Electric Dog Fence Training

Overview of Dog Fence Training

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.


Post-Training

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.


Walks

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 .


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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Catga July 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm

I’ve got approximately an acre fenced, it’s woods with brush. Our Rott recognizes the warning beep, in fact he’ll leap out of the area when he gets it. But he doesn’t seem to connect the flags to the warning; he will wander through them till the beep. Adjusting the field and rechecking with the collar held at his height has the flags as accurately placed as I can get them. And I know that there can be some kind of signal drift but I wonder/worry that he’s not recognizing the flags in any way. Should I care if he simply learns the boundary without the flags?

ADMIN – Hi Tom, I would recommend moving to step 2 and step 3 training. Your dog will learn the boundary over time and may even associate it with the flags. I would not worry about this.

BRI west May 31, 2014 at 7:51 pm

I’m having a problem with training my dog because every time we start he gets shocked & gets scared & lays there the rest of the time.

ADMIN – Hi Brianna Marie, I would recommend going back to warning beep only mode and train with more treats. As your dog responds to this over the course of several sessions, I would return to the lowest correction setting and really increase the distractions like toys, treats, and other dogs outside of the boundary to entice your dog to try and leave. Also make sure to assertively pull your dog back when they breach the boundary to clearly demonstrate the appropriate response.

Michele May 16, 2014 at 10:30 am

We recently purchased and installed a Petsafe elite underground fence unit. We are trying to start the training process, but our dog (who is a 1 year old Chihuahua) is not used to be on a leash and does not want to be on one. He instantly puts his ears and down and does not move. Is there any other way I can train him without being on a leash?

ADMIN – Hi Michele, the leash is an integral aspect of the training process. It will help you keep control of training to help guide the little guy back to train the proper response. In this case where a dog will not move while on leash, we actually recommend moving on to step 2 and step 3 of the training. These steps introduce distractions to grab the dog’s attention and provoke them to cross the boundary. You can watch the step 2 and step 3 process from our Training section of our website.

Stephanie nichols January 22, 2014 at 9:57 pm

For some reason after I test collar and come back and go to test another direction the collar doesn’t beep. I’m afraid they will go out an come back or go a different direction and it will not correct. One other question after they come in and we let them out again do we need to reset the collars each time. Also we have two dogs will it mess up by having 2 around each other.

ADMIN – Hi Stephanie, have you tested the collars in hand with a test light?

Stacy January 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I would love some advice with our 7 month old 75 lb. mastiff puppy. We trained her as our instructions recommended with the original collar her training system came with. The collar didn’t affect her much at all- it seemed like a mere irritation, but not a deterrent. We bought the stubborn-dog collar but she still runs right through the boundary line. It’s like she learned with the first collar that she could go right through and now the damage is done. I know she knows where the boundaries are and she doesn’t run through all the time. Sometimes it seems like she does it just because she knows it’s off limits. I have the stubborn collar on the highest setting and she’ll yelp leaving and coming back in but it still isn’t enough to deter her. I would LOVE help with this problem, if possible. Thank you!

ADMIN – Hi Stacy, how close can the collar get to the wire before activating?

Callie December 28, 2013 at 11:17 am

I have a German shepherd/ catahoula mix that initially trained to our invisible fence very quickly- no running through after people walking or when we would walk past the perimeter. The other day she was playing with a neighbors dog and followed him out of the boundary. Now it seems that the. Shock doesn’t even effect her. I’ve tried retraining her on the leash and she turns away as soon as she hears beeping but as soon as I let go of the leash she goes through. Any ideas on how to stop this?

ADMIN – Hi Callie, this most likely a collar fit issue. Try thinning the fur with scissors to help the contact points make better contact with the skin. Then make sure the collar strap is an appropriately snugged fit. It cannot hang loose after fitting. Then, increase the correction strength of the collar and increase the boundary radius.

Rachel December 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Hello! I have an 8 month old lab and we have trained her w/ the fence for about 5 months. She does a really good job most of the time, particularly when we are home. We can cross the fence and she will not cross it, if we are playing fetch and her toy goes beyond her boundary line she will not get it. There can be someone on the other side of her boundary line and she will not cross it. HOWEVER, if we leave her unsupervised or if we go inside the house at times she will cross the fence. How do we correct this behavior? Because, one, she knows where the boundary line is and knows that she is not to cross it, but then only seems to cross it when she knows we are not watching her. Any suggestions? And also, if she crosses it, how do we correct/discipline her for doing this so that she knows what she did was wrong?

ADMIN – Hi Rachel, does she respond with yelping, jumping or flinching when crossing the boundary? It should be an unpleasant experience if she is receiving the static correction properly. To correct the problem, you will need to greatly reduce the unsupervised time to 5 to 10 minutes a time while you supervise from the window. That way you can respond and give verbal command if she attempts to leave the yard.

Craig Engleman December 6, 2013 at 9:39 am

How hard is it to re-train a dog on a new boundary? I have a fence installed on my property that goes all the way around my house. The problem I’m having is that my back yard only recently was seeded with grass after regrading it and is basically a mud haven. Naturally my dog loves going back there, not to mention onto our back deck to mess with our cats. Because the wire in this area has yet to be permanently buried, I am considering just moving it as close to the back side of the house as possible, to keep my dog from being able to go back there. My only concern is getting him adjusted to the new boundary. He was exceptionally easy to train the first time, but I just worry about confusing him. Any ideas? Eventually when I can get some grass established in my back yard and the mud is not a problem, I’d like to let him go back there again, but for now I can’t tolerate all the mud he is tracking in on our carpet.

ADMIN – Hi Craig, That’s a good temporary solution. I would recommend setting flags up. You may or may not be able to get him on leash to walk around considering most dogs remember the training on leash so therefore usually are not as receptive to it. But it should not difficult to adjust your boundary and have your dog respond.

Rob December 4, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I have 2 questions. I’m currently in the 2nd stage of training (introducing the correction) And I’m having trouble getting my dog to go near the flags. Even with the aid of a distraction like a ball or stick. I have had her get corrected 2 times in the past 2 days but other than that shes having no part. As I was training today and trying the distraction method with a ball to get her to feel the correction, I lost grip of the leash. She did go across the boundary getting shocked and yelping, but found herself on the other side. I’m now worried that she might learn this action, realizing that she can get through it. Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Rob, continue with what you are doing and devise new creative distractions. Employee a neighbor and their dog, recruit family members to walk on the outside of the boundary. It may take lots of playing first to get her excited. The other thing you can do is let her drag around a 15 foot long or longer leash. When she tries to leave, yank up the leash and run in the opposite direction giving the verbal command. Also, get all hands on deck. Having more family members in the yard helping will improve the training as well for all parties.

