Dog Fence Training Getting Started

After you have finished your installation and tested the transmitter and receiving collar on the dog containment system, you can start the first steps to training your dog. Before putting the collar on and getting your dog outside, be sure that you have at least two weeks of dedicated time to spend training your dog. You don't have to spend endless every day trying to familiarize your dog pooch with the fence, but for at least 14 days you should train for a minimum of 15 minutes.

The First Week of Training

Successful dog training is all about positive reinforcement. This should be fun for you and your dog. Be sure that you have some time before and after the training sessions to play and get exercise with your dog. This way your pet associates the training with playtime. You should also keep in mind that is difficult to train more than one dog at once, so keeping training limited to just you and your dog.

You should be aware of when your dog is becoming overstressed from the training. If you see stress signs in your dog, it's time to end the training for the afternoon and give them a treat for a job well done.

Common Stress Signs Include:

  • Ears tucked
  • Tail bent downward
  • Hunched Body
  • Nervous
  • Pulling on leash towards the house

Start Training With Sounds/Vibrations

Put your dog's receiving collar on and attach a leash. The first training sessions should be done with you walking around with your pooch. Be sure that you have set your collar and/or transmitter (depending on your model) to a beeping or light vibration mode. You do not want to use physical shock stimulation in the first training sessions.

  1. First, let your dog lead you around the yard. Allow them to use the bathroom if they need to, and then begin walking around. Also, you should have your boundary flags installed so your dog can easily see them.
  2. Pay special attention to the moment your dog hears the collar or feels the vibration when you both approach the boundary flags. Sternly say "No" and repeat yourself and back away from the flags.
  3. Head towards other areas with boundary flags until the collar triggers the noise or vibration again.
  4. Be quick and intense when you say "no" when the collar beeps. You must make sure that your dog associates the noise/vibration with the flags as a danger zone or bad behavior.
  5. Repeat every day for one week.

The first seven days of training should be done as an "on-the-leash" activity. The idea is to plant the idea that the flags and boundary lines are off-limits for your dog. By repeating "No" anytime the collar beeps or buzzes, you are associating the boundary line as bad behavior. When you pull or lead your dog away from the flags, be sure to praise them for turning away from the beeping.

By Sean Bowes


Dog Fence Training Introducing Stimulation

The beeping and vibration settings on the collars are great for the first week of training. The stimulation from these innovative settings are a perfect way to get your dog's attention so that you can give them a "no" command for getting too close to the boundary. Plus, it gives you the chance to reward them when you bring your dog away from the boundary line (thus quieting the receiving collar).

After the first seven days of training for 15-20 minutes sessions, it's time to get serious with the training techniques.

Setting Up The Transmitter and Receiver

Depending on how you set up your system for the first week of training, you may have to remove the probe covers. Make sure that the probes have a clear and snug contact point for your dog's scruff. Longer probes are typically included for canines with long fur coats.

Your dog's collar should be loose enough so that you can fit a finger or two between the receiver and your dog, but that's it. A good fitting collar is vital to the training process, because if the probes don't make contact, the fence isn't doing its job.

Now, you can set the correction setting on the collar. Small dogs should start with a low setting, medium dogs on an intermediate setting and large dogs on high. If you know your dog has a high pain threshold, then you should start with an increased stimulation setting. Any time you change the settings on the collar, you should double check that you have a Green Light on your transmitter.

Of course, all dogs are different. So, if you have a stubborn or overactive dog, you may want to choose a higher setting of stimulation. On the other hand, if your dog is timorous and slow, you should use a lower setting.

A common mistake for many dog owners is setting the stimulation too low to avoid hurting their dog. This can end up being an uphill battle when you train your dog. Dogs that are not affected by a weak stimulation on the collar will test the boundaries as much as they can. Often times, this could end up with a runaway dog. However, you don't want to zap your dog with an overpowering stimulation either, a setting that is too high can scare and confuse your dog, which makes training impossible. So, just be sure to pick an appropriate setting for your particular pooch.

Training With Stimulation

Just like the training sessions from you first week, you want to use a leash for your dog. The best thing to do is to follow your dog around in the yard as they explore or use the bathroom. Do not lead your dog to the boundary flags, as this is counterintuitive.

When your dog does take you near the boundary flags, be sure to watch their reaction. You should be able to tell the moment the stimulation has occurred by watching a flinch or startle. When you see this reaction from the receiver, be sure to give a stern and intense "No, NO" command to your dog, then lure them away from the flags.

After your dog has been stimulated and you have lured them away, have a treat ready to give them praise for leaving the off-limits zone. Rewarding your dog for turning away from the boundary flags is essential for them to learn the right way to behave in the yard. Watch their body language.

As with week one, you should work with your dog everyday so that they can quickly learn from the lessons. Each time you should spend nearly a half hour in the yard with them. Multiple sessions in a day are OK if your dog isn't getting stressed from it. Also, be sure to play with your dog before and after each lesson so the yard remains a pleasure, not a punishment.

