GPS Fence Refresher: Taking SpotOn with you this Summer

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One of the main advantages of the SpotOn system is its portability, so you can let your dog run freely no matter where you go. However, we’ve also heard that people are hesitant the first time they set up the system somewhere new, beyond the backyard.  Since the weather is warming up, we have put together these tips to ensure that you can seamlessly transition your dog from your backyard to your summer destination.


YOUR DOG IS TRAINED TO THE TONES, NOT YOUR YARD.

Many people worry that their dog has figured out the backyard boundaries that they were trained to, but won’t be able to figure out new boundaries at a new location. This just isn’t true.

If you want to test it, take your dog outside, and connect via Bluetooth to the collar. Now take your dog towards a normally safe area and issue the tones. What does your dog do? Turns back, right? It’s the tones that have trained your dog to turn around. This will work no matter where you go.

If your dog did not turn around, then it’s time to go back and review the initial training video and start training to the tones. Target training combined with tones is great for that. For a refresher on setting up your fence, view this video.

REVISIT FENCE CREATION

It might have been some time since you set up a new containment area, so review the steps before your summer fun begins. Remember these key points for successful fence creation:

  1. SpotOn works best for properties with ½ acre or more, otherwise your dog will constantly be receiving warning tones and won’t have much space to play

  2. Fences should be 80’ wide at their narrowest points

  3. Be sure that you create a buffer of at least 15’ from hazards like a road, railroad track, or other danger. GPS shift is a common occurrence and usually is only 3-10’ so a 15’ buffer should be just fine.

  4. If your destination is heavily forested, try Forest Mode. Go to 'Collar Settings' in the app to turn Forest Mode on and off. Just note that the collar must be removed and the fence deactivated when the dog enters the house or any other roofed structure like a barn or garage, as the GPS will be too sensitive and bounce off the walls.

  5. Don’t forget the Pause feature which enables you to more easily create large fences. Instead of walking the entire perimeter, you can start by creating a fence and then hit Pause. You can then walk, drive or ATV to another point and hit Resume. The system will snap a line creating a boundary. Learn more with this video.
  6. Remember you can also share fences between collars, so if your relatives at your destination also have a SpotOn System, they can just share their fence with you! They don’t have a system? What a great gift idea!

 

Keys to Success – Once You Arrive

 

  1. Set up your fence keeping in mind the tips above. Note landmarks when you set up your perimeter, to help you remember the boundary. Your dog does not need them. They will be more reliant on the tones. 

  2. Begin with your dog on a leash and walk the boundaries, stepping into the alert tone and encouraging your dog to turn back. Give him a ‘Yes’ and a treat.

  3. Once you feel like your dog knows there are boundaries you can let him off leash or put him on a long 10’ leash and let him wander around on his own. Observe as he nears the boundaries whether he turns around.

  4. Proof the boundary by tempting your dog with a high value distraction such as having a person he likes walk outside of his boundaries. Note if your pup hears the tones and turns around. Praise or treat them for understanding & respecting the boundary.

 

 Need more help? Watch our video refresher on Making a Fence.

Is your pup ready to travel? Read our Dog Travel Tips to get him or her ready.

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