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Boundary Training

Posted by freezetag (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 26, 09 at 7:01

Didn't want to hijack the invisible fence post, but does anyone have some effective boundary training tips?

We boundary trained our previous dog in a couple of months, to the point where he didn't leave the yard for rabbits, other dogs, etc. But we haven't been able to progress past the "pretty good" stage with our 18 month old Wheaten terrier. It is obvious that she knows the boundaries; she is just not able to resist tempatation from other dogs, cats or kids on bikes (thankfully, cars are not tempting for her). For now, we have a long, light rope that we leave on her collar, so that she can run around the yard, and we can get her back in bounds quickly if she leaves. But it sure would be nice to just open the door and let her run out! Not to mention that she sometimes get the long rope tangled around trees, and that is kind of a pain.

We don't plan to leave her outside unattended, but would like to be able to do yard work, read a magazine, etc, without having to hover over her.

Also, we have a remote training collar, which we used for a little while. It worked, but it also made her abnormally subdued - she seemed reluctant to race around like she normally does - would mostly just go to a spot in the middle of the yard and lay down. We only used the shock option a couple of times (on a very light setting - and yes, I tried it on my base skin), but we did find the warning tone to be pretty effective. The metal prongs on the collar look really uncomfortable, though, and I just don't like using it (and it is obvious that she doesn't like to have it on - she turns and heads the other way if I get it out).

I wonder whether there is a different type of remote collar that would be more comfortable, with just a tone, or maybe the spray kind, but wish that I could achieve better results by just working with her, rather than relying on a collar to keep her in bounds.

BTW, I have the same issue with the "come" command; she is "pretty good" but on occasion doesn't come right away, or runs after another dog. So we need to work on that, too.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Boundary Training

i'll be watching this for replies from the experts! ;)

so far, in the little time i have worked on this, i keep a pocket full of mini marshmallows (favorite treat both horses and dogs). if my dogs get close to the boundary i do not want them to cross, i call out "treat!!!" and so far, they have come running back to me. this is what i do when i'm inside the horse fence doing chores, where the dogs are not allowed.

when i am out with them just meandering around the front of the property, if they so much as LOOK in the direction of where the b-i-l's dogs live, i call them to me and pop a marshmallow in their mouths.

so far, so good. however, i have not had the opportunity to work on this much when the other dogs are barking and can be heard by my dogs. this morning, so far, is the only time that was happening and my dogs were VERY good about coming to me for a treat. every time i heard the other dogs bark, i called mine to me and...TREAT!

i am hoping this method will help them to learn that NOT leaving their boundary earns them lots and lots of marshmallows. i may have to go to diet food if it takes very long!! lol


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RE: Boundary Training

If you have a couple of trees, you can use a cable tied between the trees and a harness, the leash can be really long since the leash attaches to the cable with a pulley, they can really romp without physical injury or getting loose. Good luck


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RE: Boundary Training

Mazer, we've tried something similar to the cable/leash setup, but Savannah still manages to get tangled up in bushes, lawn chairs, swingset, etc. Perhaps she is not the most intellectually gifted dog...

Anyway, before ordering another remote training collar, I looked at the one we already have, and it was easy to remove the prongs. So now it just beeps, and it seems to be working better - she is still skittish about putting it on, but seems to forget it more easily once outside (because now I can leave it fairly loose, and no prongs poking her in the neck). Hopefully will help us get us over this training hump!


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RE: Boundary Training

We tried the training collar without much luck. She simply wasn't mature enough for that kind of training, I think. She is now 18 mos. and stays within ear-shout of home. She doesn't go farther than she can see the house. We have 58 acres and no neighbors, so she really could travel a long way. The only time she does is when we are with her on long walks in the woods.

I believe as they get older, they get a better understanding of what you want and what might be a danger to them. IMHO


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RE: Boundary Training

Carmen_Grower, I am pretty sure that she understands what I want (because she stays inbounds if we're just running around in the yard, with no outside distractions). I think she just has poor impulse control. And I am strictly an amateur as a dog trainer. I hope, though, that we can improve with training / time / maturity.
One thing I looked for in a dog was a tendency to stay close, and she does have that. My mom had a Husky with a wandering instinct, and it was very difficult for her to ever let her dog run off-leash. Whereas, if I take Savannah for a walk in the woods, she will always run to catch up with me before I get out of sight. I don't know what type of dog you have, but it sounds like yours is also that way.

But, unfortunately, I don't have 58 acres - just a normal sized yard in a neighborhood. There is not a lot of traffic/danger, but there are a lot of walkers, kids riding bikes, etc. So I really do need for her to stay within her boundaries. I envy you your property - it must be fun for a dog to have all that room : )

Nina, the pre-emptive treat idea is interesting; will have to give it a try. It sounds like your dogs are young, too, are they? I am fine with using treats for training, but would like to think that one day Savannah will stay in the yard on her own. Maybe I just need to set up more opportunities for her to be tempted, because I think the main problem is that she will stay in the yard for an hour or so, but run out when the neighbor dog comes out. And then I am sometimes caught off-guard.


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RE: Boundary Training

my senior dane is 8 years old, my other dane girl is 3. like your dog, they are VERY good about staying in their "yard" which consists of about 7 acres. i do the positive reinforcement with treats every chance i get. their favorite treats are miniature marshmallows and it's very easy to carry a pocket full of them. i just have to remember to remove them before i throw my jacket in the wash! ;)

the guy came out yesterday and i put a deposit down on the underground fencing system that will end up costing me about $2500. it's more because i have to have them come twice...they will come next week to lay the wire, stake it to the ground, set up the electronics and start me off with a training session. they will have to come back in the spring to bury the wire as the ground, even though it's sand, is too frozen to do it now.

i realize, although he practically guaranteed me 100% success with this system, that i will still have to be very diligent in supervising my dogs. i want them to have as much freedom as they have had all along, i do not want to have to confine them to a small area so i'm hoping this system will work. nevertheless, even with the underground fence, i will continue boundary training with them.


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