Helen October 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

HI – I have a 5 year old husky – I’ve done a quick and hurry job of training him on the fence last year – needless to say – he runs SO fast that he doesn’t even feel correction -

He has been recently nurtured and I’d like to have him have free access to all of our property – 1) do you think it can still work for him?
2) should I shave part of his neck?
3) should I place the flags a foot or INSIDE the boundary – ?

please email me with your suggestions! THANKS!

Lou Ann August 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm

We took in an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois named Cora who had lived most of her life in Iraq, trained to detect explosives. She was retired and shipped to the US to find a home. Very smart and easily trained behind our electric fence. Despite her service in such a place as Iraq she is scared to death of storms. My dog sitter didn’t get to her in time before a storm hit. Cora left the yard. She was found but now we are wondering if we need to retrain her behind the fence? Obviously we try to avoid leaving her out if we think it’s going to storm but we were on vacation.

ADMIN – Hi Lou Ann, I’m not sure she needs to be retrained. Considering that is not recommended to train during storms, the best solution is what you mentioned. However, what you can do now is let her in the yard and watch her from the window to see how she behaving. I suspect she’ll do fine. However, if you catch her starting a new habit of trying to leave, then, you’ll want to reinforce training.

Sandi Kane August 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I have a 8 month old schnoodle that is training on the fence. When training he will not go to the flags so that I can teach him to run back to safety. If I try to take him out for the training he will sit, lay down, refuse to go towards the flags. Should I pull him towards the beep and then pull him back? How do I get him to cooperate to teach him the retreat? Also, he was corrected yesterday – he ran through the fence and was corrected (did not retreat) but kept running to the street (my son was at the street), he was also corrected coming back towards the house. He did not even hesitate to run down to the street. Then today he grabbed the ball and was running (in the safe area) and playing and all of the sudden took off towards the street and crossed the fence line – didn’t stop and did not get corrected. When I headed down to try and safely bring him back to the house he ran away from me towards the house and crossed the fence and was corrected, but ran along the fence line (so was corrected a few times) did not retreat. I don’t know what to do? He wont allow me to teach him the flags/beeps and continues to be corrected without learning. help?

ADMIN – Hi Sandi, this behavior from your Schnoodle makes training difficult on you, but not impossible. We will have to be determined and creative to succeed. First, when your Schnoodle is receiving a correction, they should yelp or jump. It will be evident. Check the collar fit. It should fit snug so the contact points make solid connection. 1) You do NOT want to pull your dog into the flags, this will cause confusion. 2) You will want to create a long leash around 20 feet that they can drag around the yard. Let your Schnoodle play in the yard dragging this leash, but remain close enough to grab it up when they try and leave the boundary. Successful training will not happen until you’re able to accomplish that. With your dog responding to distractions like your son leaving the boundary, I would recommend continue setting up that scenario for training. It’s okay to entice them to leave, but you just do not want to force them or call them to leave.

shalanda August 1, 2013 at 11:02 am

so we installed this fence and did not train properly. needless to say our dog got shocked a few times. now when we put the collar on, he will not even get off the porch and hides behind the couch. i can’t even train him now since he is so stressed. what can i do now? i was thinking waiting like a month before putting the collar on him again to even try to train. even without the collar he really doesn’t get off the porch much b/c he knows there is something out there.

ADMIN – Hi Shalanda, Taking time off is the right approach. I would still put the collar on and off to build a routine and show your dog that it’s all okay. The other thing I would do is offer treats as incentive to get him off the porch and then play in the yard. Over time, he will relax. When you resume training, make sure that he does not receive any corrections until you feel he really understands the concept and what he supposed to do.

Fran July 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

We just finished installing an underground fence. Our dog, a 9 month old Cavachon is fairly obedient (but he does go crazy when he sees cars and cyclists). We tried starting the training with just the beeping on the collar, and he seemed to get the hang of “beep is bad” and come back inside the area. When we finally went to the actual shock, he pretty much freaked out the first time. Now he is terrified of the back yard and we practically have to drag him out there. The closer we get to the flags the more he tries to run away (he now runs to the center of the yard as opposed to the house).

So, how do we get him to be less terrified and actually enjoy the backyard? We try to play in the safe zone for quite a while before getting anywhere near the fence, but he doesn’t even like that right now. Any ideas?

ADMIN – Hi Fran,

You are on the right track. Add more positive reinforcement for the safe play areas. Play with him out there, feed him out there, and just spend time with him out there. He will start to get more comfortable.

You can also dial down the correction level, it seems like it may have been a bit too high.

Mark G May 6, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Any advice if installing electric fence along an existing deer fence? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

If you already have a deer fence in place, you can simply string the dog fence boundary wire along the deer fence, using some zip-ties and skip burying the wire. That should make your installation a lot easier and a lot faster.

Rick April 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I have a 2yr. old boxer I can’t get to walk on a leash outside her perimeter of a underground fence. I take her underground fence collar off. She will walk to the truck to get in it to bye bye and even the golf cart, but when we get to where we want her to take a walk on her leash she refuses to move. When we take her to the vet she will get out gladly and walk to the door or the yard. How can we get her to walk on a leash outside our yard? We camp and she needs to be able to walk on a leash if we stop or when we are at the camper.

ADMIN – Hi Rick,

Congratulations, this means you have her well trained.

To train her to walk through the fence when you give her permission you have to create a routine. A typical routine would be taking off the dog fence collar, putting her on a leash, then walking her through the same exit point while saying okay.

The first few times she will resists (this is just her being smart/obedient and respecting the rules you already set for her) so you will have to pull her through. Being very confident as you lead her through helps. After you have pulled her through the first couple of times, she will learn the new rule, that she can leave when given permission, and will stop resisting.

Rhall March 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

We have two springer spaniel puppies on a pet safe wireless system. Everything was great for the first couple of months, but suddenly they have begun running through the fence to play outside. No temptation other the additional space. They have about two acres as it is. They have become accustomed to the correction and I’m not sure what to do now. Is there hope?

ADMIN – Hi Rhall,

Yes, we just need to figure out the problem. Start by observing the dog’s reactions when they cross the boundary. Are they getting the correction (you will hear a yelp, see a little twitch on their neck, or see them scratch at the collar). If there is no reaction they aren’t getting the correction and we want to test that the system is still working (use the supplied tester tool and take the collar out to the boundary and make sure it is still triggering), and you also want to make sure the collar is fitted properly with the prongs touching the dog’s skin (if they aren’t touching, then the dog doesn’t feel the correction).

If the dogs do react and are going through anyway, the correction level is too low and needs to be increased, and you need to do a little remedial training. This is the less likely option, you rarely get this happening on wireless fences where the dog can’t run through the correction zone.

Amit October 31, 2012 at 11:26 am

I have an invisible fence system with an R21 that was used by a friend abroad and was brought with him here to Israel. The fence is now supposed to be used for a smaller dog and I do not know how to set the correction level to the minimum. Any suggestions, since there are no Service reps here? Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Amit, please contact the manufacture directly. This is a fence we do not sale or provide support for, so we do not know the solution.

