Robin and I had installed an underground dog fence for a client in Palm Beach a few weeks ago and were back last week for a follow-up dog training session with him and his Labrador Retriever. We were pretty much wrapping up the perimeter training and his dog clearly understood the boundaries of the containment area. Our client then asked about obedience training and what he could do to work some obedience commands in with the perimeter training we had just completed. This was a great question and we were more than happy to offer some suggestions.
Of all the obedience commands, the one that I like the best is “come” or “recall”. The reason for this is that it is the one command than normally annoys the owner the most when their dog doesn’t obey. So how is the best way to work the “come” command in with the underground dog fence training that we were just completing?
First of all, we place a training lead on the dog. This is simply a “long leash” that is normally about twenty-five to thirty feet long. We let the dog wander around the yard and we follow, holding the lead. As we are walking around (about ten feet from the dog), we will suddenly stop, stoop down, and command “come” as we give a slight tug on the lead. When the dog comes, we give him a praising “good boy”. We repeat this a few times for the next few days until we don’t have to tug on the lead at all.
Now we are ready to move on to the peripheral training. We let the dog wander around the back yard, just like before. This time we allow him to have more lead (about twenty feet). We position ourselves so that we are always between the entrance to the house and he is always toward the underground perimeter wire. At different times, we stoop down low and call him, as before. If needed, we give a slight tug on the lead and guide him to us. As before, we praise him for a job well done when he is at our side. We repeat this for a few days until we don’t have to use the lead to guide him back to us.
We now let him wander the back yard with the fully extended thirty foot lead. We stand near the back door and call him to come to us in the same manner that we had been previously doing. We repeat this until he comes right to us without any need to tug the lead. Next, we let him wander around the yard with the training lead, but we are no longer holding it. We call him to come and if he does, we have completed our “come” training lesson. If he does not, we calmly walk to the end of the lead, pick it up, and give it a slight tug towards us. We continue this until we do not need to have the lead in our hands when we can successfully get him to come to us. We disconnect the lead and we are done.
The one difference in this “come” training and normal “come” training is that I have focused you at the back door and your dog out near the perimeter boundary. By practicing this exercise, it builds up an inate focus in your dog to always be listening for your command. Although your underground fence is still there as a deterrent and training tool, you are adding respectful focus as another reason not to leave your area.
If you have any questions regarding canine obedience command training or Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence Dog Training, please contact us at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Palm Beach and South Florida.