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Most dogs love romping around a large yard. Knowing how to train and teach dog invisible fence is the key to containing this pet.
Are you worried that your pet may run away because there is no visible fence? Do you want to teach your dog to respect the limitations you will set? Then you must train & teach the dog invisible fence to ensure that your dog doesn't run away and doesn't have to endure the pain of static charges that the collar will produce.
Almost all pups love playing around a large yard. And if you don’t have a fence, your canine friend is likely to run away. Since it is not always possible for pet parents to set up an actual, physical fence due to several constraints, an invisible fence makes a great alternative. However, to ensure that the fence is effective, you need to train and teach your dog about the invisible fence. And if you are wondering how to go about it, we share three different methods that will help you train and teach your dog about an invisible fence.
In what follows, we look at three different ways you can try to train and teach your dog to use an invisible fence. But before we get started, let’s first look at what an invisible fence is and how you can use it to ensure the safety and well-being of your four-legged friend.
What is an Invisible Fence and How Does it Work?
You may have likely seen your dog coming to you down the street from across a lawn when it suddenly stops just short of the sidewalk. It seems as if your pet has seen a fence, but it's actually not here.
That’s an invisible fence.
It's there, but it's not visible to you or your pet.
An invisible fence is a modern tool that allows pet owners to keep their pets safe inside the boundary of their yard in situations where they cannot install a physical fence.
An invisible fence system features wires that are buried underground in a set perimeter such as your yard. Moreover, it also features a transmitter connected to the wiring and emits a radio signal transmitted throughout the underground wire.
The other integral component of an invisible fence is a receiver worn on your pet's collar. The receiver detects the radio signal that travels along the wire. As soon as your pooch gets closer to the underground wire, it will hear a sound that's a warning signal that only your pet can hear.
It's a signal that tells your pet to stop, but if it continues to approach the underground boundary or crosses it, your pet will receive a static correction.
Unlike what most pet parents believe, a station correction is not a shock. Instead, it is a harmless electric stimulation that gets the animal's attention as the stimulation leads to a slight tingling feeling on their skin which helps interrupt their undesirable behavior.
But no pet parent would want their pets to receive station correction, even if it's mild stimulation. In that case, you need to train and teach the dog invisible fence. And if you are wondering how to go about it, that's what we share in the section that follows.
Train and Teach Your Dog for an Invisible Fence
Most pet parents have a fenced yard where their pets can enjoy some freedom and entertain themselves out in the open. But a few pet parents cannot have a fence around their yard or in the open space outside their home. There can be several reasons for not having a fence, but they usually fall into two categories, financial constraints, and geographical constraints.
Installing a physical fence can be expensive, detering many pet owners from installing it. Moreover, some owners may also experience geographical constraints due to which an invisible fence makes a great alternative. It is a cost-effective solution that ensures the safety of your pet. However, your pet will require some training before effectively learning its boundaries.
Let’s look at three methods that you can use to train and teach your dog to use an invisible fence.
Method # 1: The Response to Signal Method
Perhaps the most popular method of training and teaching your dog for an invisible fence is the response to signal method. This method of training your pet for an invisible fence essentially relies on an audio warning so you can save your pet from static correction.
Let's take a closer look at the steps you need to take to train your pup for an invisible fence using the response to signal method.
Step 1: Adjust the Collar to Signal Only
To start with the training, you need to adjust the collar settings to “signal only.” When you adjust the collar setting, your dog will only receive an audio warning without receiving static correction as you approach the underground wiring (the invisible fence).
Step 2: Get Closer to the Invisible Fence
Take your dog outside to the yard and walk towards the invisible fence. Make sure you walk with a leash and have a separate non-metallic collar as you walk with your pet within the perimeter of the invisible fence. You can get too close to the boundary, but you still have to stay inside the perimeter.
Step 3: Move the Pup Away When Signalled
Move it away from the invisible fence using the leash as soon as your pet gets the audio signal. When your dog obeys the commands and stops moving towards the perimeter, it's time for a reward, so provide your pet with a few of its favorite treats.
Step 4: Practice Responding to Signal Only
Try to repeat walking around the perimeter of the fence line with the signal only adjustment of the collar to your pet gets used to the idea of moving away from the invisible fence as soon as it hears the sound.
Step 5: Readjust the Collar
Once your pup is familiar with the audio signal, you can readjust the collar and turn on the static correction. When readjusting your pet's collar, you can set the lowest level of static correction, so your pet gets a mild tingling sensation when it tries to breach the boundary.
Step 6: Continue to Practice with Mild Static Correction
You can take your pet for a walk with a leash and continue to walk around the perimeter of the fence line. As soon as your dog gets closer to the boundary, it will get the audio signal. If your pet ignores the audio signal and continues to go past the boundary, it will receive a mild static correction, which is another signal for your pet to move away from the invisible fence.
Continue to practice until your dog learns to use the static correction as a signal to move away from the invisible fence.
Step 7: Add Distractions
When you are confident that your pet moves away from the invisible fence in response to the audio signal and mild static correction, it's time to add distractions. Provide distractions that motivate your pet to cross the invisible fence, such as another dog to see if your pet is ready to resist the temptation to go to the other side of the fence.
Step 8: Readjust the Corrective Stimuli
If your pet continues to ignore the mild static correction and moves across the invisible fence, you may have to readjust the corrective stimuli until your dog learns to stay within the boundary.
Don’t forget to reward your dog every time it responds to the signal despite distractions.
Step 9: Practice without the Leash
The last step of using this training method involves practicing without a leash; however, you will still have to supervise your pooch. You will still need to closely observe your dog as it moves closer and away from the invisible fence. Don't forget to reward your pet when it responds to the signal.
If your dog continues to ignore the corrective stimulation, you may need to readjust the signals accordingly.