Tiffany October 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Hi I recently bought and installed the innotek 5100 for my two huskies. They have pretty thick fur. I went with this system because I wanted the remote to train them to stop digging. We have a 6′ privacy fence all the way around our backyard, which they dig under and escape. That is why we got the system. My question is, can I get longer prongs for this system?

ADMIN – Hi Tiffany, the manufacture is the best option for getting the thick fur probe. Make sure to ask for those specifically as there is a difference between thick fur probes and long probes. Also, we do not stock the probes. The manufacture keeps those in house. You may also have to thin the fur with scissors to assist in making better contact with skin.

Jay August 7, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I have installed the stubborn dog system for my great Dane and purchased the little dog collar for my Bichon. Everything is working but I’m having a problem with the stubborn dog collar beeping at the flags. The flags are in the ground and the little dog collar beeps at the flag without an issue,but the stubborn dog collar doesn’t beep until the collar is 3-4 feet beyond the flags right on top of the buried wire. It was suggested to do a “short loop test” and there is still a difference in the distance at which the collars beep. Have you dealt with this before? What do you suggest? Is it possible that the collar is faulty?

ADMIN – Hi Jay, even though the collars are compatible, each will have a different range. Typically, the Little Dog collar will be the one that can get closer to the wire with the Stubborn collar picking up the signal further out. Adjust the signal wider and see what happens. If you see that the Stubborn collar is not picking up the signal at a significantly greater distance the best bet is to contact the manufacture to see if you need a collar replacement.

Karen July 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm

We adopted a 4 year old shepherd mastiff mix and wanted to train her on our electric fence (Petsafe). When we were testing the fence to make sure it worked, she was outside with us, heard the tone and ran towards the house making us think she may have had a fence at her previous home. We trained her the first two days without the collar letting her lead us around the yard. She did not seem bothered by or notice the flags, but we did correct her when she got to the flag boundary. After we put the collar on and she got close to the line and heard the tone she immediately pulled to go back into the house. We now strongly believe she had an electric fence at her previous home. Since then, she only goes about 10 feet into the yard making it difficult for us to train her that the flags are the boundary. What do you suggest we do? Additionally, she will run right through the fence to chase a rabbit in the neighbor’s yard, and then immediately run right back into the yard, and it appears she is receiving the correction when she does that. She appears to be well trained in other commands by her previous owners. We trained our previous dog on an electric fence from the time she was a puppy, but we have no experience working with an older dog whose history we do not know. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Karen, for the most part, dog’s being scared of the boundary is normal. You’ll want to play with them in the boundary as a family, as well as give them snacks to let them see that being in the yard is fun. Over time, she will grow more adventurous begin to roam closer to the flag.

John July 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Hello,
I purchased the PetSafe Ultrasmart dog fence. Installation was a breeze. I am pretty handy but I think even the most inexperienced person would be able to install it without too many problems. Nevertheless, I do have a concern. I have a four year old Boston/beagle mix named Buddy and a year and a half old Boston/french bulldog mix named Jovie. Buddy is a outgoing, fun loving, party animal and he is taking to the training VERY well. Jovie is very timid and submissive, and she is scared of the yard. I just started on her training and by the second day she associates the boundary with the whole yard. She does her business, but then wants to go immediately inside. She wants no part of the training. We haven’t even used the correction on her yet! Any suggestions to help this scaredy pants?

Admin- Hi John,

Dogs overeacting and avoiding going anywhere near the beeps and flags is a perfectly normal reaction. After training most dogs will not go anywhere near the dog fence boundary flags out of an abundance of caution. After all they have just learnt that going near the flags is bad and they do not want to even be near the flags. You want to create lots of positive reinforcement around playing in the safe area, and worry less about her getting near the boundaries now. She will become braver over time just switch to lots of positive reinforcement and give the dog a bit of time.

Gene June 24, 2012 at 10:06 am

We have the Innotek SD2100 with a 30-pound Puggle. We trained her for a week and then the unit did not work so it we get it replaced, which took 2 weeks. When we got the new unit hooked up, we started week 1 training again for 3 days to help reminder her. Then we moved on to week 2 which went well. When the dog was off the leash, she was corrected twice, which makes here stay very far away from the boundaries but this seemed normal. The problem after having her off the leash for 3 days, is that she will not go into the yard because she was accidentally corrected when she literally was rubbing her neck on the ground where the twisted wire goes out to the boundary wire and got corrected. I have reburied and further twisted the “safe zone” wire, but want to know what else I should do to make sure she is not afraid of the yard? Twisted wires does send the signal if the collar gets within about an inch of the twisted wire. I have tested this many times, and there is no way to make the collar not receive a signal. This is obviously the problem that I have since my dog is somehow attracted to the areas where the wire is buries and likes to rub her neck on the ground. Any thoughts are appreciated, since this could be a problem.

Admin- Hi Gene,

1) First we recommend removing the collar and testing the collar around the yard to see if you are receiving any interference that is causing your dogs collar to received inconsistent signals. If you are able to isolate where the collar is receiving the signals, than we can help to identify what is causing them.
2) There are only two things that will cause the twisted wire to send signals to the collar. Either the twisted wire is not properly spliced into the boundary wire or the twisted wire was not twisted enough. Please see our twisted wire video that is listed under the Dog fence installations tab.

Shawn June 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Hi,
I just purchased a home with an invisible fence already installed.I have a two year
old coon hound and am concerned that her predatory instinct will keep her from respecting the boundary.
Do you find this to be a correctable problem?

Admin- Hi Shawn,

Absolutely, you should not have trouble training your coon hound on the new boundaries. The first step will be to locate the boundary wire (by taking the collar around the yard). You will set the training flags up in respect to where the collar receives the signals from the boundary wire. Than you will be able to start the training steps. Please view our Dog Fence Training tab located on our home page.

Carroll June 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

The instructions say that the collar should not stay on the dog for more than 12 hours. We plan on having a completely outside dog and would like for him to be wearing the collar as much as possible. Can you give me some advice on how to manage the time on and off the collar? Thank you.

Admin- Hi Carroll,

The manufacture recommends taking the collar off after 12 hours. However, we have plenty of customers who own outside only dogs that require them to keep the collar on at all times. A small percentage of dogs develop a rash called Pressure Necrosis, but most dogs will be fine. We recommend if you plan to leave the collar on 24/7, simply watch the collar area every day for the first two weeks, then weekly for a month.

Chris Meats May 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I have 2 dogs, one is a larger Lab mix that weighs about 60 pounds and the other is a small chihuahua mix that weighs about 10 pounds. We have a fenced in backyard but the fence is only 4 foot tall and our lab mix can easily jump over it. We have decided to get one of these systems to keep him from jumping the fence. We have not had a problem with our small dog escaping. We have the system and 2 collars to train both dogs but are wondering if we should train the little one on the fence as well or not? Would there be any problem with the small dog being able to go into areas of the yard that our large dog cannot? Namely the 4-5 foot around the perimeter close to the fence. This would also mean that the small dog could still be pet by the neighbors and the larger dog would not be able to get close enough to be pet. I am also a little worried that the small dog might torment the larger dog once she figures out she has more room than he does. Is this worth being concerned about or am I just over thinking this whole thing?

