Monday, March 11, 2013

Back to that same old spot.......

    Hang with me, there just might be a life lesson here.

    One of the biggest reasons that hidden pet fences are so effective is because they play on the fact that our beloved pups are such creatures of habit. Often I tell pet owners that the training in the beginning is not so much a matter of the dog walking into the correction zone but instilling in them the habit of what to do once they hear the beep and feel the correction sensation. By having them on the leash in the beginning, you pull them back toward the house and the correction stops, thus they become conditioned that turning back toward the house is the way to make it stop. Trained properly, they just never figure out that if they simply kept going another 10-12 feet the correction would stop also, and they could be on their merry way chasing that squirrel down the street!

    Sometimes in the first few days after a fence installation, I will get a call from an owner who made the mistake of letting their dog off the leash too soon before the above habit was fully ingrained. They tell me that their dog has begun to run through the fence. Usually it's because the collar has loosened up or the correction level simply needs to be turned up,... a simple adjustment.

    But the interesting thing is that the call is always generally the same and goes like this,.... "Fred, he was doing so good, but all of a sudden he started to run out of the yard and I think there is a section of the fence that isn't working, because when he runs through it, he always goes back to that same spot!" 

    One thing about electronic pet fences is that they are a lot like your satellite hdtv reception. You either have a picture on your screen, or you don't, there is no in between. It is the same with the hidden dog fence, it is either up and working all around the yard or it is not working at all. The reason the dog goes back to the same spot is, once again, because they are creatures of habit. He could run through it anywhere, but they go back to that same spot simply because that is where they first happened to zip through it. So, they see that single spot as their door to your neighbor's yard. Again it is a problem easily rectified as we just need to close that door with a more snug collar or a little stronger negative reinforcement.

   Here is the life lesson for me. I like to think that I am not quite the creature of habit that my faithful Lab is, but I'm thinking I may be wrong. I know deep down that when I want to escape from what it is I know I ought to do, like be more kind, more patient, or serve others, I am quick to return to the same old spot (ie excuses) that have let me escape before. Of course, there is no collar correction, but that just might be preferable to knowing that I've forever wasted another chance at the true joy that comes from living the life I'm called to lead.......It's too bad the fix for me isn't as easy as it is for puppy dogs and hidden fences!


No comments:

Post a Comment