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I've searched and read through all the electric fence training questions, and learned a lot! But I desperately need advice on how to train my dog, who refuses to go anywhere near the flags!

Our installer did an 'initial training session' and casually walked our dog towards a flag, then when he felt the shock (first time) and beeps (subsequent times) he ran back and we praised him. A second person waved the flag and said 'no no' once he turned back around to look at what 'hit him'. I was instructed to repeat the drill 3 times a day. However, once the trainer/installer left, I could not get my dog off the porch! I tried luring him w/ treats, etc. but no go. I resorted to dragging him into the yard so he could see where he could go w/ no shocks. The next 3 days we decided to devote to letting our dog know where he COULD go. We praised him, played w/ him, and treated him when he went off the porch. We walked him around the safe perimiter multiple times a day. Then this morning, I walked out onto the driveway w/ our dog without a leash b/c I assumed he'd just sulk in front of the door as usual. But he started walking out onto the driveway and I praised him for learning that the top of the driveway was safe. Then he proceeded to keep walking down the driveway, past the flags, jumped when he was shocked, and instead of turning back he kept going through the zone and jogged to our neighbors house to visit their Wheaten Terrior! AAAGH.

So I went back to step one and am trying to have him wander towards flags and saying no and leading him back (I covered the prongs in tape so he won't get shocked) but he is back to refusing to leave the porch. I can't figure out how to train him if he won't go anywhere near the flags.

I'd REALLY appreciate any advice you can give me!

Ellee

(I know I'l receive posts telling me that electric fences don't work - but I must have 20 friends who use them and love them - and our suburban neighborhood in NH does not have any menancing children, dogs or other predators that would come into our yard),
 

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I must have 20 friends who use them and love them
Maybe they can help you? It sounds to me like the initial training was totally messed up. And now the dog is having a hard time trusting you... Perhaps the company can help... But I don't have much hope since the dog already knows that he can run right through the barrier. I'm a chain-link gal, myself. I'm sorry.
 

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I have an invisible fence which I installed myself. I've had it for four years and have trained 2 dogs to it. Your installer should not be installing this fencing. What he/she did is not training. (I would like to put the collar on the installer and stand him/her on the boundary line and crank the collar up. What a moron.) Here is how I trained.

I have an invisible fence. Works wonderful. You have to train boundaries. You can buy the flags at most big box lumber yards. Set them at 2 foot intervals. With the dog on the leash walk your boundaries. Fence is off at this point. When dog approaches flag pull back dog with a firm no. Plenty of praise when dog is in the safety zone. (Inside fence). Do this for at least three days. Next turn the fence on. Usually the collar comes with training probes. You need to use these. Now repeat above step with flags on leash, dog will hear the warning tone. Do this for a week every day. Now comes the hard part. Change to working probes. With the dog on the leash allow dog to cross boundary. Dog gets shocked you pull back to safety zone. This is to teach the dog that inside the fence is the safety zone. You should begin to see that your dog doesn't want to be near the flags. Next put your dog on a long line. Have people distract on the other side of the boundary. Stop dog from crossing as with the leash. This is your distant work. Once you think that your dog can be trusted to not cross the boundary, take dog off leash but, stay in the yard with the dog. Do not leave unsupervised at this point. If dog stays in yard you will now begin to remove every other flag every three days. One more thing. Make sure that the probes are making contact with the skin. If your dog is long haired, clipping a small patch where the probe sits will insure contact. My dog ran through the fence once but, that was because my daughter loosened the collar and the probes were not making contact. Hope this helps. One more thing the batteries lose charge quickly when you are training. So check your collar often for dead batteries. My collars are rechargeable there is a warning light for when the batteries are getting low.

Every dog is different and takes more or less time to train. Don't rush the training nor cut corners because you will end up back at square one. What brand fence did you buy? Does it have run through protection? You can Pm me anytime with questions and I will try to help you.
 

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I saw an episode of "its me or the dog" where the dog used to jump over the fence, so they installed one of these, and it shocked the dog so bad it was emotionally scarred and wouldn't go in the back yard.

I personally don't like those fences and would rather just have to put in a bigger fence.
 

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I agree that the training was botched (the trainer's fault, not yours).

