How To Train A Dog With An Electric Fence

While there are dog trainers whose job it is to teach dogs different skills including what to do about an electric fence, it is certainly not out of place to find out how to train a dog with an electric fence.

PetSafe Wireless Dog and Cat Containment System - from the Parent Company of INVISIBLE FENCE Brand - Above Ground Electric Pet Fence

Training your dog with an electric fence is kinda like training them to do anything else in that you’ll need a lot of patience. Anyway, let us see what needs to be done.

Steps To Take In Training A Dog To Use An Electric Fence

We’ll be looking at the steps to take in training a dog to use an electric fence as the following points:

  • Read The Instruction Manual!
  • Determine Your Boundary.
  • Train With A Leash.
  • The Teaching
  • Take Care Of Distractions.
  • Make the inside of the boundary fun.

Read The Instruction Manual!

Now, we know that not many people like to read the instruction manual that comes with products for whatever reason.

However, if this is something that you will be using on your dog, you will definitely agree with us that caution is necessary.

Determine Your Boundary

You’ll need to decide the space you want your dog contained in.

When you have decided that, go ahead and bury the wire, place the wire around the boundary or set the transmitter to the desired boundary, depending on what kind of electric fence you have.

That said, the tools that are really important for training are the training flags. Here is the thing, electric fences are designed to be as discreet as possible to everybody including your dog.

However, to teach your dog not to cross a certain boundary, they need something to serve as markers. Enter in the training flags.

Most electric fence kits come with enough training flags that you can have one training flag for every ten (10) inch of wire.

Train With A Leash

It is definitely not a good idea to allow your dog be on their own as you try to teach them not to go past a certain point.

That said, because of the way training collars work (they administer a static shock to the wearer if said wearer crosses the boundary) it isn’t recommended that you hook a leash to the collar.

Pulling on it could be damaging for your dog.

So, in addition to the training collar, it is important that your dog wears their regular collar to which you can hook their leash and pull on when necessary.

Actually Teaching Them

If you read the training manual, you’ll be well informed about how to go about the training. However, we’ll quickly go through the basic idea.

Walk them down to the boundary; that is, the point where they get the warning and not the static shock. Then turn around and go back to where you were coming from.

With this, they get to associate both the training flags and the warning beeps with their boundary limit.

And if you do this often enough, they’ll start to automatically turn around either when they see those little flags or when they hear the warning beep.

Now, by ‘often’ we do not mean that the training should go on for forever. In fact, consider training in little pockets of time, say 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

Also, general rule of thumb says your dog shouldn’t be wearing a training collar for more than 12 hours in a day.

Now, during this training is the time you can find out if the electric fence is actually functional and if there are any weak spots. 

So, instead of training them in just one area, do an around the yard kind of training so that they are used to the entire parameter.

Check out these other articles:


While you might think that the shocks are enough to discourage your dog from running off, you might be shocked that some distractions might prove too strong.

Seeing as electric fences are discreet and so your dog can see everything that goes on where he isn’t allowed to be, it is important that you teach them how to behave when they are faced with these things that are outside their sphere.

So, you could do this by introducing different distractions outside the boundary but within their line of vision. 

Then, just like you taught them to walk away when they get the warning beeps or see the flags, you’ll be teaching them that nothing has changed despite the ‘interesting’ thing out there.

Inside The Boundary

Finally, do not only concentrate on what is going on outside. Be sure that your dog has everything to enjoy themselves within the boundary so that they do not see the set boundary as a prison sentence.

Play with them and teach them that within the boundary, they can be and do whatever they want to be and do. 

For last words, please remember that all dogs are not the same. So, that some other dog is learning faster than your dog does not mean that there is something wrong and vice versa.

Allow your dog learn at their own pace. And remember, a lot of patience will make the journey easier. Plus, treats do help make the learning process worthwhile for your dog.

Watch a professional trainer do the training:

How To Train A Dog With An Electric Fence — FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Train A Dog With An Invisible Fence?

Under normal circumstances, it will take your dog about 6 weeks to get used to the invisible fence.

However, nothing is set in stone. So, don’t get all anxious if your dog hasn’t gotten used to it in six(6) weeks. Some dogs might do it in less time while some others will need more time.

When Can You Start Training A Puppy On An Electric Fence?

To train your pup on an electric fence, you’ll need to wait till they are at least five or six months old. This is to give them time to mature a bit, mentally and physically, especially considering that you’ll be using a shock collar.

How Can I Keep My Dog In The Yard Without A Fence?

If you would rather not use a fence to keep your dog in the yard, you could consider any of the following methods.

  • Erect a gate and get your dog a Puppy Bumper. The Puppy Bumber is a collar that is shaped like a neck pillow. Because of how wide it is, your dog won’t be able to use pass their head through the gaps in the gate.
  • Alternately, you could try boundary training without a fence. You will need to mark out the boundary with some visual markers and then teach your dog to respect the boundary the same way you teach them other skills.

Do Invisible Fences Work For All Dogs?

Invisble fences work for a lot of dogs. However, much like basically everything, they do not work for every dog, every time.

Invisble fences take some getting used to and would only be effective for a dog who has been properly trained on it.

But even at that, there are some dogs that just might never get used to it. And even those who have could break through if the motivation is really high.

So, get with your vet to discuss your options for pet containment.

Can An Invisible Fence Kill A Dog?

The shock that invisble fence shock collars administer is usually not intense enough to kill a dog.

Does An Invisible Fence Hurt The Dog?

An invisble fence would usually not hurt a dog to the degree of inflicting injuries or such things like that.

However, depending on how intense you set the shock to be and your dog’s weight, the shocks could actually border on being painful.

Leave a Comment