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 Training with an Invisible Fence

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Barczewska
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PostSubject: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:02 am

Hey all,

I am aware the topic of Invisible Fences is controversial, I have done a ton of research regarding them and have decided this is the best option for us.

THE BACK STORY:

We recently acquired a new dog in the house. He is a major escape artist. In the week we have had him, he has managed to escape his crate, bend the gate in the yard to go on a 25km run to the next town (taking Kesler along with him...and resulting in me having to bail them out of the pound) and has climbed our existing fence twice. So has a result, in order to deter him from getting close enough to the fence to climb it, I have elected to install an invisible fence.

THE QUESTION:

So, even though I have done a lot of research on the training involved, I am wondering if anyone has any breed-specific tips regarding training him on the fence?

I plan on a 3 week initial training plan (barring setbacks). Week one: On-leash training around the perimeter of our yard. I am installing the fence on the other side of the existing fence, so I am using the flags that come with the fence to show him his new "in yard" boundaries. Week Two: Long line training in order for me to still have control but for him to explore the new boundaries on his own to learn. Week Three: If all goes well with week one and two, off leash with me in the yard watching closely.

I am really hoping that this works, as I don't want to have to tether him, I would like him to be able to tear around the yard with Kesler. Building a bigger (unclimbable...ish) fence is NOT an option as we have a very large property.

KEY NOTES:
- The invisible fence is only a supplement to our existing fence (new fence not a possibility)
- The dogs are never left outside when we are not home
- The dogs are supervised when they are outside (But I would like to be able to get things done and let them play for as long as they want rather than being a helicopter mum)
- I REALLY don't want to lose one of my babies over this Houdini factor


Fire away Smile

Thanks!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:06 am

I have no hints but am in the process of installing a Petsafe Yardmax in-ground fence. I will let you know how it goes. I have the wire laid, two more splices to go. We are putting the fence in to give our boy (and his "nephew") 4-ish acres to roam while we are out side. The back yard is fenced with mostly 4 ft chain link and a bit of 8 ft wood privacy fence. It would be cost-prohibitive to conventionally fence that much area.

I had a dickens of a time getting a section of wire inside an old garden hose to bury in the gravel driveway - used kite string to tie a couple of nuts (as in nuts and bolts) for weight. First the string came untied...twice. Then I tried magnets to pull the nuts down, one magnet wasn't cutting it so tried 2 and I inadvertently got the 2 stuck together. The magnets didn't do it either, finally resorted to good old fashioned shaking the hose with hubby holding the end over his head and feeding the string. Between husband and I, it was a good three stooges affair. However, once I got the nuts through, getting the wire was easy as pie!

Ami and Archer are really good at respecting the chain link - there are gaps that he could easily dig under and I've seen him jump - he could easily go over if he wanted. But, even with a baby deer on the other side of the fence or me working on the other side, never even attempts to go over, so knowing how "boundary" oriented he is and his response to ecollar, I am confident it will work...we shall see.
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:16 pm

I ended up getting the Petsafe "Stubborn" in ground system...just because I liked the 3 steps of correction. Depending on how it goes, I may end up switching to the Yardmax eventually since it is rechargable (Major plus for sure).

Please do keep me updated! I will be laying the wire tomorrow (thankfully the weather forecast changed) and then the training will begin! Also will have to train my fiance I suppose Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:27 pm

Laying the wire...stupid me pulled lots of wire off, then layed it. Tangles,twists etc. Hubby told me, unroll the wire as you go...I didn't listen. On the first roll. Did on the next 3 rolls.

Also, I used the google map feature with right click and measure distance. I found it to be incredibly accurate. I had to go through brush and woods. I printed a map in satellite mode with my boundary on it...I was able to use it easily to find landmarks in the brush! When I came to the end of the first roll of wire, I was probably within 5 ft of where the map said I would end.
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:46 pm

Those tips for laying the wire help alot!!! Thanks Smile

Do you find the wire rather flimsy?? I think I might end up changing it to a larger gauge if there are lots of break alarms happening
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:13 pm

We were on the fence about that since ordering 2000 ft made the difference significant. A family down the street with same soils as us put in a 20 ga. fence years ago and said they've never had a break. Their's is totally buried. Except for the driveway where the wire is inside a hose and will be buried, the rest will be just laying on the ground - in the ditch, or through the brush and woods and held down with landscape stapels. Crossing existing deer trails, I will be pinning the wire tightly to the ground and covering with leaves and dead branches.

