Top Cause of Failure

by Gajan Retnasaba on September 13, 2008

As an installer, I have had many customers who tried to install a system themselves and quit in frustration.  But, suprisingly it is not usually the actual installation that trips most people up, it is the training.

By far the most common cause of failure for both professionals and DIYers is training.  Most systems are installed just  fine, but the owner justs puts their dog out in the backyard and expects the dog to know what to do.  Now, the dog doesn’t know what is going on so wanders around the backyard like it usually does and when it gets to the boundary it gets the shocked.  The dog’s natural reaction is to flight, so the dog bolts out of the backyard into the neighbors yard or onto the road.  And worse still, the dog is now stuck outside the boundary and cannot return without getting another shock.  Now the dog has learned that every time they get a shock, the way to avoid more discomfort is to run out of the yard.  That is exactly the opposite of what you wanted the dog to learn.

Now I know you are busy, you have a hectic job and your kids deserve your attention, after all that is why you put in the fence in the first place.  But I know if you can just put in three session of fifteen minute, every day for two weeks then you and your dog will get a lifetime of rewards.  Don’t offload it to your kids or postpone the training for just another couple of days, when you know that never works.  Do the training diligently know and think about how great it will feel in just two weeks.

I also know that you don’t want to hurt your dog.  But, the shock doesn’t hurt much.  Try it on yourself if you are really concerned.  It feels a lot more suprising than hurtful.  There is no lingering pain, it feels just like the static shock you get stepping out of a car.  Think about how much it hurts to be hit by a car or the hurt of being lost or the hurt of being stuck inside bored senseless.  If you are diligent in the training, your dog will probably be shocked only a few times.  I bet if you could ask your dog whether they want a lifetime of freedom and a half-dozen shocks or to be stuck indoors all day, they would choose the former in a heartbeat.  Think of how happy you will both be in two weeks.

So if you are going to put in a fence, whether you do it yourself or you get a professional, I need you to commit to three fifteen minute session, every day for just two weeks.  No excuses, just do it every day.  Make if fun.  Then both you and your dog will be rewarded with years of happiness.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cavit McCormick December 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I live in a equestrian (5 to 35) acre neighborhood. We have 16 miles of green belt trails and 16 miles of paved road. I hike a lot with one of my Golden Retrievers. My dogs are always on lead. In 4 years I have seen 7 dogs go through invisible fences. I have been attacked by 3. Right now my left ankle is extremely swollen from a dog bite. As a pedestrian how do I know that something that I cannot see will protect me and my dogs? Invisible fences do not work and you face extreme liability if you use them.

ADMIN – Hi Cavit,

Sorry to hear about your foot. You bring up a good point. Pedestrian have no idea if a dog fence is going to work. It is the absolute responsibility of the dog owner if they are going to rely on a dog fence to make sure that the dog will not go through the fence line in any circumstance. Training and then testing compliance are absolutely vital to make sure situations like this don’t happen.
The best way to test is to use the same type of temptations that would be likely to lure your dog across. I like to use a confederate with a dog. For most dogs that is the highest temptation situation they will face.

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