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Old 01-07-2013, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Invisible Fence

So, we had an invisible fence installed today. The guy who did it is great and was very informative on how to teach Cookie to understand it; he was most adamant that she not be hurt or scared. I really appreciated that.

This is our first experience with an invisible fence. This is what the guy (who's installed about 1000 of these and has 4 dogs of his own) instructed:

Day 1: Use sound only. Take Cookie on her leash, wearing the collar, and walk her to near the wire until we hear the sound. Then, make a big racket and run back to the center (away from the wire). Do this at several places, about 3 times a day.
Day 2: Use shock level 2 (which is the lowest). Repeat as day one.
Days 3 - 5: Bump the shock level up once per day, stopping at level 4 (there are 6 levels). Continue to walk with her on lead and be all scared and make a big deal about the noise/buzz.

This seems reasonable to me. Any advice? We got the fence installed because she wants to wander off our yard and I can't be with her all the time outside. She's so sweet, she'd go off with anyone. She's also easily distracted and I don't want her to dart out in front of a car when her recall is so poor.

Our backyard has a physical fence, but it doesn't block off the front, so we elected to go with this underground thing. We just want her to be safe.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would be very, very careful, and do a lot more low key training than your installer describes. In fact, I would not have installed one in the first place, given how very risky they are. Have you considered that the fence does absolutely nothing to prevent someone simply walking in and carrying Cookie away? And that shocking her when out in the yard may land you with a dog that is afraid to go out of the house?

There is a recent thread on the topic here: Invisible fence and Standards. One or two members have successfully trained there dogs to stay within the boundary, without too much trauma and without making the dog unwilling to cross the line under any circumstances. If you still think it is a good idea, I'd contact one of these members for advice on a more comprehensive training programme.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry but I too am against invisible fences. Please don't leave Cookie alone outdoors. Besides the fact that she may still run the fence, other animals or people can come in to her. And not even considering the fence I worry about predators (hawks, coyote, etc, depending on where you live) attacking a small dog. The invisible fence may be a good tool to teach her to stay within a certain boundary, but I don't think it should be trusted on it's own. But I'm the sort of person that never leaves a dog outdoors alone, ever.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What they said.


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Old 01-08-2013, 08:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunny View Post
This seems reasonable to me. Any advice? We got the fence installed because she wants to wander off our yard and I can't be with her all the time outside. She's so sweet, she'd go off with anyone. She's also easily distracted and I don't want her to dart out in front of a car when her recall is so poor.

Our backyard has a physical fence, but it doesn't block off the front, so we elected to go with this underground thing. We just want her to be safe.
I don't know if this means the e-fence boundary is up to the sidewalk or not? If so, just offering this, taken from Wikipedia, with regard to its placement. My admitted bias is against e-fences. I echo those voicing concerns about their use, but realize all have our views.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...57316858,d.dmQ
Front yards, nearly always, are a poor choice for electronic fences. Particularly if you have a front walk where children, delivery persons, or others may be walking, place your system in a less traveled area of your property...

However, think through your choices carefully. For your dogís sake, donít place the fence near traffic areas, particularly where there is foot traffic, because this will needlessly agitate your dog and increase the risk of your dog breeching the boundary. Front yards are never recommended, nor a side yard near a sidewalk; nevertheless, if you must, always put the electronic fence at least ten feet from the walkway.

In addition, enclosing an entire yard, front and back, significantly decreases your ability to monitor your dog. Never install a containment system over areas of your yard that you cannot monitor and control your dog.

Moreover, an agitated or barking dog near walkways may create additional problems for you...
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We live in a very quiet neighborhood. There are no sidewalks and I live on a cul de sac, so there is no through-traffic at all. In fact there are only 3 houses on my street and each lot is more than 1 acre.

While I'm not really worried that some casual pedestrian would come in our yard to snatch Cookie, it's more likely that she would wander off and get lost. This fence will give me peace of mind that it will slow her down. I can't always be outside with her and our lot is very large. I'd rather have her be shocked and scared and IN my yard than not come when I call and get hit by a car or fall in a neighbor's pool and drown.

I do leave her outside alone. I'm out with her some, but I can't stay out as long as she'd like to (off leash and just in our yard). Almost every home in our neighborhood has this type of device and all the dogs seems happy and loved. I realize we all have our opinions about them, just as we all have our own ideas about how to raise kids. Just as with our kids, we DO love them and do what works best for our families.

That said, I was just looking for other ideas that have worked or pointers to consider when training a dog to become accustomed to and respect our property boundaries.

When I say that our back yard is fenced, I mean there's an iron fence she can't get through or under around our sides and the back. The way our house is, it's impossible to fence off the back from the front completely; there's a giant gap through which she can get through to the front yard (it's a covered, but not enclosed - or enclosable - porch). She figured that out pretty quickly. She has a huge back to roam safely, but now that I know she knows how to get to the front, hopefully she'll choose to stay in the back.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Bunny, I'm not sure how difficult the fence installation is, but have you considered having it modified so that it keeps her in the backyard? It sounds like you have a nice large lot and the restricting her to the back would not really limit her ability to get plenty of exercise in. It will really reduce the risk of being unsupervised if she is limited to the back, particularly if the current layout allows her access to the front walkway or driveway. If you could have the fencing installed just on the "front yard" side of the porch, it will limit her exposure and still allow her to hang out in the back and on the porch with you.

A car could easily pull into a drive to turn around and unwittingly run over her. A solicitor/mail carrier/child selling magazines/etc only has to accuse her of biting/nipping as they walk up to your door to cause a lot of problems - without you seeing it's impossible to defend her. Additionally a loose dog or wild animal is more likely to wander into the unfenced front yard and attack her then the mostly fenced backyard.

If the fencing company did not give you flags to facilitate the training, I would pick some of those up as well. Some dogs are better with a visual boundary during the learning process. Another option is ground marking paint sprayed on the grass to help her with the boundary issue.

The fence installer has some rather unorthodox opinions on training, I would encourage you to research some of the more common methods that don't require quite so much commotion or instill anxiety over the boundary. What brand did you get? None of the major brands suggest the training that this installer did. You will reinforce it better using the leash over the course of a week or so with a gentle correction when she gets close to the physical boundary and the collar beeps, then causing a racket over the coarse of a few days.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I hesitate to post anything Bc I don't want to start a war... I will just say I only used a beep and vibration with zero shock for 2 weeks. I took my poodles out 4 times a day on a very long lead for the sole purpose of teaching the boundary on all 4 sides of the area (a million flags in ground on every side) I would approach the flags at 3 or 4 diff spots on each of 4 sides.... As soon as I heard the beep I would say back back back and give a little tug on the lead so as to make him or her back up.... They understood well within 2-3 days but we continued this step for 2 weeks. That was the first phase....Anyway I left the flags up for a month so there was no confusion where the boundary was.... Good luck to you. We have had great success with ours.


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Old 01-08-2013, 02:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, JDCollins - if the fence is going to be used, I think your advice on training sounds much more sensible than that given to Bunny by the chap who installed it!
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes, we do have flags. He recommended leaving them up for about a month. I made his directions seem more dramatic than he demonstrated, but I see what y'all are saying, too. When I walk her up to the flags, I just say, "Watch out!" when the beep sounds, and turn back. She follows, with no tension in the leash at all. If we never have to move beyond the beep phase, that's fine with me.

The system is installed in a loop, so doing just the part to keep her in the back wasn't really an option.

The line in the front is about 20 feet from the street, so there's lots of room between the curb and the flags. Thanks for the help. I'll work with her for a few days and come back with any problems.
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