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  •  » Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

#1 05-12-2008 04:24:46

Queen of the Lilliputians
Gone fishing
From: Maine
Registered: 02-03-2008
Posts: 3907
Website

Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

Twisted my dh's arm yesterday, and we were out burying the dog fence until after dark.  But it's done!  Finished hooking up wires today.  And started training my dogs.

  I have two big ones.   Both are 9 years old.  Charlie, choc lab/husky mix, about 90lbs, and shows his age.  He was a super hyper obnoxious puppy, a hyper obnoxious adult.  These days he's mellowed to the point that he's usually napping.  He has really thick fur, and can be a bit stubborn.  He's smart, and very clever.  I thought I would have problems with the level of the correction, and would have to go with the high setting.

  My second dog, Annie, is a purebred choc lab with bad skin, and a nervous personality.  She has thin fur, and Is the smarter of the two.  She isn't nearly as tired as Charlie, but doesn't play very much.  She spends most of her time following me around, or laying near the kids.  I thought I would be able to keep the collar on it's lower setting.

The dog fence I purchased was an inexpensive one, and hopefully I won't regret that.  I bought an extra collar, and enough wire to fence our entire 2 acres.  I also purchased an extra collar so I can train both dogs at the same time. 

In case anyone else wants one, or if anyone can give me suggestions, I thought I'd leave my progress here.  Feel free to give me any hints.

Day 1-
         Session 1-
Charlie went first.  I had the collar initially set just to tone (because I failed to look in the manual just before taking him out), so the majority of this training was just me showing him the flags, and keeping him inside them.  Very easy, actually. He sniffed each flag as I showed him.  Followed at an almost perfect heel, and I remembered what a terrific leash dog he is, too.  Only thing close to a problem I had was by the end he was lagging behind me.  He needs more exercise!

           Annie went second.  I got her when she was 5, and confess I haven't really worked with her as much as I should have.  She's awful on the leash, was constantly pulling, and didn't even look at the flags when I called her and shook them.  She frustrated me, but I tried to stay calm.  By the time I was done walking the boundary with her, I was cursing at myself for neglecting her training.


          Sesson 2-
   Charlie went first, again, since we also had to wait for my ds to get off the bus.  Actually set the collar to lowest level.  Again did the flag shaking routine, but allowed him to wander past the line.  He got a shock and jumped, tiny yelp, and returned to my side.  Loaded him with praise.  He got only one other correction, and then was keeping an eye on the flags.  Played ball with him still on the leash but dragging it (as I said, he is terrific on leash) for the first time in a LONG time.  Ball went a little too close to the line for his comfort, so he stopped chasing it.  I then led him over to the ball, and we played a little there, since I want him to use his entire space, and not be afraid. Then sat down to wait for ds off the bus.  Left the session feeling that Charlie understood the concept of the flags.
 
   Annie's turn.  Collar set to lowest level.  Ds helping.  Again showed Annie the flags, and heard the sound of the collar emitting the pulse, but she showed no reaction.  I adjusted the collar on her neck, and checked the fit.  She again wandered across the line, and went pee this time, and I heard the tone again.. still no reaction.  (btw, both times I pulled her back to me and praised her anyway, because I want to set her up to do good here).  Hated it, but set collar to higher level.  Again did the shaking flags routine.  She wandered across the line and got the correction- and freaked.  She yelped and was obviously shaken.  I pulled her to my side, and praised her for being in the yard.  She wanted to go to the house RIGHT THEN, but I felt that was leaving her scared, so I continued to walk her around.  She wouldn't even look at the flags, just looked away whenever I shook them.  Hopefully she knows what I was doing.  We continued to walk the line.  She got one more correction (much less reaction), where I pulled her back across the line.  Continued to praise and walk her, and sent ds in for hot dog for a treat for her (she is very food motivated).  Whenever I showed her a flag, and she didn't cross the line, she got a piece.  I think it helped, although she was clearly still nervous, and I had to tell her to sit back aways from the flags each time, then go to them and show her.  By the time we got back to the house though, she was much more relaxed.  Attempted to play ball with her, but she wanted no part of it.  Left the session with the feeling that Annie doesn't understand the flags, but will completely rely on me to keep her in the safe zone.

