Draw The Lines Yourself
Would you like to train your dog to stay in your yard without resorting to electrical shock? There is a way to do it that is inexpensive, takes about the same amount of time, and is just as reliable as the electronic containment systems commercially available.
Everything you need for boundary trainingincluding some high-value meatballs and a dog eager for a training session.
How To Boundary Train Your Dog
If your dog is independent or over-confident , he may try to stretch his boundaries and wander off. To train your dog to stay on your property, make sure to spend time on leash to teach your dog what the physical limits are.
Knowing your dogs tendencies and being thoughtful about when your dog is permitted to be off-leash can help your dog to be successful at staying within the boundaries you set.
How To Train Lay Down
If your dog doesnt know how to lay down, this skill can be helpful to train as well. If your dog can lay down, sit, and stay, theyll be able to easily pick up the more difficult training when you teach them to stay in the yard.
Its not always necessary to train lay down before sit, but we do recommend that you teach your dog both before attempting training outside in the yard. Both commands get your dog used to the idea that they get rewards for staying where you want them, which is an essential precursor to obedience outside.
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Implied Stay Versus A Cued Stay
When I start working with a client and their dog on the stay cue, my first question is “Do you want to have to say ‘stay’ or would you prefer not to have to say anything to have this behavior happen?”
There is no wrong answer to this question, it’s simply a matter of preference. I personally prefer what’s called an Implied Stay, meaning that if I ask my dog to perform a stationary behavior , she will move into that position and hold it until I ask her for something else or tell her she’s all done. The stay is implied in the first cue.
A Cued Stay is where the dog has a hand signal or a verbal cue that means “hold this position,” separate from the hand signal or verbal cue for sit, down or stand. Some dog owners prefer to give a separate stay cue because of habit or they like the reminder for the dog and themselves. The one downside to relying on a separate cue for stay is that if you forget to give the hand signal or say the word “stay,” and your dog moves before they are supposed to, they didn’t make any mistake. If you’re planning on using a stay cue, make sure you remember to use it during training and later on in real-life scenarios.
How To Train Your Dog To Stay In The Yard
May 7, 2021// by Rick Allen
Its easy to see why youd want to protect a beloved pet and keep your dog from leaving the front yard. Sometimes anxiety, unfamiliarity, boredom, a rickety fence, or other issues can allow your canine to escape and roam the neighborhood.
One way to resolve this issue, at least partly, is to do boundary training with your pup to show it the limits or boundaries of its yard, especially one without a physical fence, and you can feel safer that it wont run away.
In most cases, dog owners turn to an invisible dog fence for the sake of convenience. However, it is entirely achievable to boundary train your pet with simple commands and patience plus it costs a whole lot less.
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Reinforcing The Positive While Avoiding The Pitfalls And Expense
Boundary training reinforces for your dog that the yard is always the best option. Over time and with practice, your dog will want exactly what you want: to stay in the yard! Positively training a boundary, when it is coupled with a reliable recall, can be at least as effective as an electronic containment system in keeping your dog in your yard. Significantly, boundary training comes without the financial cost of an electronic system, not to mention potential behavior and stress consequences to you and your dog.
Steve Benjamin, KPA CTP, is a KPA faculty member and the owner of in Endicott, NY. Steve specializes in teaching clicker training to his clients, helping them teach their dogs to be socially acceptable, happy, and intelligent family pets.
Never Compromise On Rules
To make the dog obedient and habitual of the rules, you should never compromise on them. For instance, if the dog tries to cross the boundary, start the course again. Also, try to teach the limits from another side of the boundary. This will let him know that even when you are crossing the red flags, he is supposed to be within the boundary of the yard.
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Positive Reinforcement Is The Way To Go
All dogs are born with the territorial instinct. What you need to do is teach them where their territory is. But that gets tricky when their stubbornness takes over. With that, the quick fix for all training problems arrives in the picture: positive reinforcement.
Believe me when I tell you that negative punishment only worsens the problem. It will just make your dog more aggressive. This will kill your chance of succeeding to teach obedience drills to your pet.
