Most experts say that the majority of puppies should be ready to be introduced to an electric dog fence around the 6 month mark.
Why? The electronic collars used with these type of dog fences are designed to give your dog a mild electric stimulation (aka a static correction) if they get too close to the hidden boundary.
If you introduce your puppy to the static correction too early it can have serious repercussions and cause them to be very scared. But by waiting until your puppy is at least 6 months old, you can avoid that type of fear producing experience.
Puppies have so much to learn when they’re young. Things like where they can (and can’t 😉 ) go to the bathroom, basic obedience training and getting used to a leash, to name a few. And all those things are best taught before exposing them to the electronic dog collar.
During those first few months it’s also normal for them to go through a fear stage. I remember how scared my Dalmatian was when she hit the 2-4 month mark; she’d sometimes cower behind me whenever anyone approached us and wanted to pet her.
Of course over time she became a very social dog that loved people and dogs of all shapes and sizes. But initially the last thing I wanted to do was push her and force her to do something she wasn’t ready to do.
And that’s why most experts agree on the 6 month mark. By that time, most puppies have not only mastered some of the basic commands and don’t mind being on a leash, they’re also no longer scared of their own shadow. 😉
With a DIY fence you train your own dog so you want to be sure they’re ready to experience the static correction and deal with it appropriately. Otherwise you might end up with a dog that bolts back into the house the first time they receive a static correction and refuses to come back out into the yard.
I know that sounds a bit over the top but since I’ve started researching electric dog fences I’ve been amazed at the number of dog owners who don’t understand how crucial proper and complete training is and how important it is to hold off on any type of electronic pet containment system until their dog is old enough and wise enough to understand what’s happening and why.
And here’s something else that really came through in my research:
No matter what temperament or breed their dog was, by erring on the side of caution and waiting until close to the 6 month mark, most users found that their puppy responded well, took the electric stimulation in stride and quickly learned to respect and be comfortable with their new boundaries.
Having said that, some of the professional installation companies say that it’s OK to start a pup as young as 3 months on an electric dog fence. But the important thing to consider here is that on top of installing your fence for you these companies also train your dog.
These trainers are generally highly skilled and know exactly what to look for to ensure a dog is ready for the training and also know to recognize the signs of a puppy that’s not responding well and needs to slow down on the training process.
When it comes to a DIY electric dog fence, making sure that your puppy is receptive to and ready for the training process you greatly increase your chances of success.