It was a gamble. If we have a lot of breaks, we will upgrade!
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:26 pm

How is Ami doing with the invisible fence??
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:13 pm

@Barczewska wrote:
How is Ami doing with the invisible fence??

Inquiring minds want to know. Sasha would be content inside a four foot fence, but I have an electric fence from another dog (that I never set up) and I'm wondering how that would work for Avalanche, who could clear four feet with no problem. I'm thinking that he'd be more reluctant to try to go through an electric fence ( wimp that he is ) but then he might just decide that a rabbit munch was too good to pass up ( if he could catch it! Smile )
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:38 pm

It's just a guess, but I would imagine that an invisible fence as an add-on to your current fence is probably a good idea. Normally invisible fences are deemed inadequate because the dog would be willing to take a one time shock in exchange for freedom. However if they have to spend a minute climbing over or digging under a physical fence while getting that consistent shock I think it might be enough to keep him inside the fence. We have an invisible fence from our previous dog and it worked, but I haven't bothered to use it since as we don't have a physical fence to go along with it. So again this is all just a hypothesis.

You could also get him a sturdier crate to keep him from breaking out in the first place:


Huskies are great at destroying things, but I have yet to see one break through thick steel. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:54 pm

We are still in week 1 of training - 3x per day, I put the collar on him, tone only and walk to the boundary, when he enters the correction zone, I give him a second to hear the tone and then a loud "no no no" and "assertively" pull him back in. At first, he just looked at me like I was nuts, sort of "shrugged his shoulders" and wandered someplace else in the safe zone. It took 2 days before he is now actively walking the boundary without entering it, but I don't think he's really responding to the tone yet. He has not had correction yet.

Archer on the other hand after 1 training session would skedaddle out of the zone upon hearing the tone.

So, we shall see - Ami has always been very boundary responsive (any place we go that is fenced or on tether, he immediately explores the boundaries, then, satisfied, he stays within without challenging it. It almost seems to calm him to know the boundary. Which is why he is easily contained in a 4 ft chain link with several places he could crawl under if he wanted and, with his size, could easily climb and though he does not know it, could easily jump (I've seen him leap over things in play - I really should train him in agility...)

Will keep you updated.
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:51 pm

Chiming in! I used the invisible fence "on" my fence we got it used from another husky owner and bought the wire at Lowes (Petsafe yellow wire). This worked to train Bourbon. It was to keep him from climbing up and out. He listens for the warning (sometimes he would go up to the vibrate but not phasing him) he does not climb anymore.He did figure out where he can wear down the battery. ip map your wire well in case you want to change it (they are a bit tricky to find again).

We had him on the inv fence for a little over a year. We just stopped using it as we realized that battery was out and he did not do anything to "signal" that it was out. (Indicating that he was trained.)

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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:27 pm

Colleen - that's good to know. The yard max doesn't have a vibrate which I wish it did 'cause Ami is highly responsive to the vibrate on the ecollar.

Don't know how much deer this guy is gonna' chase away...he's been sacked out under the kitchen table all evening. Except when I took the cheese out to grate for the lasagna Laughing

I have a google satellite map of the wire path as well as flags in the woods to mark it.
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:07 pm

Glad to hear that he is doing well with the training. Sinatra responds well to the beeping and vibrations and backs off the fence right away now, but he did get zapped a few times when he ignored the beeps and we moved to the next training step. Needless to say, he no longer ignores the beeps.

The only problem we are having is that now that he has been zapped, he seems reluctant to explore the yard as much. Like he blames the entire yard rather than the boundary. So now we are continuing to show him the boundaries (back to beep/vibrate only) and using positive encouragement in the "safe zone".
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:43 pm

I had a similar problem with Ami and the ecollar as he became velcro dog. I backed off on that training for a while, went back to it and used only the vibration setting. I also put him on a 25 ft retriever training lead and let him roam and explore while wearing the ecollar but not actually using it. Ultimately he came back to his bouncy old self and I can use the ecollar on walks and he wanders at will - takes it all in stride.

I wish my yard max collar had a vibration setting. The stupid little "beep" is, I think, slowing his training. He is getting the hang of it but not nearly as rapidly as Archer. And it annoys me that I cannot hear the beep unless I have my ear right next to Ami's face so I have to rely on the placement of the flags and hope that is both accurate and reproducible.
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:45 pm

Thanks for the tips with eliminating velcro dog!!