We had an invisible fence installed several months ago and it works incredibly well for both our older, set-in-her-ways dog, as well as our nearly-6-month-old puppies. Crazily enough, they LOOOOOVE it because it gives them so much more freedom than if we had just our back yard fenced in. They have the free run of the entire back yard and front yard, as well as areas into the woods (which they adore) that would have been impossible to fence.

The key is spending several days doing retreat training with the beep only... NO shocks until it's second-nature to them what to do when they see the flag or hear the beep. (We did this on leash so they couldn't bolt too far!) Otherwise, of course they're going to keep running when they feel a shock, and will be afraid, not knowing the rules. It sounds like you're going back to step one, so that's good. We spent 5 minutes or so 2-3 times per day with each dog for the first week, working at various points along the border so they really "got" what the beeps and flags meant, and where the border was.
 

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You are very lucky that your dog did not bolt out of the country. Many dogs have bolted and some weren't caught and are in dog nirvana (wherever that is)This is why amateurs should not be allowed near electric and I'm not talking about ellee. I'm talking about the idiot who set up the fence and was giving instructions on it's use. It sounds like there were 2 idiots the installer and whoever the flagwaving "no" yelling 2nd person was. Many years ago in Chicago they had (not sure of name)a go to home and train your dog outfit. They would hire people off the street and give them 2 or 3 hrs instructions on how to train dogs. Then they would send these 3 hr wonders out to homes and they would instruct people on how to train their dogs. Talk about the blind leading the dumb.

I'm not going to get into training a dog collar/fence work. I'm just going to say when a dog gets shocked many things can happen and some people get the action/reaction they are looking for but others do not. I guess the fun is in the choices you make with your dog.
Good Luck
 

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I'm just going to say when a dog gets shocked many things can happen and some people get the action/reaction they are looking for but others do not.
This just reminded me of another point. Is the "shock" on your system adjustable? If so, how was it set?

Before I allowed a collar to be put on one of my pups, I insisted on wearing the collar and walking through the barrier to see what the shock felt like. I would *NEVER* submit any of my beloved pets to something cruel and inhumane. The shock felt like when you touch a doorknob and get a static shock. Not pleasant, but not painful and horrific. But that's one of the keys to why the initial (non-shock) retreat training is so important. It's a matter of good training... not a matter of a poor dog being shocked into a state of learned helplessness. If your dog is cowering on the porch after one or two zaps, I would guess that the shock level is set way too high.
 

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This just reminded me of another point. Is the "shock" on your system adjustable? If so, how was it set?

Before I allowed a collar to be put on one of my pups, I insisted on wearing the collar and walking through the barrier to see what the shock felt like. I would *NEVER* submit any of my beloved pets to something cruel and inhumane. The shock felt like when you touch a doorknob and get a static shock. Not pleasant, but not painful and horrific. But that's one of the keys to why the initial (non-shock) retreat training is so important. It's a matter of good training... not a matter of a poor dog being shocked into a state of learned helplessness. If your dog is cowering on the porch after one or two zaps, I would guess that the shock level is set way too high.
The only problem is that everybody reaction to shock can be different so sometimes that does not help the program. Also the tricky part of shock work is that the shock must be strong enough to get the job done and as you stated not too strong so you don't make a good dog a damaged dog.
 

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Wow - thanks for all your helpful replies! My installer was HIGHLY recommended by friends - for his great personality, cheap price, and quick responses to fix mechanical lproblems. No-one said anything about the training. I wish I had read up about training before I let him terrorize my dog.

So we're back to stage one. The collar is off, and we're walking him around and around the perimiter of the safe zone 3 times a day. He won't go anywhere near the flags, so we've had no opportunity to pull him back and say 'NO".

Do we just keep up the daily circle hoping one day he'll venture towards the flags so we can say NO and draw him away?
 

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Wow - thanks for all your helpful replies! My installer was HIGHLY recommended by friends - for his great personality, cheap price, and quick responses to fix mechanical lproblems. No-one said anything about the training. I wish I had read up about training before I let him terrorize my dog.

So we're back to stage one. The collar is off, and we're walking him around and around the perimiter of the safe zone 3 times a day. He won't go anywhere near the flags, so we've had no opportunity to pull him back and say 'NO".

