Category Archives: invisible fencing

How to Train Your Dog with Invisible Fencing

By Suzanne Alicie

Invisible fencing is a method of containing your pet that, while it may seem quick and easy, actually requires quite a bit of training in order to make your pet understand. Essentially the fencing is laid underground and your pet will wear a transmitter collar. As your pet nears the fencing area the collar will beep; this is your pet’s signal to turn back. If your pet continues he will approach the fencing and receive (typically) a shock. Another method some company’s use is to spray citronella in the dog’s face. Either of these methods are a repellent to the dog, and he will want to avoid them. However, it is up to you as a responsible pet owner to work with your pet and teach him what the beeping and the fencing response means. Otherwise you may have a very confused dog who continually tries to bolt over or cross the fencing area.

Before attempting to train your dog with an invisible fencing system, it is essential that he knows the basic commands. It’s also important to keep in mind that the fence training is not something which can be fully accomplished in a few short weeks. Dogs continue to learn what is expected of them as they grow and encounter new situations.

To begin training your dog to understand invisible fencing, you must first mark the boundaries. Use flags or cones to outline the path of the invisible fencing. Place your dog on the leash with the fencing de-activated and walk him around the perimeter. Allow him to smell and become accustomed to these additions to his yard.

After the first few trips around the yard, activate the fencing and allow him to only go to where the warning beep sounds. Continue this daily for about a week. Next, place your dog on the leash or a run and affix it so that he can’t go past the beep trigger area. Allow him to wander and roam within this area only. Continue this practice for a few days.

Lengthen the leash so that your dog can reach just past the perimeter of the fencing. As he wanders the yard, and you see him approaching the warning beep area call him back. Be sure to praise him and reward him for his effort. If he continues after you call him he will either be shocked or sprayed. At that time, walk him around the perimeter allowing him to recognize the warning beeps and if necessary get sprayed or shocked as he examines the perimeter. This will help reinforce the boundaries and teach your dog the consequences if he attempts to leave the boundaries.

Each day, remove a few of the perimeter markings and continue to let your dog explore while leashed until he knows the boundaries. It takes approximately 6 weeks for a dog to learn the boundaries and be allowed to play in the yard while off the leash.

As a responsible pet owner, it is important that you never leave your unleashed dog unattended in an invisibly fenced yard. Some dogs are smarter than you think, and will realize that if they get over the perimeter the shock will stop. A black lab owned by a neighbor of mine had it figured out that if he could just get past the fencing he was in the clear. It was dangerous for the dog, but also amusing to watch him race across the yard, jump the boundary with a little yelp and then run down the street. Despite the owner’s expense, and the training, that dog was simply destined to spend his outdoor time on the leash. Another neighbor has a dog that no matter what will not cross the warning beep. As soon as he hears it he high tails it back toward the house.

Invisible fencing is not right for every dog. Each dog is different, and each person must make the right choice for his pet. Evaluating the pros and cons of invisible fencing is an important part of making this decision.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Invisible Fencing: Pros and Cons

By Ruthie Bently

Many communities these days do not allow fencing, as they feel it ruins the aesthetics of the view from one’s front yard and can affect property values. One alternative many pet owners are trying is “invisible fencing.” The premise is that invisible fencing allows containment of the family pet without putting up a wooden or chain link fence, while presenting an unobstructed view of the neighborhood. There are pros and cons to invisible fencing, however, that you may not be aware of. While I have no personal experience with these systems, I have plenty of anecdotal evidence from clients who have used them.

It is suggested that if you install invisible fencing, you should spend several weeks training your dog. I always recommended that my clients mark the edges of the entire containment area with flags to give the dog a visual perception of their new boundaries. Your dog needs to be conditioned so they do not have the urge to approach the fence. Only in this way will you be successful containing your dog with invisible fencing. Some of these systems also let you set a height to the fence boundary in case you have a jumper. This is important if you have a dog that can jump vertically, as they can leap over the invisible barrier without fear of getting an electrical reprimand.

The biggest plus according to manufacturers of these systems is that they are buried underground and you don’t have an unsightly fence line. After your dog is trained, another plus (in theory) is that you can allow your dog access to the yard without the fear of them running off and you don’t have to constantly monitor where they are. You can have the system installed by a company for you, or install it yourself if you are handy. After installation you put a collar on your dog which will first give them an auditory warning that they are too close to the fence line. If they attempt to leave the yard they will get a mild shock.

While the idea of containing a dog without a physical fence may sound wonderful, it will not prevent neighborhood dogs from entering your yard on their own. It won’t prevent wildlife from entering your yard either. While you may not be worried about a deer, if you are in an area that is populated by foxes, wolves, coyotes, raccoons or skunks it may give you pause. Your dog will not be protected behind a vertical barrier from any of these creatures. It should also be noted that dog theft is up during these economically challenging times, and invisible fencing will not present much of a barrier to someone determined to steal your dog.

Last but not least, there are some dogs that will not be contained by an invisible fence. I had one client whose dog was aggressive, and if they saw a dog walking on what they considered their turf (now that there was no physical barrier to break their line of sight), they would charge out of the containment area and the owner would have to go and retrieve their dog. Because the dog knew it would get a shock coming back into the yard, it would not venture back across the border without having the electric fence turned off first. You do not want them charging out into the street where they might be injured by a vehicle, or onto the sidewalk where they can accost the mailman or passers-by.

If you are considering purchasing invisible fencing, see if the company has a system set up that you might be able to use to evaluate your dog. Or check with friends or family members to see if they know someone who might have one that you could use for your evaluation. It is a good idea to keep an eye on your dog, whether you have a classically fenced yard or an invisible fence. Only in this way can you be sure that they will be truly safe.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.