Dog can't be weaned from invisible fence collar 0
(QMI Agency files)
Q: I have an underground fencing system for my dog. Is it reasonable to expect I could wean her from it? Our road is fairly busy and I do want her to stay on the yard.
A: If whenever we have lunch, my friend Pavlov, with every vibration, checks his smart phone, I can modify his behaviour using the same approach as the fencing system you use with your dog. Every time Pavlov reaches for his phone I say: “Wagga-Wagga.” Should he ignore me and move to his phone, I toss a bread roll at his head. If the bread roll has no affect I adjust the intensity and toss a glass of water at him instead. With repetition, what will come to mind when he hears “Wagga-Wagga” is don’t touch that phone warning.
Saying “Wagga-Wagga” and throwing dinner rolls are not changing the nature of my friend, only his behaviour, and the collar that beeps and shocks isn’t going to change your dog’s nature either, so if either of us stop using our tools, there’s a real chance at some point Pavlov and your dog are going to take note. Your dog may end up leaving the yard and Pavlov will soon find himself eating lunch without me.
Some people get these containment systems as an insurance policy to keep their dog safe and consider themselves their dog’s primary supervisor. Others use them because they want their dog to be out in the yard.
I’m more of the insurance mind set. I don’t believe that, to a dog, happiness and a yard are the same thing.
It’s true, well exercised dogs need less training, train more easily and of course are healthier. What isn’t true is that the average dog will get exercise in a yard, no matter how large. The type of meaningful exercise that produces real cardio, doesn’t come from a dog hanging out in a yard. Most dogs, at best, sprint for the odd squirrel, dig a hole, bark at the neighbour cutting her grass and eat some cat or rabbit poop. None of that is exercise.
As a rule, until a dog is an adult (or if I got it as an adult, for a solid year) I don’t let the dog in the yard alone. I want to make sure I teach those things that an invisible fence can’t. Don’t bark at the neighbour, don’t charge the fence (invisible or not), don’t eat my garden hose, don’t dig holes.