Invisible boundary systems are a great tool for dog owners that want to protect their animals, but can’t create physical fences. These systems help to create a wireless perimeter. Once they dog strays too far, a stimulus will occur within the collar that tells them to stop and move back. This is all great when you have a system that works and a willing, well-trained dog. Some dog owners neglect the training part.
They set the fence up and expect the dog to understand what is going on. This is unfair on the animal. You need to work through a strong, consistent training program so that you can both get the most from the product. Here are some top invisible fence training tips to get you started.
Top Invisible Fence Training Tips
1. First, train your dog with the flags, but without the fence turned on
There are lots of different products out there, the best wireless electric dog fence is one that has a good range, but also a good collar and plenty of training flags. Set these training flags up around the new perimeter to make it visible, but don’t turn the fence on yet. You just want to walk them around the border on the leash to get them used to their limits. Do this for a couple of days or so to let it sink in.
2. Then, get them used to wearing the collar
The next step is to continue this walk, in the same direction, but with the dog wearing the collar. This reinforces what they learned about the boundary, but also gives them time to get used to the feel and weight of the new collar. Again, do this with it turned off so there are no nasty surprises.
3. Next, turn the fence on to get them used to the stimulus on the collar
Once they seem comfortable with the boundary and the collar, switch the system on. Walk them up to the flags, on the leash, until the collar beeps or vibrates – depending on the setting. Once it does so, run with them back to the centre of the yard. This shows them what they need to do to make the sound go away. Keep at it so they get the idea and understand the cause and response. Over time, you can increase the intensity as needed.
4. Then, take away the flags to get them used to the invisible boundary
Keep up with this approach of walking up to the boundary and moving away, only this time do so without the flags there. The dog needs to understand that the response comes from the distance and the boundary, not from the flag. They also need to learn where this limit is without these visual cues.
5. Let them run in the yard and supervise them
Once they are comfortable with the location of the fence without the markers, and have no problem with the collar, you can let them off the lead. If all has gone well, they should move away from the boundary when they hear the beep or feel the vibration, all without any encouragement from you. They may have even learned by now not to stray that far. Keep an eye on them for a while to be sure that everything is OK.
6. Finally, always remember to stay positive and take your time
It may sound as though there are a lot of steps here. That is because the best training can time a lot of time and patience for the best result. If you rush through this, or skip a step, you may do more harm than good. Your dog may have too much to learn at once, or may get spooked by the stimulus. Take things slowly and make sure to offer plenty of positive reinforcement. Praise them and offer treats when they do something right. Reassure them if they aren’t sure about a sensation, noise or the feel of the collar. Together you can work together to ensure that you can create a safe space with a reliable, invisible boundary.
There is no clear timeframe for this training method. Some dogs will pick this up quicker than others. It can depend on the breed, the installation of the fence, the product’s settings and your own skill as a trainer. Just make sure to follow these invisible fence training tips and put the best interests of the animal first.
Dawn Bradley is a content writer, blogger and animal lover. She is also a pet parent. She has written many reviews and guides aimed at helping our four-legged friends and, in turn, their two legged owners. She also runs a nature blog about her home town of Plymouth, UK.