Andre · Life

That’s shocking

Andre got out of the house one day and chased the back neighbor’s cat up a tree.  Man was he proud of himself.  That’s when I discovered that in his macho-chasing-mode, he doesn’t come when called – no matter how loudly I call.  Another time he got away from me and immediately ran for the neighbor’s yard to bark at their Labrador, Daisy.  Fortunately, they have a privacy fence between us; unfortunately the fence on the back side of the property is vertical railing with a wide enough space for Andre to walk right through.  He was marking her territory, when Daisy came from the side yard and saw him.  Andre started after her barking and showing no fear (at first).  But Daisy didn’t back down or run, she came charging.  Andre made a bee-line for the fence to get back through while I waved my arms at Daisy trying to get her to stop.

So I got some estimates on having a fence put in.  I wanted a privacy fence, but the cost was WAY too high.  Instead, I opted for an in-ground pet fence with the “shock” collar.  Now before you think I’m cruel, the installer let me feel the lowest level shock and it was very gentle.  Plus the collar beeps before he gets close enough to get shocked, so I just needed to train him to stop when he heard the beep.  The installer put up flags around the yard 3 feet from the wire and he walked Andre around the perimeter and gave him the command “back” when he got close enough to the flags to hear the beep.  He told me for the next 4 days, take him around the perimeter twice a day telling him “back” when the collar beeps, but to only let him get shocked once each day.  Then it would be time to start taking the flags down.

Next morning I took him out and took him up to a couple of flags and commanded “back” when the collar beeped.  Piece of cake.  That afternoon I took him out and couldn’t get him near the flags.  He planted his feet and wouldn’t budge.  The installer gave me strict instructions NOT to force him to go to the flags.  So, I dropped his leash and tried to get him to follow me freely – nope.  I tried throwing a Frisbee – nope.  I gave up.  After a couple of days of this, I decided to just let him go.  One evening I put on his shock collar and put him out.  It was dark, but I could see that something had caught his attention at the side of the house.  I heard him growl and I saw him start in that direction, he didn’t get far before he bolted for the deck and ran for the door, his tail between his legs.  A successful lesson.  After that he has figured out to stay away from the flags and he also knows which collar “bites” him.  When I put on his regular collar and leash he will follow me past the flags for a walk.  Now it’s time to start pulling up every other flag for a couple of days, then every other again, etc. until they are all gone.  I don’t think it will be a problem, he’s a very quick learner.

2 thoughts on “That’s shocking

  1. I love my E-fence and will never, ever live without one again. Granted, an e-fence won’t protect your dog from marauding dogs and critters or even from being stolen from your yard, but my dogs never go out alone anyway. I have had up to three Australian Cattle Dogs, a breed that is notorious for it’s wanderlust and high prey drive. They also lean toward being a bit more anti-social with strange people and dogs … not a good combo for folks who walk their pets past my house at the end of a dead-end road. When my male was about a year old we fenced our 6.5 acre farm with e-fence. I wanted to be able to hike my own property without having to worry about the dogs racing ahead and chasing squirrels. My dogs have never left my property uninvited since, and that was six years ago.

    We did train a bit differently. My fence trainer walked on the outside of the flagged area and called my dogs. She had yummy treats. When they advanced and the beep sounded, she wiggled the nearest flag. She did let them get a low-level stim, which they associated with the beep and the wiggling flag. We repeated that for several days. Then she had us walk the line and toss bits of treats (cheese) outside the flagged yard. As the dog approached, we wiggled the flag as the beep sounded. Nobody got a stim because they knew better. The last proofing was when the trainer brought a strange dog with her. She and the dog walked along the outside of the yard. My dogs barked and carried on, but neither would step beyond the flagged area. We repeated that several times over the course of a few weeks. I’ve never had my dogs run through the barrier, and I’ve watched them chase a small herd of deer through the pasture, down the back acreage and come to a screeching halt just inches from the fence line as the deer continued on their merry way. I say God bless my E-fence almost every day!

    Occasionally my male will stand right at the edge of the barrier and let the beep just beep because darn it all, he knows the beep isn’t what stims him. Unfortunately, that can shorten the battery life of the collar, but I’m almost always within earshot and can tell him to knock it off. My dogs know the only way out of the fenced area is if I say the magical word, “Exit.” and if leaving to go for a hike, will stop at the edge and wait for me to allow them to magically pass. I think you made a very wise choice and eventually, you’ll never want to be without the safety of your fence!

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