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View Full Version : Thoughts/experience with hidden electric fences for dogs?



I'm EBO
Jan. 10, 2009, 11:41 AM
We're moving to a new place that has post and rail fencing in front, which my dogs could and would go right through. I will line the fences with something, but in the meantime, am curious about the hidden/invisible/wireless fences. They're pretty expensive, I think, but probably no more expensive than lining the post and rail and putting up a driveway gate.

Thanks for any information. My main concern is that the dogs not get run over in the street. The back area is fully fenced, but there's a chance they'd go out front through open garage doors or if we lapse in our eagle eye-edness.

Thank you.

CHS
Jan. 10, 2009, 11:47 AM
I've had it for over two years now. I have 8 dogs and all respect it and stay where they belong. I have mostly JRT's and minpins and they all were trained to the fence within 15 minutes. It was not the long drawn out training as shown in the manuals.

I'm EBO
Jan. 10, 2009, 02:02 PM
Thanks. Do you have a wireless or one where you bury the wire? And what brand do you have, please?

horsetales
Jan. 10, 2009, 02:26 PM
Depends on the dog. My neighbors dog would run through it yelping, but chasing deer was just too much fun. That neighbor was alway griping to about breaks in the line and the hassel of repairing it. I've also known an "in tact" male to feel it was worth it to run through it. Same if you have an unspayed female - doesn't stop visitors from coming in. I've also known people who have used them with success.

CB/TB
Jan. 10, 2009, 02:42 PM
Some dogs adapt very well, and maybe it depends on the breed and how strong the prey instinct is. I have a friend with a pug and an english bulldog and they both respect the fencing and learned very quickly. My brother 's two Labs were another story. One needed 2 collars and still would grit her teeth, close her eyes and charge. Didn't slow her down one bit, and then she'd be afraid to come back in. The other was a bit more careful, but on occasion they'd both be gone for an afternoon of fun. Luckily, they lived in the wilds of Maine where cars were few and far between. I don't think I'd trust it with my GSP and our busy road. A money -back guarantee doesn't make losinga dog any easier.

Guilherme
Jan. 10, 2009, 02:48 PM
A good fence does two things: keeps your animals in and other people's animals out. The "hidden fences" only do one thing (maybe). I don't recommend them on that basis alone.

G.

equineartworks
Jan. 10, 2009, 02:49 PM
One of my dogs would run right through it at his previous owners house. Nothing worked to keep him in. They even tried those nasty hig powered shock collars (I know, how lovely :no: ).

Now he is here, has gone through some major re-training and his idea of escaping is running upstairs to sleep on my bed :lol:

GallopingGrape
Jan. 10, 2009, 03:28 PM
Both me and my neighbors all have Invisable Fence. I have a lab, they have a great dane, a lab and a little terrier. We've had it for 7 years with NO problems whatsoever.

joyful
Jan. 10, 2009, 04:10 PM
Even though I don't live close to a major road, or have neighbors that are close by, I swear by my invisible fence. It keeps the dogs on the property, and out of the driveway, and away from harms way (as much as possible). It's great not to have to worry about them running off after some critter...

CHS
Jan. 10, 2009, 04:37 PM
The kind with the burried wire.

vacation1
Jan. 10, 2009, 04:58 PM
I think it depends on 2 things.

The dog - some breeds/types were bred to tolerate high levels of discomfort - labs will swim in icy water, pits will continue fighting despite injuries, for example. Some were bred to be unusually predatory and independent operators, like the terriers. These are all dogs I'd be extra-wary of trusting within an invisible or electric fence. They simply are more likely to decide the pain's worth the freedom.