Yeah, the vibration is awesome, that is why I went with the "Stubborn" dog system.

I am sure he will make the connection though, he seems like such a smart boy Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:02 pm

Into the 2nd week of training:

Added the static correction for Ami...that did the trick on the low setting for timid dog.  At first, he would not go within 20 feet of the flags - even on the driveway next to the mailbox which is where I always begin his walks.  And when I took him into the woods where there are no flags, turns around as soon as he hears the beeps.

With Archer:  Took down the chicken wire around the pool, swapped the training collar for the fence collar, still on tone only...even when Ami races up to the pool deck and between the pool and forsythia, Archer goes to the boundary and turns around.  And that is even when Ami is actively inviting him for play.

A note about training 2 dogs:  The manual says to train each of them separately which I have been doing.  Yesterday, I was short on time, it was getting close to dark and Wayne was nagging me to get the dogs out for training, said "just do both of them together - when Ami sees Archer turn around, it will help him learn..."

BAD IDEA.  Two huskies on independent long lines is a recipe for disaster   First they tangled me...then they wrapped Ami's line all around Archer's front leg so worried about breaking a leg or severing a tendon...undo that then wrap the lines around me again...then they start to wrestle again, Archer seems to be wandering too far away and "Wait" affraid   Archer's prong collar has disconnected and heeeeee'ssss OFF...to the races.  Quick, Wayne where's the cat?!!?  Kitty is safely in the 2-car with doors closed.  (A passing thought:  Archer is so beautiful and graceful in his long, joyful arcs around the front yard and field)  Capture the squirt, try 1 more time (Yeah, I have an amazingly flat learning curve Rolling Eyes )...this time Archer line gets wrapped around Ami's lower jaw...I held both dogs absolutely still with their collars while Wayne high-tailed it to the rescue.  Untangle again, Wayne takes Archer's leash, comments "wow, he sure can pull" and then, a slow, thoughtful..."I guess this was a bad idea."  

Yup, it was a bad idea.

I will continue this another few days then start adding distractions.  Though, not together Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:25 pm

Glad to hear they both seem to be doing fairly well with this! Albeit in different ways Razz And I will make sure that if I ever decide to get a collar for Kesler, that Sinatra has been fully trained so I am not faced with two crazy dogs on leashes Razz

Sinatra is still too scared to go in the yard (stemming from other extreme anxiety issues that have relapsed...working on that), so we are working on things extra slow for him.

Kesler managed to chew the wire apart...in the HARDEST place to fix....namely, the section that you twist together to get it back to the house once the circuit is complete. Devil.

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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:50 pm

@Barczewska wrote:
Glad to hear they both seem to be doing fairly well with this! Albeit in different ways Razz And I will make sure that if I ever decide to get a collar for Kesler, that Sinatra has been fully trained so I am not faced with two crazy dogs on leashes Razz

Sinatra is still too scared to go in the yard (stemming from other extreme anxiety issues that have relapsed...working on that), so we are working on things extra slow for him.

Kesler managed to chew the wire apart...in the HARDEST place to fix....namely, the section that you twist together to get it back to the house once the circuit is complete. Devil.


What a brat lol! I buried the null wire both to the house and from the boundary to the pool boundary - I figured that would be too much temptation for mischievous huskies. I also bought 200 ft of twisted wire since I've a bit of "I love lucy" in me - figured me twisting the wire with a drill would end up a MAJOR "Lucy Moment!" And me covered in wire Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:05 pm

Good call on the preventative measures!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:29 pm

We had a good afternoon with the fence today. I had Ami on 25 ft long line without me holding it. Went about my business, including down to the mail box which is outside his safe area (and where we always enter and leave for our walks...until the fence went in. Putting dog in the car for every walk is PIA Mad ). Ami walked with me to almost the warning zone, looked at the flags and stopped, waited for me to get the mail and then followed me back to the house.

Then I went out into the brush to put more flags down while it's thawed and I let Ami get out of sight...he stayed in bounds. Actually, he found something really stinky to roll in...and roll in...and roll in Rolling Eyes He may not have house privileges tonight if I can't de-stink him.