Admin- Hi Chris,

Typically we do not see many issues with multiply dogs and only one or two of the dogs having the collars applied, especially since you have the stationary fence in place. You will not need to purchasing a collar for the smaller dog upfront. You will only need to keep an eye on the two dogs. If any problems arise, than you can added the collar for the smaller dog and train him on the boundary’s.

Kate April 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Hello-

We live on a corner and our dog has been training for about a week. He stays in the yard and does great unless someone is walking their dog at the perimeter of our yard. Besides going back to keeping him on the leash, when he does go for a dog on the sidewalk, should I let him go far enough (on a retractable leash) so that he gets shocked? It doesn’t bother him at all when he runs through but it seems like it only slightly bothers him when we just recently brought him back through. Last time I took the collar off before allowing him to re enter the yard. Any suggestions would greatly help!

Admin- Hi Kate,

Since your dog has run through the fence within the first week, this only means that he still needs to be trained. It will take longer than one week for him to start to understand the systems. Our training is built easing your dogs into understanding how to turn and retreat when they receive the correction. It’s important during training that your dog not be allowed to run through the boundary off leash. This is how dogs learn that the boundary does not exist forever outward. In our training, your dogs will not be allowed off leash for about 3 weeks (so that you can control where they roam). And when you first let them off leash, it’s really for only 10 minutes at a time. So, you won’t be guessing if the fence will work, you’ll be in complete control of their training so that when you let them off leash, you’ll be confident they will be contained. Plus depending on the system you have, will determine the effectiveness of the overall set-up.

Caroline March 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm

We just got a 2 month old rottweiler / bulldog mix. We have an electric fence for our other dog and he does great with it. I’m curious on the age we should start training the 2 month old pup on the fence.

ADMIN – Hi Caroline,

Six month is a good age to start training you dog on a dog fence. At six months, the dog has started to develop the kind of attention span necessary for the training. I am willing to start a client’s dog a couple of months earlier if they can confidently do a sit/stay/come, but otherwise will wait till six months of age.

Sara March 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy (9mo) and he’s beginning to dart and explore so we got a remote collar. I tired it tonight walking the boundary of the property using the tone if he got too close to the curb or the neighbors’ property lines. He sort of reacts, but he thinks it’s the leash so he goes crazy jumping and biting at it. The product didn’t come with flags, should I get some to have a visual for him to avoid rather than just being random? And how do I get him to stop biting the leash!? I did try the correction and he doesn’t react until it’s pretty high….Thanks for any help!

ADMIN – Hi Sara,

The remote training collars don’t tend to work very well for containment, because people are rarely consistent enough to make the training effective. Usually the dog only learns not to escape when you are around.

If you were going to use the remote training collar, you shoudl indeed flag the area or create some other visual demarcation. (You can get the flags at most hardware stores) Then follow the training protocol we have on the site. The first week will be beep only training so we can teach him what we want him to do in a way that is not stressful. Only in the second week, once he knows what is expected from him, should you layer on the correction to show him there is a consequence for not following the rules you laid down. Correcting him now when he is not clear on the rules is unproductive.

Robin February 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm

I am installing a PetSafe in-ground fence just at the gates because the gates are left open frequently. The house is fenced with 6 acres open and a pond. Here are my questions:
1. Is the PetSafe collar going to with stand being submerged if my lab goes in the pond?
2. How does training differ for my dog? She has had the run of the property and only leaves the yard occasionally. I am only using the fence in 3 small areas of the fence line. I do want to be able to train her that I can remove the collar and she can leave the yard but only with me for a walk.
I just want to make sure I do the training correctly.
Thanks for your help!

Admin – Hi Robin,

1) Absolutely, the PetSafe collars are fully waterproof.
2) After the first couple of months, you can train them to walk over the boundary, but only when accompanied by you. The key is to set up a routine. Take off their correction collar, put on their walking collar and fasten the leash, then walk them out through the same location every time. The first couple of times the dogs may struggle and you will have to firmly lead them over the boundary line, but they quickly learn the new routine and will be ready to go. Just stick with this same routine and they will soon learn that there is an exception to their general boundary rules – when they are leashed and accompanied by you, they may cross the boundary.

Gale February 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

When you first begin training, how far apart should the flags be?

ADMIN – Hi Gale,

I would space the flags about 5 yards apart. Space them closer where the boundary is not a straight line (i.e. the corners). More flags is always better than less.

Anne Marie January 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm

We have an 11 week old German Shepard/Husky mix. Is she still too young to start training? When is the best time to start? Our 5 year old Lhasa/Maltese is well trained to our fence and we have over 1.5 acres fenced. We would like to start before she ever tries to leave the yard.

ADMIN – Hi Anne,

6 months is a good time to start training the dogs, before that most dogs have puppy brain and are too easily distracted. I am okay with starting a dog earlier if they are advanced (i.e. they can confidently do a sit/stay/come).

With younger siblings, training tends to be easier because they observe the older dog respecting the boundary and they naturally have an inclination to not wander too far from the older dog.

Mark November 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I have a 7 year old lab that is used to staying in the yard behind a tall fence. I have never been able to train him to use a single part of the yard as a bathroom and with two small boys this can cause issues. We are moving to a new neighborhood that does not allow tall fences so I am going to try the electric dog fence, one thing I would also like to do is teach him to limit his bathroom activity to a certain part of the yard. Is it possible to set up a system such that there are two separate areas for him, one to roam in and one to do his business in?

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

Unfortunately, there is not anything I am aware of that will limit the dog to pottying in certain areas.

Andrea September 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

So we’ve finished Week 1, and Dobby will usually refuse to approach the flags. But now I’m trying to get him the correction. He received one, and ran back to the safe area.

Now he won’t go anywhere near enough to the flags, even to set off the beeping! I tried a couple of distractions (a ball, my kid walking through), but again, he’s not going anywhere near the flags.

Are we done? There are lots of different sides to our yard, and I’m not sure he is sufficiently well-trained at all parts of the boundary. What should I do?

ADMIN – Hi Andrea,

Sounds like he has got the basics down, but is overcompensating and is perhaps a bit fearful. That is common. You want to keep working with the dog, but focus more on positive time in the safe zone. Feed him out there, play with him, give him a bone, etc. Most importantly, project confidence when you lead him around the safe zone. He will get more confident, and start to get closer to the boundary – but it can take a couple of weeks.

