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How to Train Your Dog to Your New Containment System

Congratulations on your new PetSafe containment system! Proper training of your pet is essential to the success of your PetSafe fence. Have fun with your pet throughout the training process.

Training should be fun, fair, firm, and consistent. While we suggest a minimum of 14 days of training, depending on how your pet learns, the training could take more or less time. Don’t try to do too much too quickly.

Train for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Short, frequent sessions are better than longer, less frequent sessions. If your pet shows signs of stress, slow down the training schedule, add additional days of training, or increase the amount of play time with your pet in the Pet Area. Common stress signals include:

  • Pet pulling on leash toward the house
  • Ears tucked
  • Tail down
  • Body lowered
  • Nervous / frantic movement
  • stiffening of pet’s body

Your pet must be completely comfortable near the Boundary Flags at the end of every training session. To make sure he’s comfortable, spend at least 5 minutes of “play time” at the completion of each session within 10 feet of the Boundary Flags.

You must also finish each training session on a positive note with lots of praise and play. Even if you think your pet is responding well to the training, complete the entire training. Reinforcement is important!

Before training, put a separate non-metallic collar on your pet’s neck above the Receiver Collar and attach a leash. Make sure you have tiny treats that your pet will find desirable (hot dogs or lunch meat work well), as well as your pet’s favorite play toy.

Day 1 - Boundary Awareness, Tone Only Training Mode

Perform 3 10-15 minutes sessions on the first day of training. The goal of this first training session is to have your pet learn that the Boundary Flags and warning beep from the Receiver Collar define the new Pet Area. Program the Static Correction Level on the Receiver Collar to Level 1, tone only training mode. 

  • pet fence training flagsBegin by walking your pet on a leash in the Pet Area. Calmly praise and talk to your pet and move toward the Boundary Flags. Be sure to keep the mood happy.
  • With full control of your pet on a leash, walk to the flags. As your pet enters the Boundary Zone, the Receiver Collar will begin to beep. Allow your pet to stay in the Boundary Zone for up to 2 seconds, then gently help him back into the Pet Area.
  • Immediately praise and offer your pet a treat as he enters the Pet Area, even if you have helped with the leash.
  • Repeat this process at the same Boundary Flag until your pet resists going into the Boundary Zone. Then move on to another flag. Aim to master 3-4 Boundary Flags per session. Be sure to make this FUN!

Days 2 - 4 - Continue Boundary Awareness, Introduction to Static Correction

Perform 3 10-15 minutes sessions every day during this phase of training. The goal of this phase is to train your pet to stay in the Pet Area and to respect his boundaries. Program the Static Correction Level on the Receiver Collar to Level 2. 

  • Repeat the steps in Phase One. If your pet does not respond to the Static Correction, confirm that the Receiver Collar is fitting properly. If the Receiver Collar is fitted properly and your pet does not respond to the Static Correction, increase the Static Correction Level by 1.
  • Watch for slight reactions at first such as ears up, head turned, looking at the ground. Stay at the same flag until your pet resists going into the Boundary Zone.

Days 5 - 8 - Distraction Phase

Perform 3 10-15 minutes sessions every day during this phase of training. The goal of this phase is to train your pet to stay in the Pet Area with distractions outside of the Pet Area. Be sure you use external distractions and never coax or call your pet out of the Pet Area. Program the Static Correction Level on the Receiver Collar to Level 2 or higher, depending on the reaction results from days 2 through 4.

  • dog fence trainingCreate distractions to tempt your pet to enter the Boundary Zone while maintaining full control of your pet on a leash. Have a family member cross from inside the Pet Area to outside of it, throw a ball or treat outside the Pet Area, or have a neighbor walk their pet outside the Pet Area.
  • If your pet does not move toward the distraction, praise and offer a treat. If your pet does react to the distraction, allow him to go into the Boundary Zone. Help your pet back into the Pet Area if he does not turn back after 2 seconds.
  • Treat and praise your pet anytime he comes back into the Pet Area with or without help.
  • Repeat this process with other distractions.
  • Gradually increase the distraction level as your pet continues to ignore the distractions and return to the Pet Area.
  • If your pet does not respond to the Static Correction, confirm that the Receiver Collar is fitting properly. If the Receiver Collar is fitted properly and if your pet does not respond to the Static Correction, increase the Static Correction Level by 1. Don't increase the level by more than 1 level at a time. Stop and go back to the previous level if your pet shows any signs of fear or distress

wireless fence training for dogsDays 9 - 14 - Unleashed Supervision

Training sessions should start at 10-15 minutes, gradually increasing to over an hour. Your pet is ready for this step only when he clearly avoids the entire Boundary Zone, regardless of any distractions or temptations. During this step, do not leave your pet unattended. The goal of this phase is to give your pet free run of the Pet Area off the leash.

