Training the Dog on Every Single Flag?

by Gajan Retnasaba on February 27, 2010

Do you need to take the dog around to every flag when training a Dog on an underground electric fence? Our dog fence training protocol suggests you move the dog to different sections of the installation each time you do a training session. But do you need to take the dogs around to each and every single individual flag?

I am very interested in installing an underground electric fence for our dogs. I do have a concern about training though. I want to fence in about 5 acres. The front boundary, which is the only side where there is a public road, will also have regular fencing and the driveway will be gated. I want that to keep people from driving in while the dogs are loose and also to give a little extra protection to be sure the dogs don’t make a bolt for the road. My land is somewhat steep in some areas, though I can get up there for the installation. The dogs LOVE to run and play on the hills, so I really want to be able to give them access to those areas. My concern, though, is with the training part. Will I have to cover the entire boundary with them, multiple times daily, in order to get them trained or do they learn to respond to the flags without having to be physically taken by a handler to each and every flag?

I have five dogs. Like I mentioned, some of the areas are rather steep. I can get up there for installation and to put the flags in place. But I just don’t think I could possibly have the time or stamina to individually train all the dogs to the boundary, having to take them around 2-3 times a day on a leash. I know that I could give them the time daily to get used to the flags in the more accessible areas, for a couple of weeks.

My two leader dogs are already somewhat familiar with the areas where they will be permitted because I have used a training collar with them to help keep them under control and they respond well to that. The other dogs tend to stay with those two, even without a correction collar on. For the underground fence training, do the dogs ever respond to mentoring by other dogs?

I do not intend to ever leave the dogs loose within the fence without supervision. I’m just looking for a way to keep them within certain limits, on my own land (not bothering the land surrounding me which is leased by hunt clubs) when I am out with them or when I am working at my studio which is away from the house.

I’m really hoping that we can find a way to make the underground fencing work for this set-up. The expense of regular fencing would be prohibitive and it would be extremely difficult to install regular fencing in some of the areas anyway, even if cost were not a factor.

Thanks,

Kim

Hi Kim,

You don’t have to take the dogs to each individual area. Just use different areas when you train (you want them to learn that the rules apply wherever there are flags, not just in one specific areas). As long as you do a bit of training in a few different areas they should learn the general rule that wherever there are flags, you should keep away.

That is why you will often also see the dogs avoid any type of flag (e.g. a construction flag).

There are a few areas where I do want to specifically take the dog. The driveway, where there are often no flags, due to the difficulty of putting flags in the ground is one area where I want to make sure to train the dogs, and where the dogs often are used to entering and exiting. Similarly, any other spots you think may need special attention are worth spending some time training your dogs. But, otherwise dogs will generally make the cognitive leap from the specific rule to the general when training on an underground electric dog fence.

Dogs will often take their lead from other members of the pack. They don’t so much learn the system from the other dogs, so much as they don’t want to wander far from the other dogs, and if the lead dogs don’t go past the boundary, they won’t either. But, this is certainly not the case for every dog. Some dogs, especially young males just like to wander on their own. It is good to at least give them a bit of training from you to reinforce the message.

Bob Holmes
robert@dogfencediy.com
http://www.DogFenceDIY.com

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