Electronic fences are control devices that have both benefits and disadvantages for both the animal, in this case the dog, and humans. An electric fence is actually a set of devices that generally includes transmitters and underground wire that delivers noise, shock or foul spray by the use of a collar on a dog when it reaches the boundary. Underground, along a perimeter of around 500 to 1000 feet, is buried the wire and when the animal reaches that area, the collar receives a signal, which activates the restriction.
If you live under city ordinances or strict HOA housing rules you may not be able to have a fenced in yard and need to install an electronic fence for your pet. When you have no normal fence to mark the boundary for the dog, electronic fences are a reasonable alternative, although they can be expensive.
However, there are various possible disadvantages of having electronic fences.
Whether or not you have previously trained your dog, you will have to teach your dog how to handle the noises or shocks they get from an electrical fence. Your dog must understand they have boundaries as well as how to associate the boundary with the noise or shock they may get when crossing a boundary.
Usually strikes of lightning or more often some careless digging around the perimeter will short out a system. Boundary flags are initially installed, however after training the dog you may want to remove them. However, sometimes they are left in place and can be knocked down and by lawnmowers, children playing and other reasons. While in place, their tips point up and pose potential puncture hazards.
Some assertive or forgetful dogs may chase prey and run past their boundary unmindful of the temporary shock. While on the wrong side of the fence, they become discouraged by the shock from returning home voluntarily.
Some dog owners do not consider electric shock humane nor a great means of producing the behavior desired in their canine companion.
There are many risks in life and they all deserve careful measuring. Confining your dog indoors with no opportunity to run freely, unless on a leash, may cause your dog to become mentally unhealthy. There are locations that provide dog parks and other areas where dogs can run freely yet safely. Allow your dog to run freely at times to keep it from becoming frustrated.
It is possible for some large dogs to jump over a regular height fence…. accidents do happen and your pet can become injured. Chain links can impale them wooden planks can lacerate them. If the dog bites or scratches at the wound no matter how minor, as dogs tend to do, they can cause infections or hot spots. This may lead to an unscheduled visit to the vet. Indeed, in some cases an electronic fence can be safer to use.
There is no standard solution that will satisfy everyone and every situation, all dogs, all breeds or all training methods. In order to make an educated decision, consider all the facts, especially those involving the psychological and physical health requirements of the dog.
Just in case the electronic fence does more actual harm than good, prepare yourself to disable it.