I was in Wellington last week installing a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® system for a new client and Milo, his Bull Terrier. It was a rather large property and the installation went quickly. Milo “trained up” very well and understood where he could roam and where he could not enter. The entire training process was really kind of fun because several of the neighbors came over to watch as we were training Milo through our leash walking and directional education process. As we were finishing up, one of the neighbors came over to me and asked how I got Milo to walk so well during the training. She observed that Milo was always by my side and was very observant of my actions as we moved around the yard. She said that she always saw Milo pulling my client down the street, just like her dog does with her. Was there something magic I was doing?
Even though people often refer to our underground fences as “invisible”, I assured my client’s neighbor that there was nothing “magic” taking place here. When I hooked the leash on Milo’s nylon dog collar (we never hook the leash on the Dog Guard Collar/Receiver), I immediately noticed that he would pull away. Any tugging back I would do to try and get him to walk with me simply adrenalized him and he pulled more. I immediately realized that the current situation was untenable for proper boundary training.
In order to teach Milo how to properly walk and, thusly, where not to walk, requires his attention. The collar/leash that he was wearing was only causing him to pull and focus anywhere else but back towards me. The equipment needed to be changed in order to gain his attention. The goal of the equipment that I needed was something that would get his attention while doing nothing that would hurt, scare, or frighten him.
In the past, many people would put a chain “choke” collar on their dog when they had a problem walking. If used properly, the dog owner would give a quick “check” on the leash to create a high pitched sound from the chain collar and quick tug on the neck from the leash. The combination of the physical tug on the dog’s neck and instant sound by the dog’s ear would refocus their attention backwards towards their owner. This was effective, but often difficult to perform properly.
Many dog owners would not stop their action with a quick “tug and release”, but continue to pull on the leash. Since the choke chain collar is a continual constricting device, the dog would begin to choke. This scared and even hurt the dog; causing heightened adrenaline and pulling to get away. There needed to be a “fix” so that the dog would not choke and become scared.
The Martingale Collar resolves the issue. It is mostly designed like a standard, nylon dog collar. Where the hook for the collar would normally go is replaced by a triangular length of chain loosely attached to the ends of the collar and the leash. When the owner tugs on the leash, the chain constricts, making the audible diversion. The collar is fit so that when the chain is completely engaged, the collar will contract and stop before the dog is choked. It will, however, give the physical tug to help properly direct the dog in the appropriate direction.
I knew that Milo needed some additional distraction to get his focus, so I quickly replaced his normal collar with the Martingale dog collar. As we began to walk around the yard and he would try and pull away, I could tug on the collar and the Martingale Collar would direct him back to me. Once I had his focus, I could direct him in the proper direction. When he started to pull away again, I repeated the same action to gain his focus.
Since dogs learn through calm consistency and repetition, I was able to quickly and properly teach Milo that he should be walking next to me. Within minutes Milo was calmly walking next to me, focusing on where I wanted him to proceed. This allowed us to have a focused and calm teaching environment where I could continue the lesson engaging the invisible fence boundary.
Simple, clear, and consistent guidance are always the key ingredients to good teaching. If a tool that focuses that learning can help achieve the proper end result, all the better. Robin and I encourage you to ask us about any dog fence questions. Please contact us by going to Dog Fence Training Help Wellington South Florida or telephoning us at (954) 472-4724. You can learn about Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® and dog training solutions at Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Wellington South Florida. We are happy to have been your local dog experts for over eleven years in Wellington and all of South Florida. We are experts in keeping dogs safe and contained as well as being behavioral and obedience dog trainers. You can find out about our Behavior and Obedience Home Dog Training Classes by going to Home Dog Training Wellington South Florida.