Step One: Introduce the Dog Fence Boundary

Overview

In the first step of training, we introduce the dog to the boundary and teach them to “turn and retreat” whenever they hear the warning tone. We will use primarily positive reinforcement to teach the dog to turn and retreat. There is no correction in Step One.

This first week lays the foundation for adding the correction in Step Two. Teaching the dog what is expected from them first, makes the addition of the correction a less stressful, since the dog knows that all they need to do is turn and retreat to turn it off.


Preliminaries

Disabling the Correction

Turn off correction on the dog fence collar so that collar beeps when near the boundary, but does not correct the dog. For some systems you do this by adjusting the correction settings on the collar, in others you will cover the collar probes with small rubber insulating caps. You can also wrap the collar probes in masking tape or electrical tape to stop them correcting the dog.


Playtime Before & After Training

To start each training session, begin with a few minutes of play with the dog. This is a good habit to get into before all dog training. A little bit of play before and after each training session keeps dogs eager to take part in training.


Train One Dogs at a Time

If you have two or more dogs, it is best to train them one-at-a-time. Keep all dogs except the dog being trained out of sight. This avoids the dogs being distracted by each other, and focuses their full attention on you and the training.


Training

Place the dog on a long leash and let the dog lead you around. If the dog does not head toward the boundary, slowly walk toward the boundary, stopping about one yard before you reach the boundary flags. Let the dog wander toward and past flags and until their collar starts beeping.

When the collar starts beeping, pull on the leash and quickly pull the dog back into it’s safe area and say forcefully “no, no, no.”

You must be animated and have a sense of urgency. If you are like most people, you probably say “no” to your dog about ten times a day, this time they need to know that it is important. You need to make this time more memorable. You want them to learn to retreat FAST, so do it FAST but confidently.

If you have a partner to help you, have them wave the flag and also say “no, no, no” when the dog gets too close. Once the dog is back into the safe area reward the dog with some praise or with a treat.

Repeat this process, using different sections of the fence each time for ten minutes. Do this three times a day for a week. You will notice as the week goes on that your dog may start to automatically turn away from the flags. This is what you want to happen. Some dogs may not demonstrate much progress, but nonetheless they are still internalizing the boundary rules as you will soon see.

After you have spent a week at Step One, time to introduce the correction in Step Two.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I cannot hear the collar beeping, how do I know when to start pulling back the dog?

A: On most systems the warning tone is high pitched and soft, making it hard for many adults to hear. You can often cheat by looking at the dog’s ears, and watching to see when they prick up.
You can also put the dog’s collar on upside down so that the receiver is on top of the dog’s neck instead of on the underside. This way you can see the collar indicator light flash and use that instead of relying on hearing the beep.

Q: My dog is deaf and cannot hear the beep. How do I train them?

A: Use a dog fence system that has a vibrating collar. These collars shake, much like a cellphone in vibra-alert mode. That way your dog can feel the collar vibrate, even if they cannot hear the collar vibrate. Collars that vibrate include the SportDog SDF-100A, PetSafe Stubborn Dog Fence, and the Dogtra EF-3000.

Q: After the first day, my dog is not crossing the boundary. Should I lead him past?

A: You never want to lead the dog past the flags or encourage the dog to cross the flags. Every time the dog crosses it should be something of it’s own choosing. It should be clear to the dog that you do not want it crossing the boundary. Many more compliant dogs will find your verbal reprimand enough deterrent to avoid crossing in this phase of training.

Q: If I need to take the dog for a walk during the training, what should I do?

A: You want to keep things consistent during the training period, so we avoid walking the dog across the boundary. Instead, to take the dog over the boundary line, pick the dog up and carry them. If the dog is too big to carry, you can put them in the car and drive them over the boundary.

The dog’s collar correction collar should always be removed before taking the dog over the boundary. Not only could the collar get activated when crossing the boundary, but it coudl also be accidentally activated when walking past a neighbors house.

After the dog understands the dog fence boundary and has had a few weeks to become comfortable with the system, we will teach him how to walk across when we give him permission. But for now, keep things simple and consistent, and only drive or carry the dog over the boundary.