The area immediately outside the fenced area - if the invisible fence is 5' from a busy sidewalk, a heavily travelled road, etc., it's less effective because there are a) a lot of stimuli provoking the dog to possible run through the pain, and b) a lot of possible intruders into the dog's area - this includes both those who might hurt the dog and those who might be hurt by the dog (and not just burglars, but innocent intruders like children and neighbors who weren't intending to trespass, just let you know that, say, they see smoke coming from your shed).

murphyluv
Jan. 10, 2009, 06:11 PM
I've also known an "in tact" male to feel it was worth it to run through it. Same if you have an unspayed female - doesn't stop visitors from coming in. I've also known people who have used them with success.

oh good lord. That's why people should spay/neuter their dog- particularly if they're idiots!!! Why would they put an intact male in an invisible fence!!?!

horsetales
Jan. 10, 2009, 07:25 PM
oh good lord. That's why people should spay/neuter their dog- particularly if they're idiots!!! Why would they put an intact male in an invisible fence!!?!

Trust me I tried to explain :no: Finally after having to bail Fido out of jail and a warning from Animal Control, they got a real fence

threemares
Jan. 10, 2009, 08:54 PM
I have four dogs and they all respect the Invisible Fence. I have two German Shepherds and two Jack Russells. My one Jack would run away all the time and come back when he felt like it. I highly recommend getting the most training possible if you have a dog like this. I had about 6-8 training visits per dog. My Jack would also grit his teeth and try to go through it but since the trainer saw this she turned it up until it actually did work. Also, I think Invisible Fence guarantees it to work and if you move it is a very minimal charge to run the wire at the new place.

By the way, this Jack I speak of also races every car that comes down the street and has never tried to run through the fence!

hoofhearted
Jan. 10, 2009, 10:25 PM
I have a chain link fence around my back yard. I have a rescue black lab/shar pei cross that has figured out how to dig under the fence and escape. Could I weave the electric fence into my chain link fence or does it have to be buried? Any other suggestions to keep her from digging? In the winter - no problem, but the summer the ground is soft.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 11, 2009, 12:23 AM
I have a chain link fence around my back yard. I have a rescue black lab/shar pei cross that has figured out how to dig under the fence and escape. Could I weave the electric fence into my chain link fence or does it have to be buried? Any other suggestions to keep her from digging? In the winter - no problem, but the summer the ground is soft.

I found that putting the dog poop into the holes by the fence (before they were big enough for the dog to get through) was enough of a deterrent for my dogs. It did take a while, I would fill the holes and they would start in different spots, but after a while they stopped digging. But in your case, since the dog has already gotten out by tunneling, that might not work, and you might have to resort to an invisible fence, perhaps installed right outside the chain link, but still within the shock zone.

I'm EBO
Jan. 12, 2009, 12:51 AM
Thanks for all the good information and advice. It has led me to a simple and cheap temporary solution. I'm going to put up plain old hot wire three inches and six inches above the ground on the existing post and rail fence, another one between the middle and top rail, and since the fence is about 4 ft high, that should do it. I'll use the hangers that hold the wire/tape about three inches away from the posts. I think this will work because the dogs have all hit the horse hot wire at least once, and have thought they were dying. We'll get the gate up first thing.

GallopHer
Jan. 12, 2009, 12:02 PM
What size collar do you put on your min pins? I want to train our 2 min pins on the underground fence, but I am afraid the shock will be too severe for them. They have NO fur on the underside of their necks.

CHS
Jan. 12, 2009, 12:32 PM
None of mine have hair under their necks either and they're fine. It's only takes one or two zaps to train them to the fence. It didn't leave any marks on them at all. The collar looks big and heavy for them but they do just fine with it. I don't leave the collars on all the time. I only have them on during the day. Once they're in for the night I take them off until morning. Mine are tiny. My breeding male is only 4 lbs. I also have a 5 lb female and an 8 lb female. I was very concerned about them being so tiny but I haven't had any problems in over two years. I personally have walked through the fence with collars in my hands. Both on purpose and by accident. It's not as bad as an electric fence shock. It's more of a static shock that stuns more than hurts, if that makes sense. Just look for the lightest weight collar. That's what they wear. My JRT's wear the lightweight also. My huskey had to have the stubborn dog collar which worked well for her.

