We bought a house!! But we do not have a dog yet, just thinking ahead The house is only on a quarter acre, and the lot is long and narrow, but drops off into a gulch into woods in the very back so actually not quite a full quarter acre of yard space (but at least the woods mean no other neighbors yards back up to ours so that's good)
Anyway, I'm wondering about invisible fencing or wireless pet containment since the back yard is so small it will feel completely claustrophobic with a real privacy fence, and I think a dog could easily jump over or dig under a cutesy non-claustrophobic picket fence. Another benefit of invisible fence is that it would probably be able to go around the whole house, front yard and all, so dog would have more space than just the back yard.
My concern is that the area is so small, a dog would hardly have room to build up to a sprint before hitting an opposite barrier "wall"....so is there a minimum size yard recommended for optimal invisible fence success?
Also what brands do COTHers have and like? About how much should I expect to spend for a system?
I've had invisible fence on two properties; the first was 2 acres, this one is an acre. Both had issues that complicated a real fence. I would NOT do a lot as small as you describe for the following reason: The systems generally have a range around the actual wire that is an active zone. Maybe 6 feet or more, I think it depends. My dogs have all (4 of them) made their own limits well inside that active zone so in a small yard you end up w/ WAY less space. I would put up chain link fence, they are sturdy and not as claustrophobic because so much light gets through.
Also, I do not leave my dogs out unattended for any material length of time. But I do lots of gardening work, and its nice to have them out then - when I can keep an eye on things.
We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........
I would put up a no-climb chain fence rather than an invisible fence for the reasons stated above. Your dog will either not be able to run the whole area because he is avoiding the warning zone OR he will just get fed up and run right through it. Regardless, go for the real fence!
Plus, with a real, physical fence, other dogs will not intrude and possibly attack yours. And you will not have to wonder whether yours will decide to take the shock to go chase deer or whatever, then if they do come home, are unable to get back without incurring another shock.
Or, some dogs are so smart, they wait in the "warning zone" where the collar beeps but does not shock, til the battery runs down. Then they leave, with no shock.
The thing is, I saw on the invisible fence brand website there is now a type that can be programmed (I think) so your yard is good territory, and once the dog goes beyond a certain distance life is a constant shock. I guess I was wondering if anyone had real life experience with that variety of invisible/wireless "fence".
I would never use an invisible fence as the only source of containment. I would recommend it as backup to a physical fence. We plan to use a system once our property is fenced. We live on a busy road and I want to do everything I can to keep our dog out of the road when she gets out.
My real life experience with it is watching my neighbors dogs get out numerous times. Eventually one being run over and the other trampled by another neighbors horse. I've seen too many bad things happen to neighbors or friends with invisible fences to have no desire to use one by itself.
I would never use invisible fence even though I know people who swear by them. I've known two dogs who became biters (and 1 was euthed for it) because they associated the shock with the trainer and the other with delivery people. Also, it sounds like you live in a neighborhood. I'd want the fence to keep my neighbors and their dogs OUT as well as keeping my dog IN. Privacy fences are not as claustrophobic as think, but if you really can't stand the idea, use black wire, either buried 12" into the ground or folded against the ground inside a wooden fence of your choice. From the deck, the black wire will 'disappear' and you'll have the openness you desire.
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Yes to the black wire! It can stand alone and disappear, or be put behind a nice wood split rail or three or four board wood fence, and look nice and airy. Even a regular wire 2 x 4 mesh behind a board fence disappears very well. Or the fake wrought iron fence looks open and would work for all but a tiny dog.
I have maybe 1/3 acre and have a stockade fence around the backyard. The property came with one and I replaced it with another. Surprisingly, it doesnt make the property look small - in fact give it a nice oasis-like feeling without seeing all the neighbor clutter.
So I wouldnt be afraid to fence with solid or wire fencing! Only caveat it to think about avoiding digging under or escaping under for small dogs.
Dogs will run through invisible fences when they are scared or otherwise desperate. A fence can be done for a small backyard in a way that looks nice. As others have said, you'll probably want to keep neighbors dogs out and an invisible fence wont do that.
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey