Last week I began installing a new Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence for a new client in Fort Lauderdale. As I was in the front yard working on the underground dog fence, a neighbor approached me regarding his dogs. It seemed that he had two Australian Sheppards, Romulus and Remus. He would like to keep both of them in the front yard, but he didn’t want to put up a fence. He also only wants to walk Romulus because Remus is now twelve years old and can’t keep up with him and Romulus any longer. He wondered if that could be accomplished.
My immediate answer was that we could definitely handle his problem. I explained that all dogs learn through simplistic, consistent actions. To be successful in teaching dogs our rules and requirements, we must provide consistent results for each action our dogs undertake.
I continued to explain that he had provided me with two actions he wanted his dog to perform. The first action was not to run out of the front yard. The second action was to only have Romulus go for walks even though Remus was still sitting in the front yard, in plain sight of everything going on.
I suggested a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence and appropriate training to keep both dogs in the front yard. I would first design the layout so that both dogs could wander the yard and still have a clear view of the house and front door. They would be able to run back to the front door from any part in the “allowed to be” front yard without crossing or getting too close to the invisible boundary. Flags would be placed at the underground fence line to provide a visual stimulus of the boundary. Each dog would be leashed and walked around the boundary to show them where they could go and to direct them back towards the house as soon as they got too close to the border we established.
We would also work on “Come” by calling the dogs from the front door while they were in the front yard. Since we designed the boundary to always give a clear path “back home”, this reinforced their comfort zone and focus on the house.
I explained that it would take about three weeks to have Romulus and Remus completely comfortable in staying in the front yard and always willing to return to the house, when called. Once that was accomplished, we could move on to walking Romulus while Remus stayed in the yard.
Our “walking efforts” would use the same principles that we used with the front yard perimeter. We had to consistently show both dogs what we wanted them to do. In order to do this, I told the neighbor that my plan would entail:
- Have both dogs in the front yard.
- Put Romulus on a leash and take out the battery in his collar. Slowly approach the boundary and turn back about six feet before.
- Approach again, but get a little closer. Continue this until he had crossed over the boundary. If Romulus begins to pull back, slop for the day and continue the next day.
- Continue this process until he and Romulus can walk with the leash through the boundary without any tugging or pulling on Romulus’ part.
- If Remus (not on the leash) approaches the boundary to follow, he should receive the audible warning and finally the physical stimulation. As soon as he experiences this, have a family member call him back into the middle of the yard.
- While he is doing this, have both off the leash (with collars on) and walk through the boundary by himself. If either dog attempts to follow, turn around and give a forceful, low toned “NO”. to direct them back.
- Once he can easily walk Romulus through the boundary with the leash (no collar) and both dogs don’t approach the boundary when wearing collars but no leash, he can proceed to the next phase.
- Once outside the boundary, walk Romulus down the street until they are about to leave sight of his yard and Remus’ view. Turn around and walk home. Repeat this for three days.
- Next, walk out of view. Have a family member back home to call Remus back into the middle of the yard if he gets too close to the perimeter. Remember, this is not about the stimulus; it is about the action.
- Once they can leave Remus’ view on a walk with Romulus and Remus is calmly staying in the yard, he is done.
Again, all we have done is to break down the problem in to multiple, small steps. Each step has a very clear definition of failure and success. We simply go down the list.
If you have multiple dogs with different requirements, you have more training questions; or you want more information about the Dog Guard Out of Sight Fences, please contact The Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers in Fort Lauderdale and South Florida. We also invite you to visit our South Florida Dog Training Blog on our Home Dog Training of South Florida Web Location.