Just about all dog owners have to consider the issue of containment for their dogs. Allowing a dog to run loose is a sure way to invite trouble. Your dog could be killed, injured, picked up by animal control, or cause damage or harm to property or other animals or people. That makes it imperative for every dog owner to find a good way to keep their dog safely contained at home.
The Invisible Fence
One way to keep your dog at home is by using an invisible fence. If you’re not familiar with how an invisible fence works, a wire is buried along with perimeter of the property you wish to use for your dog.
A transmitter is installed in a quiet location near the boundaries. This transmitter emits a radio signal along the wire. When your dog wears a special lightweight collar, the collar emits a gives a warning signal when the dog gets too close to the boundaries.
If the dog ignores the warning signal and tries to cross the boundaries of the invisible fence line, then the collar puts out a slight shock, similar to what you would receive if you scooted your feet across carpeting and touched a metal doorknob. The feeling isn’t enough to hurt the dog but it does get his attention. Dogs are trained for 2-3 weeks so that they learn where the invisible fence boundaries are with the use of flags in the yard.
Positive Points About Invisible Fences
There are many positive things about using invisible fences. They work very well for keeping most dogs, of all breeds, contained in their yard. Dogs are trained to respect the boundaries and the warning signal, so once they learn where the boundaries are they don’t usually try to leave the yard. By contrast, some dogs contained inside fences don’t really respect the fence. They may keep trying to find ways to get out.
Invisible fences also work for multiple dogs as long as each dog is wearing the special collar. You can also use an invisible fence to contain cats. You can even take your invisible fence with you if you decide to move. You simply take the transmitter and dog’s collar with you and have new wire installed at the new location.
Invisible fencing claims an extremely high success rate when it comes to containing pets — as high as 99.5 percent.
Invisible fencing can even be used indoors to keep pets from going into certain areas of the home.
Criticisms of the Invisible Fence
There are, however, concerns about using invisible fences. Some people don’t like the idea of using a collar that emits a shock to the dog, even for training purposes, and even if it’s very mild and brief.
One of the biggest criticisms of the invisible fence is the fact that it keeps an owner’s animals inside the fence but it does nothing to keep stray animals or people out of your yard. Your dog could be kept at home but your neighbor’s dog could come and go freely into and out of your yard, which could upset your dog.
Although most dogs trained to stay inside an invisible fence do obey it and remain inside, there are always exceptions. Some dogs may be hard to train and insist on going through the boundary line. If the transmitter or collar stops working your dog might be tempted to go for a run.
Many veterinarians and dog professionals recommend invisible fences to dog owners. Ultimately it’s up to a dog owner to decide whether or not they feel comfortable trusting their dog’s safety to an invisible fence.