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 Off Leash Recall and Chewing

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VegastheHusky
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Female Join date : 2015-11-16
Location : Napa, CA

PostSubject: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:08 pm

Hi all! First post. Smile

We have a spayed female Husky who just turned 2. We've had her from 8 weeks old (she came from a rescue I used to work for). She's been through all the puppy training and adolescent classes, and an adult basic behavioral class. She is SO smart and so sweet - not eager to please, like our hound mix, but loving and quick to learn.

She actually has far fewer "husky" behavior problems than a lot of our friends' dogs and other huskies we've known. She's not hyperactive or aggressively playful, and she calms down quickly when she does get excited about stuff. She definitely has a prey drive - she kills mice, voles, and even small birds sometimes (and chickens, unfortunately, but we learned that lesson quickly!), but she's very sweet and gentle with our cats and small dogs.

We have two major problems that I just don't know how to fix. The training program didn't help us with them, and our vet's only suggestion was more training classes. She's virtually flawless when it comes to her commands on our property - we live on about 4 acres so there's lots of room for her to run, but she comes when called almost immediately every time. She understands "no" and "leave it."

Off our property is another story entirely. She has gotten out a few times - mostly while we were home - and as soon as she leaves our yard she WILL NOT come to us when called. In fact, she'll no longer come to any of our neighbors because they've caught her before. She takes off running, and we live in a rural area where someone could mistake her for a coyote and shoot her, or she could run straight onto the highway. We only ever manage to catch her when she runs into the yards of people she's never met before and decides to stay and "chat."

Her other problem is destructiveness, but she only destroys things when we're gone. I don't think it's boredom; we walk/jog at least 3 miles 5 days a week, and play outside with the other dog all day on the other two days. Even twenty minutes after returning from a long walk, if I leave the living room for only 10 minutes or so, I might come back to find several shoes destroyed. She understands and obeys "leave it"; if I catch her with something she's not supposed to have, she'll drop it immediately. But I don't know how to discipline her behavior if she only does it when I'm not there. She's rarely home alone for more than 4 hours at a time, and that's fairly rare.

Anyway, if anyone has tips for either problem, they'd be greatly appreciated! We would never ever ever get rid of her for anything ever, but I'd like to think there's a way for us all to live in a little more harmony together.

Thanks!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:37 am

Welcome to the forum!

For the getting out part - we use a Petsafe Yardmax invisible fence around about 4 acres (we live on 30 but the petsafe only does 10 acres and thought of having to find him in the woods should he get hurt made me limit his range to the mowed areas and some of the brush/woods immediately surrounding that).  His receiver collar goes on first thing in the morning and does not come off until I lock the doors for bed.  Interestingly, now that he has learned the boundaries of the fence - one day last summer, I forgot to put his collar on and he stayed within bounds all day.  And about a month ago, I forgot to turn on the receiver and he still stayed inside the boundary.

As for the destruction?  Sounds like my first girl, Sasha.  We would always come home to something destroyed, as she got older it was mainly strewing the trash around and shredding any cereal boxes or other cardboard.  Then one day, I forgot my pocketbook, was only 5 minutes away, went back home and she was curled up on the couch...AND the destruction was already done!  In retrospect, I think it was a manisfestation of some separation anxiety.  We managed it by leaving a carefully stocked trash can just for her.  Now, 40 years later, I would probably use a crate.

You could try crating her, limiting her to 1 room that is husky proof (if there is such a thing and one member on here recently had a bathroom door destroyed when her husky inadvertently trapped himself in the bathroom.)  

Or, what we do, since I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, trust a husky alone in the house (Sasha just did way too much damage in her career Rolling Eyes ), is tether him to a 100 ft trolley in the backyard.  The trolley line is between 2 trees, he has a dog house out there, the yard is fenced and there is lots of shrubbery to block the view for anyone passing by - plus, we are very rural.  His trolley is sited so that he is up on a slight hill, he has pine trees to shade him and lean against, soft needles to lie in and he can "survey his domain" from there.  He prefers outside.

EDIT: Or, you could try ecollar training - some members have been very successful with off-leash training and the ecollar. But you would have to have the collar on when he escaped AND be within range. Look for wpskier's posts on ecollar training - her's have been most helpful to me.
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Boooknor
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:32 pm

Not telling you anything you probably didn't know already, but off leash recall for a Husky is not atypical and difficult to master. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, and I know a few lucky owners who were blessed with a Husky that can be off leash at all times. For the rest of us, more reinforced recall training seems like a good idea. I would also encourage practicing recall training in an unfamiliar area. Maybe an empty dogpark (if you can find one) or a fenced in school yard. Somewhere unfamiliar or infrequently visited, yet fenced in, where you can practice recalls. How do you practice your recalls? If the dog does not come on the first command, every time, he still does not fully understand the command and needs more training.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:37 pm

recall with Ami is spotty at best...I've been lazy with the training since I got the fence. Calling him by voice is almost useless - he does come to the vicinity but stays out of reach. BUT, I give 2 blasts of a lifeguards whistle and both dogs come barrel-assin' down to the door and zoom right in! Very excited and interested in what's going on.
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Boooknor
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:39 pm

Haha nice, whistle is a great tool.
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VegastheHusky
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:11 pm

She comes the first time, every time when she's inside the yard, with very few exceptions (if she's caught something, she stays away because she knows we'll take it from her). Outside the yard, though, she doesn't come at all. Period. She once ran up to the inn across the highway (the stuff of nightmares, I'm telling you), and she wouldn't come to my dad when he went to get her. He had to have one of the valets call her, and then she came. She's run over to the neighbor's house a few times and since the dad's caught her before, she wouldn't come to him either. Luckily his wife was home and when she called her, Vegas went right to her.

She hasn't gotten out in a few months now. We fenced off a smaller portion of the backyard and supervise her inside that when we're home, and then she and the other dog get locked in the dining room if we're gone for a long time. We also have a 12'x12' chainlink kennel with 10' fencing that they go in if the weather is nice and we won't be gone for more than a couple of hours. She's never managed her way out of that one but I don't know if it's because she can't or because she's lazy.

We may need to explore the invisible fence option for the perimeter of our property. I was just hoping we could train it out of her instead of simply fence her in. My other concern is how smart she is. I'm afraid she'll figure out that the "zap" from the invisible fence is only temporary and once she gets through it, she's free. Has anyone experienced that?
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:08 pm

I've not experienced that. But, I do have some ways around that. First and most importantly, it really is the training. You teach the dog the response to the beep (NOT the shock, its the beep preceeding the shock that they learn to respond to) and that response is to turn around and walk away from the fence. Take the full 30 days and do the training. And the proofing.

Second, if you can use the Yardmax in Yardmax mode - the correction will continue at intervals, with increasing intensity for as long as the dog is outside the boundary. It rests after 15 seconds of increasing correction and then starts up again at the final level of correction for another 15 seconds ad infinitum until the dog returns to within the boundary (or, I suppose, when the battery runs out, but I've found the battery has superb lasting power.) Unfortunately, we have a loop inside our boundary around an inground pool so we can't use the yardmax feature and have to use the traditional mode. It does not seem to make a difference with our dogs.

Finally, with husky fur, you really have to make sure the prongs are seated next to the skin - some suggest trimming the fur but even with my wooly boy, the long prongs that came with the set are sufficient providing I part the hair a bit and sort of "snuggle it in." My only caution is that, if your dog will be playing with another, regularly check the collar fit - the way huskies play, the can stretch the fabric collar by, yup, grabbing onto it and shaking the bejesus out of it (why the shakee does not complain about that, I do not know )

Hope this is helpful. We purchased the fence because, though we live in the country and have only light traffic, what does pass by is going very fast usually and there is not enough frequency for Ami to learn to avoid traffic - he just thinks its all visitors happy to see him.

Oh - and I never leave him loose if we are not home - he would go with anyone. He is kept in the fenced backyard on a trolley - he can't be seen from the road. You might actually find your girl more manageable if you kept her outside more when you are away - we regularly have temps down into the single digits in the winter and Ami stays out all day if we are gone - he has his dog house full of straw and a sort of solar water tank I jury-rigged to keep him hydrated. Summers, its the heat but he has plenty of shade, he digs himself a hole at the base of the pine trees and again, has lots of water available.
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VegastheHusky
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:24 pm

Thanks, Amy.

