Just because you have an older dog, doesn’t mean he can't still learn new skills. You may find that some older dogs learn more quickly than younger ones because they tend to be calmer, but others may simply take you a little longer to teach. No matter how you look at it, training your older dog to stay in the yard is a very important and useful skill for your pooch to master. The only other alternative would be to fence in your yard at considerable expense and even then, your dog might climb under or over it.
No matter which form of training you decide to use, the first thing you need is a dog who follows the basic commands. The other thing you need is a yard to work in with distinctively marked boundaries. Keep the boundaries you wish to establish around 3 feet from your property's actual boundary.
The job at hand is to teach your older dog that just because he now lives in a home where the yard has no fence, doesn’t mean he can go strolling around the neighborhood like he owns the place. In other words, we are going to teach your dog how to respect his boundaries and stay in his yard where he belongs.
The goal is to teach him that unless he is given permission by you or a member of your family to step outside of his yard, he should NEVER attempt to do so. By learning this skill, your dog should be able to resist the temptation that takes him out into the road where he could encounter a nasty accident. This is a vital skill that every dog needs to be taught.
While most older dogs have long since learned to obey the basics, before you start training yours to stay in his yard, he must have mastered them. You will be using 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'stop' throughout the training sessions. Along with this, you will need a few training supplies, including:
Along with these, you need to have plenty of time to work with your dog on a daily basis. This will help the training move along more quickly. Let your dog learn at his own pace, this will make the whole process much easier for both of you.
We live on a road where several times a day people are walking, running, walking their dog. Also many cars driving by. Our yard is not fenced. We can’t seem to get her to stop running up to the person/mail truck and barking at them like she is going to bite them. Harley does not bite bit strangers don’t know that. How do we train her to stay in the yard?
Hello Marta, I suggest following the "Recruit Help from Friends method" from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/stay-in-an-unfenced-yard Because pup is so motivated to leave by interesting things and a territorial drive, I would also do some remote collar training in addition to the above method. First, learn how to fit the collars correctly by watching the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Figure out pup's "working level" on your e-collar, which is the lowest level that dog responds to at all - indicating they can feel the collar at all. Check out the video linked below on how to find this level and go through this protocol for each dog. Finding their Working Level - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Next, walk pup around your perimeter. Each time they approach the boundary line (which I would use property flags to mark well so pup's can visually remember and you will be consistent), use your leash to reel them back toward you, back inside the property line while at the same time pushing the stimulation button on the remote collar while pup is on the wrong side of the boundary line - as soon as pup gets back on the correct side of the boundary line, the correct stops and pup is praised. When pup begins to avoid going over the boundary line, you can also give treats for staying on the correct side. This will involve a lot of walking. Pup's will need to do this a lot around the entire property line. Once pup has learned the lesson well, you can go for a walk near the boundary line with the dog off-leash and correct with the remote training collar if they cross the boundary during the walk - showing them that they still can't cross while off leash either. While you are still training pup you will need to physically keep them on your property using a leash and such so that they aren't running across the boundary line when you aren't ready - that will ruin your training. They need to be corrected consistently for crossing the boundary lines while you show them what they are supposed to be doing using the long leash (if you just correct and skip the long leash part they will likely run away and not toward you because they won't understand at first why they are being corrected - reeling them in with the leash and stopping the correction as soon as they are on the correct side of the boundary helps them learn to come back over to your side of the line). I would also work on desensitizing them to the mailman. Work on using the Reel In method from the Come article linked below. Practice everyday until pup is good with Come, then consistently practice each time you know the mailman is about to come (if they come at the same time or you can see them up the street - go outside with your long leash and get ready). Each time pup sees the mailman tell them to Come and Reel In if needed, THEN give lots of treats for obedience. You want to practice this as often as you can so that pup begins to associate seeing the mailman with returning to you for rewards - teaching pup not to approach the mailman and to associate the mailman with good things. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Another, easier option for boundaries (I would still do the Reel In method with the mailman either way) that will likely be easier to use if it's an option financially will be installing an electric fence around your property. You will still need to walk them around the boundary using a long leash and reel them back to your side of the boundary line when they cross to show them how to stop the correction - but the collars from the electric fence will enforce the correction for you and will be very consistent in correcting pup for crossing the boundary when you aren't around - making the training more effective and probably quicker for you. With electric fences, use flags to mark the boundary also and if your property is large, don't remove the flags later - keep them or something else that's visible for pup along the boundary line (think landscaping) in place as a reminder since you don't have a physical fence to remind pup. Don't skip walking the boundary with pup and teaching pup to avoid the electric fence - many people skip that part and it can ruin training for electric fences because dogs cross, then run and don't know how to stop the correction by returning - pups need to learn to return to make the correction stop so that they understand how to avoid the correction by not crossing the boundary. Reward pups with treats for not crossing. The desensitization with the mailman or other common triggers also needs to be done via the Reel In method too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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