How to Teach your Dog Respect for a Fence


 Fence Respect Keeps them Safe!

I am fortunate to live on a small amount of acreage, and when  we first moved here, 30 some odd years age,  there was no fence. Letting the dogs out became an early morning ritual of putting on shoes, jacket… basically getting dressed before that first cup of coffee.. My dogs have always had good recalls, but early in the morning you just never know what will be outside your door when you live in the country.. so my dogs were always monitored …  Those that needed to be on a leash, were..!

hold your own leashThe Day we fenced in the yard, My Life Changed..!

Years and dogs later, we fenced in the yard.  We realized that two thirds were already  fenced in now with horse fence, so it became an easy project.  The yard, with access from both the front and back door, became a great asset for both my early morning coffee time, and teaching the dogs about impulse control and fence respect. I am a firm believer that ALL dogs should respect a fence and should not climb on, jump on, dig under or otherwise challenge  its boundaries. Teaching a dog to respect the fence should not involve you yelling or screaming at the dog, nor should it require a lot of “patching’ or rigging to keep the dogs in. My yard is fenced with a four board Horse fence, wrapped on the inside with wire that is 2 feet high.. yes.. two feet high. Dogs could go through, or over… but they choose not to… why..? Because the FENCE said so…

Why a hot wire is the best, kindest way to teach fence respect…

Yes I use an Electric/ solar fence charger. I started using them years ago when my big, itchy butt horse decided that the fence was a good tool to scratch on. After constant repair,  It became obvious that both the fence and myself were getting the worse end of the deal, after all there is plenty of trees and a nice shed in the field that could be used for butt scratching.  Within a weekend I had the insulators and the wire installed, attached the solar charger, and like magic, respect for the fence from a 1500 lb animal, who to this day, still respects the fence even though it has not been on since I added the goats a year ago.

Because many rescued dogs end up homeless due to their ability to get out of a fence, one of the first lessons that my foster dogs learn is fence respect. All my dog yards have been hot wired and are turned on when a new dog appears. Most dogs only have to touch the wire once or twice to get the message, and the best part about it is they do NOT connect it to you.  I have on occasion, had a thinker of a dog, usually a herding breed, that will actually analyze the situation and try a different approach.  For example, I had a corgi mix, named Shorty, he came from a rescue because he got chewed on by a big dog, so he had some attitude and was very, very smart. Once he realized that jumping up on the fence was a bad idea, he decided to dig under.  A low wire along the bottom of the fence fixed that problem.  Shorty excelled in his rehab, healed nicely and was adopted to a wonderful family, where he stays in his fenced yard.corgis go for a walk

What about the Leash?

Your dogs leash is probably the most important tool you have to help your dog understand what it is that you expect from him.  NEVER, Ever go anywhere with your dog/dogs with out a leash for each one, no matter how well behaved your dog/s are. One thing you can never depend on is how well behaved or trained other dogs are that you may encounter.. I never go out without one pocket full of cookies and the other full of a leash. My pack and I take a walk every morning after all the chores are done, and although we are walking in a field that is fenced in with  four board horse fencing, I am always prepared.  Our Free walks are just that, A time for the dogs to run and play, sniff, tug and dig. From my point it is a time to watch, enjoy, and ponder, but to also train, especially recalls.  And the leash? Funny how the leash on our free walks has become the symbol of the chosen one.  When one of the dogs is causing trouble, and the leash comes out, it is not looked upon as a punishment, but because it goes hand in hand with the dispersal of cookies, being leashed is a privilege  and just like a busy child, the dog causing the trouble has been redirected and peace is restored…

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