Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Does an "invisible gate" really work?

We have had a lot of customers ask us about the "Invisible Gate" method. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, it is used in the invisible fence industry to describe a method in which to get a pet to cross his/her invisible fence line to take them for a walk, etc. It is explained that as long as you exit with your dog at the same point, such as a corner of the yard, every time you want your pet to exit his/her boundary, your dog will  learn that it is safe to exit at this point. We could not disagree with this more! Dogs are very black and white. No I'm not describing a Dalmatian but rather a dog's learning behavior. There is no "gray" area where a dog will understand that "oh it's Tuesday morning, now I can exit the yard" because you want to take them for a walk. Once the underground fence training process is complete and your dog fully understands their new boundaries, the first time you attempt to walk them out of the yard on that Tuesday morning for a walk, your dog will put up an enormous fight. You will be getting strange looks from the neighbors while you try and drag your dog across the line that you have taken the time to teach them to avoid in the first place. I've always been baffled with some of our competitors advising this method to customers. Here is what we advise as an alternative to confusing your dog and causing unnecessary stress. You need to get your dog off of the ground, in order to allow him/her to exit their invisible fence. This way they do not associate the fact that they are exiting the yard. I know this sounds odd, but bare with me. The best way to take your dog for a walk or for any other reason to exit their boundary, is to remove the fence receiver collar from your dog and then say the command "walk" or "lets go for a walk" and then if they are a small/medium size breed, pick them up and exit the yard, place them on the side walk and enjoy your walk. When you return from your walk, reverse this process and place your dog safely back within the boundary and reapply the receiver collar. If your dog is too large to carry out of the yard, have them hop onto the back seat of your car or bed of your truck, back out of the boundary, have them hop back out and then go for your walk. Reverse this process when you return. You can also use an ATV or even a wagon. Just as long as they are off the ground when you cross the boundary. This way your dog will associate either you, your truck, car or wagon with the safe and ONLY way out of the yard. This will eliminate any confusion and stress for your dog and guarantee that they will remain safely contained within your invisible fence boundaries.

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