About a month ago I installed a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® System in Palm Beach Gardens for a new client and his Border Collie named Rusty. The back yard was already enclosed with a four-foot fence, but Rusty could easily jump over it. Their big concern was having Rusty jump over the fence and go after the ducks in the lake behind their house. We took care of that with little issue. We also created a perimeter in the front yard where there was no fence. We did this as a simple necessity to complete the underground system. Up until then, they had never let Rusty in the front yard. Everything was going great. A few days ago, they gave me a call and said Rusty was getting out of the underground fence perimeter.
I received the voice mail and was initially concerned that there was a break in the wire or the collar was defective. Since our main goal of the project was to contain Rusty in the back with the invisible fence acting as a decisive deterrent in conjunction with the standard fence, I thought that was where tie problem arose. That was not the case.
It seemed that my clients were so excited about Rusty never getting out of the back, they started to bring him into the front yard where there was no “slow down” at the boundary and much larger enticements to have him dart into the street and rest of the neighborhood. As I found out after my phone call with them, they had simply brought Rusty into the front yard with minimal instruction of the perimeter. When cats would run through the yard, Rusty would run at full speed after them and go right through the invisible fence boundary. When they were playing ball with Rusty in the front yard and accidentally throw the ball so that it would leave the yard, Rusty would tear after it.
We had taught Rusty, through appropriate exercises, where the boundaries were in the back and he very quickly understood his perimeter. My clients never repeated the exercises in the front when they decided to expand his perimeter. Since Rusty already had shown a clear sense of understanding of the perimeter training in the back, there shouldn’t be a big hassle in repeating that in the front.
The rule that we had to reinforce with Rusty was “Don’t go beyond here”. That “here” was the edge of their yard where I had placed the perimeter wire that would activate Rusty’s collar. That lesson had to be taught in a calm and passive manner so Rusty could easily and repeatedly experience what was correct and what was incorrect.
I told my client to replace the flags I had originally installed around the perimeter of the front yard. This would act as visual assistance to show Rusty the perimeter. He should only bring Rusty out front when on a leash or long training lead.
He should bring Rusty into the front yard several times a day and walk him around the middle of the yard. Next, he should slowly extend his walking area until he approaches the perimeter. As soon as Rusty’s collar would activate, he should direct him back into the middle of the yard and towards the house. He should repeat this two or three times each session.
What he is doing is to show Rusty where the appropriate are of the yard is located. As they move farther out in the yard and toward the street, Rusty always gets a stimulus and is immediately directed back where he received no stimulus. My client is consistently and repetitively teaching him a simple “right/wrong”. Once Rusty always turns away from the edge of the yard with no assistance or direction from my client, they can move on to the next level.
Now, he should take a ball and slowly toss that around the yard. Rusty should be on a long training lead so he can freely go after the ball while still under the control of my client. As he did with the prior walking exercise, he should slowly toss the ball closer and closer to the perimeter. If Rusty gets too close to the perimeter, he will receive a stimulus from the collar. As soon as my client sees this, he should use the training lead to direct Rusty back to the middle of the yard and to him. He should continue this process until Rusty will only go after the ball to the edge of the yard. If the ball rolls into the street or onto the neighbor’s property, Rusty will not follow.
I told my client that he can continue this same process with other adrenalized distractions that might encourage Rusty to cross the perimeter and leave the front yard. He should always have the leash or training lead to help “teach” Rusty the correct action if he starts to cross the perimeter.
I reminded my client that the reason that Rusty was running through the perimeter in the front was because he simply wasn’t taught “Don’t go beyond here”. Once my client reinforces that rule with his dog using natural, adrenalized distractions that might cause him to divert from that rule and allow for a simple and understandable teachable moment, everything will be fine.
The important fact to remember in any teaching process is the first, simple rule you must deliver before learning progresses. When your dog is running down the street, it is difficult to clearly focus on this fact. We hope that you will always ask us about dog fence questions you may have.. You can get in touch with us by going to Dog Fence Training Help Palm Beach Gardens South Florida or calling us at (954) 472-4724. You will discover a wide range of Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® and dog training solutions at Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Palm Beach Gardens South Florida. Robin and I have great pleasure being your neighborhood dog experts for over eleven years in Palm Beach Gardens and all of South Florida. We enjoy keeping dogs safe and contained as well as being behavioral and obedience dog trainers. Learn more about our Behavior and Obedience Home Dog Training Systems by checking out Home Dog Training Palm Beach Gardens South Florida.