View Full Version : Invisible Fence
20th October 2011, 04:59 PM
We seriously would like to see Bentley have the opportunity to really RUN. Due to his nature of taking off for parts unknown he has to be on a leash anytime he's outside. My husband spent hot, long hours & a chunk of $ making him a very large pen but he just sits by the gate moping. It's still a place for him to be confined at times, but when we take him for walks it's obvious that he needs more real exercise and the chance to chase a butterfly or whatever. We live in the country with pastures on 2 sides, a heavily wooded area on one side, and 750' from a busy state highway. When he escapes, which isn't often because we're so vigilant, it's a crisis because he's oblivious to danger, deaf to our voice, and becomes very stubborn.
Due to a brain tumor, our daughter has been living with us for 2 wks and brought her Bishon. The 2 dogs have become friends, thankfully, and run inside the house. Her dog comes right back to a door & barks after being let out to potty. Mine, of course, could never be just let out; I have to leash him, throw on a coat & scarf, and walk him around & around the house, waiting......Winters in Missouri can be brutal and cold (or at least unpleasant) weather has already hit. Daughter asks why we don't install invisible fencing for peace of mind for us and exercise for him. Any thoughts?
20th October 2011, 05:44 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your daughter's tumour :(
It's great that Bentley has a friend to play with, and hopefully he will copy their example with regard to coming back.
Bentely is unlikely to run around in the pen on his own, he needs someone there to play with him.
PLEASE do not even consider an invisible fence, they can be dangerous, as they won't stop other dogs coming on to your property so an aggressive dog could still come on and possibly even attack Bentley :yikes
I would not want to risk my dog trying to run across the fence and receive a nasty shock, as they will try to do under sufficient provocation [being chased or chasing something], they then can't get back on to your property either.
Is there any way of connecting the pen to the back door?
I would also be working on his recall - do you attend training classes or could you find a reputable local trained who would do some work with you both?
IN the meantime something like a 15ft line attached to Bentley's harness might help in that you would only have to stand in the doorway? [also helpful in teaching recall]
21st October 2011, 01:38 AM
-Sounds like you have a lot of space for Bentley to run around in!
We live in a rural area, as well.
We've never used an invisible fence, but our good friends have used one for years, with success, for their pugs.
We have a "run", which is basically a cable that stretches from one corner of our deck to a tree. From this cable, we have a 15 or 20 foot lead which we put Charlie on. This has worked out great for us, especially now that Charlie is getting a bit older. (He is now 8 1/2 years old.)
He is able to wonder around, do his sniffing and/or business without our need to be with him the whole time. Mind you, he uses the lead only for short periods of time, but this gives him a bit of freedom and enables us to tend to other matters when he is outside.
This is not done in lieu of walks, but is used as a supplement.
Good luck with your decision.
21st October 2011, 12:27 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter -- I hope she gets well. :flwr:
On the fences: They are awful. :( Dogs have been seriously injured and killed from burns in their neck from this hideous invention. Many dogs will just run right through an 'invisible fence' (which is basically an electrocution zone -- if your dog runs through, he won't be risking another shock to come back). Trainers -- the ones who do not also believe the best way to train your dog is to punish it -- universally condemn them -- the list of those who do is huge. They also are known to cause or exacerbate behaviour problems including fear aggression.
Whole Dog Journal detailed article: http://www.kerryblues.info/WDJ/SHOCKING.HTML
http://www.positivedogs.com/articles/electronic_fencing.html and follow on reply: http://www.positivedogs.com/articles/lisag.html
http://dogtime.com/electric-fences-safe-ethical-diane-podolsky-faq.html : Trainer who advises:
I strongly advise against using an electronic containment system to teach your dog to remain on your property. There are simply too many serious physical, behavioral and possibly even legal (http://dogtime.com/dog-laws.html) risks to your dog for me to recommend otherwise.Whether shocking dogs works to change behavior is not at issue. What is at stake is the effect doing so has on dogs and whether we can achieve our training goals in less risky, more humane ways. Dr. Karen Overall put it very succinctly, I think, in her open letter, stating ". . . In all situations where shock has been used there is some damage done, even if we cannot easily see it. No pet owner needs to use this technique to achieve their goal. Dogs who cease to exhibit a problem behavior usually also cease to exhibit normal behaviors. The only data available support the idea that shock is neither an effective nor suitable training tool (http://dogtime.com/electric-fences-safe-ethical-diane-podolsky-faq.html#_edn1)."When one considers that the purpose of an electronic containment system is often to give the dog "freedom" to "enjoy" spending time in the yard, Dr. Overall's words can make one stop and think again.
Victoria Stilwell video on problems caused by using a fence on a boxer: http://animal.discovery.com/videos/its-me-or-the-dog-fear-of-the-great-outdoors.html
Most cavalier breeders I have come across will NOT home a puppy to anyone who is planning an electric shock system as containment, either. And imagine risking shocking cavaliers in precisely the area where 70% will develop syrinxes. It doesn't bear thinklng about. If you are not convinced, try on an electric collar and put it on the highest setting -- the one that would be comparable for weight to what a cavalier would feel -- and shock yourself. It is pretty darn painful and terrifying.
