The Pros and Cons of Installing an Electric Dog Fence in Your Yard

Today on the Dog Blog we have an interesting guest post from Mey over at DogFenceDIY. It’s certainly food for thought and I’d love to hear your opinions on this type of system of containment.

When it comes to the safety of your dog, you can’t afford to cut any corners. It’s so important that your dog be able to exercise and explore in your yard, but they also need to be protected from their own blissful ignorance of the dangers in the outside world. Traditional fences and electronic dog fences are both viable options for keeping your dog on your property. More and more people, however, are choosing underground or wireless electric dog systems. What are the pros and cons of electric dog fences? Here’s a look at some of the main advantages and disadvantages for dogs and their families.

Pros

Reliable Containment

Perhaps the biggest advantage to an electric dog fence is how reliable it is when compared to a traditional fence. As long as you are proactive with recharging or replacing the batteries of your dog’s e-collar, it is very rare to experience any malfunction with an electric dog fence. When you have a backup power source for the fence, you will never experience issues related to a power outage. The reliability of an electric dog fence will give you constant peace of mind.

An electric dog fence is also better at containing a variety of “stubborn” dogs. If your dog never tries to escape your yard, a traditional fence will usually do the job. However, dogs that like to dig or chase may not be sufficiently contained by a traditional fence. Electronic dog fences contain diggers and runners better because the dogs are unable to dig under, jump over, or break through the boundary of your electric fence; their e-collar prevents them from getting close enough to the perimeter to do so. For the most determined and aggressive dogs, a combination of both a traditional fence and electric fence will be enough to keep them inside your yard.

As long as your dog is wearing their e-collar and your invisible fence is powered on, it will work. With traditional fences, there is always the possibility that someone will accidentally leave the gate open or unlocked, creating the opportunity for your dog to escape unnoticed. With properly installed electronic dog fences, there is almost no possibility of human error creating a problem.

Saves Money

Another big reason many people choose an electric fence is to save money. A DIY electric fence can cost less than $300 total. That’s an incredibly low price for the long-term containment and protection of your dog(s). Traditional fences can cost thousands of dollars for even a small yard. For bigger yards, traditional fences cost even more. On the other hand, the price of an electric fence raises only slightly for larger yards. You can enclose up to 100 acres for just a few hundred bucks, while a traditional fence would be multiple thousand of dollars.

If you choose to install your own electric fence, you will save even more. Anyone can complete an electric dog fence installation in just 1-2 days. When you install your own fence, you’ll better understand how it works. If any problem arises, you’ll be able to save more money by fixing it

yourself. Traditional fences are much more prone to costly damage. Electric fences are not exposed to the elements and won’t be damaged by things like accidents or the weather. Over the years, electric dog fences are much cheaper to maintain.

Works for a Variety of Yards

There is also a lot more flexibility with an electronic dog fence. Traditional fences can be difficult or impossible to install on oddly shaped yards or uneven, difficult terrain. Electric dog fences are easily customizable to fit any shape or size yard. It’s much easier to enclose a large farm or ranch with an electric dog fence than with a traditional fence.

You may also prefer an invisible dog fence if you have a nice view in your yard that you want to preserve. Traditional fences can block your view of nice scenery, and they can restrict your access to other parts of your property. Some housing authorities do not even allow traditional fences. In all of these cases, an electric dog fence will allow you to preserve the aesthetics and accessibility of your property while keeping your dog safe at the same time.

Cons

One-Way Enclosure

Depending on where you live, keeping animals and people out of your yard might be as big a concern as keeping your dog in. If you need to protect your yard from intruders, an electric dog fence will not do that for you. In this case, a traditional fence may be necessary.

Negative Perception

While wired dog fences are steadily gaining in popularity, there is still a bit of a stigma attached to them. Many people don’t understand how they work and think e-collars are painful for dogs. You may or may not be concerned about this negative perception from other people. In most cases, however, people’s opinions are swayed once they learn more about electric fences.

Training Time

An electric fence for dogs does have a bit of a learning curve. There is no training required with a traditional fence. If you don’t have 15 minutes per day for two weeks to devote to training your dog on an electric fence, the system might not be for you. It’s absolutely essential that you remain dedicated to thorough and consistent training when your electric fence is first installed.

Before you choose a containment system for your yard, be sure to thoroughly research your options. With traditional fences, the differences are mainly aesthetic. Electric fences, however, come in many different types. Some systems, such as the PetSafe YardMax, work great for most dogs and yards. Others are specifically designed for dogs of certain size or temperaments, or for yards of certain sizes or shapes. Your individual needs will determine what type of electric fence system you use. No matter which you choose, you can be sure that your dog will be well-protected and free to enjoy their time in your yard.

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