As you probably already know, having a wireless pet fence is one of the most effective ways to keep your canine friend safe and sound. This kind of pet containment system also gives the dog a lot of freedom – he’s able to play inside and run around the designed area.
Even though these products work for most people, some pet owners find them unsuitable. For that matter, finding out the advantages and disadvantages of electric dog fences is bound to help you decide if this is the right option four your four-legged companion. This is especially pronounced if we compare these modern systems to standard chain-link or wooden fences since some people still find these traditional fences to be the best option.
But before we delve into pros and cons, let’s have a quick overview of how these fences work:
How Does Wireless Containment System Work?
There are two main types of electric dog fences – the in-ground and the wireless ones. The way in which each of these works is different, but the principle is same – there’s always some kind of a base unit whose purpose is to create an invisible boundary for your canine companion.
Your four-legged friend has to wear an e-collar that uses a “beep” sound to warn him that he’s getting close to the border. If the dog decides to ignore this warning, a couple of special metal prongs on the collar will deliver a mild static correction. The purpose of this electric stimulation is to encourage the pooch to get back into his containment area.
We should also mention the above-the-ground electric fence, which is, unlike the underground version, stretched across the lawn. Because the grass and weeds usually grow over this wire, the boundaries also become “invisible” over time.
Keeping the pooch contained in the yard is very important – if he gets loose, he can hurt himself or somebody else. Having a pup that runs around with no supervision can’t be a good thing – let’s see what the benefits and downsides of containing him with an electric dog barrier are:
It’s a lot less expensive than the traditional chain-link or wooden fences. These can be very expensive, especially if you take the costs of installation into account. Top of the line electric dog fences, on the other hand, can be bought for less than $500.
- It’s a lot easier to install and maintain. On top of that, it doesn’t block one’s view like the traditional barrier do. It’s also an excellent choice for the neighborhoods that have restrictions when it comes to physical barriers.
- These kinds of products can be installed on almost all types of terrains, whether they’re hilly, rocky, or wooded. They can even be placed underwater, making them an ideal choice for homeowners with ponds in their yards. Some of these places make it impossible to install a traditional fence, at least not without difficulties or the impractical results.
- Invisible dog fences are perfect for keeping the pooch away from areas you don’t want him to be at. Some examples are gardens, flowerbeds, and pools.
- Wireless fences are highly portable. Transporting and setting them up is as easy as it gets, providing the owner with a fantastic way to contain his pet wherever he decides to go. As you can already guess, this is impossible with a traditional one.
- An owner doesn’t have to worry about leaving the gate open.
- The training is of paramount importance. Buying and using this product is not advisable if you don’t have the time and effort to teach your pup to respect the new boundaries. You’ll have to spend about 2 to 4 weeks to do so.
- Even though the wireless fences are a lot easier to maintain than their traditional cousins, we certainly can’t claim that they’re maintenance-free. An owner has to frequently check if the whole system is working adequately, repair the possible breaks, maintain the collar, and other similar operations.
- Using it for sick, elderly, or pregnant canines is not advisable. If you’re not sure about the current condition of your four-legged companion, asking the vet if you should use the system on your dog is the best decision.
- Using this type of fence for aggressive dogs is not recommended. It could cause an aggressive pooch to become even more aggressive, although the chances of that happening aren’t that high.
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- A power outage will cause the fence to stop working, allowing your dog to cross the boundary and get out on the dangerous road (or harm the passers-by). Of course, this won’t happen if your system comes with a battery backup.
- Even though these kinds of fences can be quite effective when they’re used in a correct way, they can’t guarantee containment. They also won’t keep other dogs and other animals out of the yard.
If you’re still not convinced about the effectiveness and safety, there are a couple of alternatives you could check out. The first of them is getting an actual fence, with one made out of polypropylene mesh being one of the best choices.
- Other Fencing
The Pet Playgrounds Non-Electric Fence is one such fence, having a vinyl-coated wire system and 1,000lbs of break strength. When looked at from a distance of 15-20 feet, this wires is almost invisible, making it a pretty good choice if you don’t want other people to see it easily.
It has a steel cable railing system that’s bound to keep the dog in place while still keeping unwanted things out of the yard. The posts are 25 feet away from one another, making the whole thing pretty spacious and lowering the overall costs. Furthermore, it’s also expandable and can be used on almost all terrains and in yards of all sizes. Putting it together is very easy and can be done by anyone, while the fact that its PETA approved confirms that it’s humane and not harmful.
An important thing to keep in mind here is that some homeowners associations don’t allow certain types of visible fencing. In case you’re living somewhere where a neighborhood association has control over what one can and cannot do, make sure to ask them first.
- Citronella Collar
If fencing, both visible and invisible, isn’t something you want to use in your yard, you could also opt for a citronella collar. This kind of collar sports a concept that’s very similar to that of the shock collars, with the main difference being that it emits citronella. This is a plant base that’s often used to repel insects. It’s both cheap and very effective.
As you can already guess, canines hate its scent. This means that wearing a citronella collar isn’t only highly effective, but also very humane and harmless to the dog. When paired with a couple of behavioral training tactics, it can lead to fantastic results.
The only downside is that the owner has to press the handheld button every time he wants to release the citronella scent. Therefore, training the pooch with a citronella collar requires more time and effort, but excellent results are almost guaranteed in the end.
The Bottom Line
If you decide to go for a wireless containment fence, keep in mind that you’ll have to carefully monitor your furry friend for the first couple of months. Your pooch won’t have problems with picking up on the new limits if you put some effort into teaching him about the new rules. Once he’s entirely familiar with the new boundaries, you’ll finally be able to let him roam around the yard without fear of him escaping and ending up on the dangerous road.
As for the pros and cons, we think that advantages outweigh the downsides and that getting a fence is a wise decision. The dangers that are associated with these kinds of pet containment systems are, in our opinion, exaggerated – the electric fences are effective, harmless, and work just as advertised. Get your dog familiar with one, and you’ll end up with a pet that’s safe and sound at all times!