                    Session 3 (per instructions, 3 sessions, each lasting approx 10min.)
  Charlie went first. No shocks for him at all.  He paid complete attention to the flags at the boundary, but seemed to understand that the rest of the yard was entirely safe.  He was calm about the entire affair.  Made no attempt to cross the boundary although he is still sniffing flags (which seems to me to mean that he feels comfortable).  Relaxed, easy going Charlie.  So far he's a breeze, and outdoor fun is only 9 days (according to the manual) away.

   Annie was next, and we ran into resistance almost out of the door.  She did NOT want to go anywhere near the boundary.  I did get her to come on her own, although she was EXTREMELY nervous.  I didn't really bother with the flag shaking this time, because at this point with her I think she just needs to feel safe (and because I think when you praise a nervous dog while he/she is acting nervous you get... a nervous dog.  Praise a nervous dog when he/she is acting calm, and you get.. a calm dog).  I did walk the boundary line, far enough from the flags that there was no chance that she could get a shock, but close enough so she could see the flags.  She was more comfortable when we finished, although not relaxed by any stretch.  I think she's going to take a lot more work to feel confident (never her strong point anyway) and safe.  Will be taking this one day, one session, at a time until I feel that Annie understands and is ok.

Meghan

p.s. Anyone have any other tips on training a nervous dog?  I'm excited about this fence, and excited FOR the dogs (no more being tied to the porch in a 10 foot circle!  No more stuck in the house when people come over!).  I want this to be terrific for us all.  Not traumatize the poor girl!  Tomorrow is supposed to be with me on one side of the fence, and the dogs on the other.  No way Annie will get close enough to the fence to even know that's what we'll be doing (and I may continue just walking the fence line with her instead, and try to get her to relax in the rest of the yard).  I'm also afraid that she thinks the LEAVES are the problem.. not the flags and fence line.  That could be a huge issue for us, since she will only go potty on leaves or in the brush.  I purposely left some along all sides of our property for her (including a few really huge patches of brushy leafy stuff).


Former ruler-wielding nun at a catholic school

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#2 05-12-2008 04:46:43

tiffanyh
Silver Member
From: Connecticut
Registered: 02-22-2008
Posts: 230

Re: Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

While I was in college I installed these for a vets I worked at.

The reaction is pretty normal. It is better than no reaction at all. Just keep up with it. Remind her where sade spots are, take her out to "play" occasionally so she doesnt think the whole yard shocks her. Make sure she understand and links the flags with the correctiion (she doesnt yet). I would tap them and warn the dog with a "careful". And if she goes towards it, let her, but keep warning her. When she jumps, pull her back into the yard and praise.

I have a big duffey dog that is hyper and barks-and our works PERFECTLY!

Good luck!

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#3 05-12-2008 04:50:35

johnnyjack
gone fishing
From: south carolina
Registered: 12-16-2007
Posts: 5391
Website

Re: Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

sounds like you had a busy day meg.
hope the dogs do ok with the training.   wtga  greet

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#4 05-12-2008 05:10:44

Sclanimals
Silver Member
From: ask me
Registered: 03-08-2008
Posts: 193

Re: Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

Hey! I'm a Certified Dog Trainer and I was looking this up in my manual to remind myself about barrier training nervous dogs. It confirmed what I was already thinking, and like tiffanyh said, just keep at it and also try to work in some relationship building exercises with your nervous girl. And praise, praise, praise when she is calm. You are very right about praising a nervous dog makes a nervous dog. Good for you for caring enough about your dogs to be going about this the right way. Good luck! joy


People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Friendship isn't a big thing, it's a million little things.

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#5 05-12-2008 05:51:46

chickn
Double Platinum
From: new hampshire
Registered: 03-18-2008
Posts: 2719
Website

Re: Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

sounds like a long day for sure,,, my sisters dogs did great with her fence,,but i think hers was not the buried kind,,i had to fence mine because toby has an aggression towards large dogs, and i felt that i couldnt control it if one wonders into the yard,
but i like the idea to give them the whole yard,,thats great,,good luck with that,,


frizzled polish and polish, sizzles and silkies, std cochins, mille d'uccles,
always interested in trading eggs

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#6 05-12-2008 10:16:23

Chick A Boom
Academy Award Member
Registered: 03-07-2008
Posts: 4007

Re: Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

Sounds like you know what you need to be doing for both dogs to make them understand and be well adjusted.  joy Good luck with your contiuned training of your dogs!


"Real Integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not."

