By The Lake – Dog Training

In our last home, we had a postage stamp sized back yard.  With a wooden pike fence on one side, a hedge on the other, and a wire mesh fence on the third, as well as a gated driveway, we had the dog contained. Chloe, a border collie/pointer cross, weighing in at 70 pounds could do 3 full circuits of the backyard before you could count to 60.  And so, each morning, each afternoon and each night, she bolted out the back door at mach speed to reign terror on any wooded creature that dared to cross our threshold.  It is all different now.

She Escapes, Again and Again

Here, by the Lake, we are on a level wooded lot with a large front lawn, and a larger back lawn.  There is a barrier, some might call it a fence on north and south sides of the yard.  Such barrier, however, to Chloe is aspirational.  For within five short minutes, she had escaped through a gap large enough to drive a tractor through.  In fact, the purpose of the gap, was likely to bring lawn mower tractors through.  In the first week in residence by the lake, I have gotten to know several of my neighbors.  First they would see the blur of black and white that was Chloe charging.  Then they would hear the long drawn out command: “Chloeeeeee … come baaaaaack!” repeated a few times and increasing volume.  Next, they would see me marching across their private back yards, leash in hand, scowling … What an introduction!  Luckily, Chloe is a very friendly happy dog, and not the menacing type.

A Solution … Or a Start at a solution

And so, after a week of this I moved on to the next phase.  My first thought was to patch the fence.  One square acre of land.  That’s a lot of fence.  And with a dog that runs at light-speed, rapidly patrolling the perimeter, and also a dog who could dig a hole deep enough to sink a tractor in minutes, I was hesitant to try.  If I didn’t succeed, I would hear from my new neighbors.  Moreover, I would be working on their border.  If I put up an “ugly patchwork fence”, I would actually be invading their site-line and marring their property.

With this concern in mind I saw an advertisement for PetSafe(r) Pet Containment System.  For $200 I could bury a radio-transmitting wire around my property.  I could then administer electroshock therapy on my rambunctious dog.  Home Depot had the equipment.  Shortly after buying it, my wife found an advertisement that heralded $200 for a fully installed system, training included. I was ready to return my system to Home Depot, but decided to check the advertisement.  On closer reading, it turned out to be “$200 off” which consisted of a $100 discount on hardware and $100 discount on training.

And so … I went ahead with my plans, laying out 600 feet of yellow wire, connecting it to electricity, and determining the radio-frequency border-width.  I then took my son Itzak around, electronic RF collar in hand.  We approached the border at 10 foot intervals to determine at what point the collar would indicate the “zapping point”.  With 50 flags in place, it was time to take out the dog.  I read the training manual.  I armed myself with the tastiest liver treats …

…. More later ….

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