What are the disadvantages of installing an electronic fence to keep my dog on my property?

Although some trainers refuse to use them, a very effective way to create a boundary for your dog without adding a visible fence is by installing an electric dog fence. It uses a buried (weather-proof) wire that transmits a radio signal. Your dog wears a special collar that emits a correction signal when the dog approaches the boundary wire.

Here are some concerns and drawbacks:

• Although electronic fences are generally safe, you do need to keep in mind that it requires electricity, so caution does need to be used. The shocks can range from barely noticeable to very uncomfortable so make sure your installer really walks you through this process.

• Repairing a hole in an invisible dog fence can be challenging. If you’re still under warranty, great. Even if it’s still not under warranty, you may decide to request a service call. If you do decide to do it yourself, please ask the manufacturer for very detailed instructions.

• It does not keep other dogs, cats, deer and rabbits out of your yard.
• This punitive style of training can cause some dogs to become more anxious. And, if a dog is chased out of his own back yard by a roaming dog, he may be too frightened to re-enter the yard because he knows he will experience the zapping from his collar.

Here’s how the electronic fence works: A hole is dug around the designated area and, once the hole is dug, a wire is inserted in the hole and the hole is then covered. Because the wire is covered up and no one sees it, so it’s called an invisible fence. The wire emits a radio frequency sound that your pet will be able to hear.
A special collar that has two metal prongs and a little box is put on your dog. The box emits a sound that only the animal can hear whenever it gets too close to the invisible fence (underground wire). The pet must be trained that the sound will lead to a shock if it continues. After a few times, the pet quickly catches on to the sound it hears before the shock, and then it stays away from the boundaries and remains safely in the designated area. The installer will help you with this process until your pet understands the system.

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