Moving into this house, we knew that the 3-foot fence would not keep Ransom contained [see: Homeward Bound and Great Escape]. One of the necessities would be an invisible/electric fence.
We researched the different options, professionally installed vs. self installed, brands, wired vs. not... You wouldn't believe the options! We found a very helpful website - http://www.dog-fence-guide.com/ - and we finally settled on the Sport Dog brand, wired fence, installed by us. We chose it because it has the strongest wire of the non-professional brands. The only "bad" reviews on this brand was that the stimulation box on the collar is kind of large and that it begins at a higher stimulation level than other brands. Since we have a large, stubborn dog...this was not a big deal. We searched the town for one in stock, but ended up buying for a great price on Amazon [of course].
On Sunday, Hubs and I - more Hubs than I - installed the fence. For anyone thinking about doing this - it isn't that difficult. It requires planning, time, and a little hard work. And then the dreaded training began.
The advice in the book is : BE PATIENT WITH YOUR DOG. This is so true. That first day, I thought it would never click with him. After getting shocked twice, he just wanted to go inside. So, we backed off to the tone/vibration only and he finally came back into the yard on his own. [Hubs and I both felt the stimulation shock and it really is just that - a shock. Not painful at all.]
Then, I started seeing that it was clicking with him. When he heard the beep/felt the vibrate, he immediately turned around and came back into the yard. VICTORY! However, I knew that after he realized that there wasn't a shock anymore, the white flags would no longer be a deterrent. He may act like one sometimes, but he's no dummy.
So, yesterday the stimulation came back on. We hung out together for a while outside. He situates himself in the very center of the yard, with his wood. Far from the flags. So I keep on working on pulling weeds. After a while, he gets bored and starts sniffing around and I see him heading straight towards the flags.
I call for him. Multiple times. But he is in that zone and can't hear a thing. Sure enough he passes the flags and doesn't listen to the beeps. Right when he reaches the buried wire I see what I'm expecting - YELP and a run straight back into the yard. I then take him back to the flags and wiggle one so to remind him that he is supposed to pay attention to these. We walk the perimeter of the flags - reviewing.
And then he runs straight to the back door.
I am really happy with how it is working. He gets the picture and stays far from the boundary line. I think we will have to increase the stimulation again - when we get to the "distraction phase" of training [read: going outside when bunnies and squirrels are out]. But, I really think that with the right training, this will really work for him.
And so far, he has not jumped the fence.