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How to Train a Dog to Respect Boundaries Without a Fence

Not all dog owners may afford to own a fence, or if they own a fenced area there may gaps through which the dog escapes. In these scenarios, it may be quite frustrating to deal with a dog that escapes every chance it gets. As annoying as it can be, you can train your dog to respect boundaries using a voice command and positive reinforcement training. Keep in mind though that this will require lots of practice, patience, and consistency.

How to Train Your Dog to Stay in Your Property Without a Fence

The first step in boundary training is to find some tasty treats your dog is particularly fond of. Kibble does not count. You want treats that make your dog drool such as hot dogs, pieces of cooked skinless and boneless chicken, some slices of juicy leftover steak, or freeze-dried liver.

The next step is to temporarily use a long rope to provide your dog with a visual mark for the boundaries you want your dog to respect. Use some poles or sticks you can place in the ground at specific corners so to attach the rope to mark the boundaries.

To help you train, it may be helpful to invest in a treat pouch that attaches to your belt, or that can go around your waist. This allows you to have your hands free. Another important piece of equipment to have handy is a long line. A long line is a very long leash (similar to what is used in horses) used to train dogs.

Once you have put the boundary lines up, leashed your dog with the long line, and filled up your pouch bag with tasty treats you are ready to train. Keep the long line loose but not so much that you are not ready to pull him back to you if he is about to pass the boundary lines. If your dog shows an intent to escape or gets too close to the boundary lines, say a firm ''leave it'' pulling the dog towards you and luring him with a treat. Repeat often.

It may take lots of repetition for your dog to grasp the concept that ''leave it'' means ''stop what you are doing and come get your treat''. But it is certainly worth it. As the dog starts responding to the ''leave it'' command then some challenges may be gradually added.

How to Add Distractions into Boundary Training

It is part of training dogs to add challenges under the form of distractions to increase reliability. This means, you will need to test your dog, but gradually and systematically. If you ask too much at once, you will put your dog up for a fail.

You may have some volunteers walk by the road at a far distance after the boundary lines. Ask the volunteers to ignore the dog, just walk by without talking or looking at the dog. The moment your dog shows an intent to pass the boundaries says ''leave it'' so the dog can focus on you giving the treat and you can prevent him from bolting towards them to say hello.

As he gets better, allow the passer byer to walk closer to the boundary lines. If your dog ignores your ''leave it'' you can always enforce it by pulling your dog back to you and giving a treat. Your goal however should be having him leave it and come voluntarily to you.

Other distractions would be having people walk by with a dog, have children walk by, and create other tempting scenarios. As he gets better, you can remove the long line and train him off-leash. You should only do this though when he is very reliable. It takes one mistake of him getting out of the boundary lines for his whole training to go back to basics. If he escapes the moment you take off the long line, it means your dog has realized he is free. Put the long line back on and keep it very loose so he barely notices it is on.

If he does very well without the long line, you can lower the boundary lines to the ground but still keep them there on the ground for a visual sign, continue the ''leave it'' exercises. Finally, you can remove the whole boundary lines if you wish, but it does not hurt to keep them. Keeping them up all the time may be also helpful if they are not a nuisance.

However, consider that this form of training works well only when your dog is under your supervision. If your dog is left to his own devices he will eventually learn he can pass the boundaries without any trouble and will learn to get out the moment you are not around.

Of course, boundary training is not an option for aggressive dogs or properties located near trafficked roads. It may work well though for mellow dogs or properties located in rural settings. Boundary training also will not protect the dog from other roaming animals that may cross the boundaries. It should therefore be used as a last resort when other fencing options are not possible, or temporarily while fixing up gaps in the fence. All dogs should be kept secured ad restrained in a fenced area for peace of mind. If fencing is not an option, check with your local ordinances, in many areas dogs are prohibited from ''running at large''.

About the Author:

Diane H. Wong is a content writer. Besides, she is a research paper writer at DoMyWriting so she prefers to spend her spare time working out marketing strategies. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.

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