I was visiting one of my newest Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence Clients in Naples last week to help her with her little Pomeranian named Artimus. They were doing great and Artimus was staying away from the invisible boundary in the front yard all on his own. The problem was that he was a rescue dog and had an aversion to the back yard, even before we put in the Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence system. Artimus showed a mild level of fearfulness when he was in the back yard any time he was there. This kept us from providing him with effective boundary containment training.
In training for any behavior or delivering the appropriate socialization experience, we need to understand where the problem starts and what we must do to work forward to resolve each issue. Artimus doesn’t like to go in the back yard and, because of that, we can’t effectively train him to the perimeter containment. He is fine when he is in the house. So, we need to start the process of training him not to run out of the back yard at the point of coming out the back door. Once we accomplish that, we can move on to the next “mini lesson”. Here is a technique that I have used over the years in other situations that can easily be successful to resolve this problem as well:
- Open the door you will be using to exit the house to the back yard. Have Artimus on a leash and walk him around the room. Slowly have your walks pass closer and closer to the open back door.
- After several minutes, walk through the back door for just a few steps and walk him back into the house. If Artimus gives any signs of agitation, walk him around the room for a few more minutes before you try again.
- Once Artimus is accepting the outside (just slightly) without signs of fear, extend the outside walk until you are about ten feet away from the back door.
- Have a chair at that point and a longer leash (20 to 30 feet could be a good length). Make sure that the leash is light enough so that it doesn’t hamper Artimus’s movements.
- Sit down in the chair and switch leashes to the longer leash. Give Artimus a nice pet of encouragement and make sure that he has some toys at the side of your chair.
- Let him have free choice of what he wants to do and where he wants to go. Do not force him to go into any particular area. You can try to throw some toys or balls in areas of the yard to encourage him to “wander”. Make sure you don’t throw the toys on the other side of the Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence.
- Continue the process of walking Artimus around the house and then into the back for a “play time” several times a day. He will slowly acclimate to the yard to find it safe and build a bond to focus on you.
- Since Artimus already had built up the association of “don’t cross the flags” from the front yard, he probably won’t want to cross them in the back yard. If he begins to wander too close to them, be ready to guide him back if he gets a correction from the system.
- After about a week, Artimus should be happy in the back yard and feel safe to wander in the appropriate containment area.
What you have done is to allow Artimus to “learn”. You identified his root issue of fear of the back yard and slowly socialized him to the reality that it was safe and you would be there to make sure it would remain safe. After he learned this, his wanderings would bring him into visual contact with the containment perimeter (yellow flags). Since he had already learned to associate them with “don’t get too close”, he could extent that knowledge of the action to take when seeing the yellow flags to the back yard as well.
If you have a dog like Artimus who needs to stay in the back yard but is a little timid and you have more training questions; or you have questions about the Dog Guard Out of Sight Fences, please contact The Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers in Naples and South Florida. Also, please check out our South Florida Dog Training Blog on our Home Dog Training of South Florida Web Location.