How does an electric dog fence really work? Is it cruel? Basically, it’s a system that keeps the dog inside the perimeter of the yard without the need for a physical “fence.” Installation goes underground and around the enclosure, and the electrical signal the buried line emits is tied to the collar the dog wears. When the dog goes near the perimeter, the collar beeps a warning, and about 4 seconds later, if the dog does not move away, an electric shock (uncomfortable but not harmful) will startle the dog. This occurs every time the dog ventures near the buried line, thereby training the dog to stay within the perimeter or risk an unpleasant shock.
Eventually, the dog learns to step back when the warning beep goes off, avoiding a shock altogether.
The problem with electric dog fences, though, is that other dogs (and other animals) can come into the yard without impediment. This could mean other animals coming after your dog and either playing or picking fights, which can cause injury. And if your dog, under the influence of adrenaline from playing with or fighting another dog, goes across the perimeter without stopping for the shock, then it might have trouble coming back in, as the shock would prevent him from crossing back into the yard.
Another problem is that, since the fence is electric, any power failure means a fence failure. The dog would be free to leave (although the hope is that the training from the collar would make the dog continue to avoid the perimeter).
The good thing, though, is that your beautiful landscape is available for everyone to enjoy. It makes you a friendly neighbor, too.
Several brands of electric fences are available, like Invisible Fence, Dog Watch, Pet Stop, Dog Guard, etc. Have you tried one or several of those? What electric dog fences work? (Note: if your dog is heavily furred, an electric fence may not work as well since there’s insulation between the dog’s skin and the shock.)
Be cautious, though: Some cities, towns or neighborhoods restrict or ban the use of electric fences. Check your local laws and/or HOA guidelines first if you plan to use one.
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