It is definitely too early to let him off leash. I would complete the full two weeks of training and then do the compliance/temptation testing (what we call Step 3) before starting up leash)

Kathryn September 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Hi- Our 5 yr. old Vizsla has been doing wonderfully for the past 4 years with the petsafe invisible fence. A few weeks ago, the neighbors got a dog that our dog LOVES to play with. Now when he sees the neighbor’s dog outside, he breaks through the fence to play with him. We have done a small amount of retraining to help him remember the boundary. But it didn’t make much difference. He seems to be willing to take the “hit” in order to get to play with his new friend. Suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Kathryn,

I would start by observing the dog when they are going through and making sure they actually get the correction. Often, over time we get lazy about putting the collar on so there is proper contact, or the collar has stopped working and the dog is just staying inside out of habit. You will know the collar is working and correctly fitted if you hear the beep and you see the dog visibly react.

If all that is working, then we need to do a little remedial training. Put the flags out again. Make the boundary a little wider, turn up the correction level and go back to Step 2 and Step 3 of the training. In particular, borrow the a neighbor’s dog and use it as the distraction in Step 3 so the dog learns specifically that even if the neighbor’s dog is on the other side – they cannot cross.

Reb August 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I have a 4 month old airedale that I’m training to the electric fence. She has gotten corrected a few times only be training her for 5 days, but I take her out to go around the yard she will not go close to the flags, so do I make her go close to flags? (drag her ?) I know she is not ready to be off leash, as she has tried to follow our other dog over the boundary. when we go around the yard she won’t even look at the flags

Admin-Hi Reb,

It is common that after you start the training most dogs will not go anywhere near the boundary flags. After all, they have just learned that going near the flags is bad and they do not want to even be near the flags. You will see over the next couple of weeks that your dog will become more adventurous. They will start roaming further and further from your house and closer to the flags. However, you do not want to force the dog to go near the containment flags. That will just make them associate more bad things with the flags. Give the dog time and let them learn at his own pace.

Jenn Kayser July 4, 2011 at 9:25 am

I have two dogs and one is fine with the system, the other has ran through it twice. We increased the width to 3 feet and upped his correction. He saw a deer the other day and ran through and we never heard a peep, but coming back was traumatic and he was corrected at least 3 times & ran straight into the house. Now he does not want to go outside. What should we do?

ADMIN – Hi Jenn,

What kind of training did you do with the dog? I would go back through the training – particularly if you didn’t do the full training the first time. Concentrate your effort on the third phase of training where you are working with the dog on staying contained even when there are exciting temptation on the scene.

If the dog has become fearful, you want to spend lots of time doing positive reinforcement, like playing with the dog in the safe zone, walking in the safe zone, and feeding in the safe zone.

I would also increase the boundary width to at least 5 feet on either side of the wire, preferably more.

Susie June 27, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I have a 2 yr. old male boxer who is 75 – 80 lbs. and solid muscle. Previously, I have trained 3 other dogs very successfully with the pet safe fence. However, this dog has been a real challenge. He was doing well for about 2 weeks, but, now has figured out he can take 2 laps around the yard to get up his velocity and then jumps about 6 feet in the air over the invisible boundary. Then, he is free dog to run around the neighborhood. Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Susie,

If you did not do the 2-week training, I would go back and do that. It will teach the dog that the only way to escape the correction is to turn and retreat and that running through is not an option.

If running through is still a problem, I would increase the correction strength and make the boundary zone wider to make running through more difficult.

Kris June 16, 2011 at 11:34 am

We have an Irish Wolfhound/Lab mix and a German Shepherd/Lab mix. They both have been trained with the remote collars for walking and being on a leash, so essentially the correction to them indicates “heel”. My husband is concerned that as when they receive the correction that they will come running to us (which is not necessarily a bad thing) with the installation of an invisible fence. However, we would like them to be able to enjoy themselves in the yard and prevent confusion. Any suggestions on doggy psychology in how to retrain their pre-programmed behavior or than it might just take longer?

ADMIN – Hi Kris,

Dogs that have remote correction tend to ‘get it’ much faster than most dogs because they understand they need to do something to turn off the correction.

If you just work through our training protocol you will be fine. In particular, our Step One where we teach the dog what we want them to do before layering in the correction is very useful where you have remote training experience. In Step One we teach the dogs what we expect from them with only the beep, before we add the correction. That way the dog knows exactly what is expected from them before you apply the correction. So when your dogs do get corrected, they will tend to make the connection to turning and retreating rather than heeling.

If you find the dogs are reacting to just the beep (because your remote collar beeped as well), do the Step One training without the collar at all, so there is no connection at all to the remote trainer.

Mark June 9, 2011 at 10:16 am

I have three dogs, a Golden Retriever, a Lab and a Cocker Spaniel. Two of the three (Golden and Cocker Spaniel) are adequately restrained by the existing wood perimeter fence. Unfortunately, the Lab is like a gazelle and routinely jumps the fence. Will I have an issue training the Lab if she is the only one with a corrective collar for the electric fence? (ie will she try and follow the other dogs if they get closer to the perimeter wooden fence). Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

That is not a problem. If you have multiple dogs, then you can train just one of them. They will just learn that different rules apply to them. (Unlike humans, the lab is not going to sulk around thinking about why life is unfair!).

One tips, when you are training the lab, keep the others inside, so they don’t distract the dog being trained. Often when there are multiple dogs present, they pay more attention to each other than to their trainer. So we recommend training dogs separately.

Tracy May 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

Hello, I just received our new fence from you guys and am super excited about getting the system installed and allowing our 3 lab/German shepherd mix dogs to enjoy our 5 acres without the worry of them getting into trouble…which has been extremely difficult!

Here are my questions: for multiple dogs do we need to do individual training for each dog 10/15 minutes a day for 3 weeks? Secondly, our dogs must remain outside, how do you recommend doing the training while they are accustomed to being outside all the time and having the entire property surrounded by the new fence?

Thanks so much for your site….it’s very informative!!!

ADMIN – Hi Tracy,

You do need to do the training with each dog individually. It helps if when you are working with one dog, you hide away the other two. The dogs tend to focus too much attention on each other if they are all present.

The dogs should not be allowed to cross the border during the training as this will be very confusing for them. If they are outside dogs, I would keep them temporarily tied up, or on a zip-line. We don’t like tying up dogs either, but this should be temporary – they will soon have complete freedom.

If you need to take them outside the boundary during training for walks, load them in the car and drive them over the boundary. You can also carry them over, but this is probably not going to work with dog’s of your size! Again this is temporary, once they are trained we can teach them how to go over the boundary when we give them permission. But, for now we want to be very consistent and maintain the rule that they can never cross the boundary.