What I do, instead, is to exploit the reward system. If my doggo stayed within the flagged boundary, he gets a chewy, if he strays, he gets nothing. Simple, though it gets tricky when its time to ditch the treats.
Dont Leave Your Dog Unattended In The Yard
Baxter does not go off-leash on his own. There are lots of times where he asks to go outside.
In those scenarios, we use our long leash and clip him to a tree. He can sunbathe as much as he wants, move into the shade when hes too hot, get a drink if he needs to, but we know hes safe and secure because hes tied up.
When we come outside with him, we unclip him and he has free range.
Even though were outside together, were not always watching him. But, were close enough that we can check on him every so often and make sure hes still with us. Also, he knows were there and thanks to the time that we spent building our bond, thats usually enough to keep him nearby.
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Reasons To Keep Your Dog In Your Yard
Keeping any dog loose in a yard can be unsafe for many reasons. Even a puppy who may at first remain by your side will eventually want to explore the worldand take off to do so.
Any dog may run away, but certain breeds are more likely to do so than others. Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes are known to be wanderers and to attempt to escape from even a fenced yard.
Hunting dogs like golden and labrador retrievers are prone to chase prey. So are terriers like Yorkies and westies if they see a squirrel running across their path.
And herding dogs like Aussies, shelties, and border collies are programmed to chase moving objects like cars or people on bikes or skateboards.
When a dogs natural drives kick in, its dangerous for them to be loose against such attractions.
Of course, any dog may wander off when he sees something that interests him, such as an approaching dog or personor even a paper food wrapper that may be passing by your property.
And any dog may be called to chase wildlife should a deer or an errant groundhog emerge.
These dogs may inadvertently run away and face many dangers. Unfortunately, they may be hit by a car and injured or killed. Its a horrible thought, but it must be taken into account when judging how to confine your dog.
Some type of confinement may be required under the law where you live. And, if your dog isnt confined by a method specified under that law, you may be subject to fines. Sometimes, dogs are even confiscated under similar laws.
Safety For Dogs In The Yard
For any dog who is spending a lot of time outside, especially when your dog is off leash, there are a few precautions you should always take to keep him safe.
Make sure your dog has access to shelter and water. Sun, rain, snow and dehydration can all be hazardous for dogs. A dog house, awning, barn or shed that your dog can access when he wants will help to prevent dangerous situations. As well, a bowl of fresh watermake sure to freshen it every dayis essential.
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Optional: What To Do When Your Dog Runs Away
If your dog runs away from the yard and continues to do the behavior you wanted them to stop doing, you have some options. Here are some of the options people choose to use to give consequences to their dog:
- Sound fence: fences exist that emit a loud sound that only dogs can hear that will deter them from passing it. This can be an easy solution and will train the dog by negative reinforcement to sound.
- Sound collar: like the fence, a sound collar emits a loud sound when a dog enters a restricted area. Humans cant hear this sound.
- Verbal Punishment: You can tell your dog in a disappointed voice that they did something you dont like with a word that you consistently use when your dog does something wrong. This can be no or stop or something like that. Just be consistent and use an angry voice when saying it.
- Shock Collar: These types of collars are debated often, but if you choose to use one that is up to you. Assess the collar on yourself before using it on your dog. The shock shouldnt be enough to hurt you, and it wont hurt your dog. The shock provides a surprise and deters them from doing the behavior they did.
Electric Obstacles Are No
Im not a fan of electric shock obstacles. First, it will hurt my doggo and lastly, my pet is smart enough to get past it. Electric obstacles can also develop unnecessary aggression toward things and people. If the canine is chasing a neighbor when he got electrocuted, he will associate that person with the pain.
For me, those who use electronic obstacles are either cruel or too lazy for training. Sometimes, the dogs will develop fear and they would no longer want to go to the yard. Listen and obey for dogs should not, in any way, be brutal.
