Should You Consider an Electric Dog Fence?


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Our dogs are considered members of our family. They aren’t just pets; they’re furry, fuzzy bundles of love. Because they’re so important to us, we want to do everything we can to keep them safe. Dogs are naturally curious, but they don’t understand the risks they face in the outside world, like fast cars on the roadway. Too many dogs wander out of their yards, only to be injured, killed, or lost forever, and that pain is devastating to the whole family.

When you’re outside of home, you put your dog on a leash to keep them close to you. Within the boundaries of your own property, however, you want your dog to be able to roam as they please. Exercise and exploration are vital to a dog’s physical and mental well-being. The best thing you can do for your dog is ensure that they’re safe by installing fencing around your property line.

There are two main types of fencing: traditional and “invisible” fencing. Electric, invisible dog fences are very different from traditional fences, and there are pros and cons to each type. There are many factors that go into choosing the best type of fencing for your yard and dog. In many instances, electric dog fencing may actually be a smarter choice. Should you get an invisible fence for your dog? Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide.

What Type of Dog Do You Have?
An electric dog fence is great for almost all dogs. In particular, if you have a dog that loves to dig or chase, a wireless dog fence is your best bet for keeping them contained. Dogs that enjoy digging, such as terriers, can escape from traditional fencing by going under it. Dogs that are bred as hunting dogs love to chase, and they may jump over your fence or find a way through in order to get to animals or people on the other side. With an electronic dog fence, however, these types of dogs are more secure, because they’ll be deterred from getting close to the boundary at all with beeping and a mild static shock. They are unable to go under or over a wired dog fence.

If your dog is particularly aggressive, an electric dog fence may not be enough to keep them inside your yard if they feel threatened. A traditional fence may not do the job either. With very aggressive dogs, it’s recommended that you use a combination of both an invisible dog fence  and a traditional fence. Dogs that are very sick, pregnant, or younger than six months old should not use an electric fence. As long as your dog is older than six months, not pregnant, and healthy, a wireless dog fence is absolutely fine to use.

What Type of Yard Do You Have?
Depending on the area you need to enclose, an electronic dog fence may be a more practical solution. If you have a very large property, such as a ranch or farm with many acres, a wireless dog fence is often an easier choice. If the terrain of your yard is uneven or difficult, it may be easier to lay the wire of an electric fence than to level out the yard until it’s suitable for a traditional fence. In these cases, a wireless dog fence is more versatile.

Traditional fences also greatly alter the look of your property. For aesthetic reasons, you might not want a large fence. For example, a fence may obscure the scenic view of the mountains, lake, or golf course beyond your yard. An electric dog fence allows you to preserve the pristine architecture and landscaping of your property while keeping your dog safe at the same time. If you want easy access to the land beyond your dog’s boundaries, a wireless fence will let you come and go without requiring that you unlock and open a gate.

What is Your Budget?
People often worry about the price of an invisible fence, but a electric dog fence is almost always cheaper than a traditional fence. Traditional fences can cost thousands of dollars, while the invisible fence cost can be as low as $300. The maintenance cost of traditional fences is also more than for electronic fences. Traditional fences are more prone to damage from things such as falling trees and storms, while underground, wired dog fences are safe from outside damage.

If your goal is to save money on your fencing project, you can save even more by installing the best electric dog fence by yourself. With a couple hours of reading the instruction manual, and a few more for installation, you can install your own electric dog fence in just one or two days. By doing it yourself, you’ll understand how your wired fence works, and then you’ll be able to repair it yourself if need be, too. If you don’t want to install your own dog fence, you can spend a little more to hire a professional.

What Fence Should You Choose?
If you decide than an electric dog fence is a better choice for you based on the needs of your dog, your yard, and your budget, you can examine wireless dog fence reviews online to choose the best model. Certain types of wired fences are better for different kinds of dogs and yards. For example, the PetSafe YardMax is best for people who have up to 10 acres of property to enclose. If you have a small dog, the PetSafe Little Dog uses a collar and correction level that’s more appropriate for your dog’s size. There are also wired fences that are better for enclosing circle-shaped areas or better for use indoors. If you choose a traditional fence, make sure your research the pros and cons of different types as well.

When you choose a great fence, you will have peace of mind that your beloved dog is safe. They’ll have freedom to roam their territory without fear of danger, and you can feel good about their safety at home.

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December 15, 2014 |

5 thoughts on “Should You Consider an Electric Dog Fence?

  1. irishdogwizard says:

    One uncommon, but serious, potential consequence of electric fences is psychological.

    Example: a dog-trainer friend lived in an area where an electric fence was the only option. After rigorous boundary training, her dog (Storm) understood it’s limits and never got “zapped.” One day a new black lab was in the neighbors yard. Storm got overly excited and tried to run towards the other dog, getting hit with the electric zap on his way.

    Now, dogs don’t process events the way we do. From Storm’s perspective: “I see a new, black dog. I approach the new dog. I feel an intense, unexpected pain. That dog equals pain.”

    From that point forward Storm was anxious and fearful of all black dogs.

  2. saraminda says:

    I’m really not a fan of having my dog get shocked.

  3. AbrahamD says:

    Growing up in the desert and next to empty fields, I experienced run-ins with rattlesnakes and coyotes and would never want my dogs to be unexpectedly disturbed by them. Three-quarters of our property is surrounded by an 8-foot wall and the last quarter is taken up by the chain-link fence our neighbors put up. It gets the job done and I don’t worry for the safety of my animal companions.

  4. Daniel Scott says:

    We live in a rural area. We have fenced a part of our land and the rest is left as a natural habitat for the wildlife. We need fences to keep out coyotes, lynx, armadillos, skunks and other critters. We want to keep our dogs and all the wonderful creatures the visit and live on our land safe, and an electric fence does not have this capability.

  5. Michael says:

    We’ve considered an electric fence but worried about our dogs being seniors, all over 10.

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