Ange May 20, 2011 at 6:53 am

I don’t know if you are the right person to ask but…..We live in New Zealand and a rural property with 1/2 acre of chicken fenced area around our house. After a 9 month period with no probs our 2 choc labs have just discovered the neighbor’s chicken coup and the local school just down the road and this week have escaped twice. This has led to a visit from the local authority and we have temporarily rehomed them. I have purchased a Petsafe stubborn dog fence and we are going to intall it tomorrow. My question is about training – I work wed to fri each week and will have to chain them up when I go to work on wednesday (today being Friday night our time). If we manage to install it tomorrow and if I follow the training guidelines, chain them up for 3 days then continue with the training from Saturday, do we have any hope of them remembering what they have learned? It is a large outlay and we are really at our wits end. I realize each dog is different but I don’t want to spend more money if you think it won’t work.Our only other option is to permanently rehome them and I don’t want that!

Hi Ange,

The training is faster and easier if you can get two continuous weeks of training. Breaking up the training (with 4 days on, then 3 days off) will still work but will likely take you a little longer (3-4 weeks). If possible, have someone drop in on the days you are out and give the dogs a quick training session. Otherwise, no big deal it will just take your dogs a little longer.

After the training, you should not have any trouble containing labs. They tend to be among the easiest dogs to teach.

Kathy May 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I have been using a Sport Dog training collar for correction on basic dog training and on walks. Your website says to wait 3 months before using a dual purpose collar. Since I have already been using a remote training collar for a couple of years, how do I use an electric dog fence without confusing the dogs?

ADMIN – Hi Kathy,

We advise against introducing the two types of collar, a containment collar or a training collar at the same time. The order in which you introduce them is not important. What is important is that if you give the dog a couple of months after introducing one before introducing the second. This avoids the dog getting confused between the two collars and getting overwhelmed. You want the dog to feel comfortable that they know how to “switch off” the correction before you introduce something new.

In you case, you can jump right into containment training. Since you introduced remote training years ago, the dog will understand what that is all about and will be ready to learn something new. Dogs that have remote training experience generally pick up containment training a bit faster, because the basics are similar.

Sallie Giesbrecht April 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

My husband and I will be moving to a 6 acre wooded property in the country soon and are considering getting an invisible dog fence. I am a little concerned about the training stage because our three year old lab/ retriever is strictly an outdoor dog. She has never been allowed inside because of family allergies and asthma. Should she be chained to her doghouse while being trained since being in the house is not an option? Thanks.
Sallie

ADMIN – Hi Sallie,

You are correct in thinking you’ll need to keep her contained. The other option is using a crate if chaining her up isn’t feasible.

Tom April 12, 2011 at 10:12 am

Hello I just got a petsafe wireless fence I have three dogs I started training two days ago and things seemed to be fine then today my fiancé called and said they all crossed the boundary and only 1 came back the other 2 froze and yelped as they continued to get shocked please help what do I do.

ADMIN – Hi Tom,

Sounds like the dogs need more training. I would complete the full two weeks of training before letting the dogs out unsupervised. If you lets the dogs out after only two days I would not expect them to have understood the new rules. They simply don’t understand that they need to turn and retreat in order to turn off the correction.

I would continue on with the training, and keep the dogs on-leash when outside until the training is complete. Letting the dogs wander around off-leash now is just going to lead to confusion and unnecessary correction.

mark March 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm

My dog did great in training the first couple of days then he decided to just stop. Instead of walking around, he just lays down and stops. He is a Pitbull/Lab. I work very long hours, but am trying to keep his training at regular hours. Any helpful tips?

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

When the dog just lays down it usually because they are feeling overwhelmed. I am guessing you went straight into the correction and after getting the correction a few times, without fully understanding why he got overwhelmed and just refused to move to avoid getting the correction.

Turn off the correction, and spend a week doing the training with just the warning tone. This gives the dog the chance to learn the system before we introduce the stress of the correction. That way when the correction is introduced it is not a big deal because the dog knows exactly how to make it stop.

You will also want to spend as much time as possible playing in the safe zone and making it fun to undo that negative association that he has developed. It will take a while, it can take a while to undo this kind of negative association once it develops.

Bob Hall March 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm

We have a 800 foot circumference system on our property and have a terrier-spaniel mix that has resided within the boundaries since the summer of 2008. This dog was fully trained within a week’s time and has not once attempted to break out. The professional that installed our system indicated that from his many years of experience, each breed of dog seems to display its own level of “trainability”.

We brought a three-year-old, rescued Boston Terrier into our home yesterday. Our intention is to follow the prescribed training schedule, but was curious if your experience would allow you to predict the BT’s “trainability”. Good site. Thank you for your consideration.

ADMIN – Hi Bob,

I agree with your installer that different breeds seem to have different patterns in the training. Some breeds tend to be really fast learners, some take a little longer. Some require a strong correction, others will jump with even a mild correction. Some are timid and will never test the boundaries once trained, others will frequently test their boundary. There is of course lots of variation within breeds too, all dogs having their own unique personalities. It is very rare that a dog cannot be trained, but you need to adapt your methods to suit the dog.

I find Boston Terriers to be a little slower in the uptake than average. They learn how to use a containment system easily, but it can take a few days longer than say an Australian Shepherd who tend to be very quick on the uptake in this type of task.

Cheri - Michigan March 4, 2011 at 9:13 am

I have a 4 year old Shiba Inu. We started him off on the electric fence as soon as we got him as we had done with our other dogs and have had ZERO problems. He even stopped when his collar was off and we had to cross the boundary to go for a walk. I always praised him for that. Just in the last few weeks he has decided to run through the fence. We got a brand new collar with the long prongs-didn’t help. We cut the hair around his neck-still no luck keeping him in. He doesn’t even try to go near the fence when on a leash-so I don’t know that re-training that way is going to help. Do you have any other suggestions? We have an acre of land he can run on and sniff (which he loves to do) it kills me to have to tie him up on a long lead-gets tangled around trees etc.

ADMIN – Hi Cheri,

Try and get him to cross while on a long leash so that we can see if he is still getting the correction (you should see him react). To get him to cross you may need bait like another dog, ball, food, family member (or some combination thereof) on the other side.

If he is not reacting it is probably the collar not getting a good connection. If you have an IUC-4100 or IUC-5100, use the collar check mode to check fit. With out brands, you should be able to see

If the dog is getting the correction and ignoring it, then we should make the boundary a little wider, increase the correction strength, and repeat the last week of training.

You are doing the right thing by tying up the dog now. Letting her loose is unsafe and will get her in the habit of crossing, which makes retraining harder.

Corey February 11, 2011 at 12:33 am

We have a 1 year old Golden Retriever Lab mix that we take to our family cabin with our 2 year old and 6 year old sons. He was adopted from the local humane society. After a couple of weeks with a leash I decided to try to let him free with the kids. The property borders a state road and we have 12 acres with a pond and a canal. Doug (our dog) stayed with the kids and never leaves the area. This was about a year ago and he still rides down with us and stays on the property. Our dog is always around and loves to swim and follows the kids all the time. Sometimes more than often I think he is a human :). He sleeps with us on the pillows, he puts up with our kids, he understands commands and is completely potty trained in record time. The funny part is I was talking to a good customer/ friend about Doug (we own a family business) and come to find out he was the breeder. I think we may get another one as a friend for Doug. I have to say after growing up with dogs my whole life that I have never seen a dog like him. Just a note my oldest son who is 5 has PDD-NOS and I feel Doug loves him and understands him. I truly feel blessed.