  • Enter the Pet Area with your pet wearing the Receiver Collar at the appropriate Static Correction Level. Walk around the yard and play with your pet, staying within the Pet Area at all times.
  • Preoccupy yourself with another task in the yard while watching your pet.

Days 15 - 30 - Pet Monitoring

At this stage your pet is ready to run free! You need to keep an eye on your pal when you let him out, but do not have to be outside with him.

Once you are satisfied that your pal understands his boundaries, begin removing every other Boundary Flag every 4 days until all the flags are gone. Make sure you put the flags somewhere safe in case you need to use them again in the future to train another pet or to help retrain your pet at a new home or when you're on vacation.

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I see now where I went wrong in my training is that I stopped training after about 4 days. Your training shows a nice plan for a 2 week training program.

I’m having a hard time with my dog not feeling the correction. The collar doesn’t fit right. We tried trimming her hair and puttin on the long posts.

Hi Mandy,

So sorry to hear that you are experiencing any issues with this collar. We would love to talk to you and troubleshoot to see what could be going on. Please call our Customer Care department at 1-800-732-2677 M-F 8a-8p or Saturday 9-5, EST. We hope to hear from you soon!

hi, do you place the flags inside or outside the beep zone

Good question, Carol! The boundary flags should be placed right on the border of the beep zone. What you’ll do is walk toward the boundary until the receiver collar beeps and the test light tool illuminates. Then, place a boundary flag in the ground that the location where you hear the beep and see the light of the test tool flash. We’re happy to answer any other questions you might have. Or, if it’s easier, you can also call our Customer Care Center experts with any questions (1-866-738-4379 M-F 8am-8pm EST and Saturdays 9am-5pm EST).

This information is very helpful.  Where can I find the test light too. You mention?  Thank you.

Question…starting to train my dog….the collar beeps but when I tested it the test light thing DIDNOT light up that I could tell…..is it still working correctly? and my dog DOES NOT seem to notice the beeps/tone at all..can I start the training on level 2?

What do I do if the dog gets out of the containment area?

Hi Barbie,

If you need further troubleshooting help, you can contact our Customer Care team: http://www.petsafe.net/support/contact-us

Hi Nicole,

If your pet gets out of the containment area, try to bring him back to your yard. Before you get to the boundary, take off his collar so he won’t be corrected when he returns. Hook your dog up to a leash or carry him across the boundary.

Then you need to troubleshoot your transmitter and collar to find out what happened. Did the battery in the collar die? Did the transmitter lose power? Was the collar on the right setting? Did he complete his training, or does he need a refresher course? Did your dog chase something outside the area?

You can find specific troubleshooting in your fence manual or online: http://www.petsafe.net/support/fencing You c.an also call Customer Care: http://www.petsafe.net/support/contact-us.

I hope this helps answer your question, and I hope this never happens to your pet. Thanks for reading!

We purchased an invisisble fence recently and Are trying to start training our mini aussie, whos about 7 months.  In day one we started bringing him across and rewarding him for coming back in the yard, like instructed.  He seemed ok until the collar suddenly shocked him when he crossed the wire.  I later realized i had it on level 4 (my fault), but it continued shocking him when he crossed back into the safe zone.  He seemed really traumatized, we immediately took the collar off and gave up for the day.  The next day after changing the collar to level one, he seems really scared while outside and lowers his ears and body and pulls to go back inside.  I dont know what to do!  Aussies are very smart and we thought he would catch on quickly, but teddy also gets scared very easily and he is stubborn not to have anything to do with the training outside.  Help!

Hi Grace,

It sounds like your Aussie has associated the yard with the negative experience. You might need to pause your training for a bit and remind him it’s safe to be in the yard. Remove the fence collar and just play together in the yard. Give him lots of treats, toys, and affection until he’s no longer fearful. Make sure you have a backup way to contain him in the yard or keep him on a leash.

Give us a call at 1-866-738-4379 and our Customer Care team will be happy to walk you through the best way to handle the rest of your training.

Hi! How old do puppies need to be to start training on the wireless fence system? Thanks!

Hi Tory,

For best training results, your pet should be at least 4-6 months old and know basic commands such as Sit and Stay.

Give our Customer Care team a call at 1-866-738-4379 if you need any help with training.

Thanks for reading!

We purchased and installed a pet safe underground fence in 2010. We are now about to train a new dog on the fence. The instruction book that came with our fence says that on day 1, the collar is set to level “2 or 3”. Then on days 2-4 raise the collar lever to “3 or 4”. But that’s not what is on this page. This page suggests using collar setting level 1 (no static correction) for day 1. Which is best for first day of training?

Hi Jessie,

Congratulations on adding a new dog to your family!

The manual for the fence you bought may have changed. We now recommend starting with tone-only mode, level 1 on the collar, for the 1st day of training.

Our Customer Care team would be happy to answer any additional questions you have about training your new dog. Give us a call at 1-866-738-4379 if you need help.

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