Electric Dog Fences. Here Steve explains how they really work.
One Electric dog fence company says their containment collar has 128 levels of correction. Are more levels of correction better for training? Will it help training go quicker?
First, let’s outline what “levels of correction” are:
- “Level of correction” is a term used to describe the intensity of the shock the dog will receive when crossing the boundary.
- Saying there are 128 levels of correction means there are 128 different levels of intensity in the shocks the dog can receive.
Telling dog owners that their pet needs so many levels of correction is confusing and unnecessary. A simple correction is just as effective as many levels.
If you’ve ever touched a hot stove accidentally you know how a correction works. When you put your hand on a hot stove did you care what the temperature was or did you just know it was unpleasant? You probably just wanted to remove your hand as quickly as possible. If the stove was 165 degrees would it have made a difference to you? What about 168 degrees? Hot is hot! All we need to know is that the heat caused pain. What mattered is that it was enough of an uncomfortable stimuli to get our attention and cause us to pay attention to where our hand was at the time it received it’s ‘correction.’
The same is true of dogs experiencing corrections on the electric dog fence.
Instead of focusing on many levels of correction, the trainer should only let a dog get a correction when it’s behavior is confidently inquisitive or confidently bold, never when the dog is fearful or scared. Training is so important in teaching a dog where it can safely go in the yard and where it should avoid. Proper training – although it may seemingly take a bit longer – is fairer to the dog and promotes solid lifelong understanding.
What is the most important part of an electric dog fence?
All 3 physical parts of the electric dog fence system are equally important for containment success.
- You must have a transmitter that works well and is reliable during power outages…
- a collar that is adjusted properly so that the probes from the collar make contact with the dog’s neck.
- and a good solid wire that will bring longevity to the task of keeping your pet safe!
However the most important “part” is really not electronic.
It is the proper and complete training of your dog. Proper and complete training takes between 2 and 4 weeks on average, but may be shorter or longer depending on a number of factors including your availability and the personality of your pet, and whether or not the training is done properly.
The more often you take your pet into the yard and he doesn’t get a shock or correction (you read that right), the quicker their training will proceed, generally. This is assuming that you, the dog owner are the ‘good guy’ and that the trainer is the one the dog is associating with the corrections, warning flags and beep.
Taking your dog out about 10-12 times a day for just 2-3 minutes each time helps your dogs comprehension and speeds up training. Lots of short sessions in the yard.The best method of training follows the format of two roles: trainer and good guy. The “good guy” is a role best filled by you. You are your dog’s best friend and most trusted companion, after all! While you show your pup that the yard is a safe and fun place to be, one of our expert trainers will teach the dog that they must stay within the boundary of the yard.
Training is more than a word. Its more than giving the dog a few ‘shocks’. It’s a lot more. It’s exposing the dog to the stimuli over time he will encounter in his yard and train him the way to proceed is away from the flags and perimeter not towards them. Even when what they want is on the ‘other side’ of flags. Its reading the dog’s behavior and body language and preventing him from getting a correction if he is scared in the yard.
It’s this and more.
Proper and complete training takes time. Dogs WILL be fearful or scared in the early stages of containment training. Why? Because something ‘bad’ just happened to them in their yard. Although we know and understand, and even our children can understand the concept of ‘stay away from the flags/beep/shock’ the way dogs learn is experiential: Paws To The Ground.. We can not explain to them verbally what they need to know so the only way they learn is the way all animals (that can’t understand complete verbal communication) learn; through their experience.
The best, and fairest way to train is to have an experienced behavioral trainer doing the containment training and the owners be the ‘good guy’. This way the dog associates fun and trust to the owner and not fear and the connection to an unpleasant stimuli.