How to Train Your Dog to Respond to Invisible Pet Fencing
Invisible pet fencing works by administering a small static correction via a correction collar whenever the animal gets too close to an electrical property boundary. The idea is for your pet to learn what areas are off limits based on the static corrections received. Unfortunately, not all dogs can grasp property boundaries based on the static correction alone; some will try to jump the invisible fencing line or simply develop a tolerance to the correction, while others won’t connect the correction to the property boundary at all. For best results with your new invisible pet fence, take some time to train your dog and positively reinforce his behavior patterns. Teaching him his boundaries rather than relying solely on the static correction for negative reinforcement will result in a happier, less-stressed pet.
Does your dog respond to commands such as “sit” and “stay”? It might be helpful for you to spend some time working on basic behavioral commands before beginning dog fence training. This way, your dog will understand that you are the boss and that when you say certain words or make certain gestures, his job is to obey you. Having an obedient dog will help tremendously when you’re attempting to teach property boundaries and off limits areas. Additionally, a dog that is used to learning and responding to commands may have an easier time assimilating new commands and behavior patterns.
Before activating your new electric dog fence, mark your property boundaries with flags or cones, so that the dog can see his limits. Walk your dog on his leash around the perimeter of the property, allowing him to examine and smell the flags or cones. If he strays beyond the property line, bring him back and use words he understands, such as a simple but firm “no.” Over time, he will begin to learn that the area beyond the flags or cones is not allowed. Continue this training for a week or more, depending on your pet.
Most pet fence collars emit a tone or beep to indicate proximity to the fence, before administering the static correction. Put your dog’s new collar on and allow him to get used to the feel of it. Then, walk him around the perimeter of the property close enough for the collar to beep occasionally, but not close enough for it to correct him. One way to do this is to use a run that won’t let him go past the beep-line. When he hears the beep and moves away from the border, praise him. After a few days, lengthen the run so that he can get to the fence perimeter and let him explore. When he gets close enough that you hear a beep, call him back to you; if he comes, praise him. If he doesn’t come, he’ll get a static correction. Keep the correction on the lowest setting during this phase.
As your dog becomes more used to his collar and his boundaries, gradually remove the visual perimeter markings-take away only a few per day. If necessary, keep him on a leash or a run until he seems to reliably turn away from the property boundaries and comes consistently when you call him. It can take up to six weeks of steady training for most dogs to acclimate to an electric fence, and unfortunately some pets still shouldn’t be off-leash without you in the yard to keep an eye on them.
Invisible fencing allows you to keep your pets safe outdoors and close to home without erecting an unsightly high-walled fence around your entire property. Dogs who are properly trained for electric pet fencing can enjoy a level of autonomy as they explore their surroundings. Unfortunately, this type of fencing isn’t right for every animal, and if your pet isn’t responding well to the training or learns to endure the static correction for the seconds it takes to jump the underground fence wire, you might need to seek other methods of behavior modification and property fencing.