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Anyone experienced with invisible fence for stubborn dog?


Replies to: Anyone experienced with invisible fence for stubborn dog?

  • DougBetsyDougBetsy 5578 replies252 threads Senior Member
    I love this thread.

    Our black lab is afraid of the invisible fence, but he also knows he needs his collar when he goes outside. He'll bring us the collar to put on him. Or, if he can't reach it, he'll just go stand by it and keep staring at it.
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  • anothermom2anothermom2 1705 replies48 threads Senior Member
    Yes, we have a stubborn dog too. We originally got the electric fence because our yorkie could squeeze out below the chain link fence that we had (and which kept our old lab in just fine - she never got a collar.) In general, she did not like to get zapped, but if she saw something she wanted outside the fence, she had no self control. We moved, and just put in the electric fence. We know it is not going to be 100% effective for the yorkie. We got a new golden retriever, and she got a collar too, but is smart and stays in. However, we also have a fenced in dog run. The collars are for when we are in the yard and can keep an eye on the dogs, and the run if for when we can not. It would not be practical to fence in our current property, so the dog run is a good solution.

    For the funny stories on these fences, the little yorkie learned to be afraid of the flags, so if there is any flag on the street for gas, electric etc. she makes sure not to go near it even when we walk her. We do have to leave some flags on our property because without them, the sound and shock are not enough of a deterrent.
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  • CountingDownCountingDown 13732 replies113 threads Senior Member
    We have an Invisible Fence (the brand name one) for our beagle-border collie rescue. We kept the flags up around the perimeter for a good six weeks so she learned the boundaries. Funny, but she never barked til we taught her what was "her" territory! Used the warning buzzer (on the Invisible Fence, it's plastic covers over the prongs) until the trainer came out and took her over the line. Zap! She yelped, ran into the yard, and that was that. Would not go near the fence again.

    She will not go within three feet of the line, and I have to carry her over it if we go for a walk. Lifting her (even with the collar on) does not generate a shock. We have foxes in our neighborhood, and one would sit across the street and torment Kira every night with howling and chasing, but she does not budge.

    Just be sure to change the battery when it arrives in the mail. We had received the new battery but had not replaced it immediately. In the meantime, Kira was caught outside in a thunderstorm (she is VERY storm-phobic), broke through the line in fear (we think the battery had died, too), and wound up 2.5 miles down the road, where she was hit by a car.

    Fortunately a good samaritan, who I believe was the driver, called me and the Humane Society, so there were folks on the scene when I got there. Needed a college fund for the vet bill, but she is back to 99% of her old self (just a tiny bit of residual facial paralysis) and has not broken through the fence since.
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  • DougBetsyDougBetsy 5578 replies252 threads Senior Member
    Aww, poor Kira. Glad she made good recovery.
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  • roshkeroshke 3090 replies36 threads Senior Member
    In general, I am not a big fan of an invisible fence. For one thing, around here it does not prevent other animals, including other dogs, deer , even the occasional fox etc. from getting in. Also, as others say, if the incentive is great enough most dogs will break through. In fact, I think just about every dog on our street that has one has gotten loose at one time or another.
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  • brianmossbrianmoss 1 replies0 threads New Member
    I have installed and trained dogs on these electric dog fences for 15 years. I have never had a dog that I could not contain. I have had dogs that were difficult to train but not impossible. Most of the time people have issues with a dog it is because the lack of, rushing or inconsistent training. If your dog just runs through the fence when you are not looking, he does not understand the fence and that is because of the training. Start the training from the beginning, and comment 10 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day. Just be patient and the dog will learn. Electric Dog Fence | Electric Dog Fences | ElectricDogFence.com
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  • merlinmerlin 279 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I love all the stories!

    Churchmusicmom, we have tried different settings to adjust the range of the warning tone.

    Opera-mom, my sense is that the "logical head" isn't the one doing the thinking when another dog walks by. Most of the time, New Dog remembers the zap and won't leave the center of the yard. Kind of reminds me of how some intoxicated humans are when they have unwise one night stands. lol

    Brianmoss, thanks for the encouragement. I have been training for 5-10 minutes 3-4 times per day. I plan to continue.

    Next attempt at training could be to install a stake with a tether several feet from the drive egress and let New Dog wander in a space where he can easily, but not always, hear the beep and trigger the zap. It is recommended that this go on for two weeks--of course not constantly and only within our sight. I am apprehensive, but H is determined to try it.

    Keep the stories coming!
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  • megmnomegmno 383 replies32 threads Member
    We did it backwards. We got the invisible fence when our dog kept going over a five foot high wood fence. Even then, we needed to upgrade to the "stubborn dog" model -- she basically ignored the milder collar (DH calls the two models the "collie killer" and the "poodle tickler", respectively.)

    Of course this is a dog that once went through a plate glass picture window in pursuit of a squirrel....
    At almost 11 years old she's still going strong.
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  • CountingDownCountingDown 13732 replies113 threads Senior Member
    Kira is only out when someone is home. Our yard was not conducive to fencing, and her foster mom said she scaled 5 ft wood fences. Have NEVER seen that out of her, though she would contort herself to squeeze under a fence if necessary. Most folks in the neighborhood don't fence, either. (Older neighborhood, 1/2 acre lots, most have let their yards remain as forest.)

