Annie Spratt

Step Three: Testing with Distractions

The goal of the third step of training is to ensure that your dog has really learned the new boundary rules. This can be done by testing the dog in a controlled situation, creating distractions beyond the boundary line. When you have your dog on the leash, you are able to test the dog’s understanding and obedience with the boundary rules without having to worry if he will break through the boundary line. 

The Setup

Fit the Collar with the Correction On

Just as you did before, the collar will be activated on the proper correction level setting and fitted properly to the dog. 

Decide on the Distractions

Now, in this step of training, you want to make sure that the dog will respect the boundary line even when there is a distraction or temptation on the other side of the line. As no 2 dogs are the same, think about what things trigger your pets the most. Perhaps he loves to chase a ball. Does he like to run after other dogs, cats or the mailman? During this phase of training, you want to have your dog’s biggest temptations in mind.

Playtime

As always, start and finish the session by playing positively to keep things fun and interesting for your dog.

The Training 

To complete step three of the training process, you will do almost the same thing as you would in step 2. However, you just need to add a distraction to the mix. Your dog should begin on a long leash inside of the safety zone. Your dog should be allowed to wander for a few minutes. Next, a temptation should be introduced on the other side of the fence line. The dog should be tested with as many common distractions as possible. One thing you can do to test your dog is to throw a ball over the line. Another thing you can do is to have your friend or a friend with a dog walk next to the perimeter. You can also have a friend come in the yard and walk over the boundary line to see if your dog follows. 

Should your dog stop at the boundary line despite the distraction, he should be rewarded with a lot of praise and a treat. If he decides to try and cross the boundary line, do exactly what you did before, saying “no” and pulling the dog back quickly. After the dog has moved back inside of the boundary, give him a little bit of praise to let him know that is what you wanted him to do. 

If your dog decides to cross the boundary line during any of the distraction training, more time needs to be spent reinforcing the boundary rules with your pet. You can then retest using the same method. After your dog consistently is able to handle any distraction you try, it is time to proceed to step four, releasing.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash