Get Off the Fence: What Concerned Pet Owners Need to Know About Dog Containment Systems


Hidden containment systems, or electric dog fences are muddled in myths. There may be multiple reasons for not wanting to buy one of these fences for your dog. There are a few things to know about the reality of these tools and what the reality of using them will do for you and your pet.

Basics of the Fence

Common knowledge should dictate that naturally inclined aggressive dogs shouldn’t use an invisible or electric dog fence. They can get more excited than more temperament dogs. Using this will simply irritate them even more. But for the most part aggressive dogs are from a lack of training and few and far in between for responsible dog owners.

A recent survey found that from 1,025 dog owners, about 12% of them showed dogs were less aggressive after training with an electric dog fence. None reported increased aggression on their dogs.

Corrective units should have a tiered base system that increases in area that the dog can go. Dogs are territorial so where they know their boundaries they’ll instinctively protect.

Common Complaints

Many dog owners believe that an invisible dog fence will cause a lot of pain and shock to the dog. Some of the best-utilized fences are only supposed to surprise the dog and stop it from bad behavior. This is a learned and trained response. The static response is at the end of the containment system. There are beeps and other corrections that will occur beforehand any actual shocking occurs.

The dog fence collar only releases static of around 60% on the equivalent of socks rubbing together on a carpet shock.  Again, such a small concern is the last resort. Just as dogs are taught to respond to commands and guidance, they can be taught to know what these beeps mean before the static even comes.  Another common idea is that the dog will refuse to play outside when the collar is active. That simply isn’t true since they’ll be taught the boundaries and that will stick with the dog’s behavior.

The terminology used to describe what happens to the dog should be thought of more as a static being applied rather than a shock. But knowing the threshold is very low; the semantics of the word shock should change.  It’s not painful, but unpleasant.

Mechanisms of the Fence

Before a static shock is ever administered, warning tones will sound from the collar before the static is applied.  An invisible fence is a great tool and training regimen that can get the dog trained in less than a few months. Different fences establish differing levels of static correction. There is mid-range to low settings. It’s important to be patient the first couple of weeks.  Both the owner and dog are getting acquainted to this new system.

Electric fences and electronic fences are different. So for the most part if you see an electric fence guarding livestock that is a different mechanism then what is usually given to at home dogs.  Electronic fences are transmitters that are detected from the fence to the collar.  There is also no worry that the collar will randomly go off inside of the designated space.  Stray charges are explicitly programmed to not happen.

Animal Safety & Health

 Many people will point to the idea that this can cause animal seizures. This is entirely false as the stimulus only hits skin deep and is not nearly strong enough to permeate the brain.  If anything this is a type of training method that utilizes safe technology to better assist commands and limit just human intervention.

Using these boundary fences also allows for large and unusually shaped areas to be confined so that dogs can roam free without the necessary enclosed physical fences. Some areas cannot be adequately mapped with a physical barrier. It sounds counter intuitive but at times this electronic barrier can actually be more freeing for the dog.

 Safety Concerns Met

We can’t always be there for our dogs outside if we let them out. There can be holes or ways around certain fences they can slip by in. Dogs are tricky smart animals and know how to get around these things. They aren’t really taught to stay in the normal confines of a fence, so if that gate blows open they’re gone. An electronic fence can be used on large areas, backyards and front yards. It can protect them from going off on long adventures and straying from the safety of home.

Morris Lindesey is the Owner & Head Trainer of iCare K9, and he has devoted his entire life to working with dogs. Raised with a variety of dogs (Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Doberman, Old English Sheepdog and Fox Terrier) I knew that whatever I did with my life had to include dogs. I became a breeder, went on to training and then competing at top levels before deciding that my real passion was helping other people learn how to properly train and care for their dogs. Morris loves dogs of all breeds and especially enjoys helping families learn how to live peacefully with their canine companions.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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