The most important part of installing a dog containment fence is training your dog to use the fence. Invest two weeks in training your dog to use the fence and you will have a happily contained dog. Without the training the system is worse than useless. Training is easy, all you need to do is commit to three fifteen minute session each day for two weeks.
Here is a quick overview of the training. The most important principle is to teach the dog that when they hear the tone, they need to retreat (and not run through the fence). You will find more detailed explanation for each step of the training by following the links below.
Step One: Introducing the Dog Fence
We teach the dog that the boundary flags and the warning beep mean that they need to turn and retreat. Setting this foundation means that when the correction is applied in the next step, the dog knows what is expected from them and knows how to turn the correction off. For more details on Step One click here.
Step Two: Introducing the Correction
We now add the correction to our training, showing the dog that the consequence for ignoring the beep is a shock. We reinforce the lessons of the first step, that the dog must turn and retreat whenever they hear the warning beep and that this is the only way to stop the correction. For more details on Introducing the Correction click here.
Step Three: Testing Compliance
We test the dog using temptations on the other side of the boundary to make sure that the boundary rules are observed even when the dog is in an excited state. The dog learns that the boundary rules must be observed even if there is a playmate, or food on the other side of the boundary. For more details on Testing Compliance click here.
Step Four: Introducing Off Leash
We start letting the dog play off leash. Starting with short stints, we work our way up to allowing the dog to remain in the yard unsupervised for an entire day. For more details on Off Leash Play click here.
Removing the Flags
After your dogs have had time to get used to the system (generally 2-3 months) and remember the location of the boundary, you can start removing the training flags. You will thin out the flags, taking out every second flag one week, again removing every second remaining flag the next week, before removing all flags in the third week. Click for more details on removing the dog fence flags.
During the training period, you should avoid your dog crossing the boundary lines at all times. This means you should not leave them unsupervised in the yard. And if you need to take them for a walk, put them in the back of your car and drive them over the boundary or if you have a little dog, carry them over the boundary (with the collar off)
But, once your dog has mastered the training (a couple of months), you can teach them to walk through the boundary when they are on a walk. For information on creating a walking your dog through the fence, see here .