Electric dog fences are an effective way to keep your dog safe while at the same time allowing them the freedom to run around and play within a designated containment area.
But even though they’re an ideal solution for many people, they don’t work for everyone. For that reason, knowing the pros and cons of electric dog fences, especially in comparison to a more traditional wood or chain link fence, can help you decide if it’s the right fencing option for you and your furry friend.
Before I get to the actual list of advantages and disadvantages I want to give you a brief overview of how this kind of dog fence works…
When it comes to electric dog fence there are two types — wireless and in-ground. Even though they work in different ways, both systems consist of some sort of base unit that creates a hidden boundary around whatever area you want to contain your dog in.
Your pet wears a special receiver collar and if they get too close to the boundary the collar beeps to warn them. If they ignore the beep the metal contact points on the collar deliver a static correction designed to encourage them to move away from the fence line and back into their designated containment area.
The differences between wireless and in-ground fences are beyond the scope of this article but if you’d like to know more you can head over here.
Now that you have a basic idea of how an electric dog fence works let’s move on to the pros and cons.
- Much cheaper than a traditional fence. Traditional fences can cost thousands of dollars to install but you can get a top of the line DIY electric dog fence for less than $500.
- Much quicker and easier to install than many types of traditional fences.
- Easier to maintain than a traditional fence.
- Won’t block your view.
- Ideal for neighborhoods that have restrictions on physical barriers.
- Your dog can’t jump over, dig under or chew through an electric dog fence.
- In-ground electric dog fences can be used on almost any type of landscape — heavily wooded areas, rocky terrain, lots of hills and even under water — places where installing a traditional fence would be very difficult or impractical.
- In-ground fences can be used to keep your dog out of off limits areas such as pools, flowerbeds and gardens.
- Your dog has freedom within the yard; they’re not attached to a rope, leashed to a dog run or chained up.
- You don’t have to worry about anyone leaving the gate open 😉
- Wireless fences are completely portable — they can be taken anywhere and quickly set up to provide you with an effective way to contain your dog when you’re on the go.
- Training is required. To ensure the success of either type of electric dog fence you’ll need to spend 2-4 weeks training your dog to respect the boundaries.
- Although they’re easier to maintain, they’re not maintenance free. You still have to maintain the collar, check to make sure the system is functioning properly on a regular basis and, if you have an in-ground fence, repair breaks in the wire from time to time.
- You’ll have ongoing expenses such as wire, batteries and collar accessories (straps, metal probes, washers, etc).
- Unless your system has a battery backup, if the power goes out your fence stops working.
- Not recommended for pregnant, elderly or sick dogs. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask your vet before using any type of electric dog fence on your canine buddy.
- Will not keep other animals out of your yard.
- Not recommended for aggressive dogs; electric dog fences have been known to make an already aggressive dog even more aggressive.
- Must be used with caution on anxious, pregnant or sick dogs
- Although they’re very effective when properly used, electric dog fences can’t guarantee containment.
No matter what type of fencing you choose the ultimate goal is to keep your dog safe and secure within your yard.
Both wireless and in-ground fences are an effective way to do that but only you can decide if they’re the right option for your situation.
Weighing the pros and cons of an electric dog fences will help ensure that you to end up with the right fencing solution for both you and your canine buddy.