Next: Step Two (Applying the Correction)


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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Susi in SC March 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

We have bought a lake house and want to take our Belgian Malamoit and 2 Dachshunds with us when we go. One Dashchund is deaf; Belgian is about 5 years old; Dachshunds are about 12. Read all comments and responses and had a lot of my questions answered. Thanks! But one I still have regards the placement of the fence. Does it have to connect or be installed in a circle? I was hoping to install it along 3 sides of our property but open to the water so the dogs can go on the dock, in the boat, or in the water with us. In other words, I would run it down to the water on the left and right sides of our property. The third side would, of course, be along the road behind the house. Thanks for the info!

Luke November 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm

My dog was shaking and quivering after it was shocked a few times. Should i discontinue the training for a little while?

sherry keinath October 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm

we are looking for invisible fencing. Our dog is deaf so are there alternatives for the training procedure? he will not respond to the beep or voice commands. we are in research stage presently but would like to have fence installed before winter. open for your direction. thank you

ADMIN – Hi Sherry, you have two options with deaf dogs. 1) the SportDog SDF100A contains a warning vibration which great for deaf dogs. 2) You can train your dog to the flags by assertively pulling them back with the leash when they cross. This is much more important than the verbal command. I believe you both of these will make training go smoothly.

Bernice September 20, 2013 at 8:46 am

We have a 3 month old Springer Spaniel. Can i start training her on the fencenow? If not, what age could she begin to understand ?

Jodi September 4, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I have three shih tzus and live on the waterfront. I am trying to keep the dogs off the dock and away from the water to keep them safe. Can I install the wire inside piping and run it along the seawall?

ADMIN – Hi Jodi, Yes. As long as it’s non-metal piping it will work great.

Becki July 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Hi, Glad to find your site! We have a total of four dogs. One spoiled 4 lb Chihuahua who stays in the house and only goes outside when attached to a lead off the back porch. She thinks she is a Rottweiler and tried to pick a fight with a neighbor’s rescue Pit. That did not go well….and, since she runs whenever she gets a chance we have to be very cautious with her.

We also have an 8 yr old Golden and a 3 yr old 9 lb Chihuahua that stay in the garage and/or outside all the time. They do not take a step without each other. They seldom wander outside the boundaries of our yard.

The problem is our new puppy…a rescue Great Dane mix. She is 85 lbs and 9 mo old. She was kept on an 18 inch chain all night every night in the kitchen of the house we got her from. Our original plan was to keep her inside but that only lasted about a week. She is too big for our small house. She will not stay in the yard. She loves people and if we are not out in the yard with her she goes looking for human company. We keep her in a 10×10 pen when we are gone and at night because she will not stay in the yard. She is highly intelligent but the other two dogs haven’t bonded with her so she does not follow their example.

We need an alternative to the situation. We are not comfortable with her spending so much time in the pen but we are worried for her safety. So……we want to know what our options are for fencing…and, if we need to enforce a perimeter with our other two outside dogs.

Thanks.

ADMIN – Hi Becki,

With Rottweilers, you often need one of the fences with a stronger correction. A good choice would be the PetSafe Stubborn system.

If down the road you need to add the other two outside dogs to the containment system, you would add a PetSafe InGronud collar for the lab, or a PetSafe Little Dog Collar for the Chihuahua.

Bobby May 16, 2013 at 10:27 pm

If my boundary wire is running along my fence do I still need to use the warning flags. My goal is to keep my dog away from fence which surrounds my backyard.

ADMIN – Hi Bobby,

If you have a physical landmark for the boundary (like a fence), you don’t strictly need the training flags. They are still useful, because they are something new (unlike the fence, which the dog has grown used to seeing). Some people also use lawn-marking paint (like the type used on football fields).

julie - Kentucky November 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm

We have a 3 and a half year old lab we adopted from a breeder who had to sell because of an illness. She had trained him for conformation shows. He is the sweetest thing but stays right next to my side and is extra sensitive and calm. Started training him to our fence today and he he does not approach the flags on his own. I walked up to them and he followed me. Don’t think he got close enough to hear the beep so I shook the flags and said bad flags and then pulled him away. Covered the 2 acres in this manner. He seems confused. Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Julie, you are doing the correct thing. It will take consistent training until he begins to understand. It will help for your lab to grow comfortable to the yard as well. The best advice we have is to stick with it and not move on to the next step until your lab has caught on.

Linda November 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I’m currently in Step One of training my seven year old boxer/lab mix. This is the third day of our training and I’m having trouble getting her to attempt to cross the flag line (we’re averaging just one attempt/correction per day). Our play time goes great, but as soon as we stop playing, she goes into “walk by my side”/heal mode. I don’t want to walk her into the flags only to correct her, but don’t know what else to do. She didn’t even try to cross over to see the neighbor’s dog yesterday! I don’t think she’s figured out the connection with the flags yet, she’s just being too darned well behaved (never thought I’d say that!). Suggestions? Thank you!

