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Are electric fences effective?

April 19th, 2006, 10:30 AM
Hi all, I am getting ready to bring out lab home. We live in a development that does not permit fences. I would like to have an area where our dog can go off the leash. I was looking at the buried electric fence options, and was wondering how effective they are. I know they deliver an electric shock via collar, so I am not thrilled with that, but on the other hand if that means that she can go off leash that is very nice as well. I would not leave her out there alone, she would only go out if we were in the yard with her, and we are lucky enough to have a third of an acre, so it is big enough for her to enjoy as well. I do not dare leave her off leash, because we live in the burbs, and not only are there leash laws, but too many cars as well.

April 19th, 2006, 10:32 AM
no, do not trust them, I know someone who lost their dog...Death wise, not by being hit by a car, but not complying with with pain to remain it. After it broke through, he had a heart attack. From the shock. I hate them, and do not reccomend to anyone

April 19th, 2006, 10:38 AM
Hey happy, I too am very much against the hidden fences, if for no other reason than a dog will always find a way to move beyond their borders if their so inclined. Something to keep in mind is if you live near a school yard, despite the signs posted, you can safely walk/run your pup on the grounds (just pick up after them - that's the illegal part). I used to do this at the elementary school behind our old house, and actually asked the Loudoun sheriff's office if their "NO pets allowed" sign was valid - turns out as long as I picked up after my dogs and didn't interfere during school hours, all was cool. Also, do you have walking paths near your place? I did in Ashburn and do in Leesburg and those are great since they're not like regular boring sidewalks. There are a few dog parks in and around your area, just take a look at the vet's wall next time you're in or give them a call, they can make recommendations :)

Oh and one other thing, walk her around the borders of your yard at least once a day, give her the opportunity to see that that's as far as you'll go, as well as get her into obedience school ASAP. Then you won't have to worry about her a) running off or b) not coming when called. :) Good luck and holler if you need names/numbers of contact folks, I've got a few for our area :)

Lucky Rescue
April 19th, 2006, 10:53 AM
I hate these fences. So many people leave their dogs outside alone all day in them, to run the line and terrorize people passing by, and also it won't stop another dog from entering and fighting with yours or people from entering to steal your dog. Also if the dog is alone and the electricity goes out, it's free to leave.

My neighbour had this fence for her Golden, who not only crossed it regularly, but would actually stand on the line, seeming to enjoy the shocks. Some dogs don't care about the shock if they see something they really want, like a rabbit or cat running.

IF you are willing to do all the training necessary to teach the boundaries - since it's not the shock that keeps the dog in, it's the warning beep it hears - AND always be outside with your dog, it might work out fine.

IF you do it, make sure you go to a company that will provide instruction for you, and that's it's not a type that can be triggered by nearly everything - televisions, alarm systemsetc. I'm told the "PetSafe" brand is the best.

April 19th, 2006, 11:20 AM
We live in a development that does not permit fences.

no fences what-so-ever? are you in a condo or townhouse or something?

I'm not a fan of electric fences either, but I suppose they do work for some people. The beep/shock it delivered would be a mild inconvenience to my dog. If he saw a squirrel, cat, bird, etc... c'ya!

April 19th, 2006, 11:27 AM
My old neighbors had one for their yellow lab... It didn't deter him. He'd run up the street anyway, burning his neck with the shocks. I think they're definitely not a substitute for training.

April 19th, 2006, 11:56 AM
I know a few people who have them and they do work for the majority of pets. However like anything else you need to train your dog. Simply putting in the fence and letting them roam will not be enough. The manufacturers emphasize this point very clearly.

Also the people I know do not leave their dogs outside unattended. That may be the difference.

I just purchased the Pet Safe Deluxe Comfort Fit fence kit. Iíll let you know.

April 19th, 2006, 12:12 PM
I also don`t like them or anything else that uses shock treatment for training. If you`re going to be outside with her at all times then you`ll be able to supervise and train her.:pawprint:

April 19th, 2006, 02:05 PM
I have the Invisable Fence around 2 acers of my 12 acre property and it works great for my little West Highland Teririer.

She is NEVER out alone-just out for a bathroom break and then back in. When I am outside doing gardening or whatever, she is with me and is safe. If a squirrel or whatever runs, my little Charlotte runs after it-stops 3 feet inside her fence line and then barks like a crazy girl...but doesn't chase it beyond my sight, which is what I wanted.

Just my two cents...but it has worked great for us.

April 19th, 2006, 02:13 PM
Hi, I have not decided yet. Just thought I would ask here. We do live across the street from a middle/high school, we have tons of trails and empty space, and we are lucky enough to live a close drive from great parks. Empty space is not a problem, I do feel sorry that our dog will almost never get a chance to go off leash outside (leash laws, agressive dogs, too many cars ect mean that I will not just let her loose). There are a few dog parks around, but they are inconvinient. We live in a planned community, so the home owners commitee gets to dictate (even though we have a house) everything.

April 19th, 2006, 02:15 PM
How about a combination training to come when called and the electric fence? I forgot to add that I have three children (9.7 and 4.5yo who would never have a chance just to be with her outside without having her on a leash). In a similar fashion I would stay outside with them.

April 19th, 2006, 02:19 PM
I hate to say it, but my dogs are never off leash here in Leesburg, ever. I can't trust that others have a) trained their dogs or b) my dogs will stick to theirs (I also have other issues with mine). Honestly, use the middle school field for trials but only after you've gone through obedience school, that way you know for sure there is a level of respect to your rules for her. In our area, you can't take the chance and a lab is NOT a west highland terrier, i.e. if something is there for her to chase, chances are that collar won't do a darn thing to stop her :/

April 19th, 2006, 03:32 PM
We live in a planned community, so the home owners commitee gets to dictate (even though we have a house) everything.

Do others in this planned community have dogs? If so, what do they do? Could you get a short fence approved? Just for boundries. For example, although I do not live in such a neighborhood, and have the freedom to put up any fence I wish, I chose to do an aprox. 200sq ft area w/ 4 ft fencing. My dog could easily jump the fence if he REALLY wanted to, but since he's always supervised in his area, and we taught him the boundaries, he respects the fence, and does not jump.

another option would be to put up a cable-run from 2 points (i.e., house to tree, or tree to tree) We did this before we constructed our fenced area. (granted, my dog broke the cable a few times, but just as the fenced area, the dog should be supervised when on the run)

just some thoughts. :)