There are advantages and disadvantages of using electronic fences for humans and the dog. Electronic fences are made of several controlling devices. This includes underground wire along a property line of about 150 to 350 meters, transmitters and a collar that sends out a repellent spray, shock or strange noise upon reaching the boundary lines. Upon reaching the boundary, the collar signals the boundary limitation to the dog.
If you live under city ordinances or strict HOA housing rules you may not be able to have a fenced in yard and need to install an electronic fence for your pet. When you have no normal fence to mark the boundary for the dog, electronic fences are a reasonable alternative, although they can be expensive.
However, there are various possible disadvantages of having electronic fences.
Regardless of any other type of training, dogs need careful instruction on how to deal properly with an e-fence. Dogs do not automatically understand the strange noises or shocks. You have to teach them to associate the noise or shock with their allowable limit of movement.
An e-fence system can short out from lightning strikes or any careless digging around the wire. After training your dog to associate the boundary flags with the deterrent, it is best that they be removed so that they don’t become a hazard to children playing and lawnmowers. The dog if properly trained will remember where the edge of his running space is and rarely test the limits.
While chasing prey some dogs may rush past the boundary heedless of the momentary shock. The dog may become discouraged while on the wrong side of the fence from returning on its own.
Understandably, many dog lovers consider electric shock as cruel as well as not the most productive means of getting the desired behavior from their best friend.
You have to weight the risks versus the benefits involved with any decision. You can cause physiological damage to a dog by confining it inside with no time to run freely even if you do take it out on a leash. You can visit dog parks and other areas to allow your pet some exercise, but to keep your dog happy and healthy you need to let it run freely at times.
Large dogs can try to jump fences of standard height and can be punctured by chain links or wooden planks. Even if the wound is minor, dogs tend to make things worse by scratching and biting creating hot spots. Generally, this means a vet visit. Therefore, sometimes it is safer to use the electronic fence.
There is no standard solution that will satisfy everyone and every situation, all dogs, all breeds or all training methods. In order to make an educated decision, consider all the facts, especially those involving the psychological and physical health requirements of the dog.
You should however, prepare to disable your fence if it seems to do more harm than good.