Opinions on Electric Fences

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maryhelen329
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Opinions on Electric Fences

Post by maryhelen329 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:52 pm

Hey guys!
I just wanted to hear what your opinions are on having an electric fence for your dogs.

I don't have any fence at my house. My small dog goes out with a lead and my big dog just runs free. The running free thing is actually illegal here (even though most of my neighbors do this) so I have considered an electric fence.
I know a regular fence would be better, but the way our yard is set up a fence would look really odd no matter what kind of fence we get. And while I love my dogs, I like my house to look nice as well.


I felt the need to explain the no regular fence thing because I have asked this question before (different site) and have been told I'm cheap and hate my dog because I would rather take the "easy way out" by getting an electric fence instead of a regular fence. I'm not cheap (or else I wouldn't have gotten dogs!) and I love my dogs!

If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them![/img]

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Post by emmabeth » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:55 am

Not good... and no one is going to think you are cheap here, because an e-fence system isnt cheap!

The reasons they are not good... other dogs can come into your yard (and you say other dogs do run free, so thats a very real risk)... and attack your dog, but she cannot escape them.

Other animals can do the same (I forget how big your dog is now, but I suspect you have wildlife where this would be a problem, here in the UK its just the odd fox or squirrel!)...

The next issue is your dog getting out - dogs DO get out of e-fenced enclosures, IF the reward on the other side is great enough (or they are scared enough by being chased by another animal)... So for an example... you could run mains electricity through my terrier x here, he wouldnt notice if there were sheep running past because he would want to chase sheep pretty much more than he wants to breath and eat and sleep!

One of my nervous dogs would ignore the shock from the collar if she was scared enough - a good loud bang would do the job, or being chased by another dog.

Once your dog IS loose though, and has returned from chasing whatever, or escaped from being chased or scared...... they remember htat crossing that boundary results in a shock.... and dont want to come home! So your dog remains loose until.... whenever.

Final downside that i can think of right now - and was shown on one of Victorias shows.... dogs can come to associate the back yard with the fence system... and be scared. IMOTD featured a boxer I think, who was utterly terrified to go in his own back yard because there was an e-fence system there and he associated the shock not with his attempts to get out... but with being outside back there, full stop!

So really.... fences might not look so pretty in the long run, no - but you can make them look nicer if you want to, grow things up them, paint them a nicer colour - use wire mesh so you dont lose any light.

They look a LOT prettier than a scared dog does though, or a dog that has been run over or killed by a predator, or another dog.

tonks001
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Post by tonks001 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:21 am

This is not advisable. In any chance it can be dangerous for your dog and for you as well. I also agree that it is expensive.
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MaiasMom
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Post by MaiasMom » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:24 pm

I must agree that the e fence is not what I would do for the reason that another dog can come into your yard. I would put up a regular fence regardless of what it looks like, mine is made with horse fencing, not so pretty in the beginning but I planted things along it to hide it and it's really very pretty now. I grew raspberrys on one end, good Jam making, and another vine type plant on the other with lots of color.

A good fence makes good neighbors as well, my neighbors use to let their dog run in my yard to toilet. Not very considerate people so the fence was my best option.
The best days are spent with my dogs.

zekesmom
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eFence

Post by zekesmom » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:26 pm

I am wondering if you mean electric (above ground), or invisible (in ground with collar).

My neighbor has an invisible fence in their yard. They have a 3 year old lab and he is a big boy. They had to crank up the power on the inv fence to the point that the poor boy has almost no room left in the yard where he thinks he can go. I had him in our fenced back yard for a play date with Zeke. I tried to get him to go out in the woods to play, but in his mind, he thought he'd get zapped if he went there. I found it really sad.

Also, my sister just lost her beloved lab. He got hard headed and ran through the inv. fence. He ran in to the road and was killed by a car. Worst part of it was that he had been living in the house but her husband decided that all dogs needed to be outside.

