What is an Invisible Fence, and Can it Help Train Your Dog?

List: Posted: 08/10/11

If you are looking for a better way to be able to let your dog outside to play without needing to keep it tethered to a leash, you may be considering the installation of an invisible fence.  These fences can seem like a very appealing idea, especially to people who are unable to put up a traditional fence or who do not want to do so for cosmetic reasons. 


The question many dog owners have, however, is whether or not an invisible fence will really work, and if so, if they feel it is ethical to use on their own pet. 

Essentially, an invisible fence is a buried wire that will send a signal to your dog’s specially modified collar if he or she gets too close.  If the dog continues to approach, it will send a small shock through the collar, lightly zapping the dog and encouraging him or her to back away from the area.  In most cases, these fences can be very effective, but not always.

In many cases, a passing squirrel or other attractive object will send your dog chasing it before it realizes that the fence is nearby.  The dog will feel the shock as it passes the fence and will continue to chase.  The problem arises when the dog tries to return home and is shocked every time it gets near the yard, making it flee or stay away.  This is certainly something for owners to consider.

Ultimately, the invisible fence can be very effective when your dog is supervised by a nearby caregiver, but it is not a substitute for properly monitoring and obedience training your pet.  Invisible fences and the hardware collar can be bought for a moderate price at most larger pet stores.

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