Walking Your Dog

Now that you have your system installed and your dog trained, how do you take the dog for a walk outside the system boundary?  Remember we told you that while training, you should take the dog on walks by taking off their collar receiver, putting them in your car and then driving them over the boundary.  You should keep doing this procedure for about one month to make sure your dog really understands and respects the boundaries.

After the month, and you are sure your dog really understands the system works you are ready to train them to be taken on walks without using the car.  First, pick a spot on the boundary as your entry/exit spot, always use this spot when taking your dog out for a walk.  Now take the collar receiver off the dog and attach their walking collar and their leash.  Now walk the dog confidently over the boundary at the spot you chose.  The first few times you may get resistance from the dog.  Be confident and firm as you stride across the boundary.  Always enter and leave your property from the same spot on the boundary and always when the dog is on the leash.  Your dog will quickly learn that the boundary will not shock them when they are with you and on their leash.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane Roberts May 4, 2018 at 8:47 pm

Our eight year old dog will not walk on a leash because he is afraid to go over the line. We tried to pick him up and he tried to bite my son. He doesn’t even like a harness on him he just stands still as if parilzed with fear. What do I do we need to take him to the vet again and we are struggling.


ADMIN – Hi Jane. You may need to drive your dog across the line. Make sure to remove the collar and keep your dog’s favorite treats at hand to reward him for his bravery. As long as you stay calm and light and confident, the dog will learn that it is ok. Every dog takes their own time to understand, so be patient.

Jeremy Hale November 28, 2017 at 11:31 am

We just got the PetSafe In-ground Fence and I am preparing to install it on our 0.45 AC yard. I want to give the dog full access to the whole yard, while my wife would like to have the whole yard, but exclude the front door and driveway to make going for a walk less of a training issue. Is this possible? Can you splice wire on to the main wire and twist it to create an opening in the loop? Or pull excess from the wire line and twist it on itself to make an opening? Or run two separate wire loops from the same transmitter? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

ADMIN – Hi Jeremy. Unfortunately, you cannot add twisted wire to the middle of your loop and these systems cannot be run with more than one loop. If you wanted two separate loops, you would need two separate transmitters.

Rana Adams May 9, 2017 at 8:57 am

I’ve seen the instruction to put the dog in the car to drive them through the boundary to relocate for walks, etc. My question however…If the collar is left on, would the dog receive a correction whilst inside the car or will the surrounding metal barrier of the car protect them, thereby eliminating the need to remove the collar when going for a drive?

ADMIN – Hi Rana. Anytime you decide to take the dog across the boundary wire, it is a good idea to remove the collar just in case the shock triggers.

Diana April 11, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Can I use 20 gauge wire that came with the Pet Safe system with 18 gauge I ordered with it?

ADMIN – Hi Diana. Yes, you can use different gauge wires together as long as they are no more than one gauge apart. 20 gauge and 18 gauge should work fine together.

Eric Laser July 9, 2015 at 10:22 am

We have a 1 year old Plot Hound (“Attlia the Hound”) and have trained her over the past 3 months on our underground fence that encloses about 4 acres. For the most part, she does well, respecting the boundary even with all flags removed. About 1-2 times per week now, however, she is compelled to cross the boundary by a particularly irresistible temptation such as a deer or neighbors children playing. After pausing at the border for several minutes, she is finally willing to take the shock to pursue whatever the temptation is. She then won’t re-cross the boundary to return home. The fence trainer told me to lead her back across the fence to give her another correction, which I did on a number of occasions. Now, if she crosses, she won’t come to me because she doesn’t want another correction, which seems perfectly understandable. I feel like we are losing ground. Help! Thanks!!

ADMIN – Hi Eric. Hang in there! You are doing the right things. However, it sounds like “Attlia the Hound” needs to go through the “Testing and Compliance” phase of dog training again. We recommend re-training your dog early in the morning and/or late in the evening when the wildlife is out. This will give your dog ample opportunity to resist crossing the electric dog fence to chase after deer.

Rob April 6, 2015 at 12:35 pm

The electric fence has worked great and our dog has always been taken for a walk and left the yard on the driveway. Yesterday the collar was accidentally left on and he was corrected with the walking lease on and now doesn’t want to cross the border. Any suggestions to regain confidence in crossing the fence?