By Sean Bowes

Dog Fence Training Testing The Limits

For the first 14 days of training, you should have worked on familiarizing your dog with the boundary flags, gotten it used to wearing a receiving collar and introduced the beeping and physical stimulation from the collar. Every day for the first two weeks, dog owners should dedicate at least 20 minutes to working with their dog and the electric fence. This repetition is the best way for most dogs to learn that the boundary flags are off-limits.

The Third Week of Training

If you have a dog that gets easily excitable, has fence aggression towards other dogs or loves to the chase passing cars, then you need to spend some time on training your dog to control its temptations.

As you are probably aware, there are lots of things outside of your property that can entice your dog, including squirrels and the mailman. So, you want to test the success of your training in Step Two (stimulation with a leash).

Just like the previous training step, you want to put the receiving collar and a leash on your dog and let them take you around the yard. See how your dog responds to the flags and if they take a point to avoid the boundary zones without getting the stimulation form the collar.

Introducing Temptations

Any time before a training session, you should play with your dog to get a bit of exercise and get a feel for the backyard. Then it's time see how the training is paying off. The third step to training is introducing temptations and testing the behavior of your dog. A longer leash makes this an easier procedure.

First, think about what excites or tempts your dog. If they have a favorite ball, a bone or a chew toy, throw or place it past the boundary zone. If your dog stays put, praise them. Your dog should look like it wants to go past the flags to get its toy, but stays. Be sure to have treats ready.

Next, try having another member of the family stand in an off-limits zone. See if your dog tries to cross the boundary flags. Ideally, your dog should stop before the receiving collar gives it stimulation. You can also get a neighbor dog to sit or walk on the on the other side of the fence, too.

All of these training sessions should be done as "leash-on" activities. As with the previous training steps, it's important that you praise your dog for avoiding the boundary flags, it's also imperative that give the "no command" anytime the collar stimulates your dog for getting too close to the boundary.

If your dog doesn't seem to be learning quick enough, try to increase the number of training sessions per day at less time intervals. Try three 10-minute sessions in a day instead of one 20 or 30-minute session. Once your dog has learned to curb its temptation, it will be time to practice some off-leash training.

By Sean Bowes

Dog Fence Training Taking Off The Leash

By now, you should be itching take your dog off the leash. After all, you correctly installed your electric fence, familiarized your dog with its receiving collar and spent more than two weeks training your dog with and without physical stimulation.

At this point, your dog should respect and be aware of all the boundaries for your electric fence. With your boundary flags installed, you should have spent a lot of time getting Fido to recognize the "off-limits" areas of your property. Eventually, you want to get your dog to a point where you feel comfortable having your dog outside without supervision, but it takes some time to get to that level.

Starting Off

Just like previous training sessions, bring your dog out into the yard. For the first few times, have their leash on, but allow your dog to walk around without you.

Watch your dog's movements, they should still be avoiding the boundary zone. If possible, see if you can get a neighborhood dog to come near the boundary flags. Ideally, your dog will acknowledge the other dog but stay within the "safe zone." If your dog is able to resist the temptations of another dog while dragging its leash, then its time to go unleashed! Otherwise, continue to do on-leash lessons.

The First Non-Leash Outings

Even though your dog knows to respect the boundaries, you still want to keep a keen supervision of your pet for the first few days to see how well they respond to the freedom.

First, watch to see if your dog is still trying to test the boundary points. Any time it is stimulated, be sure to respond with a "No, NO" command and go back a step to having its leash on. Remember, the collar's stimulation should rarely be triggered, and it is used as a training tool, not a punishment.

If your dog is staying within the yard and avoids the boundary flags all together, GREAT! Your dog deserves a treat.

For the first few days, try to limit their time outside to about an hour. Keep them supervised until you feel that they will stay secure. Keep this up for about a week.

When you leave your dog unsupervised, try watching them from an inside window to see observe their behavior. Eventually, you can let your dog outside completely unwatched.

For the first month-or-so, keep the boundary flags installed and avoid walking your dog past them for exercise (without the receiving collar). This type of activity early in training can confuse your pooch.

By Sean Bowes

Dog Fence Training Going For a Walk

So, you are a happy pet owner that has successfully trained your dog to use its Electric Fence – Way to go! By now, you should be able to leave your dog in the backyard within the fence's confinements without wondering if your pooch is going to test the limits of the boundaries.

For the first month, you should focus on training and seeing how well your dog responds to the fence, especially when it's not being supervised. Then, you will have another hurdle to tackle: Going for a walk.

The First Crossing of the Boundary

Within the first month of training, if you need to take your dog for a walk for exercise or to use the bathroom, you will likely find a lot of resistance trying to get them to cross the boundary flags without their receiving collar.

Instead of dragging a scared dog across the flags, use the car as a distraction. Put a leash on your pooch and out them in the car. Drive past the containment system, then get out and continue your walk.

The Power of a Leash

Of course, you shouldn't have to use your car every time you want to take your dog for a walk. Eventually, you want to make your dog learn that they won't be stimulated if they don't have their receiving collar on.

First, pick a spot on your fence that you will use as a dedicated entrance/exit point. This is vital because you will use the same point every time you leave and return to your yard with your dog. Now, before you go outside, be sure that you have the leash and the receiving collar on your dog. Confidently walk towards the boundary lines. Then, assertively take the receiving collar of your dog.

