Having raised my doggy child in apartments and a condo for most of her life, one of the big perks of this house for both her and us was the half acre of flat land it sits on. We would talk about how Chloe was going to love running around outside without a leash. More specifically what we really meant was “I can’t wait to not have to take her out in the rain or cold” (I know, I know we’re terrible doggy parents but I swear the colder it is the longer it takes her to do her business).
The first day we moved in we tied and outdoor lead to the deck so that she could go out on her own on the deck and for about 20 feet out into the yard. Then Ken installed the fence with the help of a power edger and a day off of work we got this:
We naively thought that because over the past few years we had trained Chloe to an obedience collar that this fence was going to be a piece of cake. I mean after all, that was one of the main reasons for getting the collar so that if in the future we were to get an invisible fence she would already be trained to the warning beep and the zap if the warning was ignored.
WRONG! What we didn’t anticipate was that we had used the collar to teach her to heel, teach her to come and over all behave and never leave our side whether on a leash or not. That’s all well and good until you walk to the other side of the fence – Chloe tries to follow – gets beeped and her response is to continue running toward you (since we were the idiots that trained her to come with a beep). Not good. Especially if you don’t wan’t her to make the connection between getting shocked then getting on the other side of the fence where the shock stops. After all, if you know that the shock may be worth it to gain freedom.
Chloe is also no spring chicken anymore, she’ll be turning 7 next month and she isn’t as fearless as she used to be. Our few attempts at taking the leash off and calling into the center of the yard – far far away from the border mind you – have her running back to the safety of the deck once she realizes how far out she is. Needless to say there is work to be done. We’re seeing progress though, she doesn’t seem to want to be anywhere near the border and 9 times out of 10 if she gets beeped she beelines towards the deck without sticking around to find out what will happen. That’s great as long as no one is the yard next door, walking by, walking a dog, kids playing outside etc.
Hopefully soon we will be comfortable leaving her out there without watching like a hawk, and she will actually enjoy it. Fingers crossed.