For most dog owners, fences are a way to confine a dog and keep it from annoying neighbors, postal workers, and delivery drivers. Fences also give your dog space to run off a leash. One of the most popular underground fencing companies available today boasts having more than 3 million customers. If you’re thinking about getting an underground dog fence, make sure you understand the ten biggest problems with underground or invisible dog fences.
You Must Take Time to Train Your Dog
Once an underground fence is in place, you have to train your dog. You can’t just install the fence, put a collar on your dog, and hope that your dog figures it out. You have to acclimate your dog to the boundaries. You have to install the flags and make sure you walk your dog several times a day to ensure your dog learns how far you can go.
You’ll need to continue this training for days and refresh your dog over the weeks and months. It takes time, and you should always spend time with your dog to reinforce the lessons.
Collars Can Injure a Dog’s Neck
Invisible fencing requires that a dog wears a collar. First, that collar can damage the dog’s skin as there are prongs that deliver the shock. Those prongs have to be close to the skin, and dogs with sensitive skin may develop sores or infections from the prongs. A long-haired dog may need to have the collar tighter than it is on short-haired dogs to actually reach the skin, that’s also problematic.
Another issue involves the collar itself. If your dog gets the collar caught on a branch or post, the dog may panic and twist around trying to escape. This will tighten the collar and choke the dog.
Underground fence collars are already snug. They’re supposed to be tight enough that you can only slip one finger under them. Small breeds with a higher risk of tracheal injury shouldn’t be in a tight collar.
A Loose Collar Can Slip Off
If you don’t securely fasten the buckle on a collar or put it on too loosely, the collar may fall off or be easy to slip out of. If your dog can figure out how to slip a collar, it becomes a problem. Once the collar is off, your dog can run off.
Pedestrians and Bicyclists Won’t Know There’s a Fence
If you’re walking down the road with your small dog and a dog comes rushing up to the property line, it’s a terrifying experience. If your underground fencing is close enough to a road or sidewalk, they may panic and fall or swerve away and become injured in a fall.
You need to make it clear that there is underground fencing. You also need to be certain that your dog will stop before the fencing and not rush past it to get to the dog or person they see walking or riding down the street.
It Doesn’t Keep Predators Out
Underground fencing can keep your dog in your yard, but it can’t keep predators out. Coyotes, foxes, bears, eagles, and other wild animals easily enter your yard and attack your dog. A loose dog or stray cat can also enter the yard and attack your pet.
The only way to keep out coyotes, bears, and other predators is by making sure you have a fence that’s tall enough to prevent them from jumping over or being able to climb. Flexible mesh fencing from Pet Playgrounds is designed to keep wild animals out of your yard.
Damaged Wires or Dead Batteries Impact How Well They Work
A dead battery in a collar stops the warning beep or shock from happening. Some dogs will obey the boundaries anyway, but others will take advantage of it and leave the property.
If the underground wiring is damaged by tree roots, someone digging where they shouldn’t, or rodents that chew through the coating, which lets water into the wiring, it can stop the underground fencing from working. Even if the dog’s collar has a working battery, the break in the fence ruins your chances of keeping your dog on your property.
Dogs May Escape Anyway
While many dogs remain within their perimeter, some dogs ignore the shock or don’t feel it as well, especially if the dog has thicker fur. If your dog escapes the fence, it can become a major hassle getting the dog to return. Plus, there’s the risk of your dog getting hit by a car, attacking another person’s pet, or biting someone while running loose.
If they see something to chase, such as a squirrel or rabbit, they may be so involved in the chase that they don’t care to stop. A thunderstorm or fireworks may scare the dog, leading to the dog running off to get as far away from the loud noise as possible.
It Can Be Hard to Get the Dog Back
Once a dog has ignored the warning beeps and runs past the fence, there are fences that provide a shock when the dog returns to the property. That discourages a dog from returning home. Once a dog is fearful of returning, the dog isn’t always going to come to you and may keep running.
Dogs May Associate the Pain of the Shock With the Wrong Trigger
Your dog runs up to the fence when the mail carrier arrives, and that action triggers a zap. The same thing happens the next day, the day after that, and the day after that. Your dog starts to associate the mail carrier with the pain and anxiety the dog experiences. It creates a negative experience that may lead to the dog being aggressive with or fearful of the mail carrier.
Pet Owners Don’t Feel Supervision Is Necessary Once the Fence Is On
This is a situation we hear of a lot. Pet owners feel the underground fencing is escape-proof, so they feel okay leaving their pets outside all day when they go to work. They put the collar on, set up the pet door, and let their dog come and go from the house all day.
A fence is not meant to be a substitute for supervision. Your pet may not leave your grounds, but there are too many other dangers. You still need to actively supervise your pet’s time outside, no matter what kind of fence you install.
There’s a Better Option for Escape-Proof Fencing
Pet Playgrounds has a safer option that’s even more effective. Our mesh fences are durable and won’t rot like a wood fence. You don’t have to dig holes and set the posts using concrete or rocks. They blend into the environment, so they’re not distracting or unpleasant to look at. You can install them on slopes and around trees and rocks.
Our mesh fences come in three heights, so even the highest jumper is contained. We also have Max fencing that’s designed for a dog that likes to chew. Use our online planner to discover the options, pricing, and instructions. Our fences are DIY and easy to install, but you’re welcome to let us know if you’d prefer installation. We’re happy to install a sturdy, escape-proof fence or show you how to install it yourself.