Electric Fences for Dogs: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Electric Fences for Dogs: Good Idea or Bad Idea?When you get a new dog, you will need to mull several questions in your head.  One question that should be addressed is if this dog is going to be an outside or inside dog.  If you determine that the dog is going to be outside, then maybe you will need to address the fence issue in your yard.  Robert Frost once said “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Fences confine the dog from being a neighborhood nuisance, but there are other issues at hand.  Fences appropriately confine your dog and keep your dogs safe from mishaps while roaming.  They are less likely to get hit by vehicles, have decreased exposure to contagious diseases and less likely to get stolen.

Fences can be expensive and some home owner’s associations may have ordinances on what type of fences you can use, but one option is an invisible fence.  The invisible fence is actually a buried wire that is installed around your yard that emits a signal that is picked up by a collar that is worn by your dog.  As your dog approaches the boundary line, the collar gives a warning beep, followed by a shockif the dog continues to move closer.  Ideally the dog learns where the boundary line is after a few unpleasant experiences and therefore stays in the yard.

There are some advantages to installing invisible fences over traditional fences.  These include:

  • Invisible electric fences are often less costly.
  •  Invisible fence works on most any terrain and can cover acres of land for large exercise areas for dogs
  •  The invisible fence is invisible, so it doesn’t block scenic views.  People can move around outdoors and not need to open and close gates.
  •   Electric fences can be installed more quickly than conventional enclosures.
  •  Dogs with a tendency to climb over, dig under, or chew through fences may be better contained with an electric fence
  •  Pet owners often forget to close a gate, so invisible fences reduce the chance of escape
  •  Intruders may be deterred by the presence of a dog in the yard since they aren’t likely to realize the dog may not actually be able to reach them.

 There are also some disadvantages with the invisible fences.  These include:

  • There is a training period where the owner and dog walk the perimeter to learn where the fence is.
  • The fences do not protect them from hazzards that enter the yard.
  • Most electric fences include and audible warning prior to the electric impulse and dogs learn quickly to respect the “beep” to avoid the shock.  When the dog ignores the warning signal, an electric stimulus is discharged which startles the dog.
  • Sometimes the power supply is interrupted by a cut wire or dead battery in the collar and escape is possible.
  • The dog may breach the invisible when he is chasing or is frightened by something.

If you have any questions about making sure your pet is safe, please don’t hesitate to contact our office today!