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The Shocking Truth About Invisible Fences

Offbeat  (tags: animals, dogs, environment, protection, pets )

- 1992 days ago -
We all know by now that chaining or tying up dogs outside is cruel and dangerous, right? But if you're thinking that an "invisible fence" is a safe way to give your dog some time outdoors, think again.

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Pat B (356)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 8:17 am
We have a wire fence around our property. I welcome the squirrels, an occasional snake, a wandering armadillo, cats and dogs alike. Have never owned an invisible fence, nor does anyone around here own one. Most of the animals get along side by side. Thanks, Cher for this info, tho.

Nicole W (646)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 8:33 am
would NEVER, EVER use this barbaric product. thank you Cher

Donna Hamilton (159)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 10:18 am
Noted. Thanks, Cher.

Julie E (405)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 10:19 am
This fence will be invisible to everyone one day and hopefully soon.

Thomas P (280)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 11:47 am
Noted...thanks Cher

Joe R (190)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 12:03 pm

Kath P (9)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 12:21 pm
Invisible fences and clumping litter...seem a good idea on the surface. Thanks for this informative article.

Kathleen R (138)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 12:27 pm
noted & read

michelle t (41)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 12:40 pm
Thanks for this informative article.

Ro H (0)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 12:56 pm
they don't work after a significant snowfall.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 1:29 pm
Thanks for this enlightening information, Cher.

Ruth M (235)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 3:03 pm

janet f (29)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 4:30 pm
I think the real danger to dogs left unattended outside are other people. Last I checked, these fences don't keep strangers off your property...and away from your pets.

Karen B (8)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 6:04 pm

Kara C (15)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 6:30 pm
I hate shock collars, so much pain for nothing. Recently I bought a vibrate collar for my going deaf dog and it was so impossibly hard to find one that did not come with a shock feature. There where two that I could find under $50!

Diane L (110)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 1:27 am
All one has to do is read who write the article............PETA. Invisible fences are a great device for someone that has a small area to "enclose" and doesn't want an unsightly wooden or wire fence that first of all, will not keep a determined dog from jumping OVER or digging UNDER. The "shock" given to the dog is very minor and most dogs are smart enough to learn quickly NOT to cross that barrier. The "pain" given is far less than what would result if hit and run over by a car.

Kara, you get what you pay for. Any training collar that cost less than $50 is worthless. A good one not only CAN "shock" but has a vibrate only setting and is completely adjustable. All dogs are different and some respond to a vibration only, others require a mild shock and once they learn that it can happen when a signal is given first as a warnng, they learn to not go past that point. I have a good one, and when my dog wears her collar, it doesn't have to be charged or turned on. I can have her outside with just wearing the collar and not even have the remote on me, but she respects the collar and knows she has to obey when she's wearing it. It's a great "aid" for dogs that are out of sight or beyond physical control, such as huntng dogs, K-9 dogs, and like mine, simply is very stubborn and has a high "prey drive" so will chase my livestock or neighbors riding their horse when she knows I can't reach her to stop her..........that is, unless she's wearing her collar. Then, all it takes is a stern, "Quit".

Patricia H. (440)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 3:46 am

Evelyn B (62)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 6:26 am
Good to know - both the info in the article and the comment by Diane L

Cher C (1429)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 6:31 am

Thnx everyone!!!

I do agree with most of the comments on here, shock collars are cruel and barbaric.

I would NEVER use one of these things on my dog.


Past Member (0)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 7:18 am

Patricia W (5)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 7:24 am

Roberta Z (16)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 7:26 am
I met someone a long time ago who worked for a company who made them. She tore up her hands trying to stretch wires into harnesses when the were really to short. Also, I know of someone who bought and installed one and it only worked for a short while.

Suzanne L (99)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 10:44 am
Thanks for the info. I don't know of anyone around here who has an invisible fence. Most of my neighbours walk their dogs faithfully and have regular fences around their yards which seem fine with the dogs.

Margo R (14)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 12:13 pm
We used to live by people who had two dogs and an invisible fence. While the fence worked, the dogs never wandered out of their own yard anyway. Having said that, one of the dogs was quite small and people who let their dogs run "wild", would come in the yard and cause all kinds of trouble. The little dog nearly got killed twice!
I absolutely hate invisible fences.

Ruth C (87)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 12:33 pm
We put a high fence and that is good enough.
Whoever uses invisible fences are animal abuses!

Diane L (110)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 10:04 pm
Ruth, that is an insult made on anyone who uses such a product. MIS-USE of any device is abuse. You can be abusive and cruel by misusing a simple flat, leather or web collar. Would you suggest such collars be banned because they have been mis-used?

Suzanne, some people can't put up fences that will properly contain their dogs.........many reasons.........they belong to an H.O.A., or their dog will either jump over the fence or dig under it. If you know anything about sled dog breeds, they will dig under any fence that isn't encased in solid concrete at least a foot below ground level. Any fence under 8' will not contain many breeds and in most areas, code says a fence can't be over 6'. '

Diane L (110)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 10:12 pm
Roberta Z., your comment makes no sense. How can anyone tear up their hands "stretching" wire to be made into harnesses when the topic is an "invisible" fence, which consists of a buried wire that interacts with a receiver on a COLLAR worn by the dog? The dog does not wear a wire harness.

