When it comes to the question, do electric fences work, I wish I could tell you yes unequivocally. Yet, that has not been my experience. Over the years I’ve tried both underground electric fences – you know the kind you bury around the area and my latest attempt was using the Stay and Play wireless fence.
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Admittedly I’m not the most patient person when it comes to training my dogs to stay within the fence boundary, so I can tell you how not to train a dog to use a wireless electric fence or even a buried electric fence. Perhaps I should have done more research before deciding to use an electric fence to contain my dogs while they were outside.
Over all electric dog fences are one of the most economical dog containment systems, especially if you live in a area where you do not want to obstruct views with a big privacy fence. If you take the time to properly train your dog and electric dog fence can offer your pet the freedom to roam around your yard without you having to worry about them being outside unsupervised.
The training part can be time intensive, so if you are a person like me, who just needs to be able to either leave the dogs outside without spending the time to train them, then you might consider some other options. You need to have a containment system already in place while you are training your puppy to stay within the boundaries of the electric fence.
Electric fences work by means of electronic signals between the collar and the receiver wires around the boundaries of where you wish to keep your pet contained. Initially the training includes flags to warn the dog that they are getting into the danger zone. They will then hear a series of beeps. Should they continue on an electric shock is administered. This shock can be pretty intense, especially if your dog is smaller and has short hair.
The training process usually takes about 30 days of consistent training each day amounting to about 45 minutes. Depending on your dog this could take longer. My experience was that I led my dogs, one at a time, around the boundaries, then they bolted through the “fence” and were shocked, they then retreated to their house and would not come out again for almost a day! For me personally, it is just easier to tie them to a leash that allows them to run as fencing the area wasn’t an option. And my dogs are notorious for getting out of fences.
Things You Should Know About Electric Dog Fences:
- You will need to install the receiver near an electrical outlet whether or not the cable is buried or wireless
- You will need to have one collar for each dog
- The fence will not protect your animal from other animals that might come into the yard and attack them – I read a story about a guy with a prized hunting dog that was killed when a timber wolf attacked that dog in his own electric fence yard! Very sad.
- You will need to replace the batteries several times a year
- You will need to make sure that power never get disconnected
Other Options For Keeping Your Dog Secure:
There are always the traditional fence options such as; chain link, wood, plastic or welded wire (make sure they can’t squeeze through). There are many dog kennels on the market that allow your dog to be secure while you have your dog in the yard unattended. There are lead lines that allow your dog to run but keep them secure in a particular area as well as posts that allow your dog to move in all directions. Small dogs could benefit from a playpen designed specifically for them.
With any of the options you choose for securing your puppy outside, be sure to check on them often, and that they have plenty of food and water available to them while they are outside.
To answer the question, do electric dog fences work? The answer would have to be yes, if you are willing to put in the time to train your dog. In my opinion, you should start the dog out early knowing where the boundaries they are to remain within are, without the collar attached. That way as they get older they will know where they can go and not go. I think that you would have better success with a wireless electronic fence.