Retraining a Dog on the Electronic Fence Boundaries

by Gajan Retnasaba on May 24, 2009

We recently had a customer who had trained their dog on an electric dog fence system but had for various reasons stopped using it so their dog had unlearned the boundaries and now roamed freely. To reintroduce the dog to the system, you basically want to start from scratch with the training. But you can usually do it faster than an untrained dog. So instead of taking three weeks, you can cut that down to ten days.

Since the dog has likely not forgotten the boundary rules, only that there is a consequence for breaking them, the dog relearns the rules very quickly.  Particularly after they hear the warning beep the dog and definitely after they get the first correction they start to relearn very quickly.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

matt Bettag April 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

Our 1 year old NAID was trained on electric fence. Our 8 month was good, but now they are starting to bolt through the fence. What can I do.

ADMIN – Hi Matt,

Several recommendations to help solve this problem:

– Widen the boundary width as wide as your yard will take to give your dogs more time to receive correction and thus encourage them to turn back
– Increase the correction level
– Make sure the collars are fitted tight enough (should be able to get only 1 finger underneath the collar band, but no more) and that BOTH probes are contacting skin
– Place them on a leash during this period to prohibit them from breaching the boundary. You will need to begin re-training them

The most important thing to keep in mind is that this is ultimately a behavioral problem, not a fence or correction level problem. When dogs begin to disobey and leave the boundary, they are choosing not follow the rules you’ve set to where they are allowed to go. It’s therefore very important to make sure you take control of the situation by first not allowing the opportunity to breach the boundary.

Solving this issue will take a tremendous amount of patience from you, so remain positive with the dogs as you work through this process of re-training.

Cynthia Weeks February 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Our border collie had the “dummy” effect with our invisible fence for the past 2 years, so we didn’t put on his collar but he has now forgotten the boundaries. If we put the collar on him, he won’t go outside. Any suggestions on how to retrain him to wear the collar and be comfortable again going outside?

Thanks so much.

Admin – Cynthia

There are several recommendations we have for containing dog’s who disregard their dog fence boundary.

1) Thin the fur on the dog’s neck with scissors or clippers to guarantee a good fitting collar. If you’re not using long fur probes, we suggest changing to those.

2) Increase the boundary width if possible. Widen the boundary as wide as your property can take that still gives your dogs plenty of space to play. This will increase the area in which your dog will receive correction and make it more difficult to bolt through.

3) Most importantly, re-train your dogs. The successful containment formula is training + correction. Correction alone rarely contains any dog. With your dogs boldly disobeying the rules, it’s time to go back to square one. Treat this as if your dogs have never been on the fence and you need to train them for the first time. So, set up your flags to establish the new, wider boundary and begin supervising your dogs play. Until your dogs can prove they respect the boundary, keep training and do not let them in the yard unsupervised. You don’t want to force your dogs to the boundary, but you want to be present give commands. Try using a leash that has a long lead so that your dogs can play, but if they try to leave, you can reinforce the correct behavior. Make sure to have a great, positive attitude about it as well. Reward him with treats when he does the right thing.

Making your yard the fun, safe place to be is the biggest lesson your teaching your dogs. And remember, patience and persistence with the above tips will go a long way in solving your dog containment issue.

ernest webb January 26, 2010 at 8:12 am

Question: I had to give my 1 yr old australian shepherd to my parents b/c i left the country for a month. My dad had to train him on an invisible fence since their yard is not fenced in. When i return I will have about 2 months until I move up north where I will have to give the dog back to my parents for about a year. Will my parents have to retrain the dog? Those are smart creatures and I assumed he would learn very quickly his boundaries around the yard if he was only taken away for 2 months….

ADMIN – Hi Ernest,

The is unlikely to need retraining. They should get right back in the routine. We have clients that have fences in both their summer home and regular home and the dogs go between them without missing a beat. If you are concerned, you could put the flags back out for a few days when he returns, but I don’t think it will be necessary.

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