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Week 1: Moving forward with on-leash dog fence training

Now that you've spent at least a couple of sessions helping your dog understand how to respond when he enters the correction zone, you're going to start adding the correction that will make venturing past the invisible boundary aversive to him.

For the next week, you should follow the steps outlined below, remembering to keep your dog on-leash every single time he goes outside. Fair warning: If you let your dog simply wander around in the correction zone when you're not training him, your dog will quickly become confused and you'll end up spending a lot of time doing remedial training; in other words, more work, more stress, and less fun for you and your dog. So, follow a good training process right from the start, and you'll quickly have a dog that reliably stays in his yard.


1) Raise the correction level on your dog's fence collar, if necessary. For your first training session, you will raise the correction level, since you used the lowest possible correction (preferably tone only) when introducing your dog to the fence. After that, though, you'll need to make a judgment call about whether to raise the level on each subsequent training session. Your goal is to raise the correction level one step at a time until it is just aversive enough that your dog no longer ventures into the correction zone.

NOTE: You do not need to raise the correction level for every single training session. In fact, a good goal might be to raise the correction level once every day during the first week of training until you can tell that your dog finds it aversive even when highly distracted (see step 3).

2) Let your dog interact with the invisible dog fence. Just as you did when you introduced your dog to his new fence, let him wander into the correction zone at will. Allow him to linger in the zone for a few moments, and then use the leash and your voice to help him move back into your yard. When he returns to you, praise him and give him a treat.

3) Tempt your dog with distractions. At some point, your dog will no longer want to just wander into the invisible boundary when distractions are low. So, you need to raise the distraction level during your training sessions for two reasons: 1) you want your dog to avoid the fence even when exciting things (think squirrels, kids, toys) are on the other side of the boundary, and 2) you want to know how high you need to set the correction level to keep your dog in the yard when distractions are naturally high.

Some ideas for tempting your dog to enter the correction zone are:

  • Throw a ball, favorite toy, or toy into the correction zone. Use your leash to stop your dog from actually getting the treat or toy, though, since you don't want him to be positively reinforced for being in the correction zone.
  • Train when you know distractions will naturally be high. For example, train in your front yard as kids are walking to and from from school.
  • Drop the leash and walk across the correction zone yourself. When your dog follows you, immediately walk over to him, pick up the end of the leash, and guide him back into the yard.

NOTICE: Do NOT call your dog into the correction zone. When you call your dog's name or say, "Come," you want him to always trust your guidance. If you tell him to come to you and he gets a correction, you will damage his trust and he may stop responding to your direction in the future.


  • Keep your training sessions short. Five to ten minutes two to three times a day is plenty.
  • Always keep your dog on-leash when he is outside. During week 2, you'll move to off-leash training.
  • Don't punish your dog for going into the correction zone. The invisible dog fence delivers all of the correction your dog needs. Instead, your job is to praise your dog for doing the right thing (coming back into the yard) and to keep his stress levels low.
  • Don't get stressed. Any time you teach your dog something new, it can be stressful. If you or your dog starts to get stressed by the fence training process, simply end the session and try again later.

Did this article answer your question? If not, Google the keyword phrase "invisible fence training" to learn more:

Next: Moving forward with off-leash training (week 2) >>

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