I was out at one of my favorite Out of Sight Dog Fence Customers in Naples last week dropping off some batteries and performing some quick maintenance on the Dog Containment Electronic Equipment. We have always had some great conversations over time and today he had a new question for me. “Bruce, I know that you and Robin have trained about 3,500 dogs in South Florida mostly using canine behavior techniques and that you also install Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing. Do you use your knowledge from training dogs when you work with the dog fence?
My answer was a resounding “Yes”. Canine operant conditioning, socialization, focus, and repetitive practice are critical in teaching your dog any activity. Training them that they are not allowed in specific places should be no different. The only different piece in the entire puzzle are the tools that we use to reach a specific end. Over the next few weeks I will discuss the different parts of successful dog containment training and how proper canine behavior is used. The first big secret is that we are not trying to hurt, scare, or frighten our dog when using an out of sight fence.
Let’s first discuss the importance of setting up the containment perimeter and your dog’s appropriate behavior.
- DOGS LEARN THROUGH SIMPLE EXAMPLES. Dogs learn through a simple Yes/No system. Don’t jump. No stealing. Don’t beg. Not beyond here. When we are setting up our dog’s containment perimeter, we must be keenly aware of this fact so that we can create the appropriate learning environment. As you are establishing your environment, go to where you want to run your underground dog fence and do two things. First, look at where you don’t want your dog to go. Next, turn around 180 degrees and ask yourself what you see. In most cases, that should be your house. Keep this in mind and walk to another location where you want to place your perimeter and do the same thing. When you turn around 180 degrees, your answer still should be your house. This makes sure that you are providing him the same lesson wherever he experiences the perimeter. If there are large objects completely blocking his view of “here is where you should be”, you might consider re-positioning the perimeter.
- VISUAL STIMULUS IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE. The brightly colored flags that we place to help your dog locate the perimeter are the most effective training aids. Our final goal is to have your dog understand where they can and cannot go. The flags provide visual stimuli that are suddenly change their normal territory. Dogs are naturally inquisitive animals that have to understand about the flags. As they stop to observe, they will also begin to build up a perspective of “where they are”. This visual perspective will be used later when we begin active training and conditioning. Remember, the flags are visual stimuli and are the first level of our future training process.
- AUDIBLE STIMULUS IS THE NATURAL, SECONDARY DOG COMMUNICATION PROCESS. It is important that you understand your dog’s “pay attention drive” and wanting to get to the places you don’t want him to go. If your dog has a strong “time to go” drive, you will want to provide a stronger and longer audible communication that he has reached his perimeter. If you are in tight spaces or your dog is not as likely to leave your acceptable area, you don’t need as much audible correction. With the Dog Guard Out of Sight transmitter, there is a dial that lets you adjust the level of the audible stimulus. This is used if he is not paying attention to the flags and is used as an “Excuse me, didn’t you see the flags” warning.
- PHYSICAL YET NON AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATION IS THE FINAL DOG COMMUNICATION PROCESS. When you see dogs playing with each other, you will see them give each other little nips. This is just their communication to get the other’s attention. With humans, it is the same of tapping someone on the shoulder to get their attention. Tapping someone on the shoulder is physical, but there is no intention of hurting or scaring them. The reason for doing it is to simply communicate “Hey, you really need to understand this.” The physical deterrent delivered by the Out of Sight Fence to the dog is simply the final level of “You really need to understand this, now”. That is why it is so important that you don’t set the deterrent too high and overwhelm the lesson you are trying to deliver. With the Dog Guard Out of Sight Transmitter, there is a dial from 0% to 100%. We have found that you should always start at about 20% for this physical deterrent. Again, dogs very rarely use physical communication to “talk among each other”. We need to understand that our training will very rarely use this level of communication, but when needed, we must properly deliver our lesson.
I bet you never thought that understanding canine communication was so important in setting up your Out of Sight Dog Fence. When we understand “why”, the “how” becomes a piece of cake. Next time we will continue this conversation and expand our training explanations.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding Out of Sight Dog Fences or Dog Training. You can go to our web site at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Naples and South Florida.