View Full Version : Damned if I do - damned if I don't

7th September 2008, 12:34 AM
Can someone please help.

We have the most adorable, friendly, playful cavvie in all sense of the word. My mum lives around the corner and has a lovely Bichon that Brady loves to play with.

However the Bichon is a lazy guy so doesn't understand Brady's playfulness and giddiness and my mum is fed up of him coming around!!! Brady has no hesitation in racing out the door and around the corner to visit and play.

Traffic isn't a major problem around here but a fear nonetheless and Brady has no road sense at all. We got an electronic dog fence installed to try and stop him from venturing too far. Today was his first day with his electronic collar on and the poor guy really did get a shock when he tried to leave the perimeter we set for him, incidentally this is a very large area. We followed all the guidelines of training him but he got so overexcited when my mum came to visit with her dog that he raced straight into the path of where he was going to be shocked. His whimpering was tearful and he spent most of the day huddled in a corner afraid to move.

I don't want him traumatised but do want him safe.

Anyone have any tips on how to show him that he has to stay in his boundary without me being reduced to tears.

Cathy Moon
7th September 2008, 12:39 AM
My only advice is to get a real fence. It's so much easier for everyone concerned, dogs included.

7th September 2008, 08:49 AM
Cant believe you have the electric fence for a dog.Sorry to me that is just silly and lazy.Know wonder he is traumatised,you would be after having shocks.Why dont you pay for proper fenced of area.Why do people have dogs ,then leave them out all the time on their own,whats the point,hes meant to be part of the family,correct.All you have to do is fence of a peice say,15 x 15.

7th September 2008, 11:44 AM
It's not surprising that a cavalier is traumatised after receiving an electric shot to the sensitive neck area.You would be too!The poor dog hasn't figured out what's happened to it yet and just feels pain and confusion.
I really don't know why this method is promoted as being safe and humane.
The solution is not to let him out without a leash. Try signing up to an obedience course where you can teach him recall or sit/stay.
Finally build a cheap run out the back to contain him in until you can afford to fence the area securely.

7th September 2008, 12:10 PM
It's not surprising that a cavalier is traumatised after receiving an electric shot to the sensitive neck area.You would be too!The poor dog hasn't figured out what's happened to it yet and just feels pain and confusion.
I really don't know why this method is promoted as being safe and humane.
The solution is not to let him out without a leash. Try signing up to an obedience course where you can teach him recall or sit/stay.
Finally build a cheap run out the back to contain him in until you can afford to fence the area securely.
Me too
---Aileen --(Barney---Jazzie_)

7th September 2008, 12:15 PM
Please , please PLEASE dump the electronic fence, and get a REAL fence. That is the ONLY way you can 'keep him within his boundary' (and why not just keep him inside?) There isn't a rescue in Ireland that would home a dog to anyone intending to use an electronic fence, just to give a sense of how wrong this approach is. Shocking the neck area in this breed, with the breed problems with SM which tends to develop in the neck area, in my view is utterly cruel.

Please either use a system of closing doors to keep Brady from running out doors or get a fence. You also under Irish law MUST keep him on your property and under control -- you cannot allow him to run around like this. Please do not ever, ever risk having him get a shock like this again and have a vet check his neck right away please too!!! These collars can cause serious damage and have even burned through dog's necks when they have shorted out.

You WILL have a tragically injured or dead dog -- I will guarantee it -- if you do not find some way to prevent your dog from running out and around the corner.

Also if Brady is more playful and pushy about playing then your mother's dog, then good dog ownership and citizenship means the onus lies with you to keep him on a lead or cvonfined. No one else's dog whoudl be badgered by a dog they do not want to play with. Leaving this situation can both trauamtise the dog that is on the receiving end of the unwanted attemntion and risk leading up to a srious fight once the bichon decides it has simply had enough.

But please -- get a fence.

7th September 2008, 06:07 PM
I agree with the anti-electric fence sentiments, but I'm kind of surprised by the tone of one of the responses :confused:

It is definitely important to not let your dog out of the house/fenced yard without a leash. You got some great advice regarding how shock collars affect cavaliers negatively (remember, this is a sensitive breed that you are not supposed to use negative, harsh or physical responses with). Even on top of that, someone could walk away with your cavalier if he was able to roam outside, it only takes one car driving around to have a tragic traffic accident, some people are afraid of dogs and would not take very kindly to one darting up to them, and one of your neighbors might have an aggressive dog visiting that walks by on a leash and could seriously hurt your baby.