There are many other responsible and kind alternatives. My partner lives on 11 acres just outside the city that would be difficult to safely fence and the cavaliers cannot run free because there are horses/stables in the back of the property and a trafficky road outside gates to the front -- so our approach for the cavaliers is to fence a large grassy area at the back of the house giving them plenty of area to run madly around, and then to also fence in the front with a second pair of gates on the drive in to the house. He's used to very large dogs that are fine without fencing. We are just putting in posts with about 4ft high wire fencing running along it and some small gates for people to go through to the stables or back acres (all of which we can do ourselves at modest cost, and is non-obtrusive). The biggest element will involve putting in the second gate on the drive but it's not that big a deal.
Victoria Stilwell: Say "no" to electronic fencing
In the suburbs of New York City, it is still common to find dog loving families using electricity to keep their dogs in their yards. The reasons for choosing electronic containment systems (often referred to as "invisible" fencing) range from cost to aesthetics to local zoning regulations.
But what about the dogs' side of the story?
When asked her opinion about electronic containment systems, Victoria Stilwell's answer was unequivocal. "I don't like electronic containment systems," the star of [I]It's Me or the Dog stated firmly and without hesitation.
Ms. Stilwell then rapidly listed some of the reasons for her opinion. Clearly, she has given this issue much thought during her many years of training dogs. Her points are paraphrased in the following list:
Using shock to train dogs. "Many dogs are anxious about going out in their yards after receiving the shock and freak out,” not wanting to go out in the yard again.
The electronic fence is dangerous. "Countless dogs run through the electric fences and they get shocked so badly that they don't want to come back. . . lots of them are getting lost."
"A lot of dogs are getting killed because they go out onto the road" after running through the fence.
Electronic containment systems do not stop other animals and people coming onto the property.
"People leave their animals out with a false sense of security."
Ms. Stilwell went on to describe negative behaviors, including barking, which unsupervised dogs engage in when left outside on their own.
She finished by saying "There are so many reasons why I don't like the containment fences. But, again, it always amazes me that people are out there using them, thinking they are ok and justifying them and that companies out there are selling them to people saying they’re great and guaranteeing your dog will . . . " She paused for a moment. "You know what? Put a shock collar around your neck and shock yourself a couple of times and see how you feel? It's disgusting."
About Victoria Stilwell
Born and raised in Wimbledon, England, Victoria Stilwell is one of the world's most recognized and respected dog trainers, reaching audiences in over 50 countries.
She is best known for her role as the star of Animal Planet's hit TV series It's Me or the Dog (http://positively.com/its-me-or-the-dog/), through which she is able to share her insight and passion for positive reinforcement dog training by taming some of the world’s most unruly pets as she counsels families on their pet problems. She also served as a judge on CBS's Greatest American Dog.
Examiner.com (http://www.examiner.com/small-dogs-in-new-york/victoria-stillwell-no-shocks-for-dogs#ixzz1bPVYNogx) http://www.examiner.com/small-dogs-in-new-york/victoria-stillwell-no-shocks-for-dogs#ixzz1bPVYNogx
21st October 2011, 02:14 PM
We also live on 5 acres in the country and have horses on the property, and have designed a grassed run off the laundry so the dogs have free access to this from the house via a dog door. It is about 10m x 3.5m . However when I am outside the dogs do get to run on the larger back lawn and the property which is fenced but not Cavalier proof. Molly is very good and doesn't go far, however Murphy you have to keep an eye on as he is very big on exploring and unfortunately has no fear of the horses, (he is only 16 weeks old, but very much a boy). When outside I always carry treats in my pockets, and at every opportunity work on his recall. At the moment every single time he comes back he gets a treat, (you do have to be careful that the treats are incorporated into daily feed allowance), in essence you need to be more interesting and exciting than what has grabbed their attention. Begin his recall training with a long lead/ rope so that he doesn't have the opportunity to ignore you and gradually increase the distance and don't take the lead off until he is 100% reliable, hopefully this may be some help. But saying that Cavaliers do love to chase those butterflies and even Molly will become deaf for a short while in the excitement of the chase.
21st October 2011, 06:37 PM
I will add my voice to those against electric fences. I work on my recall every day in the house and our yard. I would never let a dog off leash outdoors until his recall was 100% indoors first. I will hide and call them and they have to find me. When I want to let them off leash to go for a walk they each get only 1 chance. As soon as I tell them to "go for a run" I will call them back. If they don't turn on a dime and come back it's not an off leash day and it tells me I have work to do. I nearly always reward for a head whipping run back recall and I reward with praise if they come back but walk instead of run back to me.
26th October 2011, 06:11 PM
I have a 13 year old Ruby Cavalier who I recently trained to an Invisible Fence because our back yard wasn't completely fenced. In the previous posts there's alot of BAD information about Invisible Fence Brand, and much of it sounds like they're talking about a "hot wire"; so let me clear a few things up.
1. From what I can tell, the correction issued when a dog crosses the fence doesn't hurt - but is very startling, and uncomfortable. Its the equivalent of a couple of watch batteries, and feels like static electricity (think touching a doorknob as you've walked across carpet.)
2. I have an Invisible FenceŽ Brand fence, and the training that came with it was very gentle and thorough. