One of the most common pet containment systems we get asked about is the electric dog fence. Also known as an in-ground or underground fence, these types of pet containment systems typically utilize a wire that acts as a barrier around your yard and conducts electricity to shock your dog if they reach this boundary.
Working of an electric fence for a dog
Well, it is very simple. The electricity that comes from the bottom of your yard and goes to the dog’s collar through a thin wire. Now, you should know that this thin wire can be covered with soil or grass. So, your pet feels no discomfort while touching it even.
On the other hand, there is an electric current in the thin wire which comes from the bottom and is transmitted to your dog’s collar. A receiver is there in his/her collar which gets pressed when they cross this thin wire and pass through it. To make them understand what will happen next, a beep sound goes in their ears.
This beeping sound tells them that if they touch or do not touch this thin wire. So, with time you would find that even without any beep sound your pet understands that he/she should stay away from this thing called ‘electricity’! Nowadays many electric fences are available in the market with lots of new features and options with a different price range so you can choose according to your budget and requirement.
Some common features of an electric dog fence are:
1) A base unit that is plugged into the house and has a transmitter on it. This unit will typically require an experienced (certified) installer to properly install all the wires around your yard.
2) A waterproof collar that is worn by your dog, with no external antenna or prongs. This makes the electric dog fence a good option for those dogs that tend to bite or chew on the collars.
3) A wire that will encircle your entire yard and is buried in the ground. This wire needs to be properly installed, as it can be very difficult to remove once it’s been put in place.
4) The ability to easily add to the system as your dog grows.
5) The collar will have a button, which allows you to turn off the electric fence for periods (if at grandma’s house), or if you want to give your dog some additional freedom in certain areas of the yard.
The biggest advantage of an electric fence is that it can be easily adapted to your dog’s growth stage. This is something that is very hard with wooden or brick fences, which are built into place and cannot be easily adjusted for the growing dog.
The biggest downside of an electric fence is its cost. The initial installation can be expensive, but this should only need to be done once in the life of your dog. The cost of the electric fence typically reflects its ease of installation, although some very hard-to-install electric dog fences can be expensive as well.
Another downside is that it has to be turned on all the time. This may also reflect how difficult the unit was to install. Electric dog fences are great for places that have very few points of ingress, such as a patio or porch.
Also, some dogs simply refuse to be trained with electric fences and this method does not work for all dogs. When this happens, it’s best to go with an in-ground fence that uses flags (but isn’t electronic) or a wireless system like SportDog’s line of containment systems.
If you need help with installing an electric dog fence, check out our articles on training your dog to the electric dog fence and how to install a wireless dog fence.