My dogs are both now trained to never leave the threshold of our home without a leash on. Obviously I would not rely on this if something SUPER exciting walks by, which is why I don't leave the doors open for extended periods, and only if I'm just outside and able to supervise (like sweeping the porch). Training can help allot here, but it shouldn't be the only thing you rely on. The best trained dogs can get overexcited and forget their recall but it is still so important that they are as solidly trained as possible.

We as pet owners are basically stewards of their safety and have to take every precaution we can to protect them from themselves. other dogs, other humans and cars.

I hope this doesn't come across as a lecture, and I am not in any way judging you for posting -- I think it is GREAT that you came here for some advice and I hope you got some to carry with you :rah:

Some of us are not lucky enough to have previous dog experience
and that is why this forum is so great -- to learn!

7th September 2008, 06:26 PM

It is good of you to come here for advice. I do think some of the responses were harsh, and perhaps they were posters initial reaction to picturing your traumatized baby. I know it put a lump in my throat.
I have found that people here are supportive and uplifting in their honesty, and hopefully you haven't felt offended.

I do agree with the anti-electric fence opinions. I also understand that some neighborhoods here in the states have covenants that do not allow fences (my ex lives in one like that) without the approval of the neighborhood, which can sometimes be nearly impossible. Often, they will only approve invisible fences, or very expensive wooden fences.

I don't think anyone had mentioned the other serious pitfalls of electric fences where they don't prevent theft of your dog or prevent another dog from showing up to maul your dog or kill him.

Many people are very hostile about shock type collars. I've even had people say nasty things to me because my dog has a device on his collar that looks like a bark or shock collar, but it is only the transmitter that opens his automatic doggie door when he walks in range of it(and lets him out onto the back porch in my fenced yard). I have found I have to explain what it is before anyone even asks.

7th September 2008, 07:25 PM
I don't think anyone intends to be openly hostile to you personally,but I'm very annoyed at the individual who sold you this device as being suitable for managing a cavalier.
In direct reply to your question, there is no way to "show him that he has to stay in his boundary without you being reduced to tears".
This is what the collar is designed to do -by painfully shocking him until he becomes too terrified to do anything other than sit outside his door from fear of the pain that will be inflicted on him.
There is alas, the very real risk of serious physial and psychological injury to a cavalier and we would be remiss if we didn't spell that out to you.
Personally I think those collars are no different from flogging the dog with a strap,pain is pain no matter how clinically or remotely it is applied.
Many cavaliers spend happy lives living in city centres venturing out of doors only for walks a few times a day. There's no need to let them have anything like the freedom that you've permitted your guy.Just don't let him out unless he's on a leash and it's not hard to put together a cheap dog run from stakes and chicken wire if he needs air for an hour or two.
From what you write you're not happy with the choice of collar either.

7th September 2008, 08:36 PM
NO i wasnt picking on you.I just dont understand.You said the dog was very upset,well why continue to use the awful thing.I dont think i was being rude or to honest.It made me upset.

7th September 2008, 09:51 PM
Your adorable, friendly, playful cavvie will very shortly become a dithering wreck if you continue to use this horrible method to attempt to control him.......please, please get rid of this fence asap.

7th September 2008, 10:56 PM
After some of the responses here I was actually afraid to even post again. I am most certainly not trying to be cruel to our beloved dog and am certainly not lazy. We got the fence after speaking to our vet - the veterinary nurse also has a cav and she has the same fence which she had great success with - so I apologise if I was totally naiive in believing that it was a safe device. I have seen my vets dogs - albeit bigger breeds - staying very calm with the same device so never in my wildest dreams thought it was or would be harmful.

I am not going to use it again.

I was genuinely very upset at what happened. I did not expect it to have such an affect.

He has been fine all day and I have kept him with me every second of the day.

I genuinely thought that I was being kind to him letting him have the total run of a very large garden both back and front.

I am very aware of my responsibilities as a citizen and what my obligations are to both my dog and our neighbourhood.