Go Fish
Jan. 12, 2009, 02:26 PM
My friend's Border Collie has figured out that she only has a split second of "ouch" and then she's home free. The instinct to go chase the neighbor's cows is just too strong. It's not a "dumb" issue but a "smart" issue. She won't come back across it to get home.

Reds-n-Greys
Jan. 12, 2009, 08:01 PM
invisible Fence. We have a lab and a boxer who would take regular tours of the neighborhood. Installed the fence and have not had a single problem in 3 years....

except when a tree in my back yard was hit by lightning, which was right by the wire and it followed the wire right into my house. Fortunately we had the grounder-thingy and damage was minimal. It was a little scary however to see the burn mark on the exterior of the house! They had to replace a 5 ft. section of the fence.

Carnelian
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:19 AM
I bought the PetSafe Stubborn Dog System, opened it up and immediately thought "what a PITA!" That was two years ago and my dog was digging out under our chain link fence during thunderstorms. I then bought 4"x4" landscape timbers and short pieces of rebar. I laid the timbers along the chain link fence and hammered them in place with the rebar (making sure the rebar was flush with the timber). I also dug shallow trenches along the gates and poured concrete. Yes, I think all of this was easier than installing the invisible fence.

Well, we've been in a drought for the past 9 months so no thunderstorms. Plus the dog has gone blind and is so lost in space she has no interest in digging out. I bring her in if it storms too much to lessen the fear. BUT, all of the trim along EVERY door in my kitchen is chewed up :cry:

Put it on eBay this week...hope I can at least get some of my $200 back!

CHS
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:43 PM
I found the fence very easy to install. I also have a dog that's completely blind. He can't even see shadows. He's only 8 and has been blind for two years. The petsafe fence has been a God send for him because his collar beeps and vibrates when he is too far from the house. It keeps him safely in the yard and he "knows" where he is. I would highly recommend it for blind or sight impaired dogs.

leakyb
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:53 PM
A good fence does two things: keeps your animals in and other people's animals out. The "hidden fences" only do one thing (maybe). I don't recommend them on that basis alone.

G.

I totally agree with this! Our poor neighbor's dog was getting beat up by wandering dogs traveling into her yard since there was no fence to keep them out.

An important point not noted yet.....if you have a breed known to be territorial, they are not going to let just any person or any dog wander through their territory. I own Dobermans who would bark and chase a kid cutting through our back woods. A running screaming child does not good neighbors make! (However, I don't think I'll ever have posts about strangers riding my horses uninvited!)

I have always had real fences for the protection of my dogs and my kids.

wizard
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:01 PM
We have had dogwatch for 15 years and are very happy with it. Our Jack russell has occasionally decided to go thru it but it has been better by far than without it. the springer spaniels have stayed in and we fee much better aobut no dogs in the horse field or road.

BellaLuna
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:33 PM
I LOVE my invisible fence. This product has made life for my two labs so much more enjoyable. They are so happy. They can be with us when we are outside and I am not spending time collecting loose dogs or screaming at them to "COME HERE!!!" We fenced about 2 acres around our home, stopping short of the barn and the horse fields. It's worth it's weight in gold not to have "Poop Beards" from the munching on manure. And they can't torment the barn kitties.

I would agree with several of the negatives already posted - the biggest one being that you can keep your dogs home, but you can't control other loose dogs. I never leave my dogs out unless I am home. Even my really attitude filled guy doesn't go near the line. I think the secret of it's success is the commitment to training and not leaving your dogs out unless you are home.

CHS
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:13 PM
I live in the country, though people drive fast on my road. I really just need to keep my dogs out of the road which the invisible fence does. My closest neighbor (his farm surrounds mine on three sides) has two Pyrenees that patrol his farm and mine. They get along great with my dogs and think my farm is part of theirs. They protect my dogs and livestock. No stray dogs or coyotes would dare cross their path.

