Very simply, it’s an electronic pet containment system that’s designed to keep your dog inside set boundaries.
If your pet ventures outside the hidden boundary a special receiver collar will deliver a mild electric stimulation that encourages them to stay within their predefined area.
The popularity of DIY electric dog fences has exploded over the past couple of decades as people look for ways to keep their dogs effectively contained in the yard without having to shell out thousands of dollars for a traditional above ground fence.
In addition to that, electric dog fences also appeal to the masses of people who live in neighborhoods and suburbs that impose restrictions on both physical barriers and on dogs in general.
An electric fence can be either wireless or wired (aka in-ground) and each one offers a different kind of flexibility for your yard and your dog. Details about the differences between the two types are beyond the scope of this article but if you’re interested check out this Wireless vs In-Ground article.
No matter which type of electric dog fence you choose, both have two major components: a transmitter and a receiver collar.
The transmitter is the heart of any electric fence system and it has several main functions:
- It powers your system thereby determining how large an area your fence can cover.
- It transmits a signal that forms the hidden boundary of your dog’s containment area.
- In addition to those two functions, some transmitters also control the type of correction your dog gets.
The receiver collar has two metal contact points and it’s these probes that deliver a static correction to your dog when they get too close to the boundary. Although unpleasant, the shock delivered by the collar does not hurt your dog but is designed to refocus their attention and remind them to stay in the yard.
Along with those two components, an in-ground fence also has one more component that a wireless fence doesn’t — burial grade wire.
The wire is used to define the perimeter of your containment area and can either be buried or attached to an existing above ground fence. In addition to that, you can also use the wire to isolate areas within your yard that you want to make off limits to your furry friend such as a garden or pool.
Although both types of electric dog fences fences work in most situations, there are also times that they’re not recommended. For details on when an electric fence will and will not work, check out Is An Electric Dog Fence Right For You?
And while I’m on the subject of when they do and do not work, this is a good time to clear up a common misconception about electric dog fences:
While they’re a very effective way to keep your dog in your yard, they will not keep dogs and other wildlife out of your yard. So that’s an important factor to keep in mind when considering what type of fencing option is best for you and your canine companion.
Whether you have a big dog or a little dog, a huge property or a smaller yard, the options for DIY electric dog fences are endless so you’ll have no trouble finding one that’s just right for both your yard and your four legged friend.
Offering a safe and effective way to keep dogs out of harm’s way and a cheaper, esthetically pleasing option to traditional fencing, it’s easy to see why more and more people are using electric dog fences to contain their treasured companions.