I was visiting our Veterinarian Hospitals in Weston this week that I normally stop by to discuss our Home Dog Training activities. At this visit, I introduced them to our Out of Sight Dog Fence activities. They were very excited to hear that we were now offering this option because they know of so many dogs that get away from their owners and never come back. They understood about the wire that is put in the ground to create the underground fence and the collar that the dog needs to wear to let them know to stay away from the perimeter. Since we are dog trainers, they were very interested in how the training takes place to communicate to the dog where his home boundaries exist.
I thought that this was a great question because proper containment of the family dog is critical to the dog’s safety. Understanding how to explain the perimeter to the dog is critical in this process.
In order to explain anything to a dog, we need to know how they communicate. Dogs communicate using a hierarchal process. This means that they begin at one level and if they aren’t getting their message across, they ramp it up.
- The first level of canine communication is visual. Dogs use body language for their communication. We will use the yellow training flags placed at the containment perimeter for our visual communication. Visual communication is the most important part of canine communication.
- The second level of canine communication is auditory. Dogs bark, growl, whine, yelp, etc. when they want to ramp up their communication. This helps other dogs to focus on the communicating dog’s body language. As the dog approaches the yellow flags of the underground fence containment boundary, the collar emits an audible sound warning the dog of their location. The dog hears the sound that will spark his focus on the visual stimulus (the flags).
- The third level of canine communication is physical. By physical, I don’t mean that it is anything like a “punch in the face” or anything that irreversibly harms the dog. Dogs normally will nip the other dog to get their attention. A dog nipping another dog is not painful to them, it simply gets their attention. With the Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence, if the dog continues to approach the containment boundary after he hears the warning sound, he will receive a mild static stimulus (like the static shock you get when touching an old TV screen). This is normally enough to have them take several steps back and focus on the flags.
This is the communication that is naturally built into the Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence System and is the exact method used by dogs to communicate. As dog trainers, we use this natural communication process to instruct the dog where the appropriate containment boundary is located.
Our goal is to consistently use the communication process to direct the dog from the boundary at the lowest communication level possible. We plan our training program so that we very rarely reach the third level of communication. As consistency and repetition continues through the training process, we will even be able to remove the training flags. This is because the dog has established the location and a natural perspective of the containment boundary using the larger visible objects and fixed distractions around him.
If you have any questions about how to communicate to your dog or the Dog Guard underground pet containment system, please contact The Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers in Palm Beach and South Florida. Also, please check out our South Florida Dog Training Blog on our Home Dog Training of South Florida Web Location.