And for master escapists, they can past the obstacle without being electrocuted. Even if its accompanied with loud beeping, the doggo will soon learn that its not really harmful. They will just stop which allows the electronic collar to reset. Just in time, they will advance beyond the boundary even before the shock happens.
Also, dogs that are in full speed can cover enough ground to dodge the delivery of the shock. Dogs are smart pets. They will learn that running fast will save them from electrocution.
Above all these, theres one bigger problem. Sure, the dog will get through the electronic obstacle without a shock, but theres no guarantee that they still wouldnt when they get back.
The pooch may not use the same strategy and experience multiple shocks in the effort to get inside. This is one reason why some dogs never come home at all.
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Is Something Off Your Property Grabbing Your Dogs Attention
Some dogs are easily distracted by things like people or cars passing by. If you live by a busy street and this is the case, its super important that you find a way to block your dogs view.
Plants and privacy screens can make excellent visual barriers, but a solid fence is your best bet if your dog tends to run off on you. A fence serves both the functions of blocking your dog from seeing things that are distracting and also helps to keep them safely inside and out of traffic or other harms way.
Once the distractions are gone, training should be easier and once your dog has mastered it you can consider removing the barrier.
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If You Have A Fence Does Your Dog Jump Climb Dig Or Chew
A quality fence with strong, working latches is one of the best ways to keep your dog safe and is actually preferred by a lot of shelters when considering whether youre ready to adopt. Still, fences arent fool-proof.
Here are some suggestions to consider if your dog is doing any of the above, according to the according to the American Kennel Club:
- Jump: If you have a dog who jumps like a bunny rabbit its important to find out how high they can jump and install a fence thats higher. Or, keep them tied and supervise them always.
- Climb: Maybe your dog is escaping by climbing on things that are close to your fence, like a garbage bin and/or shed. Moving those things away from the fence can reduce this risk. You can also use a coyote roller on the inside of your fence as a deterrent. This is a bar near the top of your fence that rolls if your dog tries to climb, usually used on the outside to keep coyotes out.
- Dig: When your dog is digging its way under your fence it can be pretty frustrating. The best way to curb this behavior is by installing a footer, either an L-footer or concrete footer that stops them from being able to dig themselves out.
- Chew: If your dog is an intense chewer and REALLY wants to get out, its important to get a fence that is chew-proof and wont hurt your dog if they do try to chew on it. Try not to get anything with gaps that would enable your dog to chew easily.
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In An Unfenced Yard There Are A Few Things You Can Do To Keep Your Dog Safe
There are a variety of ways to keep your dog contained in a yard without a fence. Some are inherently riskier than others. Which strategy you choose will also be determined by your dog.
Hunting breeds like terriers, for example, have inherent impulses to pursue tiny animals. Herding breeds, in particular, are prone to herding moving objects such as humans on motorcycles or skateboards.
As a result, while deciding on the best way to keep them in a yard without a physical barrier, we must consider their inherent urges.
Long Lead W/supervision: 1 Week:
- Be sure you keep your dog on a long line during this phase of training.
- Approach the fence line at least twice a day with the dog on a leash. When you are close enough that the dog can cross the boundary, turn quickly INTO the yard.
- When the dog begins to follow, PRAISE!! Repeat this procedure at multiple points throughout the yard for 7 days.
- When your dog returns into your yard with no prompt from you and will not approach the boundary with distractions, you may move on to the next step.
- Keep your dog on the property as much as possible during the first month of training. This will make it easier for the dog to understand the boundary.
- If you must remove the dog, place the dog in the car, and drive out of the boundary.
You may also use a remote collar to train your dog. The point of using either the long line or the remote collar is to make it easier to teach the dog that he cannot cross the perimeter regardless of where he is or what distractions may be in his way until he gets conditioned to respond.
If you can just run fast, you dont need ANY long line or e-collar. The equipment you choose to use makes it easier for YOU and the environment youre training.
For example, if Im teaching the dog to retrieve birds and he needs to run into heavy brush, then obviously, a remote e-collar will work best for my needs. But if Im training in a regular grassy park without many obstacles, then a long line will work best.
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