ADMIN – Hi Rob. I’m sorry to hear about your dog. We recommend helping your dog associate the dog collar with positive things. I would also try turning off the collar and putting it on your dog while everyone is relaxed inside the house. Gradually, you will be able to take your dog outside and play in the yard. We recommend rewarding your dog with treats while inside the pet area. It really helps if you invite other family members in the yard to play and have fun with the dog in the pet area. Try to be patient with your dog and take it slow. Dogs will adjust in their own time. The trick is to persuade the dog that the yard is a place to have fun!

Vickie March 10, 2015 at 9:39 pm

We have had our invisible fence in over 18 months. Our lab/ Shepard mix will not cross over the line however when attempting to take her on walks she still pulls thru the area where whe normally would get shocked. We have tried treats to distract. Driving her through it then walking her etc. She gets within. 5 feet and starts yanking and pulling. Being 60 lbs it is hard to control her. Any suggestions?

ADMIN – Hi Vickie. I’m sorry to hear about your Lab/Shepherd. The solution is to create a “Virtual Gate” for your dog to leave the pet area. We recommend creating a “Virtual Gate” for the dog to cross between (e.g., two flower pots, etc) on the boundary wire. This encourages the dog to exit at a certain point on the property. Next, create a “leaving the yard” routine with the dog using a command like, “O.K. Let’s go!” Then, remove the correction collar from the dog and leave it in the pet area. Now, put a different “walking collar” and leash on the dog so the dog knows it is safe to exit the pet area. It is also a good idea to remove any boundary flags that hinder the dog from leaving the containment area.

Jack July 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hello, I’ve got two male Samoyeds, 5 and 3. The back and side yards are enclosed with a metal fence and connects to a concrete wall in the front yard. Now the older of the two dogs has figured out that he can jump up and over the front containment wall and escape. Can you recommend a system which might keep them in? Thanks

ADMIN – Hi Jack, As long as your dogs weigh over 12 lbs, I would recommend the PetSafe Ultrasmart PIG00-13619. It is a slim, light weight collar that is rechargeable. You can simply run the wire along the base of your fence and this should immediately prevent your dogs from jumping or digging under.

Curt May 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I am considering a backyard layout only. My dog would walk out through a deck door (about 6 feet off of the ground). The area under the raised deck is enclosed and the system would plug in there. If I ran the wires along the ground next to the house and under the deck, would that work the same as running up through the eaves?

ADMIN – Hi Curt,

Yes, running the wire six feet down below the deck would create enough separation between the dog and the wire that he could pass above without getting the correction. (In exactly the same way that running the up above).

Yvonne April 8, 2013 at 6:41 am

Hello, Comcast Internet is coming to bury a cable, how can I mark where my invisible fence is? Comcast cut my neighbors invisible fence, trying to prevent a headache. Thank you

ADMIN – Hi Yvonne,

If you don’t know the layout of your fence, you can figure it out using the dog collar. Just wander around with the collar, and mark where the collar starts triggering and you can make a good guesstimate of where the wire lies. To mark the location you can either use spraypaint, leftover dog fence flags, or some marking flags (available in the plumbing section of big-box hardware stores)

Dwightel July 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Does each dog need their own collar?

Admin- Dwightel,

Each dog should have its own collar on.

Rena June 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm

How big of an area will 500 feet of wire cover?

Admin- Hi Rena,

500 feet of boundary wire will cover 1/3 of an acre.

Leslie March 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Hi, we have a very big backyard and a very small front yard. Would it be reasonable to put the fence only in the backyard (a great big rectangular shape) and not at all in the front yard? Then, when we want to take the dog for a walk, we go out the front door into the front yard and never cross the boundary. The backyard is for running around and playing free and the front yard (and street) is for walking politely on a leash. Is this realistic? Thanks!

ADMIN – Hi Leslie,

About half our customers will enclose only the backyard as your suggest. This arrangement works well. It also avoids having your dog startle pedestrians that are walking by and don’t realize the dog will stop at the boundary line.

The only thing to watch out for, when you do a backyard only layout is to make sure the fourth side of the rectangle that goes across the back door does not trigger the correction – otherwise the dog cannot get out the back door. There is a lot more information on how to do that in the Installation –> Layouts section of the website. The most common way to acheive that is to elevate the wire across the back of the house, running it along the eaves – the height of the wire above ground prevents it triggering the collar down on ground level. There are other methods in the Layouts section of the website.

