ISO opinions on those electronic fences

There’s a leash law here. Puppy likes to run, and I can’t run with her. We could just tie her to a ground stake with a 50-foot lead, but I wouldn’t like to see her run to the end of it and get a harsh jerk.

Ideally we’d put up a regular fence, but we like the look of the yard as it is, and we’re back and forth with the neighbors quite a bit. Plus, we don’t want the extra maintenance of trimming grass around a fence, and fencing is expensive.

So we’re thinking about one of those electronic fences. There’s one kind where you bury a wire in the ground, and a wireless one that sends out a radio signal. A friend on the other side of town has one and she says it works, but every time I drive by her house, I see her three dogs at her neighbor’s fence, harassing the neighbor’s cats, so I’m skeptical.

The puppy won’t be outside alone, regardless of what kind of fence we get. We just want her to be able to get some exercise without hurting herself.

Anyone have either of the electronic fences? Do they work as advertised?

There are some dogs around here that have them (large, wooded community, HOA restrictions on “real” fences, and the dogs do seem to stop at the (invisible) line when barking at me as I walk by.

However, the one complaint I’ve heard from someone who owns one is that an excited dog occasionally will cross the fence in spite of the correction, and now you’ve got an invisible fence keeping your dog OUT.

Other dogs/animals can get in. That could be bad in the case of a stray or unleashed dog. That is why I’d never get one - my fence protects my dog from others, it doesn’t just prevent him from getting out. I have also heard about dogs running out of the fence despite the shock.

Also, I have been freaked a few times when dogs run at my car while I’m driving before I realize they’re contained by an invisible fence.

many neighbors here have elctronic fences. The seem to work great. The problem mentioned by **TimeWinder **doesn’t seem to be much of an issue. Once the dogs learn where the fence is, they stay behind it, collar or no. If later they do cross the barrier that isn’t really there any more, they seem to be just fine about going back “inside” later.

To the OP: The physical effect of getting to the end of a real leash and of getting to the invisible fence’s *zap 'em *zone is about the same. I wouldn’t worry about injuring the dog in either case. A few full tilt runs to the end of the leash and he/she will figure out how to know when the leash is almost paid out. Just like with the electric fence.

Thanks, everyone. I was hoping for favorable reports. :slight_smile:

Hanna, everyone around here has been obeying the leash law. The only strays I’ve seen have been quickly rounded up and adopted. I’ve never seen so many dog lovers in one place.

ISO9000 does not deal with this subject.

Tried them twice. First time I didn’t put the time in to really train the dog according to the instructions. Dog got out but would not come back. Second time, different dog, we did the training to the letter and they worked great.

We had one. We have a real chain link fence and our dogs would somehow find a way out of the yard. I had to watch them once just to see how they did it. It turns out they just ran full speed at the bottom of the fence and popped through.

Anyway, after chasing the dogs around the neighborhood a few dozen times, we got the electric fence out of desperation. It worked wonders. The dogs didn’t want to go outside at all and pissed all over the floor instead. If we forced them outside they huddled on the porch and refused to do their business.

Once we got past that little hurdle (which took about 2 weeks) it was great. The dogs did finally figure out where they could and couldn’t go. They would go right to the limit where their collars wouldn’t beep and would sit there, barking at the neighbor dogs.

Since we already had a chain link fence, we didn’t have to do the whole flag thing to train the dogs where they could and couldn’t go.

The thing broke a couple of years ago. One of our dogs unfortunately got sick and died. The other dog is still with us, and still won’t go anywhere near the fence.

One important note - make sure you have a “safe” way in and out of the yard. In our case, the “safe” path was through the garage. If you don’t have one of these and you need to get the dog back into the yard you are going to have a heck of a time getting it to go near the electronic fence area.

Two of my neighbors have electronic fences and they work great. One has little mop heads (he claims that they are shih-tzus but he can’t fool me - they came from the mop store) but the other has a very large dog. You’d think that the large dog would be trouble, especially since it likes to bark at anyone who comes down the street, but it runs right to the edge of where the electronic fence must be installed and stops every time. It even chases cars, running up and down the yard but stopping as if there were a real fence there.

I do know of one case where the electronic fence didn’t work. The guy owns a dog that is literally an escape artist. He put up a fence, the dog went over it. He put up a taller fence, the dog went under it. He staked down the entire fence and the dog figured out how to open the gate. He got an electronic fence, and the dog figured out that if it sat just at the edge where the collar started beeping that he could kill the battery, and then the shock collar didn’t work and he could escape again. The dog escaped once and was picked up by animal control. They were going to fine the owner, but the dog managed to escape from animal control before the guy could pick it up. After that the folks at animal control had some sympathy.

Remember also that if you electronically “fence” in the front yard, you might be keeping out any delivery people (including the letter carrier) that needs to get across the front yard. My husband deals with so many people who can’t seem to figure out that an invisible fence in the front yard doesn’t mean that the dog will treat nicely anyone coming in.

Lillith Fair has an electronic fence for her Jack Russell, and it works great. And the mailbox is kept outside of the fence line, and the fenceline is clearly denoted for other delivery people. Neighbors across the street have it for their three huge dogs, and it works great. They chose to have part of it under their driveway, so it was a slightly bigger undertaking to install, but their dogs have never strayed. And most fencelines are only partway down the front yards around here, so the dogs can’t really get close to anyone on the sidewalk.

Oh goody, more info! :slight_smile:

I didn’t realize there was any training involved. That’s good to know. We’re not doing such a good job with training in other areas. Sadie’s housebroken and she sits on command, but anything else we want her to do requires food.

After she’s accustomed to the boundaries, can the special collar be removed? I figured the collar would be temporary. ??

Lillith’s dog still wears the collar all the time…that’s the point of the fence…otherwise training alone would be enough, like my neighbor’s border collie who only had to be shown the edges of the yard, and never strayed! Now occasionally Lillith’s dog will go out without the collar, and stays in the yard…but I wouldn’t trust that for long.