The term “invisible fence” refers to a containment system consisting of a buried wire, a transmitter, and an electric receiver collar worn by the animal. The wire is buried around a house, yard, or type of property. When the dog approaches the boundary, it hears a warning beep, followed by an electric shock. In theory, this trains the animal to stay within the desired area.
However, invisible fences have been criticized for being, at best, an ineffective way to containing animals, and at worst, inhumane. Here’s why professional dog trainers, rescue organizations, and veterinarians recommend building a real fence, not an electric one.
Invisible fences are often ineffective because many dogs will learn to take the shock if there’s something they want badly enough on the other side. Passing cars, passing dogs, cats, squirrels, kids on bikes, and delivery people can all excite the average dog so much that he completely forgets, or simply ignores, the warning beep from his collar. That means that you, the owner, cannot fully relax knowing your dog is 100% contained. Only a real fence made of wood, vinyl or metal can do that.
Think about how you would feel if you received a shock every time you accidentally stepped over a border you can’t see. You would probably become very paranoid, nervous, and anxious. Different dogs will react to anxiety in different ways: some will become aggressive; some will become avoidant; some will urinate indoors or lose fur prematurely. Some dogs connect the pain they experience with a person walking by, and subsequently come to fear and hate strangers. Some dogs become so afraid of the shocks that they won’t go out in the yard at all.
An invisible fence isn’t a fence; it’s the illusion of a fence, which only applies to whatever creature is wearing the shock collar. Stray dogs or, if you live in a rural area, coyotes and other predators, can easily enter the containment area and harm your dog. Humans, too, can easily enter your property and harm your dog, feed it food it shouldn’t be eating, or steal it. We will say it one more time: An invisible fence is not a fence!
Another factor to consider is that, if the line in the yard is ever cut, perhaps by a neighbor installing a pipe, then your dog is now loose and at risk for being hit by a car. The other technical issue with invisible fences is that most shock collars run on batteries, which eventually run out. Most invisible fence owners learn that the batteries have run out when they discover their dog is missing.
An invisible fence’s shock collar delivers the shock through two prongs which need to be in direct contact with the animal’s skin. The prongs have been known to cause nasty wounds and infections, especially for long-haired breeds (since the wounds are less noticeable to owners.) Given cases such as these, as well as the basic question of whether it is ever okay to use pain or fear to train a dog, it’s unsurprising that the collars are banned in other countries. Some rescue organizations will not adopt any dog to a home that uses an electronic fence.
We think we have made our case: the best way to secure a dog is with a real, physical fence. A custom property fence provides many additional advantages like increased security; privacy from your neighbors; blocking smells and sounds from your yard; and increasing your property value. To schedule a free fence installation estimate in Charlotte, contact James Fence and Gate today!