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Are Wireless Dog Fences Effective?

There is no distinct answer to this question. For some people, it`s a great solution. For some, it is not.

Such fences always provoke heated debates – while it can be a decent quick fix for those who struggle to keep their dog within the yard, many people don’t like the approach. And both sides have their points.

When it comes to the decisions of this kind, you should consider all the pros and cons of your choice. Therefore, we will take a precise look at each positive and negative side of electric dog fences. Once you know all the needed information, you can be sure you’re making the right decision.

How does the wireless dog fence work?

The mechanics of it are quite simple. This “fence” consists of a collar for your pet and a wire that is placed underground to mark the territory. The most recent models have GPS-sensors installed in the collar – in this case, there are no wires, and a device controls the borders of the yard.

Once the dog approaches the border, the collar signals it to back off. How does it signal? Well, it depends on the model you have. Some collars will just make high-pitched noise that will become more and more frequent and annoying as the dog moves further. And some will hit the dog with a small electric shock.

There are different models, and you can definitely pick the best wireless dog fence for yourself.

Is an invisible fence the right choice for you?

Now you have to ask yourself, “Do I have enough time and patience to teach my dog to stay within my yard without using an electric fence?”

Actually, it is not that difficult to teach your puppy to remain on your territory. There are lots of educational videos on YouTube that will show you how to do it in a gentle and caring manner.

Getting a dog, you should know that there are two ways to teach it something – positive and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement involves giving your dog a treat or a toy or just praising it for the right behavior. This method eventually teaches the animal to seek for that good behavior it will get the reinforcement for.

A negative reinforcement, obviously, means that you punish the dog for the bad behavior. While it can be a quick fix, you don’t teach your pet to be better. You teach it to avoid punishment.

And as you might understand, a dog that seeks for the good behavior to get praised and a dog that is afraid to do something because otherwise it gets punished – are two different dogs.

However, for some people, it is easier to get a wireless fence and keep their pet within the yard spending few to none efforts on it. And there is nothing terrible here especially if the collar will just beep when the dog tries to trespass the border.

So you have to decide for yourself, what is best for you considering the amount of free time you have and your goals. If you understand that you can’t teach the dog using positive reinforcement, the invisible fence will be a good choice.

What are the pros and cons of electrical fences?

The pros are rather clear. First of all, there is no need to install a physical fence that can be rather time-consuming and expensive. Also, you might not want to have it for aesthetic reasons. And in some places, it is not even allowed to have physical fences in the yard.

The installation process of the wireless fence is easy and quick. Moreover, it is very inexpensive. Additionally, you can change the borders if needed. So such a fence is quite a flexible solution that will help to keep the dog within the yard with no physical obstacles or leash.

The wireless fence is a reliable way to keep the pet on the needed territory for owners of big breeds that can jump rather high. Also, some dogs can pass through the smallest hole as if they can alter their physical shape. So if you’re an owner of such a Houdini dog, an electric fence can be a much-needed solution for you.

Now to the cons. A lot of people will consider an electric fence inhumane and abusive. But our goal here is not to convince you that it is the wrong choice and you are a terrible owner for making it because it can be a right solution in many situations, as you could read above.

Especially, if the collar just makes sounds. However, even the electric shock can be so little that it won’t hurt but just annoy the dog. Still, there are some things you need to know.

First of all, dogs, as well as us, humans, can easily adapt to, well, everything. So they can get used to annoying sounds. And eventually, they can become resistant even to quite strong shocks. So over time, an electric fence can become inefficient. Then you will have to come up with new ways to keep the dog in the yard.

But won’t the fence train the pet to stay within borders? Well, yes and no. It depends on the personality of your dog. Some will lose any motivation to go over the limit after several times of trying it and being punished. These dogs will learn the lesson forever. But it should be said, that such cases are really rare.

Most dogs will try to trespass the line from time to time. And eventually, they will stop caring about beeps or even shocks especially, if there is something extremely interesting for them across the street.

Additionally, an electrical fence is not the right solution for anxious or reactive dogs. Beeps and especially shocks will make them even more psychologically unstable and stressed. This can easily lead to aggression. Then you will have to spend an enormous amount of time and efforts to fix the way the dog responds to things.

Bottom line

As you can see, electric fences are useful in some situations and wrong in others. You have to decide for yourself if you need it and if it is a suitable solution for your pet. It can be a quick, effortless fix if you have no other choices.

Whatever your decision is, you should go through at least basic training with your puppy. It will help both of you in the future – you will learn how to communicate your requests to the dog, and the dog will learn to understand them. And never leave the pet on the yard unattended especially, if you have a road next to it.

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