Hello Easy Pet Fence fam! This blog post is an exciting one with insight from our guest writer, Brad Clarke, dog trainer and founder of Dog Nerdz.
Boundary training is necessary for a dog’s safety and a dog parent’s sanity. There is no denying that dogs are adorable, but sometimes you need a safe place for them to be while you get stuff done around the house or go to work. You need to know that they won’t get into anything dangerous if you don’t have an eye on them every second.
Like with most types of training, boundary training will take time, consistency, effort, and most of all, patience. How do you do it? We’ll give you a detailed breakdown of what boundary training is, how and where you can do it, and also the benefits.
Boundary Training Benefits
Boundary training is more than keeping your dog safe, but it’s also the foundation to make sure it knows where it can and cannot go. Dogs need discipline, and how you start essential training (crate, potty, and boundary training) will set the tone for your entire relationship.
You can choose to use hard boundaries like keeping your dog in a room when necessary. But if you take the time to teach your dog about boundaries, you will eventually be free from having to constantly supervise your dog.
Types of Boundary Training
There are different types of boundary training and you can do it indoors and out, with or without fences.
Fenced boundaries are the easiest way to train your dog about the limits of its freedom to roam. Virtual boundaries are also great, but it’s harder to monitor a virtual fence and there isn’t clear-cut protection. There is nothing that is physically hindering your dog from leaving the premises other than the paired collar that either emits a sound or a vibration to remind your dog that it is skirting the lines.
Getting a dog fence will not only eliminate your worries about your dog just making a run for it, but it also comes with a myriad of other benefits including your peace of mind.
There are so many choices of dog fences from poly dog fence kits to steel hex to welded wire options. The training required is more about patience and consistency, because there is a clear boundary outline, it’s far less complicated for your dog to understand where it should remain. Not to mention, dog fences can last 20+ years.
When it comes to training, having a physical fence really makes it so much easier on pet parents and dogs alike. Teaching your dog where to stop is much easier when you can see the boundary, and it’s the same for your pooch. Using a training collar for virtual boundaries may create anxiety in your dog as he may not know when it will go off.
Plus, the physical fence will create a safe and familiar boundary in your own backyard, a location your dog already feels comfortable in. It will create a better foundation for success!
A virtual dog fence goes by many names, such as an electric dog fence or an invisible fence for dogs. They are sensors placed around a designated perimeter that operate with a paired collar. The collar will emit a slight shock, vibration, sound, or sometimes scent that is unpleasant for your dog when it crosses the predetermined threshold.
You would set up the premises via an app or a device that comes with the fence.
Virtual boundaries are not viewed in the best of light by some dog parents. Physical fencing is by far the more popular choice among consumers as they are a more humane alternative.
Virtual boundaries are a big draw for aesthetic purposes, and it gives your dog a sense of freedom, but that’s all it is - a sense. The fact that there is no physical confinement is a double-edged sword because it could also be confusing for your dog to see the wide expanse of the yard but not be able to venture to the far corners.
Dog fences offered by Easy Pet Fence are virtually invisible past 20 feet, so there is almost no competition between EPF physical fences and the virtual ones.
Invisible fence training takes a lot more time and it can be daunting to see your dog run in your yard with no clear boundary just hoping the collar is enough to stop it from running off. A fix for this problem once and for all is our physical dog fences that are almost invisible.
How to Do Boundary Training Indoors
As said, boundary training can be done indoors and out. We’ll guide you through indoor boundary training step by step. Because the barrier is clearly defined, boundary training with a dog fence is more about teaching your dog to be okay within the confines and not where the threshold is, as it is with invisible fence training.
You will need to get all the accessories ready for boundary training, which is a leash, and your secret weapon - your dog’s favorite treats. The key is to teach your dog that staying where he is allowed and not pushing the boundaries (figuratively and literally) will yield rewards.
Having a shorter dog fence indoors is helpful if you aren’t teaching your dog to not enter a certain room, but a specific area that isn’t enclosed.
- Hook a shorter leash onto your dog’s harness or collar (use a 4 ft one rather than the traditional 6 ft option) keep it taut, walk with it all the way up to the dog fence and stop there.
- May sure your dog remains next to you and does not cross the threshold.
- You can associate a basic command with the action. “Stop” is a common keyword dog parents teach.
- Every time your dog stops with you and remains next to you without attempting to cross the fence, give it a treat.
- Keep repeating this until you think your dog has an idea of what is expected of it
- The next time after this should be done silently without any vocal or visual cues
- Make sure to heap on the praise if your dog stops. If not, scold it a little and push it back across the boundary
- Continue steps 1-7 until your dog understands where it is and isn’t allowed in the home.
Boundary Training Outdoors - How to Keep Your Dog Safe Outside
The steps to boundary training outdoors are very similar to the ones indoors. But we would suggest pet parents be extra vigilant if the yard isn’t fenced.
While the steps may remain the same, the environment is drastically different. Home is your dog’s safe space, a place where it feels secure and comfortable, but the outside world is full of exciting sounds and sights, all of which are effective distractions.
You will still need a leash, but we suggest switching regular treats to high-value rewards, the treats that your dog only sees on special occasions, and something to command your dog’s attention such as a clicker.
Follow the same steps as indoor boundary training but pull out the clicker or another tool you have selected to keep your dog’s attention on you when distractions emerge.
Extra Training Tips
We have some extra tips for you that can make boundary training, and any type of training easier.
It really helps to tire out your dog before any kind of training because getting rid of all the excess energy will make it less likely to act out. If your dog is younger or hasn’t adjusted well to previous training, we would suggest starting with indoor boundary training so your dog learns in a relatively distraction-free environment. Your dog will also have an idea of what you expect when you eventually move to outdoor boundary training.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a high-value treat. There is a chance you won’t even have to use a clicker or command because the snack in hand is enough to hold your dog’s attention.
Remember that you need to bring an abundance of patience, love, consistency, and effort to the equation. Everything takes time, especially dog training. Accept that there will be accidents and mistakes, but that’s okay because your dog will get it eventually. We have every faith that you will be successful.
Using distractions to your advantage can also make any type of training process easier. Have toys and fun things for your dog to do to keep it in the enclosed area willingly so it doesn’t even realize that it’s “trapped”.
Keeping your dog in a safe space can prevent problematic and potentially dangerous situations from occurring. Without the help of a dog fence and boundary training, counter-surfing, destructive chewing, and hazardous exploration are all within the realms of possibility. Dog fences are the first step to elevating the safety measures in your home and in your yard.