We were on Marco Island last weekend giving a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence estimate to a prospective client. We explained how the entire underground fence system functioned, showed him the collars and Dog Guard transmitter, told him that it was all made in the USA, and walked through our dog training to have his American Staffordshire happily stay on his property. Everything was great and he wanted to start the project as soon as we could. As we were rapping things up, he had one more question. “Dudley always jumps on the back sliding glass door when he wants to come in and it is scratching it all up. He is so big, we are also afraid he might break through the glass. Should we do something with the out of sight dog fence there too?”
This is a question that many dog owners ask us all the time. They might be our Dog Training clients or they might be our Dog Fence clients (like Dudley’s parents). First, let me resolve the issue with our Dog Guard clients.
The Dog Guard perimeter fence containment system, or any perimeter fence containment system, is designed to condition the dog not to cross a particular line. Since we would like Dudley to come in the house as long as he isn’t destroying or breaking my back sliding glass door, the dog fence solution is inappropriate. Using it will only confuse him and it will require me turning it on and off or removing his collar every time I wanted him to come in or go out of the house.
What I want to do is to condition Dudley that jumping on the back sliding glass door is inappropriate behavior. In order to do this, I have to create a passive distraction that he can easily associate with “I don’t want to get close to the sliding glass door right now.” Most of the time when Dudley is jumping on the back glass door, I am not there. This means that I cannot take an immediate part in the correction or redirection. I need a “prop” that will repeatedly tell him not to jump on the door.
We have been quite successful in deploying a standard Chair Mat as a very effective deterrent for dogs jumping on sliding glass doors. These mats are made for chairs on wheels to easily slide over carpet. One side of the mat is smooth for the chair and the other side of the carpet has small, raised pointed objects designed to hold the carpet in place. If you were to step on the chair mat when the surface with the pointed objects was facing up, it would be very uncomfortable for your bare feet.
When you let your dog outside, place the chair mat directly in front of the sliding glass door with the sharp objects facing up. As your dog approaches, he will step on the mat, find it uncomfortable on his paws, and back up. He might bark to let you know that he is ready to come back inside the house, but that is OK. He is not destroying your sliding glass door.
You can now open the sliding glass door. Give him the “sit” command as you pick up the chair mat. You can then release him and have him come in the house. You will need to repeat this process for several weeks to build up a consistency in your dog’s actions and your response. Soon, you will no longer need to use the chair mat because your dog has learned, through your joint actions, that he can give you a bark while he is backed away from the back sliding glass door and you will let him in. (Be sure to always have him sit and stay before you let him in.)
If you have any questions about keeping your dog from jumping on the back yard sliding glass door or the Dog Guard underground pet containment system, please contact The Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers in Marco Island and South Florida. Also, please check out our South Florida Dog Training Blog on our Home Dog Training of South Florida Web Location.