Maintaining Your Dog’s Perimeter Training
I received a phone call from a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence client last week. We had installed their Dog Perimeter Fence System late last year for their three dogs in Boca Raton. Everything had been going great and the dogs were having no problem in staying in the yard. She told me that the other day a new neighbor was out with his very large, active, and barking dog walking down the street. He had the dog on one of those extension leashes and the dog came right up to their back yard with her three dogs. Her dogs were good for about a minute or two while the other dog continued to bark and run to her property. Finally her dogs ran across the boundary and to the other dog. She was wondering what happened and what she needed to do to fix it.
After we installed the out of sight dog fence, we worked with the three dogs and the client for several sessions emulating the situations the dogs were experiencing when they got out of the yard. We had put them in familiar situations and through repetition and consistency, taught them what they were allowed to do. Although the underground fence can provide a physical stimulation, it is designed as a teaching aid and not a “brick wall boundary”.
Through our client’s own admission, everything was going great for many months. This meant that we had successfully taught her dogs the rules, based on the deterrents we emulated in our lessons. The issue arose when the neighbor’s crazy dog (through no fault of his own) created such an adrenalized stimulation as to distract our client’s dogs from their prior focused learning.
We have all experienced this same situation from time to time. In our cases, the answer was known as “seeing the professor during weekly office hours”.
What we must do is to physically reinforce the prior lessons and to ramp up the distractions to include something as intense as the neighbor’s dog walking past the back yard. We suggested the following lesson:
- Place their dogs in the back yard on long leashes (30 foot training leads would be best).
- Slightly increase the range of the correction area and increase the correction intensity by about 10%.
- Have one person assigned to hold the leash of each dog and to guide them back if they enter the correction area.
- Passively walk around with the dogs for about five minutes in the back yard.
- Have two or three people calmly walk past the back yard with and without calm dogs.
- Now… Get have very animated person with their crazy dog on an extension leash walk past the back yard on the far side of the street. Correct and redirect any dog that starts to enter the correction zone.
- Have one calm person and calm dog walk past the back yard.
- Have the crazy person and crazy dog walk past the back yard near the fence. Correct and redirect, if needed.
- Repeat the calm and crazy people and dogs walking past the back yard exercise for about twenty minutes. Praise the dogs when the lesson is done.
- Repeat this exercises every day for about two weeks or until the dogs no longer pay any attention to the crazy person and their dog.
This is a good “fix-it” for their dogs experiencing their new neighbor and his dog, but there is one more thing that our client should do. After our client thought that her dogs were totally perimeter trained, she never worked with them again. Dogs are creatures of habit and need to have their rules reinforced on a regular basis.
We told our client that she should have a small refresher lesson with her dogs every few weeks. Take them out and provide some distractions outside the back yard to see how they react. If they don’t approach the perimeter, or approach the perimeter and retreat, they pass. If they are constantly testing the perimeter, it is time for a few days of perimeter training.
If you have any questions about training your dog to remain in the back yard or the Dog Guard underground pet containment system, please contact The Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers in Boca Raton and South Florida. Also, please check out our South Florida Dog Training Blog on our Home Dog Training of South Florida Web Location.