Playing Fetch With a Containment System

by Gajan Retnasaba on June 22, 2010

A reader asks if they can teach their dog to play fetch, going through the containment system boundary.

Strange question but I was hoping you would know. Im looking at putting the Innotek/PetSafe UltraSmart IUC 5100 Contain n Train in and I wanted to know a training question. My dog and I play well in the back yard (off leash) but we want this for when were not with him. We play fetch and normally the ball will be thrown well past where we would have the underground fence (don’t worry our neighbors are ok with this). Is it possible to train the dog to know that when the color is on the boundary’s are on but when its off and we are playing fetch its ok to go over the lines to get the ball? Will this only mess everything up???


Hi Mike,

You can train the dogs to be sensitive to context and teach them that they can go through the fence when say playing catch. I would definitely wait a month or two until the dogs have learned the basic rules of the containment system. Then, I would create a ritual for the start of your fetch game – for example taking off the correction collars and then showing them the ball. Then start your game of fetch. The first few times you may have to drag him through on a leash to get him to cross the boundary – but soon he will learn that it is ok to cross when playing fetch.

The training is very similar to teaching your dogs to go for a walk through the fence. It is a little harder and it is not a sure thing, some dogs will always be cautious going through. Others will take to it straight away. Often the dogs will look toward you as if seeking permission … if so give them lots of encouragement to go through.

Wes Riojas
General Manager
Dog Fence DIY .com

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Robert Green July 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Can you tell me what the typical time frame that a dog learns to obey the fence. I have a ten year old Pyranese, Husky mic who can be very stubborn. Also how does it work if there is 24-48 inches of snow in your back yard? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Robert,

With a harder dog like a Pyrenees, I would expect the dog to be contained with three solid weeks of regular. Of course as with all training some will take a bit longer and some a bit shorter.

When the snow hits and starts to pile up, you want to turn up the system boundary width to compensate for that extra snow. I would get a system that has a larger capacity than you need (e.g. if you have 5 acres, get a system that can do at least 10 acres) – that way you have plenty of power in reserve to get you through the snow. You can comfortably get through two feet of snow – once you get to four feet it is hit and miss. The dogs really need to be trained before then so that they have build up the habit of the new boundary and are unlikely to test it.

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