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The Pros and Cons of Electric Fences for Dogs

by | January 2, 2020 | Pet Care

The pros and cons dogs electric fences

If you’re currently living somewhere without a fenced-in area for your pup, you might be curious to learn how to keep your furry friend from straying outside your property. No one wants their pet to escape, become lost, or get into trouble. You may want to consider an electric dog fence. They’re an effective way of keeping your animal safe while teaching them to respect boundaries. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best option. Deciding which method to use for your pet to understand the limits you set, is no minor issue.

Read on to discover what’s best for both of you and take into consideration some of the pros and cons of installing an electric fence for dogs.

Electric Dog Fences and Safety

Dog running in the park

One question most people have is wanting to know if electric dog fences are safe for their pet. The idea of your dog receiving a charge through a collar may seem a bit harsh. But the system is designed to startle, not hurt your animal. All the dog should feel is something as concerning as a splash of water. You can also adapt the intensity of the collar to the needs of your pet. Setting up the system can include accounting for how big, strong, or motivated to escape your dog is. The electric charge should not harm or do damage to your pet.

The way an electric fence works is pretty straightforward. After marking the perimeter your furry pal should stay in, you or a technician will set up an underground wire surrounding that area. Since all the equipment is underground and out of sight, animals will have no visual markers of their boundaries. If your dog crosses the designated area, they will receive a light tingle. To avoid receiving the sensation again, your pet may hesitate to go near that certain point in the future.

The feeling of getting corrected is similar to being bitten by a mosquito. It’s annoying, but it doesn’t hurt. Some dogs might get used to the sensation or become numb to it. This means you may have to adjust the settings on the collar. Strong-willed canines may not even let the correction bother them, but that’s where the importance of training comes into play.

Training a Dog with an Electric Fence

Dog walks with parent in the park

The good news is, it’s easy to train a dog to use an invisible fence. But like anything else you teach a pet, it can require patience and consistency. The whole process takes an average of 14 days. But since each pup is different, it may vary. It’s important to respect the time of a learning animal. Each training session should last about 10 to 15 minutes. Your dog is likely to learn faster if with short and consistent exercises. Long and sporadic sessions may be boring and confusing for them.

Dog is running with holding toy

If your dog gets tired or distracted, remember to take it slow. Ensure the experience stays playful and give your pet lots of praise when they make the right choices.  Be sure to have fun with your pet in the designated area that you want your dog to respect. The more they get used to being happy and satisfied within those boundaries, the less they will want to leave the area.

According to an article by Pet Safe, after around 15-30 days of training it’s alright to leave your pup alone. You still need to keep an eye out for any strange behavior, but it’s not necessary to monitor all your pet’s movements. It’s safe to let them run free!

How Much Does an Invisible Fence Cost?

Pink piggy bank in pink background

Something that may worry some people is how much an electric dog fence costs. The costs associated with buying an electric fence will depend on how big your yard or space is. The prices of an invisible electric dog fence and collar range between $100 to $400. Keep in mind this doesn’t include installation or extra accessories. Overall, it depends on how much wire you need to cover your property. You can also choose to buy and install the fence yourself, which saves the cost of professional installation. Even if we take all this into account, the equipment is pretty affordable.

List of Electric Fence Pros and Cons

German Shepherd running

Now that you have a basic understanding of invisible fences, we’ll cover the pros and cons of an electric fence for dogs:

Pros

  • The underground system allows you to maintain your property/landscape.
  • If you’ve trained your dog well, you don’t have to worry about it escaping.
  • It’s practical and easy to use.
  • You can install it on your own if you want.
  • It’s cheaper than a regular fence.

Cons

  • Dogs can get paranoid or lose trust if not well trained.
  • Motivated dogs can still cross boundaries.
  • Not 100% effective against outside influences (wildlife).
  • Could cause tech interference in the area.

Remember, all these things may vary. It all depends on your dog, their training, your landscape, and the quality of the product. You may find yourself experiencing more or less of each. Analyze things according to your situation before installing an invisible fence for dogs.

Woman hugs dog

Conclusion

When considering if you should install an electric fence for your animal, you should do what’s best for your dog. Only you can decide whether an electric fence is a right option to help keep your pet safe. It comes down to what you think will work best after weighing the pros and cons of using an electric fence for your dog.

For more unique and insightful tips about living with dogs, check out Prudent Pet’s exclusive take on 10 Common Dog Questions and Answers!

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Alice

Alice is the proud mama to her beautiful 3-year-old Labrador Retriever, Bella. Bella loves to cuddle up with Alice when she's reading a book on a cold Chicago night. No matter what the occasion is, Bella is always ready to pounce at the closest squirrel or rabbit when Alice runs with her along Lake Michigan in the summertime. When Bella's not tracking down random animals, she's taking a cozy nap or destroying toys left and right.