Few things fill a dog owner’s mind with more dread than the thought of their dog running away. It’s unpleasant even to think about, let alone experience it in real life.
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to prevent this from happening. Along with keeping your fences in good shape, you can add the extra security of training your dog to stay in your yard. In the following guide, you’ll learn about four popular training methods you can use to make sure your dog doesn’t get lost.
1. Train your dog with a GPS dog tracker
Using a high-tech GPS dog tracker to train your dog to stay in the yard is one of the easiest methods available to dog owners. So how can you use this nifty device to make sure your dog doesn’t rush? By setting up a geofence with him. While not all dog GPS trackers come with this feature, many do, so you won’t have a hard time finding one that fits the bill.
A geofence is a virtual fence that creates a boundary within which your dog must stay. If your dog tries to cross it, the GPS dog tracker will send a signal to your dog, such as a sound or a vibration, that he is about to make a bad choice. If they continue, some collars are accompanied by a small electric shock. These signals are sufficient to prevent many dogs from continuing their act of escape, but if they cross the border, the system will alert you to this fact.
The beauty of a geofence is that you can easily set it up and modify it at any time via your mobile phone. However, like all the other methods mentioned in this guide, setting up a geofence with a dog GPS tracker is not a foolproof method of keeping your dog in your yard and requires some training. Because you may have to pay a monthly subscription in addition to the cost of the collar, it can be relatively more expensive than other training methods.
That said, many dog owners have found it to be an effective method of keeping their dogs in their yard.
2. Train your dog with an electronic fence
Photo courtesy: Public domain from Pixabay
An electronic fence, also called an invisible fence, is an electronically wired fence that is usually installed underground. Similar to a GPS system with geofencing functionality, your dog will need to wear a collar that will give him a signal (often a beep) to let him know if he is approaching the boundary and a deterrent (usually a mild shock) if they are about to cross the line. With some systems you will also receive an alert if they manage to leave your yard.
Although this method seems ideal, electronic fences have some drawbacks. So be sure to familiarize yourself with them before deciding if this method is right for you and your dog.
3. Limit training
Boundary training alone won’t keep most dogs out of their yard if their reasons are compelling enough (squirrel!), but it’s an essential complement to using a GPS dog tracker or tracker. an electronic fence.
Here is a quick guide to boundary training:
To start, mark a boundary around your yard with flags. Place the flags where your dog’s GPS or electronic fence collar will alert him that he is approaching the edge of his yard (often when the beep sounds). Then, put your dog on a leash and walk it around the boundary you set.
If your dog crosses the flag line, stop walking, say “no” and pull gently on his leash to signal him to stop. They should also wear their GPS or electronic fence collar so they hear the beep around the same time you inform them not to go any further. Positive reinforcement is key to this method, so be sure to praise and reward your dog with treats when he stays within bounds.
As you can imagine, your dog won’t learn to stay within boundaries overnight. It will take several weeks for most dogs to undergo successful training. Keep in mind that the more regularly you can train, the faster you will see results.
4. Shock Collar Training
The final method to discuss is shock collar training. We will not go into the details of this method because it is quite controversial.
Shock collars are a type of electronic collar that comes with different levels of shock. Although GPS collars for dogs and the collars that come with electronic fences may also have a shock option, they are generally not as intense as the levels that some shock collars, also called electronic collars, can inflict.
Some dog owners choose to use a shock collar because it may seem like they offer a relatively quick and easy way to train your dog to stay in the yard. However, training using a shock collar is considered an aversive training technique. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that this method not be used to “teach or modify behavior.”
Aversive training techniques have been shown to cause dogs to display more stress-related behaviors and lead to higher post-training increases in cortisol levels, among other negative side effects. So while some owners use shock collars, it’s not an option that vets and other experts typically recommend.
Preventing dogs from escaping their yard is vital to their safety. Before choosing to use a physical fence or any of the systems mentioned above, make sure you understand the strengths and weaknesses associated with each option.