The Pros and Cons of an Underground Fence for Your Dog

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The Pros and Cons of an Underground Fence for Your Dog
Posted in: Pet Care

Confining a dog to the backyard might seem like a simple concept. All you need is a fence and your dog is safe and secure, right? The problem is that dogs get bored or lonely, and they start to look for ways out. If they are determined and have enough time outside, they will probably be successful. 

Some dogs are especially talented as escape artists. Like Houdini, the most complex dog fence won't hold them. What they can’t dig under, they will easily climb over. Getting out of the security of their backyard means putting them at risk from traffic, other dogs, and other hazards.

There’s no way you can let them out in the yard without a dog fence — but installing a wood or chain link fence isn’t practical for you. Fences come with a high price tag, and you don't know for certain if any fence will stop your dog from escaping. As hard as it might be to imagine, a wireless dog fence that you can't see might be a better solution for you and your dog. 

 

What Is an Invisible Fence for Dogs? 

An invisible dog fence is an electric fence with wire placed three to four inches underground. It is considered “wireless” because there is no wire above ground like with a traditional electric fence.

To install the wireless dog fence, you dig a small trench and bury the wire around the perimeter of where you want your dog to stay. You will set up a transmitter that plugs into a regular outlet in your garage or home. The dog wears a digitally compatible collar that sets off a warning tone or vibration whenever they near the boundary line.

If the dog doesn’t stop and retreat from the boundary line, they will receive a mild static correction. It is just uncomfortable enough to prevent the dog from wanting to repeat the experience. Some invisible dog fences have various levels of static adjustment for dogs that require stronger corrections. Basically, you adjust the setting higher for bigger, stronger, or more stubborn dogs. 

Even the strongest charge is designed to get your dog’s attention, not to cause harm. You can test the system firsthand by holding the collar in your hand and holding it out over the boundary. You will find that the collar issues a mild correction that is no stronger than a typical static charge or something similar to having water splashed into your face. 

 

Pros

There are many pros of a wireless dog fence, although they don’t apply to every situation.

No physical fence upkeep — Traditional fences require upkeep to keep them looking their best. If you don’t have the time to put into fence maintenance, you shouldn’t install one. Letting your fence go can also lead to breakdowns in areas where your dog can get out. An invisible dog fence doesn’t require any maintenance or upkeep.

Gives your dog freedom and safety — Your dog can safely roam within the borders without the risk of running into traffic, approaching strangers, or running away from home and getting lost.

Prevents your dog from becoming a neighborhood nuisance — Even a dog that is streetwise and knows their neighborhood shouldn’t run loose. They can get into the neighbor’s trash, chew up their outdoor furniture, and make a mess of their lawn. An overly friendly dog can be as much of a nuisance as one that is destructive. It can jump up on people and make a mess of their clothes. Besides, there is never a guarantee that your dog won’t make a mistake and run out in the street or run into a more aggressive dog.

Less expensive than other fencing options — A traditional wood, chain link, or iron fence can be expensive, especially for a large yard. An invisible dog fence is affordable, and you can save more by installing it yourself.

It works on almost any terrain — If your yard is perfectly flat, then any fence is easy to install. But if your yard is wooded, runs through water, or has hills, an in-ground dog fence is a better option. You can adapt it to almost any terrain.

It looks better — Traditional fences alter curb appeal and change the feel of your home. You need to put small flags up to mark the borders initially, but you can remove these once your dog learns where they can’t go.

Better for some dogs — If your dog digs under, jumps over, or climbs over fences, an invisible fence might work better to contain them.

 

Cons

There are also some potential reasons that using an invisible fence for dogs might not work well for you, including: 

Doesn’t protect in both directions — A regular fence provides a barrier from your dog going out of your yard as well as other animals or people coming into your yard. The in-ground fence only keeps your dog in. If there is a high risk of predators, it might not be the right choice.

Training your dog — Your dog needs hands-on training to teach them where the flags are located. This will take longer if you have more than one dog.

Frustration because of the boundaries — Both social and aggressive dogs can get frustrated from not being able to get to other people and animals on the other side of the barrier. Some dogs might try to push through the charge. You might have to adjust the setting to prevent the dog from breaking through. If your yard gets a lot of traffic, you might need to supervise your dog while they are outside to prevent them from getting distracted.

It isn’t practical for huge yards — A wireless dog fence can work on pretty big yards. But dogs that live on farms or ranches present different challenges. You can purchase extra wire and flags for larger yards and additional collars for multiple dogs. Consider the size of the barrier you want to create before selecting the dog fence. Learn what the limits are before you require a larger transmitter.

 

Shop for Invisible Fences and Accessories at Grange Co-op

Grange Co-op carries dependable PetSafe dog fences that are easy to install and use. If you have questions, contact us to learn more. We can help you find the best retention system for your dog. 

November 9, 2022
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