Admin – Hi Corey

I have a 13yo nephew who is mildly autistic, so I can relate. We are privileged to be a part of that world.
Apart from you, your Golden Retriever, Doug will be his good friend for some time.
Good for you.

Wally Kandel January 20, 2011 at 8:11 am

Will retraining work or do I do something else? We have 2 dogs and they are ~7 years old, both are mixes. Colly / Shepard (Harley) and Lab / Colly (Tucker). They were easy to train and have obeyed the fence for years. Recently Tucker has been crossing the fence and going on runs for about an hour and then he returns, crosses back into the yard and comes to the door to come in. Harley stays in the yard as always and is usually upset when Tucker leaves. Tucker will not come when called if he is outside the fence, he seems to return whe he wants to. He has done this 4 times in the last 3 weeks and all other times he is outside he stays in the yard. He is fixed so I don’t think he is visiting a female in heat. We have R21 invisible fence system and we sent the collar to them to check it out and it was OK so they turned it up one level of intensity. The fence is working properly, he seems to have decided that crossing is worth the shock. He is not car savvy and I have concerns we could get hurt out. Any advice on how to fix this problem? Do we put a bunch of flags up and train him like he has never seen the fence before? It is frustrating after so many years of success.

ADMIN – Hi Wally,

I think you should be able to retrain Tucker. Labs are pretty easy to train and he has only gone through a few times.

You want to test that the collar is still working and delivering a correction. (I don’t think the Invisible Fence Systems come with a testing tool, so find a sucker and have them hold it on their hand when they walk through) But, the most likely culprit is that you don’t have good contact between the collar and the dogs skin. You have to move the hair out of the way and make the collar tight enough that you can insert two fingers between collar and neck, but no more than two fingers. What usually happens is after so much sucess we start getting lazy and not fitting the collar correctly and the dog eventually learns that they can go out without getting the correction.

Once we know the collar works and that it is fitted right, put the flags back up and go through the second week of training. (you may need to use temptations to get him to cross) As the dog goes through the fence, you want to observe the reaction to see if the dog is actually getting the correction. If the dog is getting the correction and still going through, you will need to make the fence a little wider and turn up the correction level. (With the Invisible Fence Systems you will need to get a service call, you can’t do this yourself)

Bill Rees January 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm

We have two Scotties that we are trying to keep out of a garden area in our back yard. The back yard is fenced. If we just put the electronic fence around the garden area, will we need to supervise the dogs whenever they are loose in the back yard during the training period? Thanks for your help.

ADMIN -Hi Bill,

Keeping the dogs out of parts of the garden is much easier than containment and you can shorten the training period accordingly. Still I would train the dogs for at least a week during which time I would not let them into the garden unsupervised. It is much easier to teach the dogs the right habit, that the beep means they need to turn and retreat, than to try and fix bad habits later. Left to their own devices, dogs can sometimes develop bad habits like freezing in the correction zone, or trying to run through.

Ken December 8, 2010 at 9:35 pm

I’m considering purchasing an invisible fence. I have two 15 month old neutered shelties males. We live in the country and the dogs at times while unattended will take off in the woods for hours at a time. We would like for them to stay outdoors when we am not home and not wander up into the forest. We would like to install a product which give them about 30- 50 yard radius around the home. Is it realistic to expect an invisible fence to contain the dogs under these curcumstances? Also, does the fence work in the winter with 12-24 inches of snow on the ground?

ADMIN – Hi Ken,

Those conditions sound fine for training the dogs to be contained using an electronic dog fence. With the training, dog can be trained to resist any temptation – no matter how exciting the forest or how much they like to wander.

Snow accumulation isn’t a big deal, all you have to do is turn up the boundary width dial when the snow starts accumulation so you have a bit more power going through the system to get through the snow. Then when the snow starts to melt, don’t forget to dial it back.

Lisa Hannigan November 14, 2010 at 10:16 am

I’ve had a Stubborn Dog fence for about 6 months. My dog did great with it and respected its boundaries. Now, however, he is routinely running through the fence, getting shocked, and then is afraid to come back home. A couple of times, neighbors and strangers have brought him back and crossed back over with his collar on him. I think he is starting to get fearful because of that. When I have caught him, I make sure to take the collar off of him before bringing him back over the wire. He definitely knows the association because he will hold back with the collar on and then happily walk back over the line with me when the collar is off. Do I need to retrain him all over again? I have increased the number on his collar and increased the perimeter, yet he still runs past it whenever he is outside without a leash on when something catches his eye, like a cat, a horse, a deer, or another dog for the past three weeks. I am afraid to let him go outside even supervised as he can easily outrun me and ignores my commands in these situations. Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Lisa,

As soon as a dog starts to get out, I would go back to the second step of training. You want to check to make sure the collar is fit correctly to make sure the dog is actually getting the correction. We increase the boudnary width setting and increase the correction to make running through more difficult. While we are retraining, it is important that the dog stays on leash in the back yard – once the dog gets intot he habbit of breaking through, retraining takes much longer.

If there are particular triggers like deer, neighborhood dogs, or horses – I would incorporate those temptations into the training so that the dog learns no matter how excited – the boundary rules still apply.

Michelle October 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

Hi, We recently installed the fence for our 3 year old beagle. He’s doing great and quickly picked up on the boundaries. We are still in the first week though so I think he’s still getting used to it but is also a little scared of the fence. So when we take him to the backyard to go to the bathroom he does not go. He will only go to the bathroom if we drive him over the boundary and down the street to another road. Any suggestions?
Thank you!

ADMIN – Hi Michelle,

Dogs often get fearful of even the safe parts of the yard during the training. That is an understandable over-reaction. You often see dogs hugging the side of the house, that is normal and you will see them getting braver over the coming weeks. If you want to help him along, you should help the dog associate more positive things with the safe part of the yard. So try to spend lots of time in the safe part with the dog, playing with the dog, giving him food and attention. With time and positive reinforcement he will quickly go back to normal. One important thing is that you need to project confidence when in the safe zone, if your family is fearful or indulges the dog’s fear it will make it harder for him to adapt. If you are confident, he will take the lead from you.

Also, if a dog is fearful, make sure they only get the correction at most once per training session. Turn off the correction the rest of the time and let the dog only get the warning beep.

Cami October 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I have a red heeler mix that hides everytime I get the collar to do the training. She won’t walk on the leash, but thrashes and turns. It makes training very difficult. Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Cami,

You can alternatively work with her without a leash. It may require more patience, but can be done. I do have thought. What do you think will happen if you simply put the fence collar on and let your heeler in the yard? Does she respect and avoid the boundary? You may try that and spend time playing with her in the yard. The fact that she’s hiding tells me she’s already has respect for the fence at some level.

