Dog Training Electronic Fences - Benefits and Disadvantages
Reveal the benefits and disadvantages of using electronic dog fences in your house. why and how it can be helpful and beneficial in the growth and training of your new dog.
There are benefits and disadvantages to electronic fences (or ‘e-fences'), and these need to be considered carefully when evaluating your need for one. E-fences utilize wire (normally underground) and transmitters that will deliver a noise, shock or unpleasant spray via a special collar, in order to deter a dog approaching the set boundary. A signal is sent to the collar when the dog nears the buried wire and the deterrent is triggered.
As some Home Owners Association rules and city ordinances do not allow for regular fences, an e-fence, though expensive, may be an option. For those with no back and front yard fences, an e-fence offers a solution if you want a dog, but are unable to establish a regular fence.
There are negatives that need to be considered though.
Dogs require thorough training in order for the e-fence to be successful, and it should not be used as a substitute for behavioral training. Dogs need to be taught to associate the deterrent with boundary limits. If this is not done, the e-fence will be rendered useless.
As they are an electrical device, they are not fool proof. They can be shorted by an electrical surge or lightning strikes, though not common and digging around the perimeter can also cause problems. When an e-fence is first installed, flags are used to mark the boundary, but are usually removed once the dog is trained. If they are left as they are, they can be shifted or moved by children or by machinery such as lawnmowers as well as a multitude of other factors. Once pulled out, there is a possibility of a puncture by their sharp tips.
If a dog ignores the deterrent and moves past the fence, it is less likely to return inside the boundary voluntarily, and may realize that technically there is no ‘real' boundary.
Many people also believe that as a deterrent, electric shocks are cruel, and are a counteractive way of eliciting the wanted behavior from your pet.
Your decision regarding an e-fence needs to be evaluated according to your situation. If kept entirely indoors except for when leashed, a dogs' need to run is denied, resulting in an unhappy and maladjusted pet. If you can make use of a dog park, this problem can be addressed, but many areas do not have close access, so the problem remains.
Although building standard fences seems to be a logical method to cope with the issue, large dogs are liable to jump over these fences, causing injuries to themselves such as scratches and cuts from the sharp edges of the fences. Though the wound may be minor, a dogs' tendency to bite or scratch at them can make the injury worse, meaning a trip to the vet is required. An e-fence could be a more prudent choice, depending on the situation.
As dogs come from different living arrangements, have unique character traits and training methods used on them, different situations call for different approaches, and there is no standard procedure that can be used across the board by dog owners. Instead, the requirements of each situation need to be considered and enough information gathered so that you can make an informed choice.
However, if you still decide that an e-fence is the best bet for your specific circumstances, you should note that you must be prepared to deactivate the e-fence if it does more harm than good for your dog.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Moses Wright owns 3 beautiful well-trained dogs. He created a pet dog problems and solutions site to help fellow dog owners stop their dog behavior problems. You can find more pet dog training tips on his site.