One question when people are looking at wireless fencing for their dogs is, does it work? The simple answer is yes! It is a cost-efficient way to contain your dog within your yard without permits or ugly fencing. With proper use, it is an efficient way to contain your dog safely and securely.
In this post, I am going to discuss what makes a dog a suitable candidate for this type of fencing, how to train your dog to remain within the invisible borders you set, and show how this method is not cruel or inhumane to your beloved pet.
Use it on the right dog
Wireless dog fencing is not a one-size fits all type fencing. When considering this type of fencing, you need to take your dog’s breed, size, training, and personality into consideration.
Certain breeds are generally not good candidates for wireless fencing. This can be for a number of reasons. Often dogs that have a high prey drive often are too focused on their quarry that they will run right through the fencing without caring about the consequences. The same goes for dogs that are highly protective of you, should you leave the property, they are likely to follow accepting whatever consequences they may have to face.
Very small dogs such as Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers will require different collaring than a Labrador Retriever or a Rottweiler. Placing the large collar on the small dog is inappropriate as it may be too strong for them, provide an incorrect fit, and will also be too heavy. In the same way, collars for small dogs are inappropriate for large dogs. By choosing a collar that is appropriate for your dog’s size, you will ensure success with the wireless fencing.
Aggressive dogs, whether towards other people or animals, are often unsuited to wireless fencing. Often they will have no issue pursuing the object of their aggression, and many owners will find that very few forms of fencing will be capable of containing these dogs effectively.
Untrained dogs are also not suited to wireless fencing. Unlike traditional fencing, there is no physical barrier that the dog can see and therefore, training is required to show the dog where they can and cannot go. If you are unprepared to train your dog where they can and cannot go, then this fencing is not going to work. They will find it difficult to know why their collar is beeping; they will not know how to avoid it, and, therefore, will be punished through no fault of their own.
This’s a very brief overview but if you want more details about how to choose the right wireless fence for your dog, check out this article.
TRAINING YOUR DOG
Training your dog to accept wireless fencing is simple and can be taught from a very young age in a few short sessions.
step 1: place the flag
Start by marking where the wireless fencing has been laid. Often there are flags included with your wireless fence for this purpose. This way the dog will have a physical marker to go by until they memorize where the borders are. You should place them every 3-10 feet along the edge of the safe zone. This way your dog can easily see where the boundaries lie.
step 2: introduce your dog
After the flags are placed, it is time to introduce your dog. This should be done with your dog on a leash and a flat collar that is higher on your dog’s neck than the training collar. Allow your dog to walk up to the flags and hear the warning beep. At this point, lead your dog away from the flags and back towards the safe zone.
step 3: allow your dog to walk
Once your dog has learned that he is to walk back after hearing the beep, allow your dog to walk where they like and use positive reinforcement to reward your dog every time they walk away from the flags.
step 4: experience a static correction
After 3-5 training sessions like this, you can take the training a step further. With your dog still on the leash, take them back to the fence line. This time, instead of pulling your dog back when the collar beeps, allow them to experience a static correction. If your dog does not return to the safe zone immediately, lead them back with the leash. Reward them for returning to the safe zone with plenty of praise. Continue this training until they are staying within the safe zone consistently.
step 5: train them to ignore temptations
You can then train them to ignore temptations that would have them cross the line such as children coming home from school, the family going for a walk without them, etc. Every time they ignore the distraction remember to praise them thoroughly for their good behavior.
step 6: remove the leash
Once you feel their training has progressed to the point they are consistently remaining within the safe area you can have them in the yard without the leash. Stay with your dog anytime they are out in the yard for the first few times to ensure that your dog does not run out. If he does, remove the training collar and bring him back to the safe zone and work more on the on-leash training.
step 7: remove the flags
If your dog is doing well when he is out on his own, you can start removing the flags. Start with every other flag and then wait for several days before repeating the process until all the flags are removed. Keep the flags in a safe location for future use.
IS IT CRUEL TO USE A WIRELESS DOG FENCE?
One thing that many people tend to think is that wireless fences are cruel and should not be used. This could not be further from the truth. When used properly, wireless fencing is an effective and economical way to contain your dog without the use of traditional fencing. It does not electrocute your dog as some people would say, and it always gives a warning beep as the dog approaches the perimeter to remind them to turn away.
The shock the collar gives when the dog ignores the warning is relatively weak and can be adjusted to suit your dog. Just as different collar sizes are required for different breeds, so too is the amount of correction required to get your dog’s attention refocused. What would be an appropriate corrective buzz to a Dachshund would barely be noted by a Mastiff or other large dog.
Like all training tools, it is possible to use this tool inappropriately and in those cases the owner should choose not to use the wireless fencing. Issues such as putting this collar on a dog that is known to run while chasing squirrels, using this fencing without proper training, or putting this device on a dog with a known medical issue are all reasons to not use this collar.
Most dogs, however, do very well with this fencing and are able to enjoy being outside without the need for a 6′ fence blocking their view of the world.
I couldn’t resist sharing this funny video of what can happen if human wear the shock collar to go past the flags of the invisible electric fence.