Training Your Hunting Dog to an In-Ground Fence

In-ground fences are safe and effective ways to keep your hunting dog in a safe area.

In-ground fences are safe and effective ways to keep your hunting dog in a safe area.

In-ground fence containment systems have risen dramatically in popularity over the years, and there’s good reason. In-ground fences are safe and effective devices for keeping your dog in a safe area. Most dogs take to this very quickly, especially hunting dogs that are used to E-Collar training. In fact, If you’ve been properly using an electronic collar for hunting, your job is partly done already. Your dog probably sees the collar as a signal it’s going to go somewhere or do something enjoyable. But even if your dog has never worn an e-collar, it’s not a problem. Here are a few simple steps to train a dog with no e-collar experience to an in-ground fence:

“Come” and “Here” Commands

You and your dog will want to work on these commands during 10-15 minute training sessions in the yard. Your dog should always wear the Collar Receiver in the yard to reinforce that “this device means I cannot leave my boundary”. To work on training, reinforce “Come” and “Here” commands using your check cord (if you intend to start and e-collar training program, this is a great time to start associating the tone sound on your system with “come” or here”). With your dog stationary at the end of the check cord, say “Come”/”Here” and give the check cord a light tug until your dog comes to you. Repetition is key here. You want your dog to respond correctly 100% of the time a command is issue. For more help on the “Come”/”Here” commands you can watch our video on YouTube or read this article in the Hunting & Education portion of our website.

Introduce Your Dog to the Fence

Your system will come with flags to mark the wire. These are critical to the training process, so make sure you get these up before you let your dog in the yard with a collar on. After the flags are up, put the Collar Receiver on your dog with the power turned OFF. Walk the dog around the yard so that he/she is familiar with the new boundary area. Whenever your dog tries to wander past the boundary, give a tug on the check cord, thus teaching the dog that the proper response to the flags is to stay within the boundaries.

Go Live

When you feel that your dog has successfully associated the flags with receiving a correction, it’s time to turn the Collar Receiver on. This process can take anywhere from a couple of hours depending on your dog. Remember to be patient. This is a marathon, not a sprint. With the Collar Receiver turned on, walk your dog around the yard. You need to always remain in the safe zone. When your dog is corrected (it is going to happen and that is a good thing. This is a leading process.) he/she will return to you. When this happens be generous with praise because they have obeyed a silent and non-verbal cue. Your dog will quickly learn the yard is a preferred area to anything across the boundary.

Side note: If you wish to use the “tone” function on your e-collar as a “Come”/”Here” command this process is great to reinforce you as the safe zone. When your dog learns to associate the tone with you, that training will apply across platforms.

Do you have an in-ground fence? What is your experience with them?

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