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#7 05-13-2008 09:59:00

MamaBoyd
Silver Member
From: Kendal,Ontario,Canada
Registered: 04-11-2008
Posts: 146

Re: Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

I'm so glad I came upon this thread! Glad things seem to be going well with the training. We are getting ready to find a half decent brand of underground wire and collars that will work without breaking our bank account.  We have 3 dogs, a 7 yr old rotti who was used to gong up to our neighbors to visit his buddy everyday until our other new neighbors moved in and didn't like him peeing on their grass, so we had to tie him up when he wasn't snoozing indoors(which is pretty much what he does most of the time now as he loves to stay indoors), we also have a 7 yr old beagle, so I'm sure if something like this is going to work for him as being a beagle, he follows his nose, although he has been getting better when he does escape the house with not going racing down the road on us, and thirdly, we have a 20 month old aussie shepperd cross which we adopted in January, she has escaped the house 3 times, once to our neighbors, once to our barnyard to try and herd the cattle which was to no avail, and the last time she got out, she didn't go far and my hubby was actually able to catch her with no problem.  I'm so tired of having to worry about when the kids go in and out the door that she will escape as my neighbor threatened me the one and only time she went there even though she didn't do anything and she was only here a week at that time. I want all my dogs to be able to enjoy some freedom without being tied up when they aren't on a leash. What cheaper brands has anybody had any success with?? smile


Mom to 5 kids,a loving hubby,3 dogs,2 cats, 2 horses, 13 hens, one borrowed rooster, 12~ 5 week old chicks, and 27~ 1 and a half week old chicks

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#8 05-13-2008 10:44:09

johnnyjack
gone fishing
From: south carolina
Registered: 12-16-2007
Posts: 5391
Website

Re: Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

how was day 2 of the training  greet

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#9 05-14-2008 05:18:02

Queen of the Lilliputians
Gone fishing
From: Maine
Registered: 02-03-2008
Posts: 3907
Website

Re: Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

Thanks guys for all your words of encouragement and suggestions!  And Mama Boyd, I'll let you know how it goes with this brand, since it is an inexpensive one.  My dogs are pretty old and slow most of the time though.

Thanks for asking JJ.  Sorry- meant to update yesterday, but got caught up in the Goat thing rotflol


     Day 2 (Or: the Day I Realize This Might Take Longer Than I Thought)

     Session 1
  Charlie- Since both of my dogs are older, I decided it might be better to start the day with a bit of a refresher.  And probably a good thing, too, since Charlie seemed ready to wander across the fence line.  Since I am probably over protective of my dogs (and really DON'T want them shocked), I spent some of this training time doing a "Charlie stop!  Look at the flag!'  He seemed to catch on quickly, and didn't have any corrections.  Once again he meandered at the end of the leash, completely at ease.  Attempted to distract him toward the line with a ball, but he was not falling for it.  Felt it was going well.

  Annie- Unlike Charlie, had NOT forgotten that the fenceline was there.  She did not want to go anywhere near it, although she was calmer than the day before.  Over all she seemed somewhat relaxed, but I decided her next visit outside would be another wander-around-and-get-comfortable session.  At the end of this one, she hurried back to the house, and waited to go inside.  No corrections for her, either.  She was exposed to two distractions: the neighbor outside, and a duck haha but neither one caused her to forget the line.  Impressed at her memory.

     Session 2
  Charlie- Ah, all was going well with Charlie.  This time I started the actual Work Of The Day, which involves me on the outside of the fenceline, throw him pieces of treats (bologna).  Did a lot of training, telling him to stay back from the flags, and after being told a time or two, he really seemed to understand, and was doing wonderful.  He did get one correction, since he was being careless about the line and LEANING across to me.  But overall I felt it was going well.  And then- he spotted one of his BIGGEST temptations:  The Vernal Pool at the back corner of our property.  Up 'til this point, level two was working perfectly.  He didn't like the corrections, and was dancing back each time.  BUT the water was too much for Charlie.  At a higher speed than I've seen of him in a long time, He jetted across the line and bailed into the pool, blissfully rolling around.  If he was being corrected, I couldn't tell.  And my normally well behaved dog, when faced with all things Water And Swimming completely ignored me.  When he was wet all over and coated in mud, he came out.  I removed his collar, and upped him to level three, although I did not put it back on him since I was nervous about him being as wet as he was. 

