Many dog owners swear by their GPS dog fences and there are more to choose from every year. One thing that distinguishes them from other invisible dog fences is that they work regardless of terrain or weather, as long as the sensor in the dog collar is in contact with at least four GPS satellites. This makes them much better on uneven land than other wireless systems.
GPS fences cost anywhere between $100 and $650, making them much cheaper than a real fence and they are even easier and quicker to install than systems with wires that have to be buried. Another benefit is that you can take your GPS fence with you when you travel or go camping. A GPS fence will not block your view and it can be used to keep your dog out of smaller parts of your property such as a garden or a pool.
Things to be aware of include boundary wobble and retreat response. Boundary wobble is the distance that the invisible boundary can change from moment to moment. It can be a fluctuation of up to several feet. Retreat response is the distance the dog must back up from the boundary to make the shock correction stop. With some systems, the dog has to back up quite a distance before the shock stops. Both of these distances can confuse the dog and make it hard for it to learn what exactly the boundary is that it must not cross.
If you use a GPS fence, be sure to take the time to train your dog with it. Don’t just install the system, put the collar on your dog and let it figure out that the shock means it has reached a place it shouldn’t go. Dogs don’t understand things the way we do. If it feels pain, it will look for a visible cause of the pain. If the location where it feels the shock is within view of a place where the public walks, the dog might correlate the shock with strangers and become hostile to people it doesn’t know.
Start by setting a visible boundary, like flags. Teach your dog that it is to avoid the area beyond the flags. After that you can use an audible beep to enforce the boundary and last of all, add the shock. Progressing from the visual to the kinesthetic allows your dog to make the connection between the physical space and the shock it feels through the collar. This is how to teach your pet about the boundary and not confuse it with what will seem to your dog like a random pain. Continue reading