Janet M. has some questions about the new SportDog SD-100A and how to train with a dog with high prey drive that likes chasing rabbits.
thanks for your site, the info has helped me understand much, but I still have questions. I have nearly 3 acres, but may want to restrict my Rottie to only about 1 or
1-1/2 of those, at least at first. She’s usually sensitive and well-trained, but when she sees a rabbit or something to hunt, she goes deaf and feels no pain. I know training is the key, but will she stop if a rabbit runs away across the wire? And if she’s out, she can’t get back in? Hard to get wild rabbits to assist with the training exercises, you know? I’m considering the Sport Dog SDF-100A system, or do you recommend a different one? I plan a perimeter-type installation with twisted wire running to small loops within the yard where there are flower beds I don’t want dug up any more. How small and irregularly-shaped can those loops be? How does the “anti-linger” feature work? And the “built-in lightning protection”? What’s the difference between the SDF-100 on other sites and the SDF-100A on yours? Thanks for your help.
We have had a lot of success even with high prey drive dogs even under the most testing circumstance. Once the dogs are trained, they have a very good sense of territory and seem almost blind to things outside the territory. I would test the dog in the last few days of the training. If you can’t get a friendly rabbit to help, I would use something else that gets your dog in a similar high energy state. (other dogs, family members, balls, and food often work well) You also have a nice big yard, so turning up the boundary very wide (say 10 feet instead of the usual 3-5 feet) will making running through the boundary very difficult. This training is really important because you don’t want the dog learning they can run through and making a habit of it. (Once the dog gets out, they cannot return without getting the correction)
One neat thing you might notice if you have lots of critters is that after a few years, other animals will learn the boundary. Neighborhood cats and squirrels often learn that they can safely go right up to the boundary and the dogs will not follow.
The anti-linger feature stops a dog hanging out in the warning zone where they get the warning beep but no correction. If the dog hangs out too long in the warning zone, the collar gives them a correction. The idea is that you stop a dog hanging out in the warning zone and flattening the battery, then going through. In practice this rarely happens.
To protect garden beds, you can’t go much smaller than 6 ft x 6 feet, otherwise the signal from the wires tend to cancel each other out. The mini-loops can be as irregular as you please. If you are going to do a lot of garden beds, also consider the Innotek IUC-4100 and getting the outdoor pods to place in the beds.
The SportDog would be a good choice. The SportDog SDF-100A is the newer version of the SDF-100 that came out in around July of 2010. There are a few changes like an improved base station, a nicer collar, and the ability to change frequencies.