I was in Naples this morning talking to some Veterinarians about Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing. During one conversation, a Vet Tech mentioned that one of her neighbors had installed an out of sight fence that they had purchased at a local Pet Store. She said that it didn’t work so she didn’t like products like that. I decided to dig a little deeper to see what was really going on…
When out of sight dog fencing is purchased at stores, many things could go wrong. Because of that, I needed to know the whole story. I asked the Vet Tech to elaborate on the situation with her neighbor. She told me that they put the wire in the ground, plugged it in, put the collar on their dog, and let their dog out in the yard. Their dog, a Labrador Retriever, saw a duck in the lake at the back of the house. He got excited, took off, and ran right through the field of the out of sight fence and into the lake. After they got Rudy, their Lab, out of the lake; they turned up the intensity of the system and let him out again. This time, he walked into the correction field of the system, jumped about four feet into the air, and kept getting the correction because he didn’t know where to go. They had to physically pull him back into the middle of the yard to stop getting the correction. After that, Rudy wouldn’t come out of the house.
This is a classic case of lack of teaching. The entire purpose of the out of sight fence, whether you use a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence or another product, it to educate your dog regarding what you want them to do. When the Vet Tech’s neighbors put in their out of sight fence from the pet store, they did not teach the dog anything. They simply put Rudy in the middle of a “mine field” and said “have a nice day”.
All canine teaching is based on the simple principle of right and wrong. The stimulation delivered by the dog fence simply needs to be taught as “wrong”. Rudy’s owners also needed to immediately teach Rudy what was “right”.
So, let’s back up to the point where the dog fence was installed and the collar was put on Rudy. Think of this as the first day of school just before the morning bell. Now it is time to begin the lesson. Here is what they should have done:
- Make sure Rudy is on a leash so that they are always in passive control of him.
- Walk Rudy calmly out of the back door into the middle of the yard. Pause for a moment to allow Rudy to smell the wind and sniff the grass.
- Slowly walk towards the area where they have buried the perimeter dog fence.
- As soon as Rudy gets a corrective stimulus, direct him away from the area and praise him for being a good boy.
- Walk Rudy around the yard again for a few minutes.
- Slowly coax Rudy back towards the perimeter. If he doesn’t want to go, don’t force him. This indicates that he is already learning that he shouldn’t go too far away from the house.
- If Rudy easily walks back towards the perimeter, allow him to continue until he gets a corrective stimulus. Direct him away into the middle of the yard while praising him. Have him sit and let him look at the perimeter. This is helping to build his perspective of “good places” and “bad places”.
- Stop the lesson for now and repeat later in the day.
Never push the situation. If Rudy becomes pensive, fearful, or over-reactive at any time, stop the lesson. These actions indicate that the learning process has shut down and any continued actions could only lead to fear and frustration.
Success is determined by Rudy’s no longer wanting to go to the boundaries of the yard and happily staying within the yard. He should easily come out the back door and even see distractions such as ducks and squirrels outside of the yard. Because of your lessons, he knows that they can be watched, just not chased.
The one thing that you need to remember is that the out of sight dog fence is only a tool in the learning process. Once in place, your real job is the teaching your lesson.
We are always excited to answer any additional questions you may have about Dog Fence Training or any information you may require about Dog Guard Out of Sight Fences. Please contact The Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers in Naples and South Florida. Be sure to visit our South Florida Dog Training Blog on our Home Dog Training of South Florida Web Location.