Warning – I don’t know if this story makes Josie look dumb or smart. I’m going with smart. Yeah – my dog is super smart.
Long before I built a fence to keep the dogs in the yard, I tried an electric fence. When I first installed it, I only had Josie. Not wanting to cause more harm than good, I followed the instructions to make sure she wasn’t scared of the yard.
The first step in training the dog to stay within the fence line is to teach them where the fence line is. For that, white flags are used. Before the collar is even turned on, time is spent teaching the dog to avoid the white flags. Josie picked up on that quickly. So quickly that the next steps went very fast. Josie knew where the boundary was and to this day, she knows that is her stopping spot in the yard, even though the electric fence has been gone for years.
Shortly after I trained Josie to respect the fence, we traveled to my parent’s house. In the past, I used to bring a cable but really hated that she would get tangled up so easily. This time, I decided to try something different – I brought the flags and her collar. When we arrived, I staked out an area for her using the flags. When I let her outside, I watched – what would she do?
She looked around, approached the flags and then turned around. She stayed within the boundary. Awesome! A nice, simple, portable fence.
A few days later, my sister came with her dog, Madison. The two dogs played a little bit and the fence was tested. Madison had no idea what the flags meant, so she would weave in and out. Josie stayed within the circle, running up to the edge and quickly turning back instead of following Madison across the line.
In my book, that makes her a smart dog.