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How to Boundary Train a Dog with a Smart Collar

How to Boundary Train a Dog with a Smart Collar

Ready to start setting some boundaries… for your dog?

Because no two dogs are alike, there is no specific “one size fits all” way to perimeter training with a smart collar. Therefore, you as the pet parent will ultimately find yourself using an individualized approach.

But just in case you needed a little motivation, we’ve come up with this helpful guide inspired by professional dog trainers on how to use geofence technology in boundary training.

While these are recommendations, you should also feel comfortable seeking additional training or correction method recommendations from your vet as you adapt to the needs of your specific dog. 


All smart collars (aka pet containment systems) require the pet parent to train their dog to stay within set boundaries. In this sense, you’ll come to know firsthand what it means to “train the trainer.”

As a pet parent, you might already understand your dog’s shorthand signs and sense the foundational ways in which she’s communicating with you. But when it comes to training your pup to recognize a virtual boundary using a smart dog collar, you’ll need to consider a variety of things to ensure all goes smoothly.

If your dog is new to boundary training, it’s recommended you turn off all corrections from the smart collar from the outset.


Perhaps you already know that dogs are reward seekers. If there’s a positive consequence to her actions, she’ll continue more of that behavior. Negative consequences tend to break trust between you and your pet and leave her feeling confused.

The first step is to decide what your dog’s reward will be. 

Treats and toys are the most common rewards given during any training exercise.

Therefore, when training your dog to recognize her boundaries, be sure to have your rewards ready, and have plenty on hand! It’s helpful to use a common, repetitive phrase when rewarding your dog, such as, “Good girl/boy!”

Next up is determining the consequence for negative behaviors.

Physical punishment is not recommended, but a tug on the leash while learning boundaries and the famous “NO” or “Leave it” commands, when delivered sternly, can be considered punishment enough in the eyes of an eager-to-please pup.

Lastly, it’s crucial that you decide when and where to train. Visual training aids

for virtual boundaries are both helpful and effective for your dog and for you. One of the most common visual aids for training within the geofence is the use of flags. Placing these regularly along the geofence boundaries will help your dog learn to respect geographic limitations.

Once he learns where the boundaries are, you can gradually remove the flags little by little until they’re gone altogether. It will take multiple, repetitive training sessions per day over the course of several weeks until your dog understands the limits and location of the boundaries and the consequences associated with crossing them.

And once you’ve reached this point in your training, it’s time to start really fine-tuning your smart dog collar settings to ensure everything is good working order.

There are many types of smart dog collars, but for the purpose of this guide, we’ll explain how to use the Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar to train your pet to use geofence boundaries.


If you’re using the Freedom Smart Dog Collar to train your pet to use geofence boundaries, it’s recommended that you and your dog have a basic understanding of leash training. If you’re not as familiar, here’s some helpful insight from the American Kennel Club.

The first thing you’ll want to do is focus on geofences and placement.

For geofences, you’ll want to create and store your preferred boundaries within your Wagz App, where you can customize and create multiple geofences.

Boundaries can and should include designated off-limit areas (we call them Keep Out Zones) such as pools, decks, patios, or gardens.


  • We recommend each geofence be at least 40’ x 40’ to give your dog ample room to roam.
  • It’s recommended, when creating a geofence, to add a 15-foot buffer between any house or structure in all directions beyond your perimeter.
  • Optimally, you’ll want to add a 15-foot buffer between your geofence and any roads or hazards to ensure the best GPS accuracy possible.
  • Geofence boundaries should be set in areas where there is a clear line of sight to the sky.
  • Geofences perform best in areas with Wi-Fi coverage rather than cellular-only coverage.

As mentioned earlier in this guide, if your dog is new to boundary training, it’s recommended you turn off all corrections using the Wagz App.

The first training sessions will require a leash, as the 100% humane, shock-free corrections (audible, ultrasonic, and vibration) are introduced at a later point in the training.


It’s time to create your visual boundary.

Place flags around the perimeter of your property and position them three to six feet apart and approximately five feet inside the actual geofence boundary (this will help account for GPS variation). At this point, you'll begin teaching your dog about geofence boundaries through the three-phase sequence:


Phase One: Visual Boundary Training 

Start with some simple playtime with your dog prior to each training session. This will help him develop interest in you as the trainer, which is critically important.

Next, make sure your dog is leashed and wearing his favorite collar with the Wagz Freedom Collar device securely attached to it. Double check that all corrections are turned off in the Wagz App if your dog has not learned the visual portion of the training yet (via flags placed along the geofence line).

Allow your pooch to explore around the geofenced area (visually supported

by flags). If your dog goes within six feet of the boundary, give your version of the deterrent command (aka: “NO”), then lead her back into the safe area.

During the training make sure to reward and praise her for good behavior and for obeying commands and have her walk as much of the geofence area as possible during the training session while still on a leash.

Do keep in mind that younger dogs have a shorter attention span and will likely be unable to train for longer durations. For this reason, you’ll want to conduct multiple training sessions per day.

Phase Two: The Addition of Corrections

After a few training sessions or several days, you should turn on the Wagz Audible Tone Correction within the Wagz App.

Continue your boundary training on-leash with one new addition: As the audible tone is emitted from the Wagz Freedom Collar, lead your dog back into the safe zone.

Once he learns to turn into the safe zone when hearing the audible tone and without being tugged by the leash, be sure to give ample praise and a reward. The last part of training entails adding in the vibration and/or ultrasonic corrections. It’s recommended to add only one correction at a time to help your dog understand how to adhere to what you’re teaching.

Continue with the training in the same way you did with the audible tone and begin offering treats as soon as he turns back toward the safe zone (after receiving the correction). While you may not be able to hear the vibration or the ultrasonic frequency, the audible tone goes off simultaneously to help you as the trainer know when to reward or lead him back.

If your dog needs corrections during training, the correction will automatically time out after one minute. The reason is that after one minute of corrections, the dog will have forgotten what he was being corrected for, so if your dog hasn’t returned to the allowed area within that time, he is not going to suddenly figure it out.

Therefore, we stop the corrections and preserve battery life for the tracking functions of the collar.

Phase Three: Training with Distractions

Once you’ve completed the corrections training, try adding distractions.

A longer leash can be helpful here.

The training session will begin in the same manner as the previous two phases, and after a few minutes of training, you can introduce a distraction outside the geofenced area. A family member walking just outside of the boundary is a great first test. If your pup runs toward them but stops at the boundary line, praise and reward her. Other distractions could include tossing a toy outside of the geofenced area.

If your dog attempts to go through a geofenced area, give the “NO” command and pull/lead your pet back into the safe area. Once she is back within the geofence, give her praise and rewards for returning. If your dog goes through a geofence, you’ll want to spend more time without distractions to reinforce the previous training. 


Once you’ve established each of the above phases, you can begin increasing the distance between flags.

The most common approach is to remove every other flag, then repeat the training sessions for a few days to be sure your pet still understands where the virtual boundary is. Continue to increase the distance between flags until you feel comfortable removing all of them. Because every dog is different, specific distances between flags and the time it takes yours to recognize the geofence boundary will vary.

And to make life even easier on you, the Wagz App also includes Training Mode, a feature that not only shares helpful advice, but leverages custom functions on your collar to better assist with the training process.

It's a four-phase training approach using the Freedom Collar to teach your dog about his geofence boundaries using corrections and common standards in the training industry.

Ready to start training? Got any other questions? We’ve got you covered. Head over to our FAQs for more about the Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar.

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