ADMIN – Hi Linda, you may want to try letting the leash go and pick it up when she walks across the flags. It works best to attach several leashes together to make one long leash for this purpose. With this freedom, maybe she’ll try and cross.

Marilee March 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

Hi. What is the distance from the wire that the beep is heard and what is the distance from the wire that the correction is made?

ADMIN – Hi Marilee,

With all systems, the distances for the correction and the warning beep are set by turning a dial on the base station. You want a minimum boundary of 3-5 feet (depends on the breed), but bigger boundaries are always better if you have the space. The exact ration of correction space to warning varies by system, but generally, the warning is the first 10-20% and the correction the rest of the area.

Mary January 29, 2012 at 11:29 am

We have 2 large dogs. Boomer is an F1 labradoodle. Sadie is a Shepard Boxer mix. She looks like a Shepard but is brindle colored. She looks mean but is really a sweet dog. She barks at anyone walking by so my neighbors won’t walk our street anymore. Although we have very light traffic on our road, Boomer will wait for the car to get in front of our house then dart out in front of it barking. My fault for not training them from the start not to go into the road so now they think it is part of our property.

There is a large bluff directly in front of the other side of the road. The rest of our surrounding property is wooded and we live on lake. We do however have one neighbor with dogs and Boomer loves to go over there and play with them everyday. Sadie recently charged their lab and bit him. Right in front of my husband and neighbor. (I think she’s jealous). Needless to say, our neighbors were very upset (as I would have been too).

We are now considering an invisible fence and have spoken with a rep already. They love playing in the woods and we are on just under an acre of land. I let them out this morning and watched as they romped around in the woods which would be off limits with the fence.It made me sad about taking that away from them. I don’t think Sadie will have a problem learning the boundaries and right now she pretty much stays away from the neighbors house. Boomer is a very loving care free dog with an incredible personality. He makes us laugh constantly in the house. I guess my question is, do you think keeping him confined to our yard will break his wonderful spirit or change his personality? I’m wondering if we should invest in this fence now.

ADMIN – Hi Mary,

Dog don’t seem to mind the reduced territory, they seem to quickly adjust and you will notice they don’t care as much about things beyond their territory. I imagine having a fixed area to roam is a natural part of the lives of territorial animals like dogs and their ancestors.

Two associated disadvantages of an Invisible Fence we hear are that if the dogs are used to roaming all day and you reduce their area you may need to start taking them on a regular walk (if you didn’t before). And now that they have a reduced area, dogs that previously pottied in the woods will now potty in your yard and you will need to start cleaning up after them.

Nathan December 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Where should I place the flags? At the point of the first beep? Or directly over the buried wire? The beep occurs some distance before the wire, so should the flag be a visual of the beginning of the correction zone or a visual on the middle most intense correction area? Or does it matter? Will the dog recognize that he cannot get within so many feet of the flags no matter where I place them?

ADMIN – Hi Nathan,

Place the flags where the collar first starts beeping. This lets the dogs know that anything beyond the flags is off limits and anywhere before the flags is safe.

Jeff October 22, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I am contemplating a purchase of an invisible fence for our lake home. We visit there several times throughout the year, mostly in the summer months for a week of so and then return to our permanent residence, where we have a cedar fenced in yard. I am wondering if, after the proper training, our two dogs (both Chihuahuas) will remember the boundaries at the lake, since they have a physical fence to contain them most of the time? Will they get confused about where they are and have a hard time staying in the containment area when they visit the lake property?

ADMIN – Hi Jeff,

I’d recommend that each summer you go to the home, replace the flags and perform several review training sessions and I believe they’ll remember the boundary rules well.

Joslynn September 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm

We are going to be getting a German Shorthair puppy and I would really like to get an electric fence, since a 6′ aluminum fence cannot hold my girlfriends GSP. Could you tell me what electric fence would hold an adult male GSP. We have a busy road behind us and I do not want anything to happen to our dog. Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Joslynn,

With a German Shorthair Pointer and a fence already in place, getting the dog contained should be very straightforward – so you have a lot of options, you could essentially use anything. Let me suggest two. The Innotek 4100 would be a good choice, it is rechargeable and has a smaller less obtrusive collar. The PetSafe Stubborn would also work well, it is bigger and uses a consumable battery, but it is also a little cheaper.