Once your dog's collar is off, take the leash and boldly step to cross the boundary flags. Confidence is the most important part for the owner; they need to use the pack leadership to show their dog that it is safe to cross.

Your dog may be hesitant to cross the flags for the first few walks, but if you do the same steps every time and use the same entrance/exit point, your dog will realize that it's safe to cross as long as it has a leash on and the collar off.

By Sean Bowes

Dog Fence Training A Review of the Steps

It's no secret that dog containment systems are one of the most useful ways to keep a dog safe in the yard. Unlike a physical fence that a dog can climb or dig under an electric fence can be used as a tool to train your dog to stay on the property, even when they aren't being watched.

As a rule of thumb, dog owners should be able to dedicate time every single day for a month or so during the training process for their pets. Daily training sessions ensure that your dog will become familiar and comfortable with the new containment system. You can also watch how quickly your dog can excel through the steps.

Check out the various steps in fence training below:

The First Step: Getting Started

Successful fence training is all about familiarizing your dog with the boundary points. For the first week, your dog's receiving collar should be set to vibrate or beep when it reaches the boundary flags.

With your dog on a leash and the collar set to beep/vibrate, let them walk you around the yard. Eventually your dog will bring you near the boundary flags. Watch when the collar is activated and give your pet a stern "No Command" and then lead them away and give them a treat for leaving the "off-limits" zone.

Step Two: Testing Corrections

After the first week of training, your dog should start to become familiar with the concept of the "off-limits" area in your yard and that its collar responds when it is doing something negative. Now, it's time to use a physical stimulation using the same process as step one. Let your dog go towards the fence alone, wait until the collar is triggered and pull them away and sternly say "No."

Positive reinforcement for leaving the boundary zones is necessary to training, too. So, having treats ready is always a good idea.

Step Three: Testing With Temptations

Step Three is a difficult step to training, but it's also the most important. Most dogs have no trouble staying close to their property. However, once another dog, a family member or a mailman comes near the house, all bets are off.

To train your dog to control its temptations, try starting with a leash and a family member on the other side of the containment zone. Sternly tell them "no" when the collar is triggered and reward them for staying. The idea is to have something on the other side of the boundary flags to lure your dog. You can also use neighborhood dogs to come nearby. As before, use treats when they hold back from their temptations.

Step Four: Taking The Leash Off

The first three steps of training are all "on-the-leash" activities. You want to set the idea that flags and boundary lines are off-limits for your dog. By repeating "No" anytime the collar beeps or buzzes, you are associating the boundary line as bad behavior. Eventually, your dog will avoid the fence all together and you can start taking the leash off. Then after some time, you can leave them unsupervised, too.

Step Five: Going For Walks

Once your dog can be left alone in the yard without being supervised, they have been trained well, but there is still some hurdles left to conquer. Since your dog associates the fence as a boundary point, it can be hard to get them to walk past it when they are not wearing a receiving collar. This can make walks around the neighborhood difficult.

Yet, if you designate one spot as an entrance/exit point, you can make your dog understand that there is an exception to the fence. If they do not have their receiving collar, are wearing a leash and use the "special spot" on the fence, they are free to walk across the boundary.

This step can be difficult and confusing for a dog, so be sure to use a lot of patience with this step, as it can stress some dogs.

By Sean Bowes

Dog Fence Training Removing The Flags

As you know, a visual aid is necessary when you are in the first weeks of training your dog with a fence. Whether you use a path, an existing fence or a driveway as a boundary, your dog is able to learn that much quicker. However, since there isn't always a place on your property that is easy to notice, it's important to use the boundary flags that were included in your kit.

Every day for the first two weeks, dog owners should dedicate at least 20 minutes to work their dog with the electric fence. This repetition is the best way for most dogs to learn that boundary flags mean off-limits.

Taking Away the Flags

After 6-8 weeks of daily training, you should have a dog that is comfortable being in their backyard without a leash. Your dog respects its boundary points, stays away from the flags and is OK to leave unsupervised for short amounts of time.

At this point, your yard should be filled with boundary flags along the fence line (we recommended that you place the flags every 10-feet or so). It's important not to take away all of the flags at once, otherwise your dog may be confused and try to test the boundaries continuously.

The trick to having a successful "flagless yard" is to remove some of the flags periodically. With your dog inside or out of sight, take a few of the flags out and then wait a few days. Try to see how your dog responds to the removed flags; if they still avoid the boundary area, then you can keep taking away flags.

Removing every other flag is a good place to start. Continue this over a week or two until they are completely removed.

What's Next?

Now, you should be able to leave your dog unattended in the yard without any visual barriers. Ideally, your pet should not test the fence's boundaries at all.

Be sure to hold on to your flags after you remove them from the yard. If your pet starts testing the boundary points again, consider placing a few flags back in the yard to give them a visual aid. Also, if you get another pet, you will need to repeat the training process, so be sure to keep the flags in a safe place after you remove them.

By Sean Bowes
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