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Dog Training and Property Boundaries for a Fence Free Dog

This is a guest post by a dog parent who has successfully trained her dogs to stay within the boundaries of a property; something that very much interests me, because we live on 5 acres of unfenced property (with the exception of the dogs’ fenced yard). Dog training like this is pretty impressive.

Xena and Dax of LocaLHomeSpot at the building yard

Introducing Dax and Xena, much loved and well trained dogs…

Hi, my name is Dax and I’m a 2-1/2 year old Golden Retriever and I live in Campbell River, B.C. on Vancouver Island with my older sister Xena and my human parents. My Mom and Dad have an Interior Design and Renovation business and I have The Dog Spot. When I’m not writing my blog, me and Xena (whose 9-1/2) get to go to lots of job sites and supply stores to hang out – we even go to the bank. Mom says one of our jobs is to either keep the homeowners happy and preoccupied while work is going on in their house or to entertain the workers in the stores. Mom talks to us a lot, usually I don’t understand most of the words but I still get the gist of what she’s saying by her tone and body language and I pick up more words all the time. Xena really knows lots of words but she and Mom seem to be able to communicate silently – it’s really cool to watch.

Dax - paw-prentice at LocaLHomeSpot

Training Dax to understand property boundaries to allow future freedom…

I didn’t always get to go to job sites – well I went to a few when I was really young but I got tied to a long rope –I didn’t really like that, especially since my sister wasn’t tied up – now I’m loose just like Xena. When I was way younger – about one year old, I was told that I was to learn property boundaries so that I could go to job sites without getting tethered. On a sunny weekend my Mom put a chair on the edge of our property and every time I tried to step off of it she said NO! I already knew what that meant so I stepped back. She did this for about a ½ hour before I got the hang of it. She sneakily did it when the lady from down the street came with her pooch “Kayla” to our neighbours across the street to go for a walk with them and their dogs “Zander, Trip and Gage”. I wanted to first go see Kayla and couldn’t, then I wanted to see all the dogs and couldn’t, then when they came back from their walk the same thing, every time Mom said NO! I mean it was a busy day on the street what with it being the weekend and sunny so lots of people from the neighbourhood and their dogs were going to the woods and I kept trying to go see them and she kept saying NO! So finally I quit trying.

Training a dog about property boundaries takes consistency…

After a ½ hour or so Mom went inside. I thought – now here’s my chance, the next dog or person that walks by I’m finally going to be able to run down onto the road and say hi – or so I thought. As soon as I ran off the property there was a banging on the window and Mom came outside and said NO! I tried again and the same thing again and again. My Mom has secret powers; her eyes stay outside even when she’s inside, so again I quit trying. After a few dogs and/or people went by without me leaving the property, Mom came outside and gave me lots of hugs and told me what a good dog I was and then we both went inside. Several hours later she put me outside and stayed in. I forgot and ran down to see the first person that walked by and again the banging on the window and Mom coming outside saying NO! I quickly ran back into the middle of the front yard and Mom said “What a Good Dog” I was so proud. Mom said when I got real good at staying on the property I could go to job sites and not get tied up.

Dax’s sister even got involved in the dog training…

Mom and Dad took turns doing this all weekend and on Monday I got to go to a jobsite and Mom took me to the edges of the property and when I stepped past she said No. I now knew the edges game and didn’t go past ever again – well, OK a couple of times. Xena already new the game and when I cheated she didn’t want to have anything to do with me cause she likes Mom and Dad to be happy. So now it wasn’t just Mom and Dad that wanted me to stay on the property but Xena too – go figure.

Have Patience Then Run Like The Wind.

When we got home after work Mom took us down to the ocean and let us run and jump and chase sticks and swim and basically do whatever we wanted. When we came back Dad had dinner ready for us. What a great day, hanging out with Mom, Dad, and Xena all day and meeting people in stores and jobsites and all the smells on the beach and boy was I tired. After dinner I fell asleep and had a really good dream, later Dad took us for a walk and then I fell asleep again.

This is now.

People wonder why Xena and I don’t leave our property when there’s no fence. The answer is simple – first; Mom has eyes everywhere – second; if we did, we wouldn’t be able to go to stores and jobsites and I like doing that. It basically boils down to what would I rather do – run around and get left at home during the day, or stay in the yard and get to go to lots of places with Mom and Dad. Besides we get to go for huge walks in the forest and big swims in the ocean all the time anyway. Life is good, why ruin it by being bad.


