We were up in Tequesta last week installing a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® System for a new client and his Rottweiler, Jack. There were a few little challenges with the physical install of the fence, but like always, everything came out perfectly in the end. The largest concern my client had with Jack was running off the front of the property. They weren’t on a busy street, but there was a great deal of foot traffic from the neighbors. This was a very big “walking neighborhood”. He knew that our training would now keep Jack on the property. He was concerned about neighbors getting the wrong impression of Jack being outside when they walked by. Being a Rottweiler, some people can get scared.
As any Rottweiler owner will tell you, these dogs are normally just big babies and lovers that want to play. I have trained hundreds of Rottweiler dogs and the biggest issue is normally their excitement in greeting and interacting with people. The problem is that they are perceived as guard and attack dogs by many people. They are always the ones chasing the action hero across the field followed by the evil henchmen.
I told my client that there were two things we needed to accomplish with Jack to make sure everything would be great for him, Jack, and the rest of the neighborhood. First, we needed to teach Jack the “boundary rules” we established with the installation of the Dog Guard perimeter fencing system. We began by performing the following steps:
- Have Jack in the front of the house on a leash. He has his Dog Guard receiver collar firmly fastened to his neck and the perimeter zone of the fence has been tested for the correct distance and correction signal. The Dog Guard Dog Training Flags have also been placed around the perimeter.
- My client walks Jack towards the perimeter and the training flags. Before he enters the correction zone (where Jack would receive a mild static sensation and warning beep), I instruct my client to turn around and guide Jack back towards the house. He praises Jack for being such a good boy.
- He repeats the process several more times without entering the correction zone.
- Now, I instruct my client to slowly walk Jack into the zone, allowing Jack to enter without pulling or tugging him. As soon as Jack responds, indicating he hears the correction beep or feels the static sensation, direct him out of the zone.
- Now, walk Jack around the yard, approaching the flags and correction zone, but still turning away before they enter the correction zone.
- Allow Jack to walk into the zone again, experience the correction, and immediately guide him out.
- Continue this process for about fifteen to twenty minutes and then end the session.
My client should repeat this several times a day until Jack naturally stops before the flags and doesn’t want to go any further. He can eventually allow Jack to be there without holding the leash, but still calling him back as he gets too close to the perimeter.
Now that Jack understands the perimeter and is more than content to stay in his “happy zone”, we are ready to move on to the second phase of the training and socializing “front yard Jack” with the neighbors.
- I ask my client to be outside with Jack in the front yard when people normally walk by. Jack should be on a leash and by my client’s side. They should be about thirty to forty feet back from the sidewalk or the side of the street (where the neighbors normally walk). He can be sitting with Jack and engage in casual conversation as people pass (“Hi, how are you. Have a nice day.” …etc.). The point of this activity is to see that Jack is in the front yard and not trying to go after them.
- After a day or two, I ask my client to move closer to the sidewalk and repeat the process. This allows the neighbors to build on their prior observation that Jack isn’t trying to “get them”, and allows the stimulation of “dog & human” to increase.
- After a few more days, my client will invite passerby’s that he knows or who are “dog friendly” to come over and pet Jack. This allows the people and “observing neighbors” to see that Jack is really just a pussy cat at heart. It also allows Jack to understand that you are ok with people calmly interacting with him in the front yard.
- Next, I ask my client to repeat the “greeting process”, but with a longer leash. He should allow Jack to wander around more freely than he did before. When people pass by or come to greet him, my client isn’t “right there”; but still in his peripheral view.
- The next step I gave my client was to go inside for a moment or two during the process. He shouldn’t be gone for more than a minute or two. This simply emulates having to get something off the stove, turning off the hose in the pool, etc. As he does this, I had him post a family member (out of sight) in the front of the house to take charge is anything escalates.
- Once the initial “socialization” training is successful, I instruct my client to still be out with Jack to reinforce the training with both Jack and the neighbors.
- My client also should always keep a clean bowl of fresh, cool water outside for Jack. Dehydration can be a major issue in South Florida. I suggest keeping one or two toys for Jack in the front to keep his focus drawn inward. I don’t want to have too many toys in the front because neighbor kids might find them and use them to encourage Jack to leave the yard by throwing them or running off with them.
Dogs learn through the repetitive enforcement of consistent rules. Teaching Jack to stay in the yard is the implementation of one of those rules. The clear and simple socialization of Jack and the neighbors is simply an extension of that rule. You can always find us by going to Dog Fence Training Help. We have more, great dog training and dog safety tips at Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers Tequesta South Florida. We are also professional dog trainers with over eleven years experience. We invite you to find out about our dog training methods at Home Dog Training Tequesta South Florida.