside without a wire.

Any ideas? Does this exist, even though my internet connection is not wireless?

Sorry for my cluelessness.
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Old 4th May 2012, 04:36 PM   #2
jasonpatterson
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If you google "wireless webcam" you'll find several. I don't know how good or bad any of them are, nor how far away from the computer you can operate them reliably. You don't need wireless internet to use a wireless webcam, there are models that come with a small wireless fob that plugs into your USB port. A bigger issue will be getting your camera to film useful activity rather than 8 hours of nothing much happening. I'm sure that there is software to do this, but I don't have much in the way of suggestions.

One thing that might be good is a birdwatching webcam. These are typically in an all weather housing and are motion activated. I don't know of models to recommend, but it's something else to check out.

Sorry, nothing terribly useful in retrospect, but there definitely are the types of products you are after.
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Old 4th May 2012, 05:16 PM   #3
Sam.I.Am
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You probably want a security webcam with motion capture software. They can do nighttime, are weatherproof and some are can be panned plus you can monitor them over the internet with a java applet so you might be able to use a smart phone to keep an eye on things. The motion capture part will save you time going through it and also keep the recordings from eating up your hard drive. You're looking at at least $100 bucks for the first one though (any additional cameras won't need the software so they're sold for less when they don't have the software license added into the price).

Try Googling "motion capture, webcam, wireless" and see if you can find something that you like in your price range.

ETA: Don't go the cheap route. A $40 camera will give you $40 results.
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Last edited by Sam.I.Am; 4th May 2012 at 05:17 PM. Reason: comment about cheap stuff
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Old 4th May 2012, 05:39 PM   #4
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People I know who live "out bush" have these (not sure which model). Maybe you can try a rural supplier where you are to find something similar. http://www.farmcam.com.au/?pg=2
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Old 4th May 2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Your dog needs exercise. Cooped up in a back yard is cruelty to animals. Check out Cesar Milan.
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Old 4th May 2012, 06:37 PM   #6
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I use a cheap cam that is hardwired to my VCR. It was about $70 bucks for everything but the recording device. I'm pretty sure the cable could attach to my computer instead of the VCR.

I wanted to know which neighbor's dog was crapping in the yard every day. Turned out it was the next door neighbor's. They just let the dog out to poo and assumed he went in the woods in the back instead of my yard in the front. Caught in the act embarrassed them into solving the problem.
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Old 5th May 2012, 04:01 AM   #7
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When our dog got out of our fence, I did a walk around the outside and started calling to him. He eventually showed me the location of his escape hatch.
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Old 5th May 2012, 04:30 AM   #8
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They can get through spaces that you wouldn't believe big enough for them to fit through. I was walking past a house with my dog and their dog squeezed through the bars of the fence and bashed his way through some grass matting they had installed over the bars.
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Old 5th May 2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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I always liked this idea.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics...tography/afbc/

Basically a camera for your dog.
It would be better if it had video capability.

I'll eventually get around to getting one myself....

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Old 7th May 2012, 08:05 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice everyone. :] I've watched him wander the yard since then and he's not interested in leaving it unless no one is home so I haven't seen his escape route yet. What I capture doesn't have to be perfect, just tell me what he's doing, or even if it's a joker letting him out (which I now suspect). The fence gate is another suspicion but I tried to push on it with my feet and couldn't get it open wide enough. He has very little fur so if he's squeezing through that (it's wooden), I would see the marks on his body. Thankfully he sticks near the property for now. One with motion detection is a good idea.

And this is my back yard:

http://youtu.be/HRgohryfHbQ

I think he's getting some exercise there; I wouldn't call that "cooped up". He also has full use of the inside of the house; he's not locked outside all day. Plus Cesar Milan is a jerk who has recently had to change his on-camera tactics after much criticism of how he treats dogs (like they are wolves which they are not). And he wouldn't care if my dog was cooped up, I watched a show where the owners left one outside all day, every day, in all weather, while they had a cuter one living inside. And wondered why the outside dog was aggressive. Cesar did nothing to change the owners' stupidity in that case so I don't see why he'd care about mine.

Watch Victoria Stillwell instead. ("It's Me or the Dog")
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Last edited by Tacita; 7th May 2012 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 7th May 2012, 08:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Olowkow View Post
Your dog needs exercise. Cooped up in a back yard is cruelty to animals. Check out Cesar Milan.
So, allowing our dog to run around the .8 acres of cedar forest in our back yard is "cruelty to animals"?

I don't think so. Neither does the dog.
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Old 7th May 2012, 09:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tacita View Post
....

And this is my back yard:

http://youtu.be/HRgohryfHbQ

I think he's getting some exercise there;...

...so do I...so much so that it looks like he could jump the fence. Is that a possibility?
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:46 PM   #13
Lolly
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I think your dog could definitely climb over your fence. They use the supports as footholds. Even without the timbers on the inside, they can run and scale fences.
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Old 8th May 2012, 08:46 AM   #14
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We had the same problem. Our dog was escaping our backyard with no known routes out. So we staged an "errand" and drove around the block and then parked across the street. It turned out that our 15 pound dog was climbing the fence and then squeezing through the space of a two by four that was bout 5 feet up. If you saw his escape hatch you'd never believe it.
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Old 8th May 2012, 08:53 AM   #15
Lolly
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There are lots of videos on youtube of dogs climbing fences and jumping over fences. Some of them are pretty impressive and make it look easy.
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Old 8th May 2012, 12:06 PM   #16
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I hope he's not climbing that fence; we just spent money getting another gate lock lower down where we think he was squeezing through the gate, and layering something over the inside part (it opens to the inside) so he can't see through it anymore to see what's exciting out there. He's never shown a propensity for climbing in the 3 years we've had him.

He was actually out again yesterday when we got home and a neighbor told us, "oh he was out all last week, we even put him back once." *jaw dropping smiley here* I think today we'll do the "drive around the block" thing if he's out again, once we catch him, that is. Then, off to look at webcams.
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Last edited by Tacita; 8th May 2012 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 8th May 2012, 06:00 PM   #17
Lolly
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The propensity isn't for climbing, it's for getting out to find some company or something interesting. The climbing takes all of about 10 seconds.

What's he got to keep him amused when you are out? Maybe look at toys or something to keep him busy? Doggy iceblock, marrow bone? Something so entertaining that he won't want to escape....

Good luck with the investigations. You might be able to test whether he's jumping/climbing the fence without getting the cam. If you all just gather on the outside of the fence and he arrives to join the "party", you'll have your answer.
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Old 9th May 2012, 04:56 PM   #18
Tacita
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We did the wandering around thing and he tried the gate door. Our addition of a lower padlock did not stop him from continuing to push his nose through, and his face is all scabby now. So we figured it was the gate only, and put another board up so he can't even get his nose through. Today there was no new blood.

He has toys lying all over the house, and a Kong toy filled with food that he enjoys playing with. It took me a year to teach him how to use it. He doesn't care for the treats that take forever to chew; he prefers the softer kinds. I have been afraid to give bones ever since I brought home rib bone doggy bags for my two previous dogs (one of the same breed as above) and they both chomped them into large chunks and gulped them down in seconds.

So I think we don't need the webcam but thanks for the advice and I'll be sure to remember this thread if the issue comes up again.
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Last edited by Tacita; 9th May 2012 at 04:58 PM.
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