CHS
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:37 PM
I also don't have my dogs out unless someone is home. I let them out while I'm in the house, but I won't leave the house/property without someone being home with them. If no one is home they are in the house or in the barn.
But I would do that no matter what type of fence I had. There is just too much that could happen no matter what fence you have.

FalseImpression
Jan. 16, 2009, 01:00 AM
A family member who lives in the country has Invisible Fencing. At least, this dog has lived longer than all the previous ones since he never escaped to the road. However, his owner made the mistake once to get the dog in his truck and go down the driveway. He forgot to remove the dog's collar. Poor dog got zapped and now will NOT go in the truck!!

CHS
Jan. 16, 2009, 08:44 AM
However, his owner made the mistake once to get the dog in his truck and go down the driveway. He forgot to remove the dog's collar. Poor dog got zapped and now will NOT go in the truck!!

He must not have the burried wire fence then. I have the burried wire fence and if the dogs jump in the truck and I drive in and out with them with their collars on they're fine. They don't get shocked.

witherbee
Jan. 17, 2009, 08:03 AM
My dogs would get shocked if in the car when I drive out and I DO have the buried wire (Dogwatch Hidden Fence).

We've had ours for at least 10 years (maybe more). Had it in MA and now in FL. We have our whole 10 acres fenced in for our 3 dogs. We've had a Collie, 2 hound/lab mixes, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and a Pit mix behind it and it has been a God send! The Collie was the toughest, but with proper training, the right collar and collar setting she did finally learn to stay in the yard.

We currently do have a perimeter fence - some has no-climb and some is 4 board, so dogs can get in the yard, but it has never been a problem (probably because the Chessie either befriends them or kicks their a$$ lol!).

If we didn't have this, my dogs would get in the road and or dig. The hounds in particular are diggers and this keeps them out of the road and out of the flower beds.

I think that it's pretty rare for a dog to be untrainable to it. If you follow the training or have the rep from the company do it, and you make adjustments as needed, most dogs will respect the fence. We've had our in it so long now that the Corgi and the Chessie rarely wear thier collars. The hound mix has only been with us for a year and will test it. It's so cute how all three wait for permission to go off property (we go in the woods to check the fenceline and they have to have their collars off, or over to the neighbors to hunt in his hay mow) - they all stop and wag their tails and look at me until I either take off their collars or say "Okay!" and off they run.

I will never have a home without it or something similar. We do have occasional breaks in the wore (horses dig it up etc), but if we had planned better and put it completely outside of the paddocks I think it would be maintenence free. As is, it's easy enough to find and fix ourselves.

carp
Jan. 17, 2009, 06:41 PM
Some dogs are more determined to leave the property than others. From what I've seen, radio fences work great combined with a barrier fence if you've got a determined escape artist. The dog won't want to spend the time digging under or climbing over the barrier fence if he's getting shocked the whole time.

cheval convert
Jan. 20, 2009, 07:09 PM
My aussie rescue was already trained to the radio fence when we got him. We bought the wireless system and both we and the dog love it. We use it so we can play frisbee with him and not worry that he will run away. He likes the freedom of being outside without a leash. However, we do not leave him outside unattended - if he can get into trouble he does. We like the wireless system because we also own a cottage and when we go there, we just bring the transmitter with us and adjust the distances according to our lot size. At only $200 it was well worth the money.

He has a strong prey drive and will chase deer, but when he hears the beep of the collar warning him that he's close to the edge he sits and watches the deer leave the area.

smokygirl
Jan. 20, 2009, 08:12 PM
My paren'ts tried it. It worked great for the maltese. The Malamute, Belgian Sheepdog, Rottie, and Beagle (my sister's two dogs, and my brother's two dogs), even with a lot of training, were still tempted frequently. the Malamute loves to run, doesn't care about shocking. The Beagle, well once he has a scent, he's gone.