Bio:  Dax is the Paw-prentice at and one of her new jobs there is to run The Dog Spot. Her sister “Xena” is the spokes dog for the website and is used in all of its promotions. Dax’s job on The Dog Spot is to write blogs about her life, interesting products that would look great in the home, some of her dad’s healthy dog food recipes and interesting dog art. She has been watching her Mom, Evelyn M, write her own blog called “Evelyn M’s Home and Garden Blog Spot” and is following the same format. Dax and Evelyn hope you enjoyed this post and are looking forward to any comments you might have.


  1. What a great post and very neat “trick!” If love to teach this to Kayo – our yard is fenced and we don’t spend too much time out there since we’re out whenever we can be. But this would be great to be able to take her to different places. She’s pretty skilled at “down” and “wait” but it’d be nice to have another way to take her places and be confident she’ll stay where she’s supposed to. Thanks for this post!

    • Hi BoingyDog, it was pretty easy to teach both Xena, Dax and our previous dogs not to leave the property. They are more then happy to show they know words. The most important thing was to show them how good they where when they stayed on the property. Xena is 9-1/2 and when she was one through five we lived on a major road but could comfortably leave her and Mercury ( our previous pooch ) outside without fear of them going near the road. Also, when they misbehave in a store or bank – or anywhere else for that matter, they are put outside, if they still misbehave they get put into the car, still misbehave and they get left home the next time. This is enough of a deterrent for them to behave all the time. they know the rules and they want to be with me or their Dad.

  2. When I first started researching working bred collies (also known as farm collies or old fashioned collies; different lines from show dogs) I found a lot of articles about farmers who train their collies about the borders of their property. It really is fascinating training and great work especially for breeds whose instinct is to guard the farm!

    • That is pretty fascinating and makes sense. The huge farms around here aren’t fenced – they use natural boundaries to keep their livestock on their property. I imagine that the dogs would need to know the boundaries too.

      • Hi Kimberly, even wild animals learn property borders. They know which areas belong to their territory and which belong to others. It seems normal to me that a dog would know and understand borders – they just need to be shown where they are.

    • Hi Bethany, Collies are beautiful dogs. My neighbor has 3 – all in agility – its so interesting to watch them “work”.

  3. Wow, what patience you have to teach that to your dogs – especially when taking them to new sites all the time. Not sure I have what it takes…our dogs do for sure, but me? Our yard is fenced, but someday hope to have more space, so doing this would be critical. Kimberly – if you try it, let us know how it goes.

    • Our dogs do really well respecting the boundaries, but I still want to give some of these tips a try. It’s a new month, why not start fresh now?

    • Hi SlimDoggy,it doesn’t seem like patience when going through the process – rather a proud Mom (or Dad) when you can see the thought process developing and then the moment of clear understanding that comes over the pooch whether it is Dax, Xena before her or Mercury before Xena. Yes, its extra work for a short period of time but the payoff is far less work for the majority of the time, and the pooches have a far more interesting life. We can leave them outside and let passersby come say hi to them with their dogs and not worry about ours following them. They have a far bigger social life then we do.

  4. Mom’s last dog was like that. She could be out in the yard all day and never leave. We think it is partly a breed thing. My sister’s instinct is to guard and expand her territory and she is also an independent breed making it extremely difficult for her to just stay in a certain area. I would do okay until the hunting instinct kicked in. Dogs that are quite obedient like labs and goldens have better success.

    • I’ve always wondered if our dogs could be left outside of their fenced yard all day long. I know that Sydney and Blue wouldn’t leave the property; but Rodrigo gets easily distracted and gives in to his instinct to chase and might go too far without us there to curb the instinct.

      Thanks for stopping by!!!

    • Hi Emma, One of the reasons we have Goldens is their innate desire to please their human parents – it does make training that much easier. We never worry about them chasing the rabbits, deer, bear, cats, etc. when they are outside. Having said that I was very impressed with a contractor from out of town that I was working with. He had his rescue dog with him, a mixed hunting breed, that lives to hunt weasels, raccoons and otters (looses the otter battles – wins the raccoon battles apparently) yet is as well behaved on job sites as Xena and Dax are. He said he never had to train his pooch to do this, the dog just does it. Even when the contractor leaves the site for hours at a time, the pooch knows to stay put. Truly amazing for a mixed hunting breed.

  5. This article is actually outstanding . Excellent details being shared.


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