Training Techniques for using the DOGTEK Electronic Fence
After the installation of a DOGTEK EF-4000 electronic fence, many pet owners do not realize the importance of training their pet with the fence to ensure they stay safe and sound. Once the fence is installed, these training techniques will help teach the pet those boundaries.
For best results, always read the instruction manual that comes with the fence system. Train in short segments, about 15 minutes each, 2 or 3 times a day. Always reward good behavior with treats or praise and make training time consistent and enjoyable for the dog.
The first step to training a pet is to introduce the boundaries. The collar should emit a warning noise when the dog gets close to the boundary. Determine at what distance the noise starts and place several warning flags around the boundary.
Place the collar and a leash on the dog and walk to the boundary. Once inside the warning area and the beeping begins, turn around immediately and head to the center of the yard. When the dog follows, give it praise or a treat. Repeat this at different points around the boundary. Continue for several sessions until the dog will turn around on his own when he hears the warning noise.
The second step is to offer temptations. Start by getting a friend or family member to walk towards the boundary. Inform them to keep walking straight through boundary without turning around or calling out. Allow the leashed and collared dog to determine if he will follow across the boundary or stop as he was previously trained to do. If he follows he will receive a shock. If not, give him praise. Repeat this process using a bicycle, a neighbor, balls, or anything else the dog may be tempted to follow out of the yard.
Next, begin training off leash. At first, supervise the collared dog making sure the fence is turned on. During this stage, spend as much time with the dog outside as possible. The more fun time spent with the dog within the boundaries, the less it will want to leave that area. Continue to give lots of praise for good behavior.
Start allowing the dog short, unsupervised segments in the yard, gradually allowing it to spend more time alone. In the beginning, keep an eye from inside. If the dog still tries to escape at times, put the leash back on and continue training by offering the temptations that are most distracting. After a couple weeks of good behavior while unsupervised, begin taking a flag down every day until none are left.
After a couple of sessions helping the dog understand how to respond when entering the correction zone, start adding the correction that will make venturing past the boundary aversive to him. For the next week, keep your dog on-leash every single time he goes outside and follow these steps:
#1. If necessary, raise the correction level on the dog’s collar. For the first correction-active training session, raise the correction level to be aversive enough that the dog does not want to venture out of the correction zone. You do not need to raise the correction level for every training session. A good goal might be to raise the correction level once every day during the first week of training until the dog finds it unpleasant even when highly distracted.
#2. Let the dog interact with the dog fence. Allow the dog to wander into the correction zone at will, letting him linger for a few moments and then use the leash and vocal commands to help him move back into the yard. When the dog returns, give him praise or a treat.
#3. Tempting the dog with distractions is an important step for two reasons: the dog needs to learn to avoid the fence even when exciting things (like other animals or children) are on the other side of the boundary. Also, it will aid in setting the correction level to keep the dog inside the yard when those distractions are around. Some distractions include throwing a ball or favorite toy into the correction zone. Use the leash to stop the dog from actually getting the distraction items. Another suggestion is to drop the leash and walk across the correction zone without calling the dog to you. When the dog follows, immediately walk over and pick up the end of the leash, guiding the dog back into the yard.
Remember to keep training sessions short and always keep the dog on-leash when he is outside. During the 2nd week of training, the dog can be moved to off-leash training. Also, do not punish the dog for going into the correction zone. The electronic fence delivers all of the correction the dog needs. Instead, praise the dog for doing the right thing.
As the dog begins to learn where the boundaries are, you can remove the flags from the yard. When a session is complete and you bring the dog indoors, always remove the e-collar. When training more than one dog, train each dog in separate training sessions.
The process of training a dog with an electronic fence can take one to four weeks, depending on the dog. Remember to be consistent. Training the dog to use the electronic fence is the single most important thing contributing to a successful experience with the system.