Brian September 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I recently installed a Innotek 4100 system and was pleasently suprised with the relative ease of installation. I did a back yard only area about 4000 Sq ft and used a rented trencher which I HIGHLY recommend. So I started training after reading the manual and on the first day I let my 6 month old golden retriever walk up to explore the flags and as soon as I heard the beep I said NO, NO but before I got this out he got the correction. I realized later that I failed to use the rubber tops on the collar for the first week and that I made a mistake. I have spend the last three days trying to get him to walk near the flags and train him to retreat but he will only go if dragged. He has too quickly learned the consequence and I am afraid I have messed up. What do you suggest to get him on the right track?

ADMIN – Hi Brian,

Correcting the dog too early is not ideal, because as you noticed – the dog can become overly fearful of the flags. The good news is that your dog seemed to make the connection to the flags, so is on the right track. You will just have to be patient with him and keep taking him out for training. We want to focus our attention on creating rewards for being in the safe zone so he can regain his confidence. Treats, games, feeding, etc in the safe zone will all help. Keep exuding confidence when you take him out to the safe zone – coddling is counterproductive. It can take a week or two, but he will get right back on track.

Renee Dawson July 30, 2011 at 10:15 am

I contacted you earlier this spring but have been hesitant to start this project. After 2 visits to the vet (foxtails from the stateland behind me!) I am ready now! To review….I have about 2 acres to fence with a creek running through it. I would like to access the stateland thru a gate WHEN I WANT, is that possible? My dog is a 30# english cocker, 2 yrs. old. I’ll be ordering later today if I here from you. Am I remembering right that I need the 4100? Thanks, Renee Dawson

Admin- Hi Renee,

An Innotek IUC-4100 would be a good choice for a Cocker Spaniel. You will not be able to create a dead spot in the middle of the loop to cross a gate. The only real solution at the gate would be to remove the Innotek collar from the Cocker. You will want to place a leash on the cocker and lead him over the boundary wire. He will associate crossing the boundary only when you lead him across the boundary on a leash. For 2 acres you will need to bundle in an additional 1000 feet of boundary wire to complete your install.

Kathy July 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I have installed the Petsafe Stubborn Dog fence and am about ready to start the training — my Doberman pups are just now 6 months old. Does the Petsafe collar go above or below the regular collar to which the leash is attached (I assume below)? Is there ever any problem with the regular collar getting in the way or interfering with the Petsafe collar? I use a 16′ retractable leash when I walk them. Is this okay?

Admin- Hi Kathy,

The Stubborn dog collar will go below the leash collar. There will not be any interferes issue with the two collars unless the lease or lease collar slips in between the collars probs and dogs neck.

Joanne April 7, 2011 at 9:58 am

Ahh… I found the information for setting up the flags on the installation / connecting and testing section. So much great information on this site. I love it!

Vivian April 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I have three dogs. 75lb, 45lb and 6lbs. Will the deluxe collar work for all three dogs? I’m afraid the little guy may need a smaller collar than the bigger dogs. I am about to install the fence and have three med/large dog collars. What’s best for the little guy?

ADMIN – Hi Vivian,

The PetSafe Deluxe collar is designed for dogs 12-pounds and larger. The Deluxe collar will be too big and the correction too strong for the little dog. The best collar for the smallest dog is going to be the PetSafe Little Dog Collar. The Little Dog Collar is compatible with the PetSafe Deluxe system, so you can have the two bigger dogs on the Deluxe collar and the smaller dog on the PetSafe Little Dog Colllar.

Sandi kositzke March 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I have two dogs, one that weigh 10 lbs and the other 22 lbs. Would I need two separate system types or how will it work with the obvious weight difference?

Admin-Hi Sandi,

Great news is, you will not need two different systems. The PetSafe Little Dog PIG00-10773 with a PetSafe Deluxe collar would work perfectly for your two dogs.

Joanne December 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

The flags are white and my yard is full of snow. Will there be a problem with my dog noticing the flags?

