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A Blog Post About Nothing: Part 4 – The Circle of Trust

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in General | Posted on 20-12-2008

imageHave you ever felt like the world was moving at the speed of light, yet you were just doing your own thing?  That’s how I’ve felt lately.  It seems everyone has tons of stuff to talk about on their blogs and Twitter.  I decided I was going to force myself to write a blog article this morning to start my Christmas vacation off and after thinking about what I was going to blog about it hit me.  I don’t have anything to blog or twitter about!  Call it a Blog / Twitter Slump if you will.  Then I started writing and things started to flow so much that I broke this post into a series of blog posts entitled “A blog post about nothing”, each one dealing with a different segment.

What’s Happening in Life

We have two dogs, both cocker spaniels to be exact.  Their names are Max and Simon.  Simon is a high energy chocolate cocker and Max is a buff cocker that is commonly referred to as “Old Man”.  That pretty much sums up his demeanor.  Of the two Max is the one you have to watch out after because food rules his thoughts and he wanders aimlessly.  Before you know it he’ll be across the road or over at a neighbors.  But he’s smart.

Why is My Dog Fat?

Like good doggy parents we moderate what they eat and they are not allowed to eat any human food.  They get the same portion in the morning and evening.  For some reason though, we could never figure out why Max always looked fuller than Simon.  It seemed he was just destined to be fat. 

In the mornings I let the dogs go outside so they can go to the bathroom before feeding.  Since they know they will get fed if they come back they don’t tend to wander too far.  Thus, I’d let them out and normally within about 5 minutes they were back at the door ready to eat.  Max started to not come back and so I started to have to call him.  After a few calls Max would show up, but I didn’t think anything about it.  After all it was Max and he tends to dilly dally.

It turns out that over time Max had learned there was cat food set out at behind a neighbor’s house across the road two houses down.  Remember I said he was smart?  Well, as soon as he was let out, he’d head over to the neighbors, eat as fast as he could in order to get back to get more food.  Aha!  No wonder he wasn’t at the correct weight. 

Creating The Circle of Trust

Besides the fact my neighbor had finally figured out who’d been eating all of her cat food, Max was crossing the street and that is not a good thing.  Thus a circle of trust had to be established around the house.  I had several options.  Either I was going to have to build a fence to keep the dogs contained or get one of those wired dog fences. 

imageI didn’t have $12,000.00 laying around to build a fence so I opted for the cheaper no fence dog fence.  After some research I decided on the Petsafe Wireless Dog Fence.  Notice I said “wireless”.  What does that mean?  Well there are two kinds of these fences.  One is you have to run wires in the ground.  If you have a very specific yard you want to cover, these are great, but take more time to install.   I got the wireless one which works similar to a wireless router.  The device you see pictured to the left mounts somewhere on the wall in your home and that is it.  The dog wears the collar and if they get to the edge of the perimeter they get a beep and if they stay put they’ll get shocked.

There are two settings, low and hi on the PetSafe Wireless Dog Fence.  The low setting goes out to a radius of 45 feet and the high goes 90 feet when turned up to the max setting.  There is a knob to adjust that shortens or lengthens the signal.   It will go as narrow as 10-15 feet in diameter and as large as 180 feet in diameter.  That’s a lot.

After testing the unit I learned I can set the setting on hi and turned all the way up.  This pretty much covered my yard although not quiet in the back.  With the magical of PowerPoint here is what this looks like at my house with the way the yard is configured.


As you can see the circle covers the majority of the yard and doesn’t allow the dogs to get into the road either.  They have plenty of room to run around the house to get exercise.

If you notice in the picture with the unit above there are flags, 50 to be exact that come with the unit.  With a dog collar in hand you walk in the yard and when you hear a beep you put a flag down.  Then you have to train the dogs where their new boundary is and eventually you can take up the flags. 

To train the dogs I narrowed the circle down to a small area so they could see the flags.  I did the training with them as instructed.  Simon, caught on real quick and he only got shocked like once or twice during training. 

Did I mention Max wanders aimlessly?  Yes I did.  Well, even though he appeared to be trained after several days, I was in the yard with them and Max started wondering with his nose and he broke the circle.  He then started getting shocked but decided to run the wrong way and he kept getting shocked.  The unit shocks for 30 seconds if the dog stays outside of the perimeter.  Poor Max went the wrong way around the house and he was yelping.  He quickly got back within the circle and he had had enough, he was worn out.  At this point, let’s just call Max fully trained.  As a matter of fact, he was too trained.

After Max’s incident, he wouldn’t get off our deck.  He associated being outside in the yard with shock. I had to literally retrain him to go outside.  Finally after a few days he relearned he can play in the yard and all is well.  But, let me tell you what, he has learned that a beep means pain and he immediately heads the other way. 

I have to say the PetSafe Wireless Dog Fence works and anyone that wants to contain a pet without putting up a fence, it is worth it.

I am happy to report that Max and Simon are living happily within the circle of trust.

Read Part 1
Read Part 2 
Read Part 3

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