I'll have to look into the Yardmax. We initially tried to "dogproof" the yard by using electric fencing like we did for the horses, and she's VERY respectful of that. We had an e-collar for training, but after a while we didn't feel she needed it anymore (it was also our failsafe if she ever did get out, but it only worked if she got out and we could immediately follow her and use the correction to get her to stop moving).

Our area is the same! We're in a very rural vineyard area in the Napa Valley, and our property is big like the ones around us. Unfortunately, we're only about a third of a mile from the main highway, which isn't busy but is VERY fast. And, as you probably know, in a rural area people have all kinds of critters threatening livestock and pets. We know a few people who brag about shooting coyotes in their yards, and I wouldn't want them to mistake her for one.

Vegas is certainly no guard dog; she'd show a burglar where the good silver is and leave with him! I've heard some horror stories about huskies being stolen, so she's always inside or in the fenced-in portion of the backyard that can't be seen from the road.

My ideal is to be able to let her come inside and outside as she pleases hen we're not home, as our dogs in the past have been able to, but I can only do that if I know for a fact she can't (or won't) get out. She can't get out of the smaller fenced-in portion of the backyard (or at least, hasn't tried), but with all this property I'd love for her to be able to run around and play when we're not around.

How is the install for the Yardmax? From what you describe, it sounds like it might work well in combination with our current fence.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:53 pm

@VegastheHusky wrote:
Thanks, Amy.
My ideal is to be able to let her come inside and outside as she pleases hen we're not home, as our dogs in the past have been able to, but I can only do that if I know for a fact she can't (or won't) get out. She can't get out of the smaller fenced-in portion of the backyard (or at least, hasn't tried), but with all this property I'd love for her to be able to run around and play when we're not around.

How is the install for the Yardmax? From what you describe, it sounds like it might work well in combination with our current fence.

Just an observation - when its just Ami here, unless we are out with him, he's just lying around - either on the front steps, in his hole next to the foundation or out in the driveway looking down over the fields across the road. If Archer is here (my son's dog) they will play intensely in long spurts the first day or so, but then they are pooped and lie around for most of the day - unless we go out with them. They do have self initiated play periods usually first thing in the morning and at sundown but again, that is a time I am frequently out - taking out trash, getting wood, checking the bees etc. So I'm not sure leaving Vegas out loose in an invisible fence while you are not home will necessarily give her more play time. She may just wait for you (unless you have a 2nd dog?)

And - if she is so destructive - do you really want her to go in and out? We thought about a doggie door for free access but have a friend who had a bear try to come in through that door - reached his arm in trying to reach the bucket of dog food affraid We have lots of raccoons, possums, woodchucks, foxes and skunks so that idea did not appeal to me. We put in a "doggie doorbell" instead - a big yellow circle they either swipe with their paw or push with their nose and its at their nose height on the door. Its wireless and we did not mount the receiver in the house so we can take it to whatever room we are in...

As for installation. Mostly very easy, just tedious (in the thread, "training to invisible fence" a couple of us talk about installation hints.) The only thing about the yard max is because it can be either traditional or yardmax mode, you do have to be careful that the null wires (a pair of twisted wires that go from transmitter to the boundary wire) go in the right order - but that is fairly easy. Hook up the wires, turn on the transmitter in yardmax mode, turn on the collar go outside and approach the boundary wire. If the collar beeps INSIDE the boundary, you need to reverse the wires going into the transmitter, if the collar beeps outside the boundary wire, you're good to go. The manual explains it much better than I just did Rolling Eyes
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VegastheHusky
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:52 pm

That's the thing about Vegas - she only gets destructive if she's locked up in the house. My dad works from home, so if he leaves the back door open while he's home and working (so he can check on her periodically), she'll come and go, but she won't just stay in the house chewing. It's only when she's shut up in the house that she gets annoyed. That's why we dogproofed the dining room to lock them dogs in when we leave (if it's too cold or wet for them to go outside in their kennel).

We have a second dog that she plays with. He's older, so he doesn't want to play nearly as much as she does, but he does like to go trotting around the perimeter, "investigating" (he's a hound Razz). Where he goes, she'll go, so even if they're not playing, she'll move around more. Thats another reason I want to figure out how to make the yard safe. He LOVES being able to roam around the property, and it's not fair to him to stay cooped up just because she has to.