   Annie- After the Charlie fiasco, Annie's pulling on the leash seemed much less obnoxious.  Since I am still working with her to get her comfortable, I used the same bologna, but this time used it to get her to follow me around the entire fenceline.    Since this requires dropping the leash, a few times she did attempt to head back to the house, but thankfully trusted me enough to come back for the treat (or she just loves treats... which she does).  She stayed well back from the line (20-50 feet), and I spent a lot of time going closer to it and calling her, then giving her the treat.  Overall it went well, although she was still a bit scared.  When it was done, I let her wander around in the back yard (since I am pretty sure she won't cross the line and I was 5 feet behind her, leash dragged between us).  She sniffed around and had a pretty good time.  Seemed really comfortable when it was time to go in. 

     Session 3
  Since I feel the dogs understand the basic concept, I decided to work a bit on the more troubled spots.  At this point I was feeling a little frustrated from earlier, and I admit this session was short, and meant to leave the entire day on as positive a note as possible.
   Charlie- Headed directly to back corner.  Did not risk at this point finding out whether or not level 3 correction would keep him in.  Instead, physically held him back from the line.  Told him to "watch the flag", shook it.  Then went to the other side.  He did stay on the correct side of the fence, but perhaps he had his fill of the water.  Made a big deal out of him, and let him wander around the back yard.  Glad it went better.

   Annie- Did the actual "Work Of The Day", and stood on the outside of the flags (but with no treats, since Annie always wants to be next to me, and I felt that was pushing her too far).  Had a really hard time keeping her inside the flags, since she desperately wanted to be next to me, and did a lot of telling her to stay back.  Still not sure she completely understands about the flags, but do feel that they will be a good deterent to keep her in the fence as long as I am also inside the fence.  The crappy part is that I do not want to break her trust in me, and I know it is that trust (and her fear) that made her want to cross the flags to get to me.  I did not feel comfortable allowing her to get corrected for that at this time.  Perhaps tomorrow.

  Day 3 will be a continuation of Day 2, although I think it's time to let the fence do a little more of the work with Charlie.  In a way the distraction of the water was a good thing, since it'll give me something tougher for him to really work on.  He's very easy going, and to be honest having me on the opposite side of the flags with him presents no real challenge. 

   Despite my frustration of the water, I'm actually surprised how how few times the dogs have actually attempted to cross the barrier.  Since I believe even before the fence was installed, that they usually DID stay in the yard (barring strange dogs passing, or strange smells to investigate).  Neither one of them were really problem dogs.  A number of times prior to this, I had let Charlie out to hang out with us.  He would do very well for a few weeks, then one day he would disappear for a half an hour.  That is what I am working to correct.  Annie for the most part stays in the yard.  With her, I was more concerned about her extremely protective nature.  She's never offered to bite anyone, but she has gone across the street and barked and growled at them. 

  My only real criticism of the fence at this point are the fact that the flags are small.  That's probably fine in a flat, grassy yard.  But in my hilly, slopey, brush and scrub covered property, some of them are a bit hard to see.  I am thankful that we have stone walls on two sides of us that create a sort of natural boundary line.

Footnote- Charlie had a run in with one of my roos.  I wondered how this was going to go.  Annie did get out prior to this, and showed absolutely no interest in the chickens at all.  However, this was Charlie's first actual exposure to loose chickens on the ground.  I had mistakenly allowed my ds to walk him around while I was working with Annie.  Charlie is not showing aggression, only interest, in the chickens but I failed to take my little, randy and sometimes aggressive roo into account.  I turned in time to see the roo fly into the dogs face.  Charlie did pin him to the ground, but I yelled, the fight broke up, and ds took Charlie back to the house.  Did also begin to desensitize Charlie to the chickens (thought about penning them, but figured oh, well, one more distraction to work with).  He is still curious, and I think would love to chase them, but is listening well and has not clicked into 'Prey Drive' mode.  He is still controllable while watching them, and does not stare intently.  He also isn't drooling rotflol  At this point, I will only have him around them while he is on some sort of leash.


Former ruler-wielding nun at a catholic school

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#10 05-16-2008 08:50:20

chickn
Double Platinum
From: new hampshire
Registered: 03-18-2008
Posts: 2719
Website

Re: Underground dog fence training- Days 1 & 2 of Training

is the fence on while your doing this training?  i cant remember if you said it was or not the first few days.
how is it going today?


frizzled polish and polish, sizzles and silkies, std cochins, mille d'uccles,
always interested in trading eggs

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