ADMIN – Hi Joanne,

Some dogs can have trouble with the color contrast. To create some contrast you can use a black marker to make an X across the flags. Alternatively you can get colored flags at any hardware store (they are in the garden section – used to mark fertilizer and pesticide application, or in the plumbing section – used to mark utility lines)

SUZIN November 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I have a skittish rescued 2 y/o beagle and another beagle age 6 (since pup)…the older one is very headstrong and keeps that nose way down to sniff out squirrels and treats learned the fence system in 3 days, to everyones shock (LOL)—in fact she tries to get back in the house instead of going out! However the younger guy who jumps into his crate with every footstep in the house, seems totally ignorant of the fence noises….his ears don’t react, his body stance doesn’t change (things the older girl did immediately). Since he runs scared over EVERYTHING in the house, I am concerned about advancing him to the correction phase as I don’t want outside to be punitive. We are playing alot while attempting to get him to acknowledge the beeps and flags (to no avail). Should we proceed to correction?

ADMIN – Hi Suzin,

I would move on to the correction. Some dogs just will not put it together until you do the correction the first time. If you are concerned about a nervous dog being spooked by the dog fence, turn down the correction to the lowest level and make sure he doesn’t get the correction more than once a day – use just the sound the rest of the time. The trick with nervous dogs is not to let your own nervousness affect him. The more confident you are after he gets the correction, the less frightened he will be. Comforting a frightened dog makes the dog even more frightened.

PS – I does not matter for the dog fence training, but test his hearing one day when you have a few spare moments. Wait till he is turned around, then clap your hands. If he does not respond, then he may well be deaf. I am surprised at how many dogs we find are deaf during the dog fence training. The dogs have adapted so cleverly, that most owners have no idea that the dog cannot hearing. Particularly when people have two dogs, the deaf dog gets very clever about reading the body language of the hearing dog and reacting based on what the hearing dog does.

Mark Levinson October 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Hi. Today was our first day of training. We have a newly adopted dog 18 month old husky/boxer mix. We walked her around the border but she would cross the flags and not seem to notice the beeping sound. We told her no and pulled her back. I know it was beeping I could see the light flashing but she did not egnolage it. Is this ok for the first week?

ADMIN – Hi Mark,

it is typical with huskies and other strong willed dogs that they pay no attention. Keep going with what you are doing, it is perfectly normal. The dog may look like they are ignoring you, but they are learning. When you start on the correction next week, she will put it all together and start paying attention to the beep. Think of what you are doing as laying the foundation – this first week of training will let the dog know what it is supposed to do in week two when you add the correction.

James September 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm

What can you do when you can’t hear the beeping collar? My parrents are trying to train their dog to the fence, but my dad can’t hear the collar at all, and my mom can only hear it when it is next to her ear. I don’t have time to do the 3 times per day training,

Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi James,

Yes. I recommend all customers to train the dogs to not cross the flags. That way you don’t have to worry yourself with listening for the beeping collar. The dogs will pick up on it and will learn why if they cross the flags.

Jerry April 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Hi,
I have a question about the first phases of training. I live on a farm and the dog has the run of the place right now. My question is, what do I do with him during the first couple weeks before he learns the boundaries. Is he going to have to get tied up every time he goes out?

I rescued him from a shelter about 6 months ago. The animal control officer told me that his former owner was sent to jail and the dog was left tied in the yard for 2 weeks before anyone called the authorities to report it. Needless to say, tying him is very traumatizing to him still. I have tied him for short periods, but if I tie him with rope he just chews through it and is loose by the time I get back.

If I leave him in the house while I’m outside doing chores, he tends to tear the place apart trying to find a way to get outside with me. He is a pretty smart dog. When he first got here he got shocked by the livestock electric fence and quickly learned to stay a good distance from it, after only getting shocked twice. Any thoughts on how to stay strict on the boundaries but not traumatize the poor guy any further? Keeping him on a leash with me while I do chores is simply not feasible.
Thanks,
Jerry

ADMIN – Hi Jerry,

Poor pup. That is a really awful situation. Glad you rescued him.

It is important to use some other form of containment while you do the training. Otherwise, left to roam the dog freely, the dog may not learn the correct lesson. It is absolutely critical that the dog thinks the only option when they hear that warning beep is to turn and retreat. Where the dog is allowed to roam unsupervised it often starts to learn other options such as running through. It is much easier to take two weeks and teach the dog correctly than to try and fix bad training later.

If tying the dog is not an option, perhaps you can crate the dog? Or perhaps there is a friend that can entertain the dog while you do chores? When there are very compelling reasons like this, I am comfortable shortening this first step from a week to three days. I understand that it is difficult for this first two weeks while you are doing the training. But, if you hang in there you will be rewarded one-hundred fold.

