electronic dog fences?

  1. We moved from a very rural area where our dog could run about outside as he pleased to an area with heavy traffic and a lot more people. Our dog has always slept indoors, but after we moved he hasn't been able to go outdoors nearly as much.

    He can't be outside "unsupervised" for fear that he will be injured, killed, or disappear. When we first moved he was able to sneak outside once (a visitor let him go outside without us knowing) and he was found several miles away almost a week later.

    We've tried the tie out with horrible results. We tried the trolley which was better, but still not very good. He likes to be walked on a leash, but we simply can't spend as much time as he needs outside walking him. Can't fence in the yard because we rent.

    Just recently, I have come across ads for electronic fences, the kind where your dog wears this special collar and you put sensors all around your yard. Supposedly they are humane and guaranteed to work.

    My big question is have any of you guys ever used one of these things or know anything about them? Good or bad? He is very hyper-active; I want him to be able to play and get enough exercise, but I do not want him to be hurt or MIA. this fence thing seems to be our last alternative.

    Sorry for the long posting. If you have any input at all, I would be very, very appreciative.
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   nessa1982
    We are thinking of gettting one to. Our dogs love to get out of the yard (and we have of fence , but that aint stopping them). We have had 2 dogs die by heing hit by trucks on the highway after they got out. I hope you get some answers on tis. I wan tto know too!
  4. by   TNcanNURSE
    The only thing I really know about them is the price. I have seen the ones from petsmart (or is it petsafe?) on ebay for about $100 which is a lot less than the one I originally saw in a catalog.

    I'm tempted to just buy it and try it, but I don't know that I would trust it.
  5. by   nimbex
    Our next door neighbor uses one. The dog trained easily and it's great!

    One problem is that the batteries in the dog collar get weak and wear out.... with your only warning being your dog traveling the neighborhood, and you think he's in the yard!
  6. by   P_RN
    Another problem is that while it keeps your dog contained it does nothing to "protect" him from other doges coming in your yard. You could ask your landlord about putting up a temporary fence out of dogwire (comes on a roll) and is held up with metal stakes you drive into the ground.
  7. by   CountrifiedRN
    I got one for my dog shortly after we got her because we have a large yard that would be too expensive to fence right now. I love it! It does take some patience with training, but it only takes about two weeks, a few times a day.

    Ours doesn't have sensors that you put in the yard, it has a machine that we keep in the basement that sends out a signal, giving off a circular perimeter for the fence. It can be adjusted to be smaller or larger depending on the space you wish your dog to stay in. We liked that one because it is also portable, so if you move you can take it with you and retrain the dog to her new area.

    One problem is, as nimbex mentioned, is that when the batteries get weak or die, the dog will leave the fenced perimeter. But I noticed a newer model at Lowes that has a light on the collar to let you know that the batteries are working. When the light goes out you know it is time to change the batteries.

    Also, as P_RN mentioned, it doesn't prevent other dogs from coming into your yard.

    Hope this helps!
  8. by   Ortho_RN
    I also know of dogs who are NOT phased by it at all... And will still go through it....

    Good Luck on figuring something out
  9. by   MishlB
    I have a friend on a farm with several dogs and she uses this type of fencing. The dogs eventually get to the point where you can remove the collar and they will remain in the area. They learn pretty quickly that they will be slightly zapped if they cross a certain line. The dogs will actually sit there waiting for you to cross over the line, because they know where it ends!
  10. by   TNcanNURSE
    Thanks for the replies. I've been searching, but haven't been able to find anything much on the web other than information from manufacturers.

    I found a group on Yahoo that consists of dog trainers. The fences got mostly negative replies on that group, but I figure it's because dogs are basically their life and livlihood. They reccommended fences or dog runs like kennels have.

    One issue that was brought up that is rather pertinent: the dog can find something like a cat to chase. He may be willing to get shocked to leave the perimeter in order to chase the cat, but getting shocked to get back in probably won't be worth it to him.

    I am still a tad leary about the whole thing, but I am faced with limited options. I've discussed it with my husband over and over and right now it looks like we would opt for the wireless kind that RN2BNC mentioned as well as a collar I found on a website that has an indicator light that comes on when the battery gets weak. With my husband's job, we are likely to move again within a year so the portable one is looking pretty good.

    Ness: I hope we can both get this squared away. I feel for you hearing about your pets getting hit. Our front yard runs right into a fairly busy highway and that is exactly what I'm aftraid of. Our backyard is big and thats where I want to let my dog out at. I've even asked about building a small compartment to put into the middle of the backyard so that the circular signal will be big enough to play in, but not touch the front yard. My husband is totally not liking the idea of burying wire around the area and then digging it all back up if the wire breaks somewhere.
  11. by   SmallTexan
    wow.. sounds like dejavu.

    My parents beagle was very stubborn. They live on 3 acres near a HWY. They tried a pin, didn't work. We didn't want to tie him cause keep in mind dogs are pack animals who want to be near their "pack" (that you LOL) So as a last resort we got an invisible fence. WORKED LIKE A CHARM !!!!!! I would recommend it. It kept him from being killed on the HWY , getting stolen, etc. He was a much happier dog too. He knew his boundaries and his territory and he learned it very quickly.

    Warning, it is a PITA to bury the wire, etc. but definitely not impossible ! Also,, if you get one remember to keep the batteries updated.

    We never had a problem with other animals coming around and attacking him . As long as you are semi aware of what is going on in the yard he'll be fine !!!!!!!

    People tried to tell us it was cruel to zap him, etc . but let me tell ya, it's much worse to have a dead dog on the road !

  12. by   SmallTexan
    Originally posted by TNcanNURSE
    My husband is totally not liking the idea of burying wire around the area and then digging it all back up if the wire breaks somewhere.
    Ralph (the 14 yo beagle i talked about in my last post) used the invisible fence up until he passed on . He used it for about 3 years I guess. I am thinking as long as the wire is properly and securely buried you shouldn't have a problem with it breaking !

    This dog was stubborn as heck and it worked on him.

    And I'm not surprised one bit the trainer forum was negative about invisible fences ! I'm not sure why so many people are so against them. yes, they have cons, but so many more pros !

    One more thing, thanks for taking your dog with you when you move ! :chuckle You'd be surprised at how many folks dump off sparky when their lifestyle changes even the slightest !