The Goals for Step 2 are:
- Teach your dog about correction
- Continue to reinforce the boundaries of the containment zone
In preparation for Step 2 you will need to:
- Reactivate and set the correction for the system
- Fit the collar correctly
Setting the Initial Correction Level for Training
You can reactivate the correction on the collar by adjusting the system controls or removing any covers on the contacts. You will also need to make an educated guess as to how high to set the correction on your system. We usually set it high for big or hard headed dogs, medium for even tempered medium sized dogs and low for small and/or timid dogs.
Fitting the Collar
This is very important because an incorrectly fitted collar is the most common cause of dogs ‘ignoring’ a correction. You must make sure that the two contacts on the collar are both touching the skin of the dogs neck for the collar to work correctly. With long and/or thick haired dogs you will need to use the longer contacts and may need to cut some of the hair in order to allow for a good connection. If you purchased the Innotek UltraSmart Contain n Train Dog Fence System (IUC-5100) or the PetSafe UltraSmart Underground Dog Fence (old IUC-4100) you can use their collar check mode to make sure a correct fit is made. In general, a collar is fitted correctly if you can only fit two fingers between the collar and the dogs neck, any looser and the contacts are probably not touching skin.
You will now be adding correction to the training which will add a consequence to not obeying the boundary border area. Since they already learned what to do when they hear a warning beep in Step 1, the correction will serve as reinforcement to obey the boundary limits that you have set for them. You will also reinforce what to do in order to get the correction and beeping to stop.
So let’s get started with Step 2.
- As with Step 1, attach a leash before taking the dog outside.
- Allow your dog to lead you around the safe zone
- Make sure to praise your dog every time it stops and turns away from the limits marked by the flags.
- If the dog gets too close and gets a correction, be assertive in doing the same as in Step 1 by redirecting the dog back into the safe zone and saying ‘No’ in an authoritative voice. Do NOT baby the dog, the shock is like the static shock that you get from a rug, surprising, but does not hurt you. You can test the system on yourself if you like, we have.
- Once you turn the dog and they retreat make sure to praise them for re-entering the safe zone.
- Do NOT allow your dog to be shocked more than once a training session. If your dog has been shocked, turn off the correction or cover the contacts again. You want to train your dog not punish it.
- Continue the same pattern as Step 1 with 3 sessions a day for around a week.
- When your dog is staying away from the boundary area and refusing to cross the boundary on a regular basis you will be ready to start Step 3.
Frequently Asked Questions for Step 2 Training
Does the correction hurt my dog?
No, the correction is meant to get your dog’s attention and is a mild shock, similar to the static shock that you can get from shuffling across carpet and touching someone else. We have actually tried out most of the collars ourselves and you can do that as well to see what your dog feels.
My dog barely reacts to the correction, is that a problem?
Your dog should react to the correction by turning back into the safe zone immediately in order to not get corrected again. If this is not the case, the correction level may not be high enough, turn it up one setting and see if that creates some urgency with you dog. Continue to turn up the setting until you get that urgency to turn back quickly and you will have found the right correction level. See below question and answer as well if turning up the correction level does not help.
My dog seems to ignore the correction?
As with the first question, your dog should react with some urgency to the correction to move back into the safe zone quickly. If this is not the case, there could be a couple of different explanations.
- The most common problem when dog does not appear to be getting a correction is that the collar is not fitted correctly. Check to make sure that the contacts are touching the skin of your dog’s neck at all times. This is almost always the case when dog is not reacting.
- If the collar is fitted correctly and you have gone through the steps of turning up the correction level with no reaction you will need to check to make sure the batteries are fresh or that that collar is fully charged.
My dog got corrected once and will not go anywhere near the boundary line now, is that okay?
If your dog is or has become very sensitive to the correction you may want to try the following:
You can turn down the correction level until the dog reacts with urgency to get back into the safe zone but not low enough that the dog barely seems to notice the correction.
You also need to make sure that you are not part of the problem. When the dog gets corrected you need to be firm with the dog and not baby them. Make sure you scold them for trying to cross the line but also reward them for turning back quickly.
And finally, you need to make sure to help make the safe zone a fun place for your dog to be, so they recognize it that way. Play with them and even feed them to reinforce the safe zone area.