Keeping your dog safe and contained within your property is a top priority for many pet owners. Invisible fences, also known as underground or electric fences, have become popular for creating boundaries without obstructing the view. These fences work by transmitting a signal to a receiver collar worn by the dog, which emits a warning tone or a mild correction if the dog approaches the boundary.
While invisible fences can be an effective tool, it’s important to understand the do’s and don’ts to ensure their proper and safe use. This article will explore some essential guidelines for using invisible dog fences.
Do: Understand Your Dog’s Personality and Training Needs
Assess your dog’s personality
Some dogs respond well to invisible fences, while others may find them stressful or confusing. Consider your dog’s temperament, age, and overall behaviour before using an invisible fence system.
Train your dog properly
Proper training is crucial for the successful use of invisible fences. Take the time to familiarize your dog with the boundaries and the warning signals. Use positive reinforcement techniques and rewards to encourage your dog to stay within the safe area.
Don’t: Rely Solely on the Invisible Fence
Continue regular leash walks
An invisible fence should not replace regular walks and exercise. Dogs still need physical activity and mental stimulation, so incorporate daily walks and playtime into your routine.
Supervise your dog
While invisible fences are designed to keep your dog contained, they are not foolproof. Always supervise your dog when they are outside, especially during the initial training period. This will allow you to reinforce the boundaries and ensure your dog’s safety.
Do: Properly Install and Maintain the System
Follow installation guidelines
Invisible fences require proper installation for optimal functionality. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure the fence is installed correctly.
Check for breaks or malfunctions
Regularly inspect the fence for any breaks, damaged wires, or malfunctioning components. Address any issues promptly to maintain the effectiveness of the system.
Don’t: Neglect the Importance of Boundary Flags
Use boundary flags during training
Boundary flags serve as visual markers to help your dog understand the limits of the invisible fence. Place them along the perimeter and gradually remove them as your dog becomes familiar with the boundaries.
Maintain the boundary flags
Keep the boundary flags in place even after your dog is trained as a reminder. This will help prevent your dog from testing and potentially crossing the boundaries.
Do: Ensure the Collar Fits Properly and Comfortably
Fit the collar correctly
The receiver collar should fit snugly and comfortably around your dog’s neck. It should not be too loose or too tight. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper sizing and adjustment.
Regularly check the collar
Check the collar regularly to ensure it is not causing any discomfort or irritation. Look for any signs of rubbing, redness, or skin irritation. If necessary, adjust the fit or consult a professional.
Don’t: Overuse or Misuse the Correction Levels
Set the correction level appropriately
Invisible fence systems typically offer different correction levels. Start with the lowest level and gradually increase if needed. Use the minimum level necessary to effectively deter your dog from crossing the boundaries.
Avoid excessive correction
It’s important not to overcorrect your dog. Excessive or prolonged use of the correction can lead to anxiety or fear in your dog. The correction should be a mild deterrent, not a punishment.
Do: Provide Positive Reinforcement and Rewards
Praise and reward your dog
Positive reinforcement is key to successful invisible fence training. Provide praise and rewards whenever your dog stays within the boundaries or responds to the warning signals. This will reinforce the desired behaviour and make the invisible fence a positive experience for your dog.
Use treats and toys
Incorporate treats and toys as rewards during training sessions. When your dog follows the boundaries or returns to the safe area, offer a tasty treat or engage in playtime. This will further motivate your dog to stay within the designated area.
Don’t: Use the Invisible Fence as a Means of Confinement
Ensure your dog’s needs are met
Dogs require social interaction, mental stimulation, and companionship. The invisible fence should not be used to keep your dog isolated or confined for extended periods. Make sure to spend quality time with your dog and provide them with a balanced and enriching environment.
Consider additional measures for unsupervised periods
If you need to leave your dog alone in the yard for an extended period, consider using other confinement methods, such as a secure outdoor kennel or a designated dog-proof area. This will provide your dog with a safe space while you are away.
Do: Seek Professional Assistance if Needed
Consult a professional trainer
If you’re unsure about training your dog or if you encounter any difficulties, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional dog trainer. They can provide guidance and personalized advice and assist you in effectively implementing the invisible fence system.
Address behavioural issues promptly
If your dog exhibits any signs of stress, anxiety, or persistent boundary crossing, consult a professional to address the underlying behavioural issues. They can help identify the cause and provide appropriate training techniques to rectify it.
A Word of Caution
When using an invisible fence system, having an appropriate collar for your dog is important. Invisible fence collars are designed to receive signals from the fence and deliver warning tones or corrections. However, using them responsibly and ensuring your dog’s well-being is crucial. Here are some key considerations:
Use the collar as directed: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the use of the invisible fence collar. Proper usage includes fitting the collar correctly, adjusting the correction levels appropriately, and regularly inspecting the collar for any signs of discomfort or irritation.
Prioritize your dog’s comfort and safety: Always prioritize your dog’s comfort and safety when using the invisible fence collar. Ensure that it is not causing any undue stress, skin irritation, or discomfort. If you notice any issues, adjust the fit or consult a professional.
Wrapping It Up…
Invisible fences can be a valuable tool for safely keeping your dog within your property. By following the do’s and don’ts outlined in this article, you can ensure the effective and responsible use of invisible fences.
Remember to consider your dog’s personality, provide proper training and positive reinforcement, and prioritize their overall well-being. With the right approach, an invisible fence can allow your dog to enjoy the outdoors while keeping them safe within the designated boundaries.