Robin and I were at a prior Dog Fence Training client in Weston last week working on a break in the wire caused by their gardener. They had just taken out a very large tree right next to the perimeter wire and when they pulled out the roots, it broke the wire. We had no problem in finding the break and quickly got them up and running again. While we were there, we discussed how their dogs were doing. They told us everything was going well and they were telling all their other neighbors in the Savannah section of Weston about our services. The one question that he had was how to make sure their dogs stay in the yard after all the training is done.
This is a great topic and fits right in with our final discussion of dog perimeter fence training. Dogs are pretty fast learners and teaching them where the perimeter of their area is located only takes a few weeks. After this is accomplished, we need to passively reinforce the lesson.
Of course, we still want to use the collars as an automatic deterrent to exiting the property, but we want to decrease the collar’s use to the point that they become almost unnecessary. The most important thing that we must now introduce is the fact that everything your dog really needs is in your yard. Keeping your dog focused on items within the yard minimizes the chances of focusing on out-of-yard distractions and the possibility of crossing the perimeter line you have established. Here are some suggestions to make the back yard your dog’s “kingdom”.
- Feed your dog on your back porch. Give him goodies right by the back door. This builds up the relationship of food equals the back of the house. Your dog will stay near that area in anticipation of getting food. It is the same thing as waiting by the free food carts at the Price Club.
- Make sure that you have several of your dog’s toys around the back yard. Walk around the yard, pick them up, and toss them. Your dog will run after them to play with them. Continue this to establish that the back yard is your dog’s toy box.
- Practice “come” with your dog in the back yard. Place a long leash (30 feet or so) on him and let him wander around in the yard. You should be standing on the back porch or by the back door. Once he is at a good distance, call him to come to you. If he doesn’t respond, give the leash a slight tug, go down on your knees, and guide him to you. Repeat this daily until he will always come to you when he is called.
- (Do this when there is no activity near your house.) Have that long leash on your dog and walk him out of the gate (make sure the perimeter underground fence is turned off or his collar is not on him).
- Once he is outside, you will walk through the gate into the back yard and close the gate while your dog remains outside. Your dog is attached to the leash that runs from him, under the gate, to your hand. Hold one of your dog’s toys or a goodie in your hand. Do not encourage your dog or tease him with what you have. Simply let me see that you have something that he thinks is really good and he is outside and can’t have it.
- After about two or three minutes, walk back to the gate and nonchalantly open it. When your dog walks back into the back yard, call him to you and give him what you have. Praise him for being a good dog. Repeat this from time to time until your dog will simply follow you back into the yard as soon as you approach the gate.
Please remember that these actions should only be done after you have completed the other lessons we have been reviewing over the last few weeks. Once complete, your dog will be happy and willing to stay in your back yard or whatever area you have designated as your containment space. If you have any other questions about dog fence training, please contact us at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Weston and South Florida.