Karen Anderson March 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm

We had the indoor disks first. Our old dog figured out the beep and shock with little training. New dog also figured it out quickly. That cured the inside problem, but they were escaping through the outside fence since it is wraught iron and they are very small dogs. We installed the invisible fence to stop that. The fence we chose would provide collars that worked with the indoor system and outdoor system. I went outside to take a look at the installation right before the flags were installed. The dogs followed me outside and the new dog got shocked when she ran over to the gate. Now, we can’t even get her to go outside in the yard, she runs and hides when we tell her to go outside. When outside, she stays on the patio and scratched at the patio screen door (and screen beside it until she tore a hole). I have walked the yard with her and tried to teach her the boundaries, but if the beep goes off on her collar, or the other dog’s collar, she is running back to the patio. I have to chain her outside in order to keep her off the patio and hope that she will go potty during that time.

Help! I am at a loss as to what to do now!

ADMIN – Hi Karen,

Put up the boundary flags to help her better visualize the boundary. Then, just keep taking her out into the safe part of the yard and playing with her. Project confidence and she will follow, you can help her most by showing you are not scared or concerned. For now turn off the correction and let it just beep. The overreaction to the fence is not uncommon, but give her a bit of time and she will relax and get more comfortable getting closer and closer to the boundary flags.

You are doing all the right stuff. it is just going to take a couple of weeks before she gets used to it. At first she will hang out on the patio, then she will start inching out further and further.

Dennis January 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I will be installing a system over our 14 acres but am curious if I should start with a smaller area and train to the flags then expand to cover the entire property. Thanks for your advice.

ADMIN – Hi Dennis,

I would with the full 14 acres. It is a bit confusing to the dogs every time the boundary changes and they take a while to adapt. It is much easier just to put in the final boundary layout. If installation time is an issue, just staple it to the ground at first, and if you need/want to bury it, then you can always come back and do it later.

That said, you could do it as you suggest, start with training them in a small area, then expand the boundary and move the flags. It will take a bit longer for them to learn the new area, and you may need to give them some encouragement to use the new space (e.g. spending time playing with them in that area). But is definitely doable.

Bill December 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I’m thinking of using this fence at a weekend home. I won’t be there for more than 2 days and an evening (Fri. night, Sat. & Sun.). Can the dog learn to stay within the fence?

ADMIN – Hi Bill,

I would like to see you give the dog a week of continuous training the first time. Perhaps you can start the next time you take a vacation up there. After that the dog would have learned the boundaries and the short stays at the vacation home will be no problem

Ryan October 16, 2009 at 5:36 am

We have a blind dog that we rescued. Is an invisible fence cruel to this animal since it cannot see the flags, and how would training differ?

ADMIN – Hi Ryan,

Blind dogs are a lot harder to train. I would get a collar that has vibration (e.g. Dogtra), and try marking the fence line with a scent so we can engage another sense.

It can be done but is a lot more effort and takes a lot longer.

Kelly October 9, 2009 at 11:50 am

I have a dog that was abused by her previous owners and I rescued her from the animal shelter. She is still very skiddish and when you tell her no, she curls up and doesn’t want to move. She is not understanding the concept of flag is a no no. I’ve walked her around the yard without the collar for fear of her getting shocked all the time. She is very timid and is still very scared. How would you advice me to continue with her training? She loves her tie out but freaks out when she is placed with the shock collar.

ADMIN – Hi Kelly,

I am afraid we don’t have much experience training abused dogs. I would strongly suggest you try a few session with a local trainer with experience in these matters to help you out.

My intuition, based on just working with ordinary skittish dogs, is that you want to emphasize the positive part of training. When you pull her back after doing your no, give her lots of praise. Also be confident about the whole thing and don’t try and reassure her in any way other than by your strong body language.

Glad people like you are out there giving these dogs another chance at life.

Nick September 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

I’ve had this system for over 5 years.Both my dogs died We have 2 puppies about 9 weeks old.We reinstalled new flags, turned down the collars.Is 9 weeks to young to start on the training.

Admin – Hi Nick, sorry to hear about your dogs. I would wait till the pups are about six months old to start training. Also train them both separately. When you have two dogs (especially puppies) they pay more attention to each other than on learning the system.

sandy-Michigan July 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm

The training information is helpful, since I just started underground fence training yesterday…this approach is a little slower and paced at my speed to feel comfortable knowing I’m taking longer to identify the flags/boundary to my puppy…since she didn’t get it last night, which left us both perplexed:)

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