The final factor is that the neighbor dogs like to play along the fenceline with both of ours. They run back and forth at full speed until everybody's so pooped they can barely stand (which is GREAT for us!).

I do see your point, though. She's pretty lazy, especially for a husky. It just seems wrong to have all this space and not be able to let the dogs use it, especially if we're not around to entertain.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:04 pm

Then I think the invisible fence will work beautifully for your purposes bounce
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onefyasko
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:06 pm

Hi Amy,

Could you please tell me what Trolley Line you use (if a specific one anyway) and perhaps recommend a good sturdy harness? I wan't to try leaving Cloud outside when I am not home but currently don't know if I can fully trust his harness and tieout. He hasn't escaped out of it yet and when I go outside he is either tangled up behind some trees or just laying nicely on the patio.

I haven't ever left him outside when I am not home though, so even with a yardmax I'd like to make sure he is nice and secure.

Any suggestions?

Thank you as always!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:25 am

I bought it from Petco - I don't use a harness with it as I think Ami might be able to get out of a harness easier than his nylon web metal buckle collar fitted to 2 fingers underneath. Also - Ami has, on occasion, managed to unhook the snap shackels so I have a double snap shackle attached with a quick link. (Don't ask...I have no answer, suffice it say, it happened more than once after I was double/triple checking myself to make sure I fastened them correctly.)

We also added a turnbuckle on one end to keep it tight and I have rigged up a safety line to the tree as a backup should the line become unhooked. When we first put it up, the tension resulting from the wire being coiled in the packaging caused the wire to unwind the turnbuckle and let loose - I looked out the window and Ami was poised to jump into the pool...attached to one end of the tether attached to the loose end of the 100 ft trolley cable...wrapped around 4-5 pieces of metal mesh pool furniture...all about to go in the vinyl lined inground pool affraid

Ami initially got tangled quite a bit but I had switched out the 10 trolley tether for a 30 ft one. He actually figured out that if he got himself tangled, I came out and rescued him. Now, he knows, both on the trolley and on the leash, to go in front of trees/signposts/telephone poles etc. In retrospect - the 10 ft is probably a better idea at first.

Also - spend some time teaching him the limits of his trolley tether - so he won't go bounding and bounce off his neck. And...if he likes to tackle you (Ami thought I was a linebacker and used to regularly body-check me)...BE CAREFUL of your position in relation to the tether hanging from the trolley - Ami wrapped his line around my neck one day in a feast of zoomies.

Movies on - got to go...will be happy to answer any more questions you may have.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:39 am

This may sound cruel to some, but in my mind it's worth the effort to try.

Avalanche spends most of his time on a 30+ foot lead tied to a pole that supports the water catchment roof (a 3" square steel pole about 25' tall) He's nice about letting me know he's ready to come in - he'll stand out front and bark. Now, during the day time it's no big deal to go out and "unwrap" him from the pole ... at night, well, that's another matter.

What I've done is to simply tell him to "go unwind yourself" and go back inside. In a few minutes, he'll be at the front door (the other limit to the line) wanting to come in - he's successfully unwound himself in fairly short order. Avalanche wraps himself up - consistently clockwise - so he's apparently smart enough to know that a few times around the pole counter clockwise will give him enough line to get to the porch ....

If you use a trolley or a line (with or without the trolley) you might want to spend the time to give him the idea of what you mean when you say "unwind yourself", some dogs get it, some don't.

Sasha, my other dog can manage to get herself wrapped up in a scrawny weed and won't pull enough to get free, so getting her to "unwind herself" just doesn't work.

@amymeme - whatcha watching????
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:21 pm

The Ugly Truth with Kathryn Heigl and Gerard Butler.  They have really good chemistry together in this one...

Also - I don't leave Ami on the yardmax only when we are not home...he still wears his collar but he's also on the trolley, which is in the fenced backyard with both gates locked.  And hidden from street view with woods, shrubbery.  We believe in redundancy here lol!

