Dog Boundary Training Keeps dogs in the yard

Boundary training for dogs offers a safe alternative to physical fences and electric fences.

You can use boundary training to keep your dog out of flower beds,   swimming pools, away from the trash and potential dangers.  Training your dog to respect boundaries will take some effort and time but, it will be well worth it to keep your pet healthy, happy and safe.

To get things off to a great start, visit your local hardware store and purchase marker flags, usually found in the garden center. You will also want to have a supply of very tasty treats to keep your dog’s attention with a reward for desired behavior.  Consider using real meat, it usual works well. 

Start indoors. Show your dog the flag and when he touches the flag with his nose,  give the dog a treat. This will teach her that touching the flag is what gets her the reward or treat. Next, place the flag a few feet away from you. Have your dog touch the flag; when she does this again  she should return to you to get her treat. Move the flag further away and practice having your dog go to the flag, give her a treat when she returns to you. By doing this, you will be conditioning your dog to move away from the flag. Before moving the training outside, work with your dog for about a week to make sure they understand they are to move away from the flags. Once they understand they get a treat by moving away from the flag, you are ready to move outdoors.

Outdoor Dog Boundary Training Place the flags about 8 to 10 feet away from each other along your boundary.  Using a long lead, about 18 feet, walk your dog along the boundary.  He should go to the flags and touch them. When this happens give the dog a treat. You should plan on practicing this several times a day for several weeks. About 8-10 weeks.


Overtime, your dog is learning when she touches the flag, she is to return to you. When your dog gets better at reliably doing this, you can increase the distance to 40 or 50 feet.  The next step is to introduce some sort of distraction to the training to tempt your dog. This step will be important and more difficult so insure you are still clicking, rewarding and praising your dog generously. Gradually increase the level of distractions.

When training with your dog off leash use common sense to avoid areas with dangers such as vehicle traffic etc. If training off lead presents too many distractions, resume training on the lead.

Resist the temptation to punish your dog if he passes the boundary. You will want to call your dog back and provide a reward and praise when he returns to you. This teaches your pet being inside the boundary is a good thing.

Note: Some breeds have a high prey drive or those with a history of aggression or wandering may not do well with boundary training and the best option is a fence. Examples of dogs are:

Afghan Hound, Azawakh, Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound), Bull Terrier, Chart Polski (Polish Greyhound), Chippiparai (Tamil Nadu),  English Springer Spaniel, Irish Wolfhound, Italian Greyhound, Magyar agár (Hungarian Greyhound), Pharaoh hound, Rajapalayam (dog) (Tamil Nadu), Saluki, Scottish Deerhound, Siberian Husky, Silken Windhound, Slough, Whippet, Rampur Greyhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback. Airedale Terrier,  Xoloitzcuintli

    Aids for indoor boundary training

    Indoor Dog Gates

    Indoor/ outdoor playpen for small dogs

    Portable Pet pen

    Designer Pet Pen

    Scat Mats                                                                                                                                                      


      Fences as Dog Boundaries

      Dog fences are designed to keep dogs in an owner’s yard, or within a certain perimeter of their home. Similarly, dog fences can be used to keep other people’s dogs out, or keep people away from pedigree breeds or guard dogs. All of these considerations are important, when one takes into consideration the increasing amount of litigation faced by dog owners.

      Dog owners can achieve peace of mind through the installation of an appropriate dog fence. Dog fences prevent the dog from running into the street or chasing other animals. Enclosures also set the parameters for territorial dogs that need to establish a protected area.

      Dog fences can vary depending on the type of dog in question, and the owner’s needs. City ordinances and other aspects of communal life can also come into play. Dog fences can be found in hardware stores, home improvement warehouses, and some big box retailers as well as online. This guide will help its readers make the correct dog fence choice by examining dog fence options and installation tips.

      Why a fence?

      Do your local ordinances require a fence for your dog?

      Fences can keep your dog in your yard.

      A fence can keep people or dogs out of your yard.

      The proper fence can keep your dog away from potential dangers away from a pool or traffic, for example.

      Dog nappers have been known to break into houses and yards to steal coveted pedigree dogs, because particular breeds are a valuable commodity in certain circles

      Determine the proper type of fence.

      Fence height Tall home boundary fences are excellent for large and energetic dog breeds, while shorter fences are effective for smaller, less energetic breeds or older dogs. It is also worth remembering that on occasion, a dog can get excited and leap over a fence it would be unable to scale on a normal day.

      Fence durability. Some smaller, more laid back dogs can be contained with a lightweight fence, most other dogs need something a little thicker. A number of canine breeds are natural chewers and will bite through anything but the heaviest type of metal. Some very determined dogs will chew through sturdy fences and injure themselves or escape. A privacy fence offers less visual stimulation from outside influences and may reduce barking and jumping.

      Bury the fence can prevent digging. By burying part of the fence, dogs can be prevented from digging out of or into the yard. Is your dog breed prone to digging? Chicken wire can be buried 5- 10 feet underground to substantially prevent dogs from digging under the fence.



      Ideal For

      Chain Link

      Made of metal chain links; can be plastic-coated or uncoated; various thicknesses available; thicker fences suitable for tougher breeds

      Strong, energetic dogs; taller fence installation where visibility is key; a less expensive, robust fencing option for large areas


      Picket fence styles very effective; closely spaced solid wood slats prevent escape; bias-cut tops discourage jumping; various heights available

      Homeowners who want to maintain an aesthetically pleasing look; less high-risk areas; non-aggressive dogs; non-pedigree dogs


      No visible fence; wire buried around perimeter of desired area; dog wears collar activated by close proximity to wire; collar emits beep and mild electric shock when dog crosses wire

      As a solo solution for low-risk dogs; in combination with another fence for medium and high-risk dogs; for dog owners who are not allowed to put a physical fence up; for homes on private acreages or in secluded locations

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