Method # 2: The Positive Reinforcement Method
For many pet parents, using positive reinforcement to train their dog for an invisible fence makes a reliable training method. The training method involves using positive reinforcement to train your dog to use an invisible fence.
Let’s take a closer look at the steps involved in this training method.
Step 1: Use Flags to Mark the Fence Line
You need to set up flags along the invisible fence line to start this training method. Use the flags to make the invisible fence line visible.
Step 2: Play with Your Pet
Once you set up the flags along the invisible fence line, take your dog to the yard and start playing with your pet and its favorite toy.
Step 3: Call Your Dog in Response to the Audio Signal
If your dog moves too close to the invisible boundary and gets the first audio signal, it’s time to call your dog. When your dog responds to your call and moves away from the boundary, don't forget to reward your pup with its favorite treat.
Step 4: Allow Static Correction
Some pets may respond to your call, but what about dogs who ignore you and proceed towards the invisible fence? In that case, let your pup receive a static correction so your dog can learn to establish a connection between ignoring the audio signal and getting the static correction.
Step 5: Add Distractions
Let your dog practice without distractions, but once your pup has enough practice of staying within the boundary by responding to the audio signal, you can allow for distractions on the other side of the fence. It can be another dog or your pet's favorite treat.
Once you add distractions, continue calling your dog and encouraging it to play with you. Don't forget to reward your pup for the desired behavior, responding to your call or the audio signal despite distractions.
Step 6: Remove Flags and Practice
Once your pup has a good idea of the fence line and learns to respond to your call with the first audio signal, you can remove the flags and continue practicing and giving rewards to your pet.
Don’t leave your dog unsupervised until you are confident that your pooch is trained to stay within the invisible fence.
Method # 3: Recall and Flags Method
Another method you can use for training and teaching your dog to use an invisible fence is the recall and flags method. If you have tried the two methods mentioned above and feel your dog is still not trained to use the invisible fence, you can try this method.
Let's look at the steps involved when training your dog using this method so you can learn how it works.
Step 1: Teach “Recall” to Your Dog
You will need a long leash to complete the first step of this training method. Using a long leash, let your dog wander in the yard and teach your dog to reach you when called using a long leash.
Step 2: Install Flags at the Invisible Fence
As you teach "recall" to your dad, install flags at the invisible fence line, which are visual stimuli for your pet.
Step 3: Let Your Pooch Approach the Invisible Fence
Once you have practiced enough "recall" with your pet and have installed flags at the invisible fence, let your dog approach the fence line. While doing so, you will still need a long leash and a separate non-metallic collar that you can use for leading your dog.
Step 4: Recall Following the Audio Signal
Call your pet as your dog approaches the invisible fence and gets the first audio signal. Rewards when your pet responds to your call and moves away from the invisible fence line.
Step 5: Add Distractions During Training
Once your pet is familiar with the signals and has learned to move away from the fence, it’s time to add distractions from the other side of the fence to ensure that your dog gets enough practice of responding to the signal despite distractions.
Step 6: Allow for Static Correction
In case your pet ignores your call and the audio signal, let your dog receive static correction so it can establish the correlation between ignoring the audio signal and receiving the correction.
Step 7: Remove the Leash
When you are confident that your pet has received enough practice, you can remove the leash. It's time to let your dog respond to your call, the audio signal, and the static correction depending upon its response. However, you don't have to leave your dog unattended, so you should continue to supervise your pet.
Step 8: Remove the Flags
Lastly, you remove the flags, so there is no visual cue indicating the set perimeters, and your dog learns to solely respond to your call and the audio and corrective signals.
How Long Does It Take to Train a Dog to Use an Invisible Fence?
Apart from the most appropriate training methods, most pet owners wonder how long it will take to train and teach their dog to use an invisible fence.
There is no definite answer to this question as the time frame depends on how quickly your dog can learn new skills. Some dogs are quick and only need a week or two to learn about their boundaries; however, others may take more than a month. On average, it takes around six weeks for your dog to adjust to its invisible surroundings. But for you as a pet parent, it requires a lot of patience, determination, and rewards to effectively train your pooch to get used to an invisible fence completely.
Tips to Help Your Dog Adjust to the Invisible Fence
Regardless of the method you use to train your dog to use an invisible fence, it's critical to consider a few important things. These important considerations will help you prepare your pooch quickly and more effectively.
Invest in the Right Invisible Fence System
Always invest in an invisible fence system that features a signal (usually a sound) before the static correction so your dog can learn to stop the behavior before it is being corrected.
Moreover, most invisible fencing systems feature physical flags that can mark the boundaries of an invisible fence visually. Having flags as the boundary marking allows your dog to see and define the area visually, so it knows that it has to stay within.
Use a Long Leash When Training Your Dog to Use an Invisible Fence
When training your dog for an invisible fence, use a long leash as it helps your dog explore the yard freely and allows you to exert control when required.
Invest in a Non-Metallic Collar
As you train your pet to stay within the invisible fence, you will need another collar that you can use with the leash to control your pet, as the transmitter collar for leading is not appropriate for your pooch.
Have Lots of Treats Ready
Make sure you have lots of treats, toys, and your pet's favorite snacks to reward your pup and reinforce appropriate behaviors.
Never Leave Your Dog Unattended
Lastly, when training and teaching your dog to use an invisible fence, it’s best not to leave your dog unattended outdoors as you don’t want your pet to experience any negative static corrections.
When your pet gets a static correction without a prior signal, it can end up confusing your pet.
Some dogs may get familiar with their invisible surroundings relatively quickly, but others may need a lot more time. Hence, it is important for you as a pet parent to be patient at all times and offer plenty of rewards to your dog so the training can turn out to be a great bonding experience for you and your pet.