Our Opinion of Underground Fencing
I really am uncomfortable with underground or invisible fencing. There are several reasons to object to it and some of them are listed below. First, here's how it works according to one company:
"The dog wears a battery-operated collar with a radio receiver, an audible beep and two metal nibs that rest against the dog's skin. It works in conjunction with the underground fencing wire that is placed around the perimeter of the area to contain your dog. The ends of the wire are attached to a radio signal generator which is placed indoors. As the dog approaches the perimeter wire the collar senses the weak radio signal. First, the collar gives an audible beep, and if the dog stays close to the perimeter. a "harmless" static shock is delivered through the nibs to discourage further movement in that direction."
The quotation marks around the word "harmless" are mine. I truly cannot imagine shocking one of our dogs. You might make a case for it if underground fencing actually could keep a dog safe but I am not convinced that it can. Here are my concerns:
Underground fencing does not keep other
dogs or predators out of the yard. In our area we have coyotes but I would
also be worried about stray or loose dogs. Wires don't back down and even if
you are outside watching your dog, you have little chance of protecting him
against an aggressive animal. I have a friend in California who was
out in their subdivision yard with her children when a pack of five
coyotes attacked and killed their Pug right in front of them and then
dragged it away. True story.
Underground fencing doesn't keep
people out. Someone who wants to take the dog can easily snatch it up
and carry it away. They won't care that the dog gets a shock along the way.
PETA " dog-nappings" are on the rise and animals are also
still being taken to sell to research facilities.
Children can tease the dog on the other side of the fence
line trying to lure it toward a shock. This can make the dog
aggressive and frustrated or really terrified. However, if the dog ends up
biting the child, guess who is legally responsible. I do personally know a
family that had this happen when a teenager ran into their yard.
Wires are notorious for running through
underground fencing. If there is something interesting enough outside the
fence line...and that can be anything from another animal to children
playing...Wires WILL go through the fence. Even if you are present they can
be out in front of a car or running loose before you can stop them.
Once on the other side of the invisible fence, most dogs will not come back
through it. In general, Wires are too smart to run back for another shock.
Here is a link to another site that lists
their concerns about invisible fencing. The Peaceable Paws website advocates
only positive training for dogs and I also recommend that for our
Wires. Of course, shocking
your dog is a form of adverse or negative training. . http://www.peaceablepaws.com/pages/faq.asp#3
Finally, I just don't want to shock my Wires. I have seen dogs traumatized by even just one shock. I don't like it and I hate the idea of any of the dogs I sell being shocked...even just once or twice in training. I was surprised to find many videos of people "testing" shock collars on themselves to see what the effect is but maybe that's what you should do before putting it on your dog. Here is one demonstrating a "bark collar" which works the same way as the invisible fence collar. I actually found it very funny to watch but not funny when I thought about putting a shock collar on a dog that has no choice or understanding of why he is being hurt. You can go to YouTube from the link below.
I do know many people cannot build secure fences in their yard for a number of reasons, but I also hope those who have our Wires seriously consider other alternatives to the shock collar. I'd be happy to discuss some of those alternatives with those who are interested.