The Contain + Train™ has helped my family successfully keep our dog from getting out of the yard.
"When are we going to fix this fence?"
These are the words my wife would ask me at least once a month when our dog would escape our old, run-down fence. Most of the time, he would get out while I was away at work. This would leave her, who also has to tend to our newborn, trying to round up a beagle who only follows his nose and my commands, not hers.
Well, when I looked at the costs to replace our fence that wrapped around our backyard, we were looking close to $8,000. This definitely wasn't inside the budget, especially with my wife recently becoming a stay-at-home mother. I thought about taking down the fence and replacing it with an underground dog fence. Luckily, the Contain + Train™ system is only about $400--a much more affordable option than an entirely new fence.
I first found the SportDOG Brand when I was looking into getting one of their GPS Collar systems to train my dog for rabbit hunting. SportDOG has always been a favorite for hunters and sport dogs, but I didn't know what to expect from their in-ground fence.
Honestly, I thought this was going to take forever. I thought I'd have to hand-dig my entire yard. Not only does my property sit on about an acre and a half, but it mostly consists of Pennsylvania rock, too.
Luckily, my local hardware store rents dog fence trenchers for $56 a day. Having never operated one of these before, I wasn't sure how it was going to go. It actually wasn't bad at all, though, as it worked through my rocky land extremely well. It dug the trench effectively, and also laid ground wire and covered it up without a problem.
When I reached my driveway, I bought a concrete blade for my circular saw to cut through it. I don't recommend doing this, however, or at least take your time if you do. I think I pushed through a little too fast and ended up burning up my saw. I would recommend taking your time or renting a power cut-off saw to get the job done. Once I laid the wire in the cut, I continued on until I reached my starting point. I then went back and covered the gap with blacktop repair caulk.
When I returned to my original starting point, it was time to bring the line to garage where the transmitter would be located. In order for my dog to walk over this location in the future, the manual recommends you twist the wires together. In doing this, you cancel the transmitting signal, which enables your dog to walk over this area without any issues.
Installing the Transmitter
When I brought my twisted line to the garage, I had to think of the best location for the transmitter. I found a place that had nothing near it that would potentially cause an interference. I drilled a hole through my wall from the outside and ran the line along the wall connecting to the transmitter. I then filled the hole with silicon to ensure no water or insects could come in.
Turning it all on
Once I attached the two wires to the transmitter and turned it on, I was able to tell I successfully completed the circuit. Now, my first test was taking the collar out to see how if it worked. Unfortunately, I'm not one who takes the time to carefully read the manual, usually only reading what I believe I need to know. So with that, it appeared as though it wasn't working at first. I referred to the manual only to find I had less than 4,400 feet of wire, which requires the Range Switch to be in LOW mode. Once I made that change, the system worked great.
Trying it with my beagle
Once I had everything completed, I placed the white flags around the property over top of where I buried the line. I then placed the collar on my dog and we walked to the flags. As we approached, I touched and shook the flags and said get back. I did this several times until he began to hear the warning beep and recognized me telling him to get back at the same time.
Luckily for me, I had trained my dog from the very beginning using an e-collar. I always trained him from the beginning that the sequence would go sound, vibration and then shock. It didn't take him long to learn to stop whatever he was doing when he heard the beep and listen for my command.
When I brought him to the fence, the beep would get his attention, and even the warning vibration had him worried, but he didn't know which way to go. I would then put him on a leash and walk him to the flags until it would beep, pulling him back toward the house. A few hours of this, with him twice getting shocked on the lowest setting after trying to go through the flags, he was trained.
My overall thoughts
I'm very fortunate my dog listens to me so well.
Three weeks after installation, my beagle started happily sitting outside all day long. He's still scared of the white flags, so after mowing the lawn a few times, I removed them. I was curious to see how he would react, but not much has changed. He still knows his boundaries and hasn't even attempted to leave the area.
Other dogs, squirrels, a turkey, and our neighbor's cat have run through the yard, and he doesn't even think about chasing them. The train system is great, too, because I can continue to use the collar as both a training and containment system. My dog has a tendency to beg while you're eating, and my wife now has a tendency to use that time to train him using the collar. A subtle "no" and a few beeps on the collar, and my dog will leave us alone.
If you're on the fence about this product, pun intended, I absolutely recommend it. My dog is now able to run through both the front and backyard. And, if the door's left open, I don't worry about him running away. He's gotten out before we put the collar on him in the morning and still didn't leave the area. This is a a no-brainer for me, and my wife hasn't mentioned the fence in over two months now!