the family pet. A source of great joy, deep camaraderie
and yes, at least occasional frustration.
you have a dog that spends a little too much time
checking out whatís inside the catís litter box; a
cat that for some reason likes to sharpen its claws on
the chair in your study; or maybe a rambunctious puppy
that thinks the toys in the kidsí playroom are meant
for him. Or maybe you have an area of your yard ó like
a garden ó that you want to protect from digging by
hidden or "invisible" fence could be just what
you need to protect certain areas of your home by
restricting the places where your pet can traverse.
fencing systems work by delivering a radio frequency
static correction from a transmitter board located
inside the home to a collar worn by the pet, if the pet
enters a restricted area. Most invisible fence systems
use wires buried underground for outside containment and
transmitter systems that deliver the same correction in
a predefined area indoors.
common misperception is that animals receive an electric
shock when they enter the restricted area. In fact, the
correction is a static shock, similar to walking on a
carpet in socks and then touching a doorknob. The
correction, if designed and installed correctly, serves
as a reminder, rather than a punishment for the pet.
proper design and installation is key. Pet owners who
are interested in adding an invisible fence should look
for a company with a good reputation of training pets in
a positive way.
use a gentle steps training program, so the dog isnít
afraid to use the yard," said Shane Wisdom, owner
of Dog Wisdom in Saint Peters, Mo. "The idea of a
dog fence is not to shock the dog. It only corrects the
dog while theyíre within the signal field. We teach
the dog their boundaries before we ever use the
correction, so the dog understands where their
boundaries are. The dogs typically only need one or two
corrections to keep them in. From that day on, the dog
never touches the fence because the dog knows where the
fence is. I liken it to touching a hot stove. You only
have to tell me once."
are a variety of pet fence systems on the market, so itís
important pet owners do their research on the various
options available. For example, a quality system will
work for multiple pets and allow different settings on
the petís collar that determine how much of a static
correction the pet receives based on its size and its
temperament. Some systems only offer a
mount a control box in the garage and all the settings
are done through that control box, so you can program
each individual (collar)," Wisdom said. "So,
if you have a 4-pound dog, a 30-pound dog or a 130-pound
dog, I can program each individual collar to match that
dog, so the collar for the 130-pound dog wonít (issue
a correction level) for the 4-pound or 30-pound dog at
the same rate."
systems also offer an audible warning that alerts the
pet they are about to reach the correction zone.
receptor collars always put out a sound first; kind of
an alert that if (the dog) keeps going, itís going to
set it off," said Kim Karr, with Invisible Fence of
the Upstate in Greenville, S.C. "The audible
(correction) is used in the training as well, so you donít
have to give as many (static) corrections. We train
sight, sound and then feel."
professional pet fence companies advise that they can
train a pet to stay within the predefined boundaries
within a week or two.
dog could be off the leash and in your yard within about
nine days of training," Wisdom said.
on the size of the area, a pet fencing system can cost
several hundred dollars to more than a thousand. Thatís
a reasonable investment for a homeowner who doesnít
want ó or canít have ó a fence in their yard.
good for areas that donít allow for wood privacy
fencing or chain link fencing, or for people who donít
want to create a barrier and block their views from
their own yard," Karr said.