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Old August 27th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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LaurenBev LaurenBev is offline
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electric fence - help

Hi all,
Just yesterday we installed an electric fence for Leo, our dog. We decided on an electric fence for a couple of reasons:
1) after observing Leo for about 4 weeks now, we don't get the sense he has a strong prey drive, even though he IS a coonhound (which might explain why he was abandoned - might have been a terrible hunting dog)
2) a 'real' fence would have been much more expensive and we wouldn't have been able to afford to fence our entire property - only a small portion of it - our yard is approx 2 acres, and we wanted Leo to have LOTS of room to roam and play
3) Leo can dig fairly well, and we were afraid he might dig himself right out of our expensive 'real' fence, rendering it useless;

So... we went with the electric fence and have put it around our entire property. Now my questions for all you knowledgeable pet owners:

I wasn't home yesterday when they installed it and gave him his first training session (my husband was there) so I didn't really witness what went on, but my husband tells me that they did some training with Leo and he got some "stimulations" (as they call them) and wasn't to happy about it, and now Leo is all nervous outside. The trainer (who's coming back in a few days to do more training) told me that I should just work on taking Leo outside in the yard and sitting with him to help him learn that the yard is a safe place, and that she will take care of training him and showing him the boundaries. So, fine, I will work on that. But, Leo is TOTALLY bummed out. He doesn't want to walk around the yard with me at all, he only will sit on the grass near the house. I hope he'll get used to this - he seems pretty upset about this new development in his life. So, I'm looking for others who've had experience with this type of fence - is there just an adjustment period for the dogs to get accustomed to the fence? How long? I just hate seeing my big baby so stressed out!

I know this may be a controversial topic, and some may not agree with electric fencing, but for us, it was the best option we could think of, to give Leo the freedom to enjoy some open space to run and sniff and play in, while also keeping him safe. I myself put that collar on and tested the boundaries and got a "stimulation" which, while unpleasant and uncomfortable, was not really painful - but it's not something I enjoyed.

Anyway - anyone with any advice or familiarity with this type of situation, I would love to hear from you. I trust the advice on this column very much and rely on you all to help me through the uncertainties of owning my first dog.
Thanks,
Lauren and Leo
p.s. Here are some recent funny pics of our sweet pooch.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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When the fence was installed, was the perimeter flagged? We've never used an electronic fence, but I do know that flags are usually used to give the dog a visual idea of the area he's allowed in. If he doesn't have that cue, then for all he knows, there is no safe area.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 09:38 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Is there any way you can put in posts and string a bright rope around your property with some sort of flags, as Hazelrunpack mentioned? Having a visual cue makes a lot of sense.

Is it possible for you to be present when the trainer works with Leo so you can see exactly what she does with him?

Leo's just the most sweetest looking pup .
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Old August 28th, 2008, 06:37 AM
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LaurenBev LaurenBev is offline
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Yes, there are bright flags around the whole perimeter. I will be there for the next training session, so I will be able to see what's going on. It's just so distressing to see Leo SO upset about going outside, when the whole point of this fence was to be able to give him the freedom to eventually go outside untied, and have the ability to roam and sniff and enjoy! I guess I'm getting ahead of myself - they say the training can take a few weeks, and it's only been 2 days - its just so hard for ME to see my dog so visibly nervous and skittish. He normally LOVES the outdoors.:sad:

Well, hopefully time and training will help and soon Leo will be a happy hound once again. Poor thing.

I am pretty hopeful that he will get it though - I've already taught him to 'sit', 'lie down' and 'gimmekiss' all with minimal time spent - he's really smart. We're working on 'come here' now.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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I think that he will get used to the perimeter fencing in good time. He probably quite a bit confused right now and got a little scare with the new system, but will figure it out. Just make positive experiences like it sounds you are doing inside the area....and maybe reinforce to him with "bad" vocal cues when you are near the fence.

I see you have a big lap doggy there...he is so adorable!
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Old August 28th, 2008, 06:15 PM
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LaurenBev LaurenBev is offline
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Thanks Purple, you're probably right - I think he will get used to it - hundreds of dogs get electric fences each year and I assume most of them get use to it, so Leo will too - it just stinks to see him unhappy.

And, yes, Leo is 75 pounds of unabashed lap dog. It's one of his many endearing qualities!
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