Reconsidering Electric Fences

Thursday, April 19, 2018 04:22:22 PM America/Los_Angeles

Most dogs love the freedom of being outdoors and playing in the fresh grass of a lush lawn. As a responsible pet parent, you want their outdoor adventures to be safe and drama free when it comes to their interactions with neighbors, little children, and other animals. Some pet owners have turned to electric fences as an easy solution for keeping their dogs contained in the yard.  

Electric fence systems are inconspicuous and less expensive than traditional fences. The typical electric fence system consists of hidden underground wires that trigger a sensor on a shock collar that is worn by your dog. The shock can be administered automatically or manually by the owner and can be used to deter pets from crossing the invisible boundary.

A conventional fence that can effectively deter your hound from escaping the yard will likely require a significant financial investment and perhaps special permission from your homeowner association. Despite the seeming convenience of electric fence products, many pet parents agree that there are safer, more humane ways to keep your beloved fur baby on their best behavior while they are outdoors playing. If you can't afford to install a fence but want to provide your dog access to fresh grass, you can purchase an indoor dog potty like DoggieLawn that can be placed in your home, balcony, patio or garage. It's real grass for your dog to lounge or potty on in the safety of their home. It's basically a backyard in a box!

dog on grass

Here are several reasons to reconsider electric fence systems for dogs

# 1 Not Effective for Some Dog Breeds

According to some pet parents and many experienced veterinarians, electric fence systems are not as effective in real-world scenarios as they are in theory.  Besides electromechanical issues that can render the system ineffective, certain dog breeds don’t respond to invisible fences as expected.    

Some dogs are blessed (or hindered) with an insatiable curiosity and will instinctively chase whatever catches their interest. Dog breeds such as Siberian huskies, greyhounds and Old English sheepdogs have been known to take the shock and run through electric fencing systems to pursue objects of curiosity.  At least one pet parent of a husky noted that she stopped using the shock collar on her dog because she couldn’t stand hearing the dog scream every time he leapt through the electric fence.   

Dogs that are smart enough to understand the concept of the invisible fence but decide to defy the system anyway are less likely to return home on their own. To avoid more painful shocks, they sometimes stay away from home rather than endure another shock by returning. 

# 2 Causes Physical and Emotional Trauma in Many Dogs

Dogs have sensitive nerves just like us humans. Experiencing a shock when they cross an invisible line on the lawn is physically painful to them.  Depending on the type of invisible fence system and the chosen settings of the shock collar, the dog can experience varying levels of pain. Pet parents who use this form of deterrent have to decide whether they will use a lower shock setting that may be ineffective or a higher one that will cause substantial real pain.  

In our society, pets are vulnerable to all types of abuse depending on the temperament or ignorance of their owners. Pet parents who are conscious and compassionate usually hesitate to shock their dogs.  Many equate it to tasering their own children. After the pain subsides, psychological scars remain. Without extensive training, dogs are unlikely to understand why they're being punished for playing outside. 

It's also important to note that some pet parents decide that they want an electric fence so that they can leave their dogs outside when they aren't home or they're at work. This is not reccomended. While dogs love being outdoors, they shouldn't be left unsupervised. When you're away from home simply get an indoor dog potty such as a DoggieLawn. It's a simple solution that gets delivered right to your doorstep. This inexpensive REAL GRASS pad will give your dog a place to potty when no one is home. If you want to share this with a friend you can use this link to send them a discount on their first lawn.

# 3 Fear of Electric Fences Can Interfere with Potty Training

The use of invisible fences and shock collars can make some dogs fearful. Some dogs learn more slowly and without proper training, they may never really figure out that they're subject to shocks if they decide to cross the invisible line.  As a result, many develop a fear of going into their own yards. In at least one instance, a dog was so fearful of going outside that they began to urinate indoors. Unless you're prepared to equip your home with an indoor dog potty, electric fences may cause more trouble than they're worth.  

# 4 Results in Confusion in Some Dogs

Many dogs act as cherished companions as well as security guards for their human families. When you use an invisible fence and shock collar on those dogs, they can become frustrated and confused while being contained in their yards.  Electric fences don’t stop intruders or pests from entering your property; they can come and go as they please.  It’s your guard dog that must be careful not to cross an invisible line on your property if they decide to chase human or animal intruders away. They'll likely chase intruders instinctively, but confusion will set in when they get punished for actions that you would normally praise them for doing.     

# 5 Shock Punishment Can Lead to Unwanted Aggressive Behavior  

Some pet owners have turned to invisible fences and shock collars because they seem like convenient methods for avoiding dangerous conflicts with their neighbors, mail delivery persons, and other animals. However, the use of electric fencing can have just the opposite effect. With frequent shocks, your dog can begin to associate certain people or situations as the reason why they are being punished. This can lead to aggressive behavior towards those people or scenarios if they come into your yard or home for an otherwise friendly visit.

Final Thoughts

Many pet owners consider themselves to be pet parents. As such, it's important to look for a solution that will be convenient for you but also safe for your dog. Even though fences seem like a simple solution, they can prompt unwanted behavior, cause trauma, or simply have no effect on your dog. Indoor potty solutions like DoggieLawn can provide a safe alternative for leaving your dog outside unsupervised and/or having to use an electric fence. Not only is it useful for keeping your dog indoors while you're gone, unlike pee pads, you can rest easy knowing your doggies have access to fresh grass whenever they want!