What I've found is that the dogs really like to "survey their domain" so to speak...the elements that seem to make the trolley hospitable to the the dogs is it is somewhat higher than the the land to the east so the have a good view to watch the critters (deer, squirrels, chipmunks, cattle, birds and whatnot), there are 3 huge pine trees and 1 oak tree so they have both shade AND a "couch" to lean on (Ami has personalized the area with shallow holes within the roots of the pine trees and the soil is soft and cool, deep with decayed and fresh pine needles to curl up/stretch out in while keeping his back against the tree trunk).  I keep a huge water bowl in one his holes so he can't tip it over with his line.  And finally, for those really cold times, he has a dog house filled with straw.

Over a year ago, I think, a man named Hughie posted about a homemade trolley using heavy duty springs with cable purchase at a big box store.  Tractor Supply also carries the trolleys as well as all sorts of cable and hardware you could use to fashion your own.  The safety elements are some sort of spring to cushion the shock on the neck while the dog is getting used to it (a harness would be better for that BUT, a dog left alone has enough time to chew a harness and can reach it unlike a collar...unless you have a dog who has learned to back out of a collor.  Ami hasn't.  He has wriggled out of a harness.)
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:11 pm

Hilariously enough... when I got home yesterday he had chewed through his harness

I think the trolly line would at least promote him to move around more then he currently does. He does seem to understand unwinding himself but its when he does some weird figure eights around the trees that hes just totally done for.

I have a nice yard for him to be in. Its not HUGE but its almost an acre. Hidden from plain view and back in the woods as well. Fenced in all except for the neighbors fence.

As far as tackling goes, for some reason he wouldn't dream of jumping on me when I am not initiating the play, my girl friend however, he bolts at her full speed over and over until shes had enough and goes inside. Pretty funny actually.

I am hoping that I can find a yardmax on sale this Friday, figured id wait since it was so close to turkey day.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:14 pm

@onefyasko wrote:
Hilariously enough... when I got home yesterday he had chewed through his harness

I think the trolly line would at least promote him to move around more then he currently does. He does seem to understand unwinding himself but its when he does some weird figure eights around the trees that hes just totally done for.

I have a nice yard for him to be in. Its not HUGE but its almost an acre. Hidden from plain view and back in the woods as well. Fenced in all except for the neighbors fence.

As far as tackling goes, for some reason he wouldn't dream of jumping on me when I am not initiating the play, my girl friend however, he bolts at her full speed over and over until shes had enough and goes inside. Pretty funny actually.

I am hoping that I can find a yardmax on sale this Friday, figured id wait since it was so close to turkey day.

I bought mine from Dogfencediy.com...reason? they had a 60 day return policy rather than a 30 day so that way, if I was not successful training Ami, then I had time to return. I bought my son's at petsafe.net. Once you buy from them, you can get (ask) a 30% discount on any accessories.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:21 pm

Also - if you go for the fence, I have a pdf that I can email you with extra installation and training tips that Ifound really helpful.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:23 pm

ANd...when I was purchasing, there were NO deals.  Everyone had it for 299.  Looks to be pretty much the same except they have 1 for 263 at this place.  No black Friday deals on it last year, either...

 https://www.blinq.com/detail/home-garden/pet-supplies/dog-supplies/petsafe-yardmax-rechargeable-in-ground-pet-fencing-system/302486?condition=brand-new&adpos=1o8&creative=72064140967&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CPjRkNjjqckCFQgKaQodnIkAxw

EDITA: Oops, maybe too late...someone has it in their cart
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onefyasko
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:36 pm

Okay sorry for being so late on the update... Sleep

I got the fence, installed it around the yard, did the training. After day two, he was already EXTREMELY aware of the border. For a few days it was to the point that he wouldn't even go into the yard. (Hes okay now, I think he got that the yard is a safe zone.)

I let him run around a bunch now and I even tried to take the collar off for a second and get him to go to the border. Nope, won't even go near the hole in the fence at all.

Still keeping an eye on him when he is off tie out, and keep him on the tie out when I am not present.

I ended up getting the system for 250 from amazon, on a random deal that popped up for a second.

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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Off Leash Recall and Chewing   Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:09 pm

@onefyasko wrote:

Still keeping an eye on him when he is off tie out, and keep him on the tie out when I am not present.
I ended up getting the system for 250 from amazon, on a random deal that popped up for a second.


That IS a good deal! Glad to hear its working for you.
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