Do we just keep up the daily circle hoping one day he'll venture towards the flags so we can say NO and draw him away?
Yes. Take your time he has to regain his confidence. Praise him while he is in the safety zone. Did your collar come with training probes? How old is your dog?
 

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Just one little additive, my method only. If I can't introduce a dog to any kind of electric work in an enclosed area to see how dog handles shock first, then dog must have a very long light lead that he/she can drag around, because if there is a result not planned for, this gives you a tool needed to catch your scared dog. I don't normally give any e-collar work advice out but you are already using the collar, this is just a possible protection exercise that may or may not help with a bolting dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Yes. Take your time he has to regain his confidence. Praise him while he is in the safety zone. Did your collar come with training probes? How old is your dog?
My dog is 2 years old. The collar has 2 sets of probes - longer for training and shorter for afterwards. I have covered the longer probes with tape so he can only hear the beeps.

We've been walking him around the perimiter 3 - 4 times a day without his electric collar, and once he wandered close to the flags so I was able to pull him back w/ a very animated NO NO. Tonight I put the collar on (probes taped) to try to walk the perimiter and he refused to go anywhere. So I guess the collar stays off for a few more days?

Just one little additive, my method only. If I can't introduce a dog to any kind of electric work in an enclosed area to see how dog handles shock first, then dog must have a very long light lead that he/she can drag around, because if there is a result not planned for, this gives you a tool needed to catch your scared dog. I don't normally give any e-collar work advice out but you are already using the collar, this is just a possible protection exercise that may or may not help with a bolting dog.
Thanks for your advise. Fortunately we live on a street with virtually no traffic and the few times he's gotten loose (including when he got shocked last weekend) he's gone directly to our neighbor's front porch to visit Zoe the Wheaten Terrior.

But I think I might start using a long line in our safe zone - without his electric collar on, and see if he'll meander towards the flags so I can correct him.
 

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Yes leave the collar off for a few more days. And yes I used a long line in the yard for distance work.
 

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Wow - thanks for all your helpful replies! My installer was HIGHLY recommended by friends - for his great personality, cheap price, and quick responses to fix mechanical lproblems. No-one said anything about the training. I wish I had read up about training before I let him terrorize my dog.

So we're back to stage one. The collar is off, and we're walking him around and around the perimiter of the safe zone 3 times a day. He won't go anywhere near the flags, so we've had no opportunity to pull him back and say 'NO".

Do we just keep up the daily circle hoping one day he'll venture towards the flags so we can say NO and draw him away?

What you need to do is get rid of the electric fence, the moment the collar goes back on your dog WILL return to it's fearfulness. You seriously need to read this article by one of the top trainers in the US.
Articles: Why I REALLY Hate Electronic Shock (Invisible) Fences by ...


Then either put up a real fence or a decent sized kennel run or take your dog out on leash and teach a good solid recall so he can run in the yard off leash. REALLY RELIABLE RECALL BOOKLET
 

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What you need to do is get rid of the electric fence, the moment the collar goes back on your dog WILL return to it's fearfulness. You seriously need to read this article by one of the top trainers in the US.
Articles: Why I REALLY Hate Electronic Shock (Invisible) Fences by ...


Then either put up a real fence or a decent sized kennel run or take your dog out on leash and teach a good solid recall so he can run in the yard off leash. REALLY RELIABLE RECALL BOOKLET
Yes, the article is a piece of work the problem is that it's one article and everybody keeps hearing about the dogs that this stuff works on and don't hear the horror stories that happen. People like cheap/quick, stick/chain built fences are expensive to say nothing about township cosmetic by-laws, fences ruin the look of many places and are not allowed.

I especially like the prey problem that could occur with squirrels/kids/cats and the dog bolts right through. isn't that basically what's happened on this thread. One of the most dangerous things about shock is the lack of supervision when the shocking is being done, when owner is in home and dog is outside by himself. "Hey dogs are cheap just get a new one if the old one runs away"
 

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Yes invisible fences do have their limitations. My dogs are never left unsupervised in the yard. In fact my neighbors who also have invisible fences do not leave their dogs unsupervised in their yards either. It was never my intention to leave my dogs outside without me being with them.
 
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