    Her temperament is well-suited to the invisible fence, and the border collie in her "got" the staking-out-her-territory thing. And yes, we get foxes, deer and groundhogs in the yard, but she starts barking, so we know when there's an intruder alert.
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  • MomLiveMomLive 2352 replies15 threads Senior Member
    In fact, I think just about every dog on our street that has one has gotten loose at one time or another.

    I've had the same experience. I'm not against invisible fences in theory but I swear, over the years, every neighbor we've had with an invisible fence has had problems with them.

    If it's hard-wired, someone cut the wire with a weed-eater.
    Batteries go dead and dog is smart enough to figure it out (but the owner's weren't).
    Dog didn't care and blew through it.
    One poor dog's collar malfunctioned and it got shocked repeatedly even though it was out of range (I got to witness that one, very disturbing).

    Right now, my next door neighbor has a Golden on an invisible fence and the dog gets out constantly. Not sure if it runs through the shock or the battery is dead or they forget to turn it on.

    I have no problem with invisible fences but owners need to be diligent about making sure the batteries are fresh and the wiring is intact (assuming you're not using a wireless model) and the darn thing is on.
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  • midmomidmo 3715 replies5 threads Senior Member
    Two warnings about system failure:

    1. Do not assume the collar battery is good just because it is new. I buy mine from a battery specialty store. After getting a couple that seemed to stop working very quickly, I now make the clerk take them out of the package and test the voltage. Several have been no good.

    2. Our system stopped working last year. We checked the batteries. We had the collars tested. We checked that the box was plugged in, and so on. Since the Invisible Fence brand has a lifetime guarantee, the company came out to investigate. After digging up my yard and finding nothing, he asked if we had any electrical storms recently. We had, and some of the strikes were pretty close. At that point, he looked inside the box and said it had been fried by lightning, despite the fact that the indicator light was still flashing green, which is supposed to mean it is working properly.
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  • 2cakes2cakes 362 replies0 threads Member
    merlin, Glad you took in the New Dog. Don't give up on containment! Call your sales rep for help. Training is the key. The level of correction must be greater than the level of distraction! Labradoodles can be Labra-major and doodle-minor or the other way around. Your rep will be able help. (Or you can PM me for my #- I can help, it's what I do)
    midmo, a "short loop" would have saved you a service call. Your rep should have suggested this. It's a paper clip into the transmitter to make a loop like the wire in your yard (an antenna). Training, battery maintenance and care around planting time are keys!
    Momlive: These receivers are on a radio frequency. The transmitter on the wall sends the signal and the collar receives it and sends the correction. A receiver cannot "malfunction" and over-correct. Even if the pet went into another matching frequency, top fence companies have fail safe systems to avoid over-correction.
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22898 replies184 threads Senior Member
    I've never had a physical fence OR an invisible fence. Puppies/new dogs stay on lead outdoors until they get the idea of remaining with us in the yard and develop road smarts. They are never outdoors alone, then or later. (Although we own an 18 ft wire enclosed dog run with dog house that we used to use when we both worked outside the home.) My current dog can be let out to relieve herself and comes right back to the door. When I go out to let the chickens out get the mail or something, she goes out with me and may investigate the 35 acres of woods behind the house a bit. She generally comes right back when called, and never goes near the road or anyone else's house.

    It seems that invisible fences work well to contain some dogs, and completely fail for others.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that I knew someone with a golden who went though the electric fence frequently who tried putting the "collar" around his belly with the zapper thingie touching the skin. I'm not sure if it worked, but they were getting desperate with very hostile neighbors.
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  • wis75wis75 14383 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Neighbors have had invisible fences. They needed to adjust the collars or shock strength as their dogs grew. The Irish setter and vizsla (two- one replaced another) would wait for my shih tzu and I to cross into their territory for a visit when we went by on walks. One night I was scared by a deep throated bark as we entered our cul de sac area- the vizsla had been let out to do his thing and noticed us- he wanted us to visit, which we did.

    We have woods and hills/ravines behind houses. Needed to use a chain (covered 15 +15 ft or so thin covered ones) with our shih tzu- he would strain at the chain, barking with his tail wagging wildly at the deer who would be just a few feet uphill calmly grazing. Shih tzus are hard to train- they lack obedience intelligence, too smart to obey for food or because we want them to (their social/emotional intelligence is tops). The winter before he died I would let him outside near the back deck- deer fencing for a garden near the lot line and deep snow up into the woods so he generally couldn't/wouldn't go too far. However, despite being nearly blind he climbed the hill once and got lost. Nothing like following deer paths up, down and around looking for a white with gray-black small dog among the white snow and gray-black tree/shrub winter foliage before the early sunset. Fortunately he found his way back to our yard after his fun adventure. He lost his no chain priveleges after that. A few times before then we had allowed him to be loose on his leash- he would wander and get it caught aroundsome tree or bush and couldn't get far. He would also get the chain wound around a winter birdbath base on the deck or a tree and get stuck- never figured out going back the way he went to make the loop. It was easier to pick him up to keep him out of trouble than trying to train him (food didn't work).
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  • churchmusicmomchurchmusicmom 3980 replies79 threads Senior Member
    A couple of people have mentioned carrying their dogs over the wire or taking off their collar and then leading them out of the yard on leash. THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!! When we first got ours, the trainer emphasized that the dog must NEVER be lead across the "fenced" perimeter. They should consistently exit and enter their yard through one particular door and always on lead. In our house, it's the garage. Of course, I still need to take her collar off so she does not get shocked (I have forgotten that before and that was not good!).

