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Anyone experienced with invisible fence for stubborn dog?

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

  • midmomidmo Registered User Posts: 3,720 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.
  • 2cakes2cakes Registered User Posts: 362 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.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered User Posts: 23,020 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.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,892 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).
  • churchmusicmomchurchmusicmom Registered User Posts: 4,059 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!
  • RiversChoiceRiversChoice Registered User Posts: 310 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.
  • tango14tango14 Registered User Posts: 1,578 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.
  • churchmusicmomchurchmusicmom Registered User Posts: 4,059 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!
  • roshkeroshke Registered User Posts: 3,123 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.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,929 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.
  • CountingDownCountingDown Registered User Posts: 13,398 Senior Member
    Our trainer told us to carry her across the fence line or have her in the car when leaving our property. She will not let us take her through the perimeter on a lead, even with the collar off. She will not cross that line willingly.

    Every door in our house is included within the perimeter of the fence, so she could go out of any door and still be in "her zone."
  • momof1momof1 Registered User Posts: 794 Member
    It has been very interesting reading this thread. I do have to say that we bought the system, put out the flags and were very diligent with the training. Since we are both teachers we were able to take a good deal of time to train. Evidently it stuck! We took the 11 year old husky to the vet today and forgot to put the collar back on. We let the dogs out and they all three stayed in the yard. Needless to say, we called her back in when we saw the collar sitting on the table! Yikes!

    We don't leave them out when we are not home. They stay in the house. There are wolves out there. And they eat dogs.
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