At this point, as soon as he hears the beep, around he turns with alacrity! I was holding the spare collar to locate the boundary in the brush and Ami was following behind me - every time the beep sounded, even though he wasn't there yet, he skedaddled in the opposite direction! So prompt, I may abandon placing the rest of the flags (especially since I got a fine twig slap across my eye Mad )

Now I have to get a litter box for the garage so kitty has a safe place while Ami roams.
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:26 am

Wow I am so happy it is working out. We are still totally with our collar off for over a month now! (we have a regular fence too this was for anti-jump training!) We have had no issues. Granted he did try to follow me out of the gate door this past wekend but sat down next to it and when I turned to shut the gate he got up to continue through. I had to tell him no no. What a pitiful look!

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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:33 am

@aljones wrote:

@Barczewska wrote:
How is Ami doing with the invisible fence??


Inquiring minds want to know.  Sasha would be content inside a four foot fence, but I have an electric fence from another dog (that I never set up) and I'm wondering how that would work for Avalanche, who could clear four feet with no problem.  I'm thinking that he'd be more reluctant to try to go through an electric fence ( wimp that he is ) but then he might just decide that a rabbit munch was too good to pass up ( if he could catch it! Smile )

Al, I didn't have enough experience with the fence to intelligently answer this question when you posted it. I do have some insight, now.

I've watched Archer wearing the collar in the backyard while playing with Ami who was not wearing the collar yet. (He hadn't shown a response to the collar yet and I didn't want him finding out he could go through the pool wire or let him get corrected without knowing what to do.) Archer and Ami would be chasing in wild style, Ami would go between the forsythia and the pool (my new daylily planting where Ami loves to "plant" his bones Rolling Eyes ) This was a running loop that they have been doing since Archer first arrived last June. Archer would be in mad pursuit, right up until he got beeped, then he would abruptly turn around and stand and watch Ami, but would not go into the correction zone.

I think the training is really the key - they learn to turn around at the first beep. And not letting them have freedom until the response is automatic. Which is what I am seeing in Ami now.
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:41 pm

Ali we did use the invisible fence on our 4.5' fence to keep Bourbon from jumping/climbing our fence. As I just mentioned above he now does not need it as he is now trained to leave the fence alone. I also got my invisible from another husky owner who reccommended that I do this. So there is another person who agrees that it can work for a husky invisible and 4' fence.

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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:03 pm

Today was the first day I let Ami and Archer off leash out of the chain link area. Archer tested the boundary twice I think and both times immediately turned and came into the safe area. I now really understand what the training is about - it's really so the dog understands that turning around and going BACK AWAY from the tone/correction area is the right response. I think it would be inhumane to just let them loose without the training - they would not know what to do and would end up getting corrected way too much. The second thing is, I really taught them WHERE the boundary is so they are not surprised. Now we will see how successful the fence is in keeping them contained...so far, they seem to be keeping me in their orbit.

It was really neat at one point. Both dogs were out of sight, I went behind the garage complex and called. After a minute, 2 sets of thundering canine feet came at me from 2 different trails. With very happy, excited tails bounce

So color me...cautiously optimistic!
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PostSubject: Re: Training with an Invisible Fence   Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:13 pm

Training Update:

Today, for the first time, both dogs are outside with me in the house (running from window to window Rolling Eyes ) by themselves. We've developed a new ritual in the morning since Ami has been mostly sleeping inside at night now. I take Ami out the front door, off leash. He trots directly to the shop where Archer spends his night, I let Archer out of his crate, put his collar on (which is a treat, let me tell you, the little wiggle worm explodes from his crate and goes immediately into play mode with Ami. I have to straddle the squirt, keep Ami away with my left elbow while my hands buckle the collar onto Archer).

Then I open the door and both dogs exit in sort of a rolling, tumbling explosion...and off they go, round and round the garage complex with a brief stop for pee.

This morning, instead of staying out with them, after I was certain they were still responding to the boundaries, I came inside. Left the gate to the backyard open and after 15 minutes, Archer came to the back door looking for breakfast. Ami was not with him so I called, and shortly after, Ami came trotting through the gate. Would not come inside though so breakfast was al fresco. And I can now feed the two of them, untethered, side by side. Archer is minding his manners and doesn't try to budge Ami out of his bowl. Though when they are done, both have check out the other's bowl Rolling Eyes

So we shall see how it goes...I do not relish having to chase down doggies...fortunately, Ami seems rock solid and Archer always comes when I call his name but even Archer would not follow me to the mail box 2 days ago so here's hoping...
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