Invisible Fence Dog Training
Learning new boundaries and respecting the hidden fence
With the Invisible Fence system installed and the dog collars fitted, it was time to begin the training. The dogs had to be taught to stay away from the area cordoned off by the hidden fence.
The first step was to review the Invisible Fence training video. The conditioning was fairly simple, really. You place small training flags in the ground to mark the boundaries of the hidden fence's electrical field. This is to provide the dog with visual cues, since in most cases there's no real boundary (like our wooden fence) that the dog will understand.
After we had watched the video, the training began. Each dog was trained individually. The owner and the leashed dog approach the Invisible Fence. As soon as the collar starts beeping, the owner runs away from the fence and enthusiastically encourages the dog to follow with lots of praise when he or she does. This process is repeated over and over. The idea is to associate the warning beeps and the crossing of the flags with the positive action of moving away from the hidden fence.
At some point the dog has to learn about the penalty for ignoring the beeping, though. So part of the training is to let the dog get shocked by the collar. This may sound cruel, but the shock is more surprising than it is painful. And it often takes only one shock for the dogs to learn the lesson that ignoring the beeping has unpleasant consequences.
Conditioning a dog to stay within the Invisible Fence boundaries doesn't take very long. Once you're confident that the dog has learned the boundaries, you remove the flags so that the only warning is from the beeping collar.
Invisible Fence really does make a great pet containment system. Of course, sometimes there are problems that must be dealt with.