Using a Dog Fence to Protect a House

A dog fence is occasionally used to protect a house from a dog that scratches as doors or tries to break through walls in an effort to regain entry to the house when left alone. This is often a symptom of separation anxiety, and the underlying condition should be addressed with a good trainer as the first priority. Sometimes especially with a puppy they are just bored and want to chew, and you can help the problem by getting them some bones and a toy they find engaging such as a Kong.

My 1 year old lab has to be left alone in a well fenced back yard weekdays. She attacks the doors and has pulled out the mesh wire from the foundation vents, so I need to perimeter guard the house itself. Since she attacks the doors I need to use the fence to keep her away from them, but I need to use one to bring her into the house. Can dogs be trained to understand that the fence can be on when needed, and when we are home they can be brought in and out because it is now off?
Thanks very much, this site is a wealth of helpful information

Hi Brent,

You can run the dog fence along the perimeter of the house, just make sure when you set the boundary width that you don’t set it so wide that the dog can get the correction while in the house. The boundary does not need to be very wide when you are training them to stay away from the house, because there is no risk of them running through the field. One or two feet is fine. Then go through the house with the collar / tester and make sure the collar is not activated anywhere in the house.

As to the issue of training, for the first month it is helpful to have very simple absolute rules. So make it simple and don’t let the dog through that back door at all. When you want to take the dog in, either carrying them in if they are small enough, or walk them to the front of the house and use the door at the front when you needing to bring them in.

After the first month, once they have the basics down, then when you are home create some sort of routine. For example, take the dog’s collar off, open the door and let them in. The dog probably will not come in, but you should just put them on a leash and pull them in confidently. It will take a few times, but eventually the dog will learn that when you are home and the collar is off they can go in and out; and when you are not home they cannot go near the door.

Be very careful that you take the collar off every time. If they get corrected coming inside when you say it is ok, it will take a while to get their trust back.


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