Part Five: Training the Dog
Now that my invisible fence is installed and safely buried, it will be time to train my dog Silver not to cross the fence. After all, he could simply dash across the fence any time he wants, if he doesn’t mind a little pop of electric shock. He’s a pretty headstrong dog, and he’s used to going wherever he wants, so I will have to train him carefully.
I haven’t started training him yet, because as you will see, it takes time and I’m pretty busy being your local Asheville Handyman. Besides, it’s Cold Outside. However, I will present the theory here, and when I do start training him, I’ll report back and let you know how well it works.
In theory, the training is a two-week process. However, my neighbor has used the same system, and he says it’s almost self-training, so your dog may learn about the fence in less than two weeks.
Set the collar to make a warning beep when he gets close to the fence. This way, he can learn about the fence without any unpleasant little shocks.
Put the collar on the dog and take him outside on a leash. Walk him near the fence (which you have marked with little landscaping flags) and let the collar beep. Let it beep for two seconds, and then lead him away. Tell him what a good dog he is, and give him a treat. Do this at three to four flags per session.
Day Two thru Day Four:
Repeat what you did on Day One, working your way around the perimeter. Eventually your dog should respond to the flags with no need for you to pull on the leash.
Day Five thru Day 8:
Create distractions to tempt your dog to cross the boundary. For example, toss a toy or stick over the boundary. (Don’t actually coax or call the dog. Just “accidentally” toss a Frisbee, or something like that.) If the dog doesn’t try to cross the boundary, praise and treat him. If he does, let him go near the boundary, give it two seconds to beep on his collar, then pull him back, praise him, and give him a treat.
Day Nine thru Day 14:
At this point, you can increase the durations of the sessions to up to an hour. It’s time to let the dog off the leash, but you still need to keep an eye on him. Make sure that he avoids the boundary area. It helps to play with him and distract him.
If the dog escapes, take his collar off and bring him back within the boundary.
After your dog understands the boundaries, you may slowly remove the little landscape flags. Remove every other flag, every four days, until all of the flags are gone.
I’ll report back when I actually try this, and let you know how it goes.
Do you need home repairs or improvements in the Asheville or Weaverville area? Give me a ring!