At first glance, an invisible fence may seem like the perfect solution to keep your dog and cat in the yard where they belong, and keep other critters out. Also known as an electric fence, an invisible fence is a wired fence buried a few inches underground. This electrically charged boundary sends a signal to a collar your pet wears. When Fido gets close to the fence, he hears a tone. Closer, an electric shock makes him turn tail and stay in the yard.
Of course everybody asks, how strong is this shock? According to manufacturers, it’s not bad at all. An article in the Canine Journal likens the shock to being splashed in the face with cold water – surprising, but not damaging. Although the same article later says that a strong, stubborn or willful dog might require a heftier shock. If you Google online forums, you’ll find dog owners quibbling over how much the shock hurts. Many have tried shocking themselves to see what their beloved pets are experiencing. There’s a range of opinions about how much the shock hurts, probably because different fences are set to different strengths, and also because people have differing amounts of pain tolerance. What you feel might not be exactly what your dog feels.
Many people simply object to shocking their dog on principle.
According to Pet MD, instead of learning to respect a boundary, many dogs –especially the slower learners — will just get stressed out. Some will connect the shock with a different factor. For example, if your dog sees the mailman or the family cat just before the shock, he may associate the pain with postal delivery or felines. This could lead to aggression. Good luck getting your magazines in one piece, and we don’t even want to talk about the cat.
Even if the dog does understand the correlation between the shock and the boundary, it could make him anxious about leaving the property – even when the owner tries to take Fido for a walk or car ride.
In addition to being bewildered about the pain inflicted on them, some pets have physical consequences from electric fences. According to veterinarian doctor Patty Khuly, electric fences can cause burns and even cardiac fibrillation.
Scared to Come Home
What if your dog gets scared by a thunderclap or tempted by a squirrel and bolts over the electric barrier and off your property? He might be afraid to cross the boundary again to return home, if it means another painful and confusing shock. You might be inadvertently locking your dog out of your yard.
How about a Traditional Fence?
Instead of terrorizing your dog with minor electrocution, we at Buzz recommend an old-fashioned, visible, above ground fence. None of us want to wear a shock collar, so we figure your pet doesn’t want to, either. Instead, we can design an attractive and pain-free wood, chain link, vinyl or iron fence that will add value to your property and safely keep Rover at home. Call us today and we will help you contain your pets in a non-aggressive or punishing manner.