To Invisible Fence or Not to Invisible Fence
Updated: Jun 11
So we here we are, due to a world wide pandemic all forced to remain in our homes when many of you had a great idea, "Since we will be stuck home for a while, let's get a dog!". I agree, it was definitely a great idea and great timing. Now Spring is coming to a close and the heat of the summer is upon us. Wouldn't it be nice to just let the dog out in the yard rather than having to walk them. Wouldn't they love the opportunity to run around freely.
The only problem is that putting up a physical fence can get expensive, so there is an alternative for a fraction of the cost. Invisible Fence. A wire is dug about 6 inches deep around the area you want to keep the dog. If the dog gets to this line, that they can not see, they hear a tone and then receive a shock. Effectively keeping them in the area you desired. And this works for many dogs but certainly not all.
The good behind the invisible fence:
You don't see it so it keeps your yard looking the way you want it too.
You don't have to worry about a hole in the fence
Many times the dog learns the perimeter and doesn't need the collar after some time.
It is much cheaper than a physical fence.
The bad behind the invisible fence:
You have to train your dog to the fence for a number of days/weeks.
There is no physical fence to keep other dogs or animals away.
If training is done wrong, your dog may fear the outside and refuse to go out for any reason.
If your dog gets excited and runs through the fence, they can't get back.
Some companies believe that the only way to train the dog to the collar is to shock the dog. I would rather not have to shock a dog unless it is necessary.
Faulty equipment, which doesn't happen often, can let the dog get through with out any effect or can accidentally shock them at the wrong times.
How do you get the dog off of your property to go for a walk through your neighborhood or to visit friends without letting them know that there "Is a way out"? Depending on your layout, you have to put them in the car and drive them to the end of the driveway. Some carry their dogs, but I don't want to carry a Great Dane larger then my wife and I'm sure my wife doesn't either.
I personally can't just trust in someone to put a device like this on my dog and expect it to be done to perfection. So, I always test equipment on myself before I put it on a dog. I want to know what they are getting, which can really suck, trust me. Some of the invisible fence "trainers" set or forget to reset the shock and it is way to high or even too low. You want to make sure that the dog can feel the shock at a level that creates enough discomfort that it deters them from continuing past it. Too low and the dog will ignore it, too high and your dog can get traumatized.
All of that being said, the Invisible Fence can be a great device if done correctly. It takes some time and practice but once your dog does learn their boundaries they can enjoy all of the freedom you want for them. I have hundreds of clients who love them year round and have never had a problem, only needing to check or update the equipment when they get a new dog to add to their family so they can enjoy the same pleasures as others before them.