We have been discussing the natural dog learning process and how to effectively employ that in a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence containment training program for the last few weeks. The topics that we have been discussing naturally fit within appropriate canine behavior and general operand conditioning. Because of this, we are not forcing anything new on the dogs. We are simply using the teaching techniques they naturally understand on a new subject. This is what makes the entire process easy for both human and dog.
Before we move on, let’s review what we have learned and where we are now in the dog containment training project:
- You first learned that it is very important to teach your dog in a slow and methodical manner. Dogs can easily grasp simple concepts and perform discrete actions if they are allowed to view the action in a simple, consistent, and repetitive way.
- You must clearly communicate right and wrong to your dog in a way he understands. You first use visual stimulus to direct. If needed, you add audible stimulus. If needed, you finally will use a passive physical stimulus to help show and guide your dog to the correct action.
- You use brightly colored flags to show your dog where their “don’t cross here” boundary is located. Every time he approaches this visual stimulus, you consistently guide him back.
- You ramp up the stimulus and training by including the training collar that gives off an audible beep when approaching the perimeter and a slight static shock when at the perimeter. If your dog walks too close to the perimeter and receives one of these warnings, you consistently show him the appropriate direction to withdraw.
You have been working with the above lessons for little over a month on a daily basis and your dog should understand the perimeter rule pretty thoroughly. You are ready to add the final step in the program. Your final lesson involves the visual ability to understand perspective.
Your dog now has a pretty good understanding of where the perimeter boundaries are located and the direction to withdraw if he approaches too close to the boundaries. This has been accomplished through his three levels of communicative understanding of rules and the consistent and repetitive manner in which they were introduced to him. You can now begin to remove one of the aids used in the process.
You are now going to start to create a perspective perimeter as opposed to a direct visual perimeter. Walk around the property and remove every third containment flag. If this creates some unnecessarily wide gaps between the other flags, space them out so that a clear delineation is still apparent. Repeat your process of allowing your dog to wander the property. Keep the leash very loose. If he walks into the correction area, allow him to appropriately retreat and praise him for making the correct decision. Continue this for several days until he almost always stays out of the perimeter correction area.
Walk around your perimeter and remove every other flag. Repeat the above process for several days. Take every other flag out again. By now, there are very few flags left, but there still are remnants of the visual display of the perimeter. Allow your dog in the yard and to make the decision to stay away from the perimeter.
After about a week, remove the remaining flags. Be with your dog whenever he is outside for the next week. Guide him around the yard. Walk through the perimeter, but don’t encourage him to follow you. Have a friend come up to greet you on the other side of the perimeter. Have a neighbor and their dog walk outside the perimeter. Praise your dog every time he stays in the containment area. If you see he is entering the correction area too often or is running through the correction area to the other side of the perimeter, replace half of the flags and repeat the perspective and flag removal process.
Congratulations, you have taught your dog to stay in a contained area. We are not quite done yet. Our final lesson will discuss the steps you need to maintain to assure that the back yard (i.e. your dog’s containment area) remains interesting and the best place for him to be.
If you have any questions or need additional out of sight dog fence training information, please contact us at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Palm Beach Gardens and South Florida.