Personally, I wouldn't put up such a fence because it wouldn't work with my dog. My daughter considered one as she has Siberian Huskies, but they are SO determined to run, such a fence would not deteor them and would be a waste of time and effort. Different measures for different dogs. Those that say such devices are always cruel (especially to describe "shock" collars) simply do not understand how they are properly used. I find that sad when uneducated/misinformed people feel they have the expertise to judge. That would be like me saying all people who drive VW's are stupid or circus clowns because I once saw a person who was not intelligent riding in one, and they use them in circus' for laughs.

Diane L (110)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 10:15 pm
"Having said that, one of the dogs was quite small and people who let their dogs run "wild", would come in the yard and cause all kinds of trouble. The little dog nearly got killed twice!"............Margo, that could have hapened no matter what kind of fence had been used. If the other dogs "ran wild", they could easily have jumped OVER or dug UNDER the fence to get at those dogs and done as much damage once inside their yard. Don't blame the fence if it worked properly for what it was there to do..........prevent the dogs living there from LEAVING.

Diane L (110)
Thursday January 3, 2013, 11:25 pm
Thank you, Evelyn, and to those who sent me GREEN STARS for my comment. If "E-collars" are cruel, then 99% of dog trainers, and K-9 unit handlers are guilty of animal abuse and cruelty. Field dogs are almost always trained with such collars, since they are not within physical handling distance of their handlers out in the field, often cannot hear voice commands, and same for K-9 dogs, partcular SAR dogs.

The lack of knowledge being exhibited in this discussion is typical when the subject includes something "unknown". Our emotions want to say it's abusive and cruel. If we don't know about it's use, it MUST be, right?

Tanya W (65)
Saturday January 5, 2013, 3:20 am
Noted. What happened to treating our animals with respect and love???

Sheila D (28)
Sunday January 6, 2013, 11:32 am
Thanks for the article Cher. This explains so much about those electric fences. The people I know who use "shock" collars are extremely careful with them and use them only for reenforcing verbal commands; however, I have seen uninformed, thoughtless, cruel people who have no idea what they are doing and have hurt their pets through misuse of these "tools". Better to just not use them.

Diane L (110)
Sunday January 6, 2013, 10:55 pm
Tanya, many of us who love (and yes, respect) our pets also understand the responsibility of keeping them safe and part of being a responsible pet "person" is imposing boundaries and limits, same as one should do with their children. Dogs don't necessarily understand, "Don't go out of the yard alone", so we have to do whatever it takes. I'd rather have both a live dog AND a happy one. Most dogs actually enjoy knowing what their boundaries and limitations are. Watch Cesar Milan and he'll explain this clearly.

Sheila, thank you for your input and opinion. I agree. The "bottom line" is, as you have noted, there are uniformed and uneducated peple who use training devices as weapons rather than tools. In their hands, a simple web collar could be inhumane and cruel. When one uses something such as an electronic "training" collar, it is to be used for just that...........TRAINING, not punishment or abuse. For example, I use such a training collar on my 110-lb. GSD who has an extremely high prey drive. She sometimes forgets that horses are NOT to be chased and yes, she HAS been kicked. It doesn't necessarily stop her and merely slows her down. She could end up killed. I thinka little vibration as a warning is much preferable to getting her head bashed in, and if the vibration alone isn't sufficient, then it can go from there, but like any rule being enforced with a child, you start out with saying, "No" and if the child ignores the "No", most caring parents then use something more forceful, which can vary from child to child and situation to situation. A lazy, non-caring parent, or a mis-guided one would probably not go much farther, even if that meant their child being seriously injured. The only thing that prevented me from being killed by crossing the busy street that I grew up on was knowing that my Father would spank my bottom if he caught me disobeying by playing in the street. Was I scared of my Father? I suppose in a way, but it was more respect for authority than fear.

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Tuesday January 8, 2013, 6:30 am
I've never used an electric dog collar, never had to. But from what I know of them there are 10 possible settings for the shocks. From minor to strong. I don't think any of the damage mentionned could comme from a setting of 1 to 3 .
Unfortuantely there are so many brutal humans that will use the highest setting and cause harm.
Collars Not a good idea.
Don't know abour t fences, first I hear of it. It might keep the naimal in the yard but the animal has no protection against agressive dogs or ill intended humans.

Diane L (110)
Tuesday January 8, 2013, 10:42 pm
Marie Therese, the better ones (E-Collars) all have a "VIBRATE ONLY" setting. The instructions for use are clear and very understandable, and the make/model have also has a website with videos to explain use. They absolutely state to start out with "VIBRATE" only and then the lowest possible setting. They advise to test on one's own forearm and to use the lowest setting that can still be felt.

I guess I can understand how an invisible fence would contain the dog "within" because the dog wears a receiver on it's collar and the neighbor dogs don't, so they wouldn't be kept OUT. The situation seems to be that everyone's circumstances are different. Some people might not have to contend with other dogs, yet want to contain their own dog. Maybe they live in a residential neighborhood that has a H.O.A. that prohibits perimeter fences, or maybe county code says a fence over 6' is not allowed and one has a dog that can easily JUMP a 6' fence or a breed that would dig under one, such as a Siberian Husky.

No one solution is applicable to everyone. I find it negative and judgmental in an irresponsible way to say E-Collars are always abusive or an invisible fence is inhumane because it doesn't keep other dogs out. At least an invisible fence won't result in a dog choking itself while being tied out, even on a long runner. Not everyone can have a nice perimeter fence or spend enough time outside, personally, to exercise their dog. Sometimes we have to let our dogs outside to "pee" and can't go outside with them............nice to know they can be let outside for 10 minutes without having to get dressed and shoes on if "Nature calls"!
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