How to Train Your Dog With an Invisible Fence

With an invisible fence your dog can roam free without fences.
With an invisible fence your dog can roam free without fences. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

An electric fence is a relatively easy way to teach your pet to stay within a certain boundary of your property without having to invest in actual fences or barriers. With a mild shock collar a series of wires running underground, and flags to mark the boundaries of your property, you can safely educate your dog on your boundaries. Invisible fence companies all advise the same basic procedure for training your dog with an invisible fence.

Things You'll Need

  • Shock collar
  • Invisible fence
  • Flag markers

Invisible Fence Training

Place a series of white boundary marker flags above the ground where the fence is in place to designate where the boundary begins and ends. Because the fence is invisible, it is important for you and your pet to have some kind of visual marker for where the line begins and ends to assist you in training. Place the electronic fence collar around your dog, making sure that the electrodes of the collar touch the skin of the dog's neck. Make sure that you are both a fair distance away from the electronic fence when beginning this procedure.

Adjust the strength of the electronic fence shock pulse on the collar. The stronger the collar's signal, the stronger the pulse of the electric fence, meaning the dog does not have to be in close proximity to the fence to feel a mild shock. To begin the actual training, have your pet follow you to the perimeter of the fence. As they near, the collar will begin to emit a beeping noise. When this happens, quickly run in the opposite direction from the flagged fence. Make sure your pet follows you. Reward the dog with a treat for its good behavior. Repeat this step a few times until your dog understands to do this without encouragement.

Show your dog what the electronic pulse is like to reinforce the boundary of your perimeter. This time approach the fence with the dog. Encourage it to follow you to your invisible fence perimeter, as indicated by their beeping collar. As it approaches the fence, the collar will emit a mild shocking pulse which your dog will immediately recognize as a negative treatment for straying across the boundaries. When this happens, quickly run back to the "safe zone" as before so the dog is no longer in danger of being shocked. This time reward your pet with two treats for experiencing the invisible fence. Over time your dog will become increasingly conditioned to "know" where the fence is. You can gradually remove the flags that mark the boundary once this limit is established with you and your pet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be patient with your dog. There is a good chance that the first time its collar beeps it will be frightened or startled. Do not push your pet to do anything unless it is willing and able.
  • Do not attempt to dig your own property without first getting approval from city utilities to make sure you don't accidentally cut into gas or electric lines.

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