Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Invisble Fence "Training"

Our Invisble Fence was installed today! Joy! The white flags are placed all around the perimeter of our property and they will "teach" the dogs to stay in the yard. Of course, there is work to be done to get the point of the flags across to the dogs before we set them loose. The work involves walking the dogs, individually, around the yard on a leash, heading to the flags and when we hear the beeping of the collar we pull them back and gasp. The beeping preempts the shock, which is actually neutralized during the training phase by a piece of rubber fitted over the prongs on the collar. This must be done three times in a row at each point we choose. Walk toward the flag, beep beep, then GASP and pull them back. Three times in a row, at each point. Guess who is doing the training? Jonathan? Nope. It's me. I'm about gasped out after one day of training. I feel like a bad method actor who is practicing seeing a ghost, or a predator, or a monster. I'm using all the visuals I can to keep it real. The dogs think it's fun. I'm not so amused. Apparently, the fence company recommends two more days of this training before removing the safety device on the collars and allowing the electricity to shock the dogs. I'm going to give it the ole college try and do my best to follow the rules. Aussies are smart dogs. I believe that they'll get the idea quickly, but after investing a fair amount of money in this fancy fence I want to do it right, follow the rules and leave nothing to chance. Two more days of walk to the flag, beep beep, GASP and RETREAT! Stay tuned and I'll let y'all know if it works. My best guess is that walk toward the flag, beep beep, ZAP is going to be the best training tool. But what do I know? I'm a slightly simple horse trainer. Stay tuned for the next step of Doggie Invisible Fence training 101.


  1. Oh Michele, I have done this training many times and I always burst into tears the first time one of them is shocked. It feels like such a betrayal. Here's something I added to the training. Before they get to the point where they get the warning beep, I say, "Watch out!" I am behind them when this happens and as they wander forward I might say it one more time before they get their "correction" from the fence. As a result, when we're hiking off property and come near a road, all I have to say is "watch out" and the three dogs are instantly at my side, wagging their tails gratefully. They think I have some kind of ESP about danger now. It's really, really useful around horses, etc.
    Dying to see your farm. Jen and I are planning to visit some day soon. xo

  2. Thanks for the tip, Ann! I've been using, "Back off!" as my high sign for incoming zap. Both have now been zapped. Remy snaps at the air and jumps backward. Becks yelps and backs up. The invisible fence is proving to be a godsend for us (and the dogs, though I don't think they see it that way).
    Get that Jen to bring you to the farm before we're covered with snow and ice!!