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Hello, we have a problem with our Great Dane mix running away and not wanting to come back. We have not been able to train him to ALWAYS come when called. If he gets distracted by something or just wants to run and not come home there is no stopping him. He loves being outside. Or at least the used to.

I bought an underground electric fence and we installed it around our yard. We didn't have permission to build a normal fence so this was our best option. Well, the first day he got shocked real good by that fence and now he is terrified to leave the front porch. He will go out into the grass to relieve himself but comes back to the porch quickly. Inside the house, he is the same loving and playful dog he always has been. Outside he is completely different. We try to coax him to come to us when out in the grass and he won't budge. He would not even come and get a real steak bone that had some meat on it! If we try to gently pull him he will literally start trembling with fear. We have also found that if we pick him up or force him to come out into the yard he is okay once we are completely out of and away from our yard.

What is the best way we can help him through this? It kills us seeing him like this and his lack of trust in me outside hurts my heart. I would never want him to feel like he can't trust me.

Thanks in advance for your help!

HornsManiac
 

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am so sorry for the current situation. Did you do the hands on pre training for the electric fence ? He may never get over it. is there way to leave the property a different way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did the training the best I could but it backfired because I was right there when he got shocked. I think he linked the shock to me and/or the yard. It doesn't matter which part of the yard he is in.
 

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At the risk of sounding like a jerk...you got what you wanted, didn't you? The fence worked. You now have a dog that won't run off. What did you expect from electrocuting a dog to influence behavior?

He might mellow with time or he might not. In the meantime, you're going to have to take him elsewhere to walk/run outside. That's your daily responsibility now, even though it's not as convenient as exercising in the yard.
 

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Unfortunately, invisible fence companies don't like to advertise the fact that in 44% of cases dogs escape. Study here: https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/10.2460/javma.250.3.297
And sometimes dogs become traumatized on their own properties like the case here.

OP, assuming you help your dog overcomes this I imagine you won't use the invisible fence anymore?
 

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Canyx is correct.. The marketing for these types of devices are marketing to get you to buy products without properly educating owners I can see this happening and having no clue that a dog could take the experience so adversely. Especially having a housing area that doesn't permit the building of a real fence. Main thing is what to do now to help him.

supervised tie out secured well to a solid post and give them some time to work through it. trying to force them is only making it worse.. Main thing is getting them to have their potty breaks to relieve themselves. If I was going to cheat,, I would have a friend or a neighbor walk by with their dog to see if the excitement over rides their fear. That is usually how so many dogs over come an electric fence, is the motivation to run right through it. So having your dog on a safe secure tie out. and just letting him sit on the porch not messing with him at all for a while (make it a daily schedule event) and let him be where he wants to be on his own, can start with short period of time so it's not so stressful for him. and build his time longer and longer as you see him relaxing.

then you could see if a motivation on the side walk , walking past will over ride his fear to move off the porch (do that as you second level of training). After you see some calmness just sitting on the porch by himself for short time sessions or you hanging out with them reading a book during the time outside.

is there anyway you can drive your vehicle up to the steps to the porch for you to get your dog into the vehicle so you can go to other places off the property?

am sorry it happened. Lot of the companies have really good instructions how to train and condition your dog without the fence being activated as a first step for a good period of time before the fence is installed or activated. others don't and majority don't even touch on how adverse experience could cause the problems you have now.
 

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Is there a visual barrier as well? Something to indicate where the electric fence is? Like a line of flags, a small rope "fence", even just some boards laid down around the perimeter?

I would remove the electric fence altogether and have the dog on leash or a long line when you are out there with him. If you can't be out there with him then take him inside. The issue now though is rebuilding his trust so he can overcome his fear. Patricia had some good suggestions. You'll have to start slow and let him go at his own pace.
 

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You were definitely a jerk. Glad you recognized it. And, no, this is not what we wanted to happen.
Warning, name calling is not permitted. You don't have to like all of the answers you were given, but you DO have to abide by forum rules. I'm giving you a warning this time, but there won't be a second warning.
 
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