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Step 3: Testing With Distractions

The Goal 

The goal for Step 3 of training is to make sure the dog has really learned the new boundary rules. We do this by testing the dog in a controlled situation with distractions beyond the boundary line. Testing the dog’s understanding and compliance with the boundary rules while he is still on leash will allow us to fine-tune any training without the risk of the dog breaking through the fence line.

 

The Setup 

Fit The Collar With Correction On 

Just like before, we’ll activate the collar on the proper correction level setting and fit the collar to the dog. 

Decide On The Distractions 

In this step of training we want to see the dog respecting the boundary line even when there is a distraction or temptation on the other side. Every dog is different, so think about what your pet’s big triggers are. Does he love to chase a ball, does he run after other dogs or cats, or is it the mailman he likes to chase? Have your dog’s biggest temptations ready to use during this step of training.

 

Playtime

As always, begin and end the session with positive play to keep it fun and interesting for your pet.

 

The Training

The third step in the training process is almost identical to Step 2 but with the addition of some distractions outside the perimeter line. Begin with your dog on a long leash inside the safe zone. Let your dog wander for a few minutes and then introduce a temptation on the other side of the fence line. We like to test the dog with as many common distractions as we can think of, especially those things that we know are triggers for a certain dog. Try testing your dog’s compliance by tossing a ball over the line, having a neighbor or friend walk by outside the perimeter, having a friend bring another dog to walk by the perimeter, and having a family member begin inside the perimeter walk past the dog and through the perimeter. In the video below you can see a good example of somebody using distractions to tempt the dogs.

 

If your dog stops at the boundary line despite the distraction, reward her with loads of praise and a treat. If your dog attempts to cross the boundary line do exactly what you did in the last step – give the ‘no’ command and pull the dog quickly back into the containment zone. Once they are back inside the boundary give some brief praise to reinforce what it is you want them to do. 

If your dog does cross the boundary line during any of the distraction training in this step, you need to spend more time reinforcing the boundary rules with your pet and then re-test using the same method. Once your dog consistently demonstrates an ability to pass any distraction test you use, she is ready to proceed to Step 4 : Releasing.