Training Your
Livestock Guardian
Dog to the 
SpotOn Fence

Guardians of the Flock: Understanding the Instinctual Behavior of Livestock Guardian Dogs

Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) have been bred to work independently guarding livestock. They have been bred for centuries for their instinctual behavior to patrol their territory, mark boundaries and safeguard their space from potential threats. They learn from their experiences and don’t respond to typical companion dog training methods. They require more patience and practice, but can be trained by using specific methodology.

Livestock guardian dog in field

Whether your LGD is a working farm dog, or a house pet, it is critical to take the necessary measures to keep them contained and safe within your property boundaries.

SpotOn GPS Fence is a valuable tool designed to keep those notorious wanderers from straying too far from home and their flocks. With this innovative system, you can rest assured that your LGD will stay within their predefined zone, allowing you to concentrate on your work with peace of mind.

Choosing the Right Size

Sizing the collar:

It is important to measure your dog's neck to ensure you get the right size collar for your dog. While taking the measurement, allow for space to comfortably slide two fingers beneath the collar, for dogs with thick double coats, you can use 1 finger to assess if the collar is properly fitted. The collar must be secure enough to not shift and for the prongs to make consistent contact with the dog's neck. This is especially important for long-haired dogs like Great Pyrenees, or Maremma. If the collar is sized incorrectly, the collar will not work as intended since they will not receive consistent vibrations and corrections while testing the boundaries.

Testing the static correction points:

SpotOn has optional static correction with 30 levels that allows you to set the collar to the appropriate setting that your dog responds to.

  • Make sure the static contact points are installed and tight (you can use the back side of the tester for this).
  • Use the longer set of prongs on thick fur or long haired LGDs.
  • Place the contact point tester on the contact points and press to snap it in place.
  • Activate static correction by crossing a fence boundary, or by issuing a correction in the app.


Getting Familiar with the Collar

Before jumping into training, it is best to allow your dog to get used to the new sensation of a collar on them while it is turned off. This way they get used to the size and weight of the collar, while not becoming overwhelmed by too many new variables at one time


Getting an overly excited dog to focus on a new task can result in failure. The best way to ease your dog into training is to ensure that they have received enough exercise before training starts so that they are in a calm and receptive state.

Minimize Distractions

If your dogs are easily distracted by their surroundings, they will encounter significant difficulties when learning something new. Before your training session starts, remove any potential distractions, and select an area that they are familiar and comfortable with.

Positive Reinforcements

Positive reinforcement is a powerful and effective method for dog training. By utilizing this approach, dogs are rewarded for exhibiting desired behaviors, which encourages them to repeat those actions in the future. Positive reinforcement can take various forms, such as treats, praise, or toys, depending on the individual dog's preferences.

High Value Rewards

For dogs motivated by food, it is a good idea to gather a handful of your dog's favorite treats before starting your training session. This could be a bagged treat, some leftover steak or pieces of cheese. Make sure that the reward is high-value and will be an enticing treat. is a powerful and effective method for dog training. By utilizing this approach, dogs are rewarded for exhibiting desired behaviors, which encourages them to repeat those actions in the future. Positive reinforcement can take various forms, such as treats, praise, or toys, depending on the individual dog's preferences.

Take a Break

It is important to keep training sessions short, around 10-15 minutes. If you are able to, you can practice these short training sessions up to 3 times a day. If either the handler or dog is getting frustrated, take a break and step away. Be patient with your dog and yourself, training can take weeks and even months of practice! behaviors, which encourages them to repeat those actions in the future. Positive reinforcement can take various forms, such as treats, praise, or toys, depending on the individual dog's preferences.

Communication & Routine

It is crucial to effectively communicate your expectations to your dog and ensure that the commands are taken seriously and followed through. Repeating commands excessively can lead your dog to believe that they can disregard them, resulting in disinterest and noncompliance. By providing clear and consistent instructions, and ensuring that there are consequences for not following through, you establish a foundation of understanding and respect between you and your dog. This approach encourages attentiveness and active participation from your dog, fostering a more engaged and interested response to your commands.

Develop a consistent training routine and create positive habits. If possible, have a training schedule at the same time every day for the same amount of time.

Training with the SpotOn Collar

  • Put the collar on your dog with the antenna facing towards the sky. Ensure that the collar is secure and making contact with your dog's neck.
  • Put your dog on a leash so you can control them during the training.
  • For optimal training, it's recommended to utilize the canine-friendly tones emitted by the collar. These tones are what your dog will be exposed to while learning the system. In case you cannot hear these tones during training, we advise using a single earbud to perceive the tones just as your dog would. While you can play the tones from your phone, it's worth noting that some dogs might get distracted by the louder audio from the phone, which could impede their focus on the training tones.

Step 1 Alert Tone

  • Start at the center of the containment area and slowly walk towards the boundary. Once you reach the alert tone, encourage your dog to return to the center area and reward your dog with a high-value treat, toy and of course lots of pets.
  • Continue working your way along the perimeter and retreating toward the center so your dog learns the boundary line.

Step 2 Vibration or Static Correction

  • If you are using static correction, set the level to 1.
  • Allow your dog to approach the boundary and if they decide to retreat based on the warnings praised them, if they do not retreat and test the boundary they will receive a correction. After they feel the correction turn around and retreat to the center of the fence. Continue to test their understanding of the boundary and fine tune the static correction until they acknowledge the stimulation.

Setting the Static Correction

Start at the lowest level of stimulation and watch for subtle facial cues denoting acknowledgment of collar stimulation, discernible eye movements indicating recognition and sensation, and a slight tilt of the head. Naturally, these signals differ among individual dogs so it is important to be aware of all possible signs that they are receiving enough of a sensation. If the dog is not reacting to the level, keep increasing it by increments of 2-4 levels at a time until they acknowledge the stimulation.

It is important to note that the stimulation that your dog responds to while they are not provoked by prey, humans or another distraction outside the fence. Once there is a stimulant introduced beyond the fence line, their adrenaline will kick in and the static correction level that had worked previously might now not deter them from leaving the fence. You will need to monitor this closely and adjust as needed if they break the boundary.

Why is SpotOn a great solution for LGDs?

  • Create custom fences from ½ acre to 100,000+ acres. Follow unusual property lines and fence through tricky terrain and obstacles like water, rocks and heavy brush.
  • There's no hardware to install and no trenches to dig.
  • Create, save and edit GPS dog fences wherever and whenever you need them.
  • No cell service required to contain your dog with GPS fences. An optional cell subscription lets you keep tabs on and track your dog.
  • Create up to 20 fences for rotational grazing and keep wandering dogs close to their herd.

Why Our Customers Chose SpotOn Over Underground Dog Fences

GPS dog collar on livestock guardian dog

Ana the Akbash - Guardian of the Goats

“Since SpotOn, life is better for all on the ranch. The entire staff now sleeps better at night, not having to worry about Ana wandering away and getting into trouble.”

– ShaRu W.

wireless GPS collar on Livestock Guardian Dogs

Containing Colorado Mountain Dogs - Johnny & June

“Now they have the freedom they need to roam and guard their herd, and they’ve finally learned to stay home, respecting their GPS boundaries.”

– Anne B.

wireless GPS collar on Livestock Guardian Dogs

Safely containing two Great Pyrenees - Nilla & Trip

“Now I can allow them both to roam without being worried they are going into the road. They know their boundary area even without the collars on”

– Tabatha M.

Spend Less Time Worrying About Your Dogs with SpotOn.

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