Last Tuesday I was over in Cooper City installing a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® system for a new client and his Rottweiler named Alfred. We installed the invisible fence around the perimeter of the house with little cut-ins so Alfred could be in the back yard or the front yard. The installation was pretty simple because there were few bushes, trees and other obstructions to worry about. By late afternoon we were ready to do the training with my client and Alfred. After about thirty minutes of training, Alfred “got it”. My client was amazed and wondered how Alfred’s problem of running out of the yard had been resolved so quickly.
I explained to my client that the biggest problem we humans make with our dogs is to over complicate matters that are really very simple. I went on to say that dogs excel in learning simple tasks with singular results. As long as we keep our teaching moments (or lessons) focused on simple, singular, easily discernable results, our dogs will actually learn faster than us.
Now, I expanded to the learning process of the underground, invisible dog fence. The dog fence is simply a tool that can be used to teach the dog to “stay home”. The lesson can be thought of as a question; “Where should I be?” The answer is always “On the property near home.” From our point of view, “near home” can be in the yard and not in the street.
Now, we need to create a lesson of “right and wrong” that will enlighten Alfred to our lesson. The invisible fence’s proximity stimulus can be used as the guiding factor in teaching the lesson.
I started the process by having Alfred in the yard on a leash. We calmly walked around the yard away from the perimeter flags just like he normally would. Slowly, we got nearer to the flags to allow him to become curious about them and to see that they extended around the entire perimeter of the house.
I then allowed Alfred to walk a little too close to the flags and he got a mild shock. This startled him and I immediately directed him back, closer to the house. As soon as he moved back, he no longer received the shock. He remained startled for a moment because that was a completely new experience for him.
We continued to walk around the yard so he could understand that “there was no shock there” and to allow him to feel good and safe about that. I continued to allow him to observe the flags.
We then began to approach the flags again. I never forced him towards them, but he still was a little curious. Was that “shock for real”? Well, as we got too close to the flags at another part of the yard, he got a little zip again. This time, I didn’t have to direct him with the leash. He knew exactly where to go.
Alfred moved back to the middle of the yard and sat down to ponder his new environment. After a few minutes, I picked up the leash and began to walk around the yard again. As soon as we got close to the flags, but still outside the zap zone; Alfred turned around and went back to the middle of the yard.
We continued to walk around the yard for another five to ten minutes and Alfred was more than happy to stay in the yard. He saw no need to go to the perimeter or beyond.
I told my client that the secret of this training is not having Alfred get the shock at the edge of the property. It was allowing him to see how great and safe it was in the yard and away from the edge of the property. Since the one thing that dogs want in their social structure is safety, that is what they focus on. In letting Alfred understand that the perimeter is not safe but the yard is completely safe, he naturally will stay at home.
Remember that learning is all about directed focus and the ability to understand differences. The stimulus that the dog receives must only be administered to show differences. If you have any invisible fence or dog training questions, Robin and I are here for you. Just click on Dog Fence Training Help Cooper City South Florida. You can also reach us on our direct Dog Guard office line at (954) 424-0170. Find out more about Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® and the problems we can solve by visiting Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Cooper City South Florida. Robin and I greatly enjoy having been your neighborhood dog pros for over twelve years in Cooper City and the entire South Florida area. If your dog needs standard behavioral or obedience training, we are here for you too. Find all about our dog training programs at Home Dog Training Cooper City South Florida.