Lobotomized Dogs

by Gajan Retnasaba on June 27, 2010

What do you do when the fence works too well and the dogs won’t even go outside?

My son and I installed the IUC 4100 about a week ago, We have 3 dogs, a black Lab who adopted us 5 years ago, she is very sweet and has never been a problem leaving the yard, a big brown dog that kind of looks like an Akita or a Lab with a big head and curly tail, not sure what he is he is, also very sweet but likes to roam the neighborhood. He was a stray that everyone tolerated because he is so friendly. He hung around for about a year. Several people fed him and we let him in when it was cold or hot outside. We officially adopted him about 6 months ago after spending a small fortune on Vet bills due to injuries. Vet said he was probably hit by a car. He is the main reason for the fence. We also have a small female Pit bull that we have to keep tied up, she is also a sweet dog but she’s a Pit bull what can I say. All 3 dogs are “fixed”. After a week of dogs getting “zapped”, wife crying, our sweet black Lab went through the fence the first time off the leash and got “zapped” several more times trying to get home. All 3 dogs now are off leash supervised, and stay in the yard. The problem is they all act like they have had a “Lobotomy”. They used to get excited about going out side but not any more. When they do go out they just stand in the middle of the yard waiting to come inside, no playing ball or anything, Brownie hasn’t had a BM in 3 days because he normally goes off in the woods. I ran the wire about 20 feet into the woods for that reason but he will only go a few feet into the woods and when he sees a flag he turns around. Any suggestions or do you think they will eventually come around?

John

Hi John,

The dogs being extra cautious and avoiding the fence to the point of not wanting to be in the yard does happen from time to time. The dogs will come round in the coming weeks. You can accelerate the process by going out and playing with them in the safe area. You can also feed them in the safe area, give them bones to chew on in the safe area, and just generally hang around with them out there. This will help them get positive associations with the safe area. Just keep being a strong leader. Praise them for playing in the safe area and lavish them with affection. Do not reward them or try and console them when they act fearful. When you comfort the dog they think that there must be something scary out there, otherwise you would not be acting abnormally.

If you ever have to train other dogs on the fence, you want to avoid any crying or other distress when the dogs get corrected. The correction is definitely unpleasant, but not a big deal and the sensation completely disappears once you get back in the safe zone. You can try it on yourself (or wife/son) if you want to see for yourself. When we react badly, as the dogs leader we get them really scared. If we don’t react, but just strongly lead them back to safety, praise them, then carry on like everything is normal the dogs take a lead from us and experience the correction as no big deal. If a family member finds that hard, it is best if they take a walk while you lead the training.

If you want, you can can tell your wife that we said it is all her fault 🙂

Wes Riojas
General Manager
DogFenceDIY.com
1-888-9-DOG-DIY

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