Love my Cavaliers
7th September 2008, 11:02 PM
From what I know about electronic or invisible fences is that the training is so critical to their success. Dogs should be taken to the perimeter of the fence on a leash so that the instant that they feel anything they can be pulled away and praised for getting away from it. The intensity of the shocks may stay at a very low level or they may increase depending on the individual dog. The most successful trainings occur when the dog is left at a particular intensity level for at least a week and is only taken out with a leash so you can steer the dog away instantly if they cross the boundary (and obviously give lots of praise). I don't think a dog can be trusted to know where all the boundaries are and where they should avoid after one day. Maybe you did more training than that, but it sounded like Brady got shocked really badly the first day he had his collar on. I don't think he should be off leash around the fence for at least a month, and then you should still be with him for a period to make sure he knows and respects where the boundaries are. If a dog is trained well, electronic fences are not necessarily the evil that has been portrayed by others, but the training takes a long time with you working side by side with your dog. Having an electronic fence doesn't mean that the dog is always out on their own all the time. People use them the same as a physical fence. I have used one before because I had a digger. I was totally fenced in but he snuck out under my fence, and it only took a minute! Once trained on the electronic fence, he respected the boundaries and steered clear of them and was never shocked. He was never a quivering mess or terrified to go out. And he never minded when I put the collar on him. So, I would go back to your training and go slowly - maybe have the installer come back out and show you how to work with Brady.

Bev (owner of 4 cavaliers)

8th September 2008, 12:09 AM
Have a look at what the kennel Club have to say on the matter.


8th September 2008, 12:23 AM
I don't blame you for being anxious to post here, and I really hope you continue to do so!

The internet is so hard for expressing emotion, and without faces and smiles to put behind words it is easy for people to get upset and come across more hostile than intended when they are worried about a situation. :o

Seconding another person here, the electric fences are meant to be training tools - not a literal fence. The shock helps you teach them boundaries around the yard, and reminds them if they get excited and too close.

I am not an expert and maybe on some dogs this would be OK but cavaliers are so sensitive emotionally (not to mention the SM dangers of being shocked) that this kind of harsh, negative correction can really upset and hurt them. That's why I would recommend staying away from electronic fences for this particular breed - not to mention the dangers of them being stolen or hurt by other dogs.

Obviously you love your dog and are not lazy or you wouldn't be coming here looking for help and advice! :rolleyes:

Big hugs here from California and I hope you and your family are able to find a safe, comfortable solution that benefits you and your dog!

8th September 2008, 12:28 AM
I don't blame you for being anxious to post here, and I really hope you continue to do so!

I would like to second that!
We usually view our cavaliers as mini children and defend their rights very robustly:)
Apart from the SM issue I would be very hesitant to administer any electrical shock to a breed with such a high incidence of heart murmurs for fear of cardiac compromise.
Hope you find a resolution that you're comfortable with.

8th September 2008, 08:36 AM
Yes DO KEEP POSTING.Its good to debate.No one hates you.Jus.xx

Brian M
8th September 2008, 10:26 AM

And well done in deciding against that fence:thmbsup:

8th September 2008, 04:20 PM
Sorry Must agree with Justine I could not dream of even trying a shock on either of my cavaliers why would a dog lover even buy one of these collars.

8th September 2008, 04:36 PM
Its so great you are still here hun, but like most i do agree that it is not nessary on such a small doglet, forgive my ignorance but, i used to have a 120ft garden which was huge, i put up 6ft fenceing all round and made sure it was doggy proof, i have never had to use any strong methods in keeping them in, yes they dug but i watched them, as soon as they started to dig, they got a squirt of water at them, which stopped them and worked, why do we need to use electric fences ?? sorry i just think electric fences are cruel for any breed. :( why not a normal fence? surely electric fences are more expensive than normal ones ? anyway its good that you are no longer going to use it... cavvies are real babies with fur coats and love cuddles and warm cosey chairs to curl up on, they dont react well to harsh training methods. Saying that the water worked on 3 of mine, tia seems to love it and trys to catch the spray..lol so got a pet corrector for her...ermm does seem to stop her but not for long..lol so i spray the pet corrector and if she stops and moves away she gets a treat...but think i have done this wrong,, because she will now go and dig and look at me as if to say..come on then spray that can mum i want my treat now.....lol

Back to the drawing board :)

Hope to see some pics of your lovely baby, it is obvious you love your little cavvie and i hope you post lots of pics etc

Hugs Loz n crew xx

8th September 2008, 08:07 PM
Hi:) look forward to seeing some pics of your little fella also.