Shawna September 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I am writing to say that I really appreciated you and your service at Dog Fence DIY, and thank you for all the advice you have on your site and in your booklet. It was really helpful. I have an 8 month old Anatolian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees puppy, and she actually proved to be a challenge to train, in a different way. I installed the Petsafe stubborn dog fence, as I understood that was the best fence for this kind of dog. However, after the first time of getting the little jingle and vibration from her collar, and my correction, she steered clear of any flags she saw. It was a challenge to get her to go near them. When I turned on the static correction, I had to move immediately from step 1 to step 3, and it wasn’t until well into the week that she finally got shocked (level 3 shock)….and that was enough for her. After that, I pretty much let her run loose (supervised for the first couple of days) because to be honest, it was quite boring to walk a dog every day (and yes, from the beginning I only walked her once a day. Three times a day would have been just over-the-top boring) who wouldn’t go within five feet of any flags, no matter the distraction. Even the cat wasn’t enough to tempt her. Now she is loose day and night, chasing critters away from the garden and barn, and she keeps a good ten feet away from the boundary (flags) at all times. She’s happy, and so am I, because I know she is going to be out there protecting my property and not wreaking havoc at the neighbors! Thank you so much for all the information on this website, and the help you gave us the one time we had to call with a question on installation.

ADMIN – Hi Shawna,

I’m so glad to hear back from you. And thanks for the feedback! I’m glad everything is going well and it’s awesome to hear how much peace you now have. What a difference it makes to have confidence that your dog is contained, safe, and is able to have fun in your yard. Again, we thank you for your business, your feedback, and we’re always here if you need us. Take Care.

Brian September 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

Your site is awesome. I got a lot of useful info here. I have one training question. I got a little overconfident in my dog’s ability to learn and let him off leash. Needless to say my neighbors dog came out and he ran through the fence after getting a good jolt from it. Does he now know he can get through? Should I just go back a step and retrain until he always has the correct reaction? Turn up the width of fence or the level of correction? Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Brian,

Yes, I would just go back a step to the on-leash training with a temptation. If it happened just once or twice it is no big deal. You just want to catch it early before it becomes a habit. I don’t think it is serious enough for you to need to turn up the correction or increase the width of the fence (I presume you have it set to at least 3 feet wide on either side of the wire).

Graham Glenn May 11, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Training for one of my dogs is going to be very difficult – a golden retriever stray that is very timid and nervous. The last time I tried to put a collar on him he wouldn’t come near me for a week and I will have to tranquilize him to get the collar on, so lead training is going to be traumatic for him.
Unfortunately he is a good climber and jumper and went over a 6 foot fence as soon as I finished putting up a section. As one of our neighbors is threatening to shoot any dogs that go on his land – he has lost a few chickens – and my black Labrador has gone missing today I need to do something urgently – any suggestions. Graham

ADMIN – Hi Glenn,

You want to gradually pair the dog and the collar. Just leave it on the ground, and let the dog walk around. Have it nearby during feeding time. Just slow gradual exposure will help desensitize the dog to the collar. With timid dogs, it is particularly important that you stay confident. If you see the dog being excessively nervous, try and redirect the energy by giving them something else to do … a bit of retreiving always works well with Labs. You may also want to exercise the dog before you finally put on the collar – tired dogs tend to be a lot more relaxed.

Marianne March 16, 2010 at 11:52 am

Thank you for your commitment to diy dog fencing, I really appreciate your informational website.

We have just installed an Innotek in-ground fencing system on a 6 foot privacy fence for our 16 month old boxer that was climbing the fence to escape when he was home alone. The training is going very easily and with only two sessions he seems to understand that boundaries. How should training be adapted if there is already a physical barrier, 6 foot fence, in place? Also, he has a dog door that allows free access to the back yard but I am concerned that allowing access to the backyard during the training process will confuse or hinder training. Is he allowed in the backyard when not training on the fence (and if he is allowed, should he being wearing the training collar). Finally for long term use and after training is complete- since he has never attempted to escape when someone is home does he need to wear the training collar at all times when in the backyard or can the collar be removed when there is someone home with him?

Thanks again for all your help.

ADMIN – Hi Marianne,

The training is essentially identical when you have a physical barrier in place, because we are still trying to instill the same message that: “whenever you hear the beep turn and retreat”. It is a lot easier when you have a fence because it is difficult for the dog to run through. So you can go through the training a bit quicker and let the dog be unsupervised sooner.

I would not let him in the backyard during the training period. The reason is that we don’t want him unlearning what we have taught him. I know that is difficult with a big active dog like a boxer, if necessary fast track the training (do four days on each stage instead of a week). But, I would not want him out there unsupervised during the training period, the risk is that he learns the wrong thing (e.g. that the correction ends after you climb over the fence)

I like to leave the collar on even when the dog is supervised, just in case. Many people don’t put the collars on regularly when the dog is supervised after the dog is trained. As a practical matter, 99% of the time even without the collar – a trained dog will respect the fence. I like to be very cautious and keep the collar on for that 1% of times when he say see the neighbor’s cat and takes off through an open gate. It would be perfectly reasonable if you did not do it that way.

oleta hogg October 26, 2009 at 8:14 pm

At what age can you start to train a puppy? We have a 3 mo. old husky and a 4 mo. old boxer.

ADMIN – Hi Oleta,

Two puppies at the same time! We would wait until they are 6 months old. Some people start younger, but we suggest wait until they are mentally developed a little and don’t have that goofy puppy attention span.

kelly September 12, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I moved to step 2 after a week. My dog had started turning away from the flags on his own after about 1 week of twice a day 10 minute training sessions. So, I moved to step 2. I took him out on his leash and he went right for the boundary and got shocked. He was so upset he runs to the front door of the house or cowers by the house. When he goes in the house he runs to the bedroom or his crate and will not come out. He also shows reluctance to go outside. Will this eventually pass? Do I need to go back to Step 1? Do I continue w/ Step 2?

Thanks,
Kelly

ADMIN – Hi Kelly, Just keep on going with step 2, but turn down the correction to the lowest setting and make sure they never get more than one correction a session or iff you want switch it off completely for the next couple of days (but keep the warning beep on).

Take him out on the leash and spend lots of time creating good associations with the safe zones. Play with him, give him treats, etc. Do this, a couple of times a day in addition to the training sessions. Most importantly when he gets the correction, don’t validate his fears by trying to comfort or console. Just keep leading him confidently on the leash where you want him to go. Remember to end the session with play.

The overreaction will pass. You will often see dogs staying very close to the house for the first few days but you will notice that with the coming weeks they get more and more adventurous. Just keep playing outside with him and don’t reward him for being fearful. I know it is hard, but he will be glad you provided this leadership.

Keep us updated.

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