Robin Lewis November 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I have a 1 1/2 yr old shepherd /dobe mix. She is well behaved but her insatiable prey instinct has made yard training and the ability to have her accompany me while hiking, biking, skiing etc. off leash impossible. As these were at he top of my wish list for her when I adopted, it has been very disappointing. Never the less, dog and ownwer have learned to live happily within the confines of being leashed at all times. I have, however, done quite a bit of research on wired and wireless fences. I am convinced that her bolting right through (and past) the correction with a wired system, and the slow response of the wireless would be big hurdles during training. Given the fact that she is content on a run (I think she almost knows she can’t control herself and wants to behave) and the fact that a fence wouldn’t help with hiking and the like, it makes me wonder I should settle for the status qou. Or do you think the limitations of either of these systems with a prey instinct like hers can be overcome? I know that she would require remedial attention during phase 3 of training. But since I cannot adequately simulate the real prey she will be exposed to, the only way to train would be to do it when the real thing is present. I see repeated failures so implementing to “one shock/ session” rule would make training short, spotty, and continually interupted while retrieving her, at best. What are my options? Please advise! Thanks a bunch from both of us.

ADMIN – Hi Robin,

German Shepherds and Dobermans can be among the harder dogs to train, because they are often bred to have a high pain threshold. Have you ever noticed that in her temperament. Have you ever uses a shock collar on her? Or have you ever accidently stood on her tail or something like that? We are interested in her reaction, whether she reacted or was very stoic.

I don’t worry about the prey drive issue. Training the dog out of chasing prey should not be a big deal if you have some leverage (like a shock collar or a dog fence collar). The desire to avoid the strange shocking sensation, startles them out of the fixation on the prey and gets them to refocus on the boundary. As you said, the key is doing the training, and I suspect it will be closer to 3 weeks than the typical 2 weeks for her.

The number of shocks per session really depends on the dog’s reaction. We don’t want her overwhelmed. If the dog reacts calmly to the correction, I am comfortable letting them get more than one correction a session. But, at the same time if they keep getting the correction, I would be concerned that either they have no idea what we want them to do – or that the correction is not strong enough for the dog and we need to level up. The correction needs to be high enough that they really want to have nothing to do with the boundary, but not so high that they get overwhelmed and stop learning.

If you want to try a dog fence, for a strong dog like yours with a high prey drive, I would use a PetSafe Stubborn – it has the strongest correction. You won’t necessarily need the higher levels of correction, but it is good to have them there in case you need them.

Philip May 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Can my dog associate that there are no boundaries when I put a different collar and leash on him? And is it safe to have a dog door and leave him home alone, how effective is a fence.

ADMIN – Hi Philip,

Some dogs will make the association and understand that the different leash and collar mean they can go through the boundary without getting the correction. Others will never make the connection and will only go through on your command. If you are looking for rough figures, in my experience I would say about 70% figure it out, and 30% don’t.

Once the dog is trained, and you have successfully tested him with some strong temptations (Step 3 of the training) you can leave him home alone.

Doug January 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I take my dogs for a walk by exiting my property out the back through the woods. There is no way to drive the dogs across the boundry because there is no road. I was thinking of making some sort of gate that we exit through. That way the dogs understand that we are exiting in a special spot.

My question is this. Can I install a switch at the gate that interupts the the wire, thus simulating a wire break? Then we walk through the gate into the woods. What do you think, suggestions? Thanks Doug

ADMIN – Hi Doug,

Creating a physical marker like a gate to denote where the dogs can exit with your permission works great. You can install a switch to turn off the fence by breaking the circuit as you suggest. Or you can just take off the correction collars. I prefer taking off the collars because it avoids the dogs getting a correction from the neighbor’s fences while on a walk (probably not an issue in the woods), and because it gives the dogs another physical indicator that they are allowed to go through the fence.

sharon April 25, 2010 at 11:31 am

We have property that is divided by a road. We would like to have a dog fence on the property across the road from our house since it provides much more room for him to roam. Is it possible to train the dog when we have to enter and exit the property everytime? It is impractical to put him in the car and drive him across the road for 2 months. Is there any alternative???

ADMIN – Hi Sharon,

I like to do something very different with the dog when I take them across the boundary during training. You take the collar off and drive the dog over the boundary, or if the dog is small even pick them up and carry them over the boundary. That way they don’t get confused about why they can cross sometimes and not other times.

You can try teaching the dog earlier, but I find that if you do it inside of a month it is often counterproductive, because it takes you longer to teach them the containment basics.

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