    Consistency is key. The dog cannot be expected to understand that it's ok to cross the line at some times and not others!
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  • RiversChoiceRiversChoice 310 replies0 threads Member
    We have used Invisible Fence very successfully for many years.
    We are on our second dog with this system, a herding breed dog.

    1.) Change the battery when you receive it in the mail from the Battery Plan.
    Test it by holding the ends of the collar & you walk into the field & hear the beep, then you know it is working for sure.

    2.) Training, the flag set up everything should be consistent. If you have more than one dog, each dog should be trained separately.

    3.) Those prongs should be tight up vs. the dog's neck, if the collar is too loose, it will not work. You should only be able to get your finger between the end of prong & dog's fur. If the prongs & battery unit move all around the dog's neck the collar is too loose.

    4.) A dog should NEVER be led over the boundary without the collar on. If you want to take your dog for a walk off the property, you put him in your car & drive to your destination & then walk him.

    5.) If you are still having trouble training your dog, call Invisible Fence.

    6.) If you are using Invisible Fence, if the wire should be cut an alarm goes off from the box located in your house, so you know the wire has been cut & system not working.

    Both our dogs have been so well trained, that even when the electricity goes off, we do not worry. They never challenged the system. But if you have a dog who checks every day to hear that beep, then as the dog's owner you must be very diligent.
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  • tango14tango14 1568 replies10 threads Senior Member
    My huge huge pet peeve is people letting their dogs out to run loose, whether intentionally (worse) or accidentally (in my view, more than once or twice accidentally becomes intentional).

    I have a golden in a fenced yard, she is always on lead and with one of us when not in her yard. The only time she can be trusted off lead is to go from the house to the car because I know that the car is a stronger temptation for her than any possible distraction. I know that is my own responsibility/fault because I didn't take the time to train her to come to me absolutely (or even reliably) on cmmand.

    A friend has 2 mostly lab/pit bull mixes. They live in the country and their dogs were initially allowed to run loose (with no training) until neighbors complained. So they got the electronic fence. The dogs quickly figured out how to escape or didn't care about getting shocked. They don't even bother anymore.

    I absolutely adore dogs, any dog, any size, but I am always annoyed and often livid when someone else's dog accosts me or my dog. When on lead, when I see them coming with the dog pulling in front, it is evident that they don't have the animal under control. Off lead is even worse, because only 1 n 1000 of those have the dog under verbal control, and there's not even the insurance of a lead.
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  • churchmusicmomchurchmusicmom 3980 replies79 threads Senior Member
    I agree absolutely with everything you said, tango14! We have leash laws here....all dogs by law must be on a leash and/or fenced in. Some people still let their dogs out and more than once, they have done so when I was walking my dog by their house (on leash, at close heel), and the dog who was just let out ran at us!

    Another pet peeve (sorry about the pun there!) of mine is CATS allowed to roam freely. They drive my doggie NUTS!!! NOT FAIR!
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  • roshkeroshke 3090 replies36 threads Senior Member
    I agree that consistency is the key to training, but I also think people underestimate the commitment involved, both at the outset and on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately, the fences are often purchased by people who are also looking for an easy alternative to walking or exercising the dog. So, you have dogs with lots of pent up energy and owners who are not always consistent - not always the best combination.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30390 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Basically, you cannot trust any fences for children or pets. The idea that you can put either of them outside and then forget about them is madness. Never mind the trouble they can get into in the yard, but, yes, they CAN get out, regardless of what you kind of fence you have. We were negligent in the use of our fence with our Lucky who very thoroughly taught us the reliability of any fence. With our subsequent dogs, we have not bothered with a fence except as a training tool.

    There was a wireless system on the market that I think is great in teaching pets the borders of the yard. By restricting our dogs to a certain part of the yard to do their business, we had less clean up issues. We had 3 dogs at one time, so that was a big issue. We let the dogs romp in the front yard under close supervision only--when someone is directly with them. We let the out the back and watch them even with the electric fence. We NEVER just let the dog out and take our eyes off of them. I've told the kids that the dogs are like toddlers. You cannot just let them loose in the yard. So the fence was put into use, just so that the dogs quickly learned the ground rules of where they can go in the yard which makes gardening easier as well as clean up, but we do not rely on it at all. In fact, they did not even wear the collar after training as it really wasn't that important if they went out of the borders.

    So getting an invisible fence can serve as a very strong and quick way of teaching the dog to stay in the yard, But it is not a reliable thing to use to just let your dog out and not keep an eye on him.
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