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Pros and Cons of An Invisible Dog Fence

If you’ve recently added a four legged friend to the family, there are certain adjustments you need to make to your outdoor space. If you are lucky enough to have backyard space, giving them room to run is probably at the front of your mind. But how to allow them freedom without creating safety hazards? Fencing is the traditional answer. If you don’t like the look or cost of a traditional fence, an invisible dog fence might be right for you.

What is an invisible dog fence?

If you have never heard of an invisible dog fence, you may be confused. However, it’s likely you’ve walked by one without ever knowing. An invisible fence operates by generating an electric current around the perimeter of your yard. This current is run along a wire that is installed underneath the surface of your yard.

After installed and activated, this fence generates a signal that is transmitted to a collar worn by your pup. If your dog begins to wander close to the perimeter, the collar will emit warning beeps. If your dog continues to go closer, or cross the perimeter, it will receive an electric shock signaling the invisible boundary.

Pros of an Invisible Dog Fence

Not Too Expensive

Let's say you’re worried about the safety of your dog but don’t have the money to spend on a traditional fence. After all, wood or nice metal fencing can cost thousands of dollars depending on the size of the yard. Luckily, invisible fencing is relatively cheap in comparison.

Homeowners may be surprised to learn that an electric fence can be installed for anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars. Larger yard perimeters may need more wire. This will result in higher costs. For many, though, this is a reasonable price to pay to keep their dog safe. 

Aesthetically Pleasing

For some, the decision to incorporate invisible fencing is simply an aesthetic one. As the name suggests, this containment solution is completely invisible to the naked eye. This makes it undisruptive to existing features in your yard. Traditional fencing can be incorporated, but can be difficult to fit seamlessly into a design space.

Invisible fencing means you get an effective way to make sure your dog is safe, without adding anything into your existing eyeline.

Adaptable To All Terrain

One of the biggest perks to invisible fencing is that it is adaptable for all kinds of terrains. If you live on a particularly hilly or irregular landscape, wooden fencing may not be an option for you. Installing hard materials on a less than level surface can create issue and room for error.

Because invisible fencing is installed underground, you do not have to contend with these issues. Simply dig, drop, and bury the wire. It is compatible with hills, ditches, and other common backyard terrain issues. This is a driving factor for homeowners looking for universal solutions to their space.

Cons of an Invisible Dog Fence

While many love invisible dog fences for their adaptability and unobtrusiveness, many do not like them. Not only do many trainers cite moral arguments against the fencing, but they may noy be as easy or reliable as some initially believe.

Requires Training

When it comes to traditional fencing, there is very little action required on your part after the fence goes in. Remembering to close the gate is about as much as you need to do to keep your pup safe. However, invisible fencing requires a more prominent learning curve.

Part of making sure your invisible fence is effective is making sure your dog understands the warning cues. This requires training. Your dog must be able to identify beeping as a sign that they are nearing the edge of their property. This takes time and patience.

Dogs who are used to freely exploring their surroundings may take issue with being limited, or be slow to learn what their boundaries are. For this reason, owners need to be committed to taking the time to work with their dog until the system is well understood.

Not 100% Reliable

Though invisible fences are more effective than no fence at all, they are not 100 percent reliable. This is for a few reasons. Because the system depends on a constant signal being transmitted from the wire to the collar, if the signal is disrupted issues can arise. If the signal goes out, your dog will no longer receive warning beeps or shocks, and may wander.

Additionally, some dogs may be able to bypass the signal altogether. If running fast enough, the delay in signalling may not be able to keep up with the pace at which your dog runs through the fence. That said, if your pup loves to take off after squirrels, it may be wise to look into a different solution to your backyard boundary problems.

Lack Protection of Traditional Fences

Finally, invisible fences may keep your dog in, but they do nothing to keep other animals or people out. A neighborhood dog can easily pass through your dog’s boundaries and into their space. This can be a source of stress for anxious or territorial dogs. Occasionally, this breach of territory may even become dangerous.

It is up to owners to decide what is best for their home, space, and dog. What works for some may not be a great solution for others. No matter what you choose, the most important thing is knowing that your pup is safe while they are outdoors.

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