I was revisiting a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® client in Plantation last week to followup with Comet, his two year old Greyhound. We had installed his invisible dog fence system about six months ago and everything was going wonderful. Comet was staying in the yard and could sit on the front porch with no inkling of running into the street or through the neighborhood. About three weeks ago, my client began to find Comet at his neighbor’s house or just wandering the street. He checked the batteries on the collar and made sure that there were no breaks in the line. Everything was just fine and Comet was still escaping the perimeter. I came back to help solve the problem.
A great part of dog behavior training is uncovering anomalous distractions that cause unique, physical actions. When we first trained Comet, we made sure that we worked with him during all the times he would normally be left outside. Even though I strongly recommended that the Greyhound never be left outside alone, my client still left him in the front yard for small periods of time when he would run neighborhood errands. These took place in the late morning when the neighborhood was always quiet with very little people or cars passing up and down the street in front of their home.
Recently, my client had a small health issue requiring him to attend an hour of physical therapy in the early afternoon. He thought nothing of this because he thought “Comet outside at 11AM or 2PM; no big difference…”.
I suggested that we try and see what was happening in the early afternoon when Comet was outside and seemed to get through the invisible dog fence. I had my client leave for his therapy as he normally did and I stayed out of sight and waited. At about 2:15, a school bus pulled onto the street and stopped about three houses down from my client’s house. Twenty or thirty kids piled out of the bus and headed in different directions for their homes. As they passed my client’s house, Comet became excited and got up from sitting on the porch. The school kids naturally saw this and called Comet to them. They even offered snacks and goodies they had in their backpacks.
This was just too much for Comet and he ran off for them. By the time he got to the dog fence perimeter, he was running so quickly that he was through in an instant. The two seconds of shock were no match for the heightened focus and spiked adrenaline of school kids wanting to play and give him goodies.
As soon as I saw this, I came out of my “hiding place” and put Comet on a leash for his own protection. I took the collar off so that I could take him back on my client’s property and calmly walked him back to the porch.
The problem was obvious. Although we had successfully conditioned Comet for almost all levels of distractions and his appropriate decision to ignore them, the school kids’ encouragement to cross the line and play with them was just over the top. I needed my client to work with Comet and direct him to the correct solution when he sees the school kids.
We implemented the following lesson:
- We returned to the basic training methodology of having Comet on a long leash in the front yard.
- We allowed Comet to approach the boundary and make the correct decision that he didn’t want to go there.
- We now waited for the school bus and the exuberant kids.
- If Comet began to get excited or too focused on the kids as they were getting off the bus, we used the leash to guide him back towards the house.
- We allowed Comet as much freedom as possible as the kids passed and they encouraged him to come to them.
- If Comet began to go towards the kids and the dog fence perimeter, we allowed him to proceed, but kept it at a slow pace. This would allow us to deliver a more lasting correction if the Greyhound actually got to the edge of the yard.
- As Comet approached the edge of the yard and the perimeter, we allowed him to get a correction and then gave the leash a tug to direct him back.
- We repeated this until the school kids left.
I asked that my client have someone practice this with Comet for the next two weeks when the school bus appears. (Remember, he had to go to physical therapy.) I also suggested that he give Comet a doggie goodie in the afternoon before he leaves so that Comet already has a distraction opposed to the kids.
I checked back with my client this morning to see how things were going after the first few days of the new dog training perimeter exercise. He told me that Comet almost completely ignores the kids when they pass after school. This was great. All we had to do was to increase the level of distraction in our dog training lesson while maintaining the consistency of the prior steps. This is a process all dogs can understand and one that Comet can successfully learn.
Dogs are great students if you teach them the correct lesson. They can easily learn a consistent action. We simply need to assure that we have completed our lesson. Please contact us with any dog training or invisible dog fence questions. Click on Dog Fence Training Help Plantation South Florida. We offer a great deal of dog training and invisible dog fence information at Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Plantation South Florida. Robin and I have professionally trained over 3,500 dogs in Plantation and all over South Florida. Correctly providing a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® System requires both a flawless installation process and professional dog training methodology. Our certified Dog Training is tantamount to the Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® System. Understand how we train dogs by clicking on Home Dog Training Plantation South Florida.