You can train your dog to stay within your yard, but this won’t stop him from leaving if he is faced with a tempting object. It will also not protect him from being attacked by a wild animal or another dog. The best way to protect your dog from these dangers is with a physical fence! It is worthwhile to train your dog to remain within boundaries, especially if you live in a neighborhood where fences are prohibited by homeowners associations. Just remember to only ask your dog for this behavior when you’re present so that you can protect or retrieve your dog immediately if necessary.
This training goal can be approached in the same way as any other: using positive reinforcement, we teach our dog to stay where we want them to.
Boundary Train your Dog
If you want to teach your dog how to stay in an unfenced yard, you can do so. However, you will only be able to use it when you’re present. Photo by Yevgen Romanov, Getty Images.
How to train your dog’s boundaries without pain or force:
Attach a long rope (or ropes) around the perimeter to create a visual barrier. Have a selection of high-value treats in your treat pouch. Attach a line to the collar or harness of your dog. Choose a cue to tell her to “stop” and to come back. It doesn’t have to be the same one you use to train. You can use any word you like, not just “boundary”. Every time she gets close to the rope, use your cheery “Fence!” and give her a tasty reward. You’ll soon see her look up at you and perk up when you say, “Fence!” Gradually move further away from the border. As she gets closer to the boundary, say “Fence!” and take a few steps towards the interior of the yard. You want to use “Fence” as a cue to stop what she’s doing and come to your yard to get her treat. You’ll be able in time to tell her to step back and, eventually, you won’t need to remind her at all. She’ll stop on her own. You can reward her with a tasty treat. Next, you can add distractions, such as someone walking by, and then try the exercise without the long rope. ).
You can now leave your dog unrestrained in an unfenced area, and still be confident that she will stay within the boundaries of your yard. Remember: This will not work if you aren’t there. There will be a distraction that is so tempting to almost any dog, it’ll make them cross the line.
No shock collars
We do not recommend using any collar-based “training systems”, whether GPS or buried wires are used to set the boundary. Manufacturers have tried to convince the public that these devices are not painful, but the truth is they wouldn’t be effective if the dogs weren’t scared. And no amount of pain will stop some dogs from running into the shock boundary zone. Numerous stray animals are found in animal shelters with these devices. A class action lawsuit has been filed in California Federal Court against Radio Systems, the manufacturer of the PetSafe collar. The plaintiff alleges that the company misrepresented the collars to be safe and harmless for use on animals when in reality they harm them.
Boundary Training Whole