Helping Your Dog Adjust to an Invisible Fence
While installation of an Invisible Fence is quick and easy, a bit of work is required in order to train your pet to adjust. As a responsible pet owner, it is your job to teach your dog what their new collar and invisible surroundings mean. Here are some of the best practices for pet owner's to help their furry friends adjust to their Invisible Fence.
- Know the basics. Before you begin Invisible Fence training, it's important that your dog already understands basic commands like "sit" and "stay." A responsive dog will adjust more quickly to their new commands.
- Mark the boundaries. Because your dog can no longer visually see that they are contained, it's natural for there to be some confusion. A visual boundary will help your dog understand where they can and can't go. Use flags, cones, or string to establish a boundary; as your dog becomes accustomed to not seeing a physical fence, you can remove these visual markings.
- Train in bursts. Your dog will respond to short bursts of training better than they will to working hours on end. 10-15 minute training sessions work best 2-3 times a day. If at any point you notice your dog expressing stress or fatigue, dial training back. After all, training should be a fun experience for your pet, not a tense one.
- Introduce the new space. Once you've marked the areas where the Invisible Fence is, walk your dog near the perimeter so that they can get used to the new visual markings. Use a leash during this process so that you can keep them within the confines of your yard.
- Use redirection and association. Allow your dog to experience the collar beeping as they get closer to the perimeter of the fence, then redirect them verbally so that they know not to go past it. Be sure the tone of your voice changes when you have to redirect your pet. Continue this practice daily so that your dog begins to associate your redirection with the beeping noise of the collar.
- Let them loose. Once you notice your dog start to avoid the boundaries you've set, it's time to train without a leash. Typically, dogs are ready for this step after 9-10 days of leashed training. Before letting your dog completely off the leash, have the pet on the leash, but drop it. This gives the owner the ability to test how the dog will do while still having ability to stop him if he tries to cross the line. This is a good in between step prior to letting your dog off the leash to test the dog while still having control. Let your dog explore the yard on their own, but maintain a visual on them at all times. If they approach the boundary or go past it, redirect them. With continued practice, they'll avoid going near the boundary altogether.
- Reward your pet. During the training process, it's important to reward your pet with verbal affirmations and their favorite treats. This allows them to better understand that they are doing the right thing and of course, feel the love! Once training is complete, reward your dog with a new toy or a trip to their favorite park for all of their hard work.
On average, it will take about 6 weeks for your dog to adjust to their invisible surroundings. Remember - fence training cannot be accomplished over night. It takes patience, determination, and cooperation from you and your pet. For more help with invisible Fence training, contact our expert dog trainers.