So, I prefer a real fence.
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MaiasMom
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Post by MaiasMom » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:33 pm

yes, this is a sad example for the invisable fence. A real fence is the best way to go.
The best days are spent with my dogs.

josie1918
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electric fence

Post by josie1918 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:14 pm

I don't have one, but I can tell you I have seen LOTS of emergency calls for the dogs they did'nt work for. Lots of dogs got out, and about an equal number of ones were attacked by incoming wildlife and stray's.
From a pet value stand point , I would not want to risk my pets safety like this.
From purely economic, why spend all this money on something that may not work or may indeed harm your animals.
While no dog should be left un attended in any fenced in area for long periods of time, These electric fences are what I would call "high risk" for physical and emotional damages.

wvvdiup1
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Post by wvvdiup1 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:01 pm

Me too, Josie! Maryhelen, I don't think they are worth it, when you consider the risks involved! Don't get one!

maryhelen329
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Post by maryhelen329 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:38 pm

Thanks everyone so much for your replies!
I am DEFINITELY not getting one now! I had no clue, I thought it was purely a training thing to keep them in the yard, I didn't realize that it shocked them that much!
And I don't think I would leave my little dog unattended outside (I'm wayyy too protective) I just wanted her to be able to run around without me holding her back on the leash (she's a lot faster than me!).
I can't do a normal fence because it's not my house, and the person who I live with doesn't like the way it would look in the yard.
And I don't know what kind of invisible fences are out there, but the ones I was looking at are a LOT cheaper than a regular fence (a chainlink one anyway).
I will be thinking of new ways to contain my dog while she's outside that my house-mate will approve of. Any suggestions on that part will be GREATLY appreciated. (Not the play pens though, they're way too small even with 2 put together)
Thanks!

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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:43 pm

These days when I want Murphy to be able to run a little at the park I use a long line - it's like a really thin cable that is used for a tie-out but I don't use it for that, I only use it for attaching to his regular leash so he can have some room to run. That way I can walk on the pavement and he can run alongside me, go ahead, sniff at something, without me breaking my stride. My long line is about 15 feet long, and in addition to his leash he gets about 21-22 feet which is plenty.

josie1918
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fences

Post by josie1918 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:51 pm

Why don't you consider one of the portable 5' x 7' kennels they sell at the farm stores. They come with stakes to secure them to the ground, and can be taken down to move them to a different spot if you like. They are not that expensive and for a small dog, 5' x 7' can seem like a lot of room.
I do not own one, but one of my friends got one for her chihuahua, and she loves it.

maryhelen329
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Post by maryhelen329 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:50 pm

josie... one would think that. but she has a LOT of energy. Haha. and she loves to run.
Noobs, I have a 16 ft retractable leash (it was the longest i could find) but she just gets so much energy and ends up getting jerked back by the leash when i can't keep up. and even with the harness on, that worries me.

and she loves playing with my other dog when she's outside, i would hate to take that away from her.
i feel like i could convince my house-mate to get a nice chainlink fence. i'll just have to be patient, i suppose. that and learn to run faster. :wink:
thanks for all the suggestions.

Leigha
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Post by Leigha » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:08 am

I don't run fast enough for Bruiser (mostly because I just don't run) so I bought an attachment for my bicycle that lets him be able to run without me having to. It works wonders, and he loves it. If you have a bike, it might be something you could look into to get rid of her pent up energy. But I also don't know how small your small dog is, so it might not be an option is she's really small.

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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:13 am

Leigha, Maryhelen has a small dog and the bike attachment won't reach down far enough. BUT you could get one of those scooters - the ones that look like skateboards with handlebars. Or even roller blades!

Maryhelen if it's safe you can use longer lines. A retractable leash feels like she's pulling since it's always tight so I wouldn't recommend it. I only have a little over 20 feet with Murphy but I practice recall with him all the time so he's constantly running back and forth from me to whatever he's sniffing. If you keep your dog focused on you, you probably won't need much longer than that.

But if your housemate can be convinced to get a fence, all the better. ;-)

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