Invisible Fencing is a system using an underground, electrically charged
line around the perimeter of your property in conjunction with a collar
that the dog wears, which delivers an electrical shock.
Some dog owners subscribe to electric fencing because it is effective
for their particular dog. Other dog owners are not so fortunate.
Some of the disadvantages include:
- Malfunctions - These happen quite infrequently. But remember, you
are dealing with an electronic device. With time, wear, or water, the possibility
of malfunction will increase. If the collar is triggered and remains on, it will
cause severe trauma and can be fatal to your dog (can cause severe burns).
- Locked Out - Your dog sees a bird or squirrel outside the property
line, charges, and has gained so much momentum by the time it reaches the
perimeter that it crosses the line and is afraid to come back. The animal
is "locked out" of its own property. Some dogs will become anxious and
- Other Dogs - Just because your dog won't cross the boundary to get out of the
invisible fence doesn't mean that another dog won't cross the boundary to
come in your yard, which may compromise your dogs safety, depending on the
health and temperament of the other dog.
- Traumatization - Many dogs won't eat for days after receiving one or two shocks because
they are so traumatized. For this reason, many trainers are averse to any
type of shock training.
- Incorrect Training - Dogs who get shocked when trying to approach people
passing by can associate the shock with the people, and thus become either overly aggressive
or overly timid around people.
Comments and Experiences
Also, we are all very negative on invisible fences, for many, many reasons.
For one thing, even if your dog stays inside the "fence", it doesn't prevent
any other people/animals from coming in. An aggressive dog could attack
your dog, and your dog would have no place to hide.
Even a dog who is well trained to an invisible fence has a "trigger". With
some, it is the sight of a deer or other animal. With others, it's thunder
(if they're afraid of thunder). In these instances, very often a dog will
go through the invisible fence due to excitement/fear. However, when the
dog calms down, he/she will not cross the fence to come in. So essentially,
your dog is trapped outside of the fence.
We have very rarely adopted dogs to folks with invisible fences, and then,
only if they promised not to ever leave the dog unattended when he/she is
out in the fenced area. They really give you a very false sense of
NOTE: My neighbors had a dog with ideopathic epilepsy. During one of her seizures, she went through the fence. A neighbor found her coming out of her seizure in the middle of the road. Fortunately, she was ok.
I've had first hand experience the last item, with the first CARE
foster dog I adopted out. I used the bad judgement to let him
go to a home with an invisible fence. They called a week and half
later, saying that he was so traumatized that he had become
unresponsive and obstinate, and they didn't think he would ever
bond with them. Needless to say, I couldn't get there quickly
enough to pick him up. The "unresponsive and obstinate" dog was
completely overjoyed to see me and practically flung himself into
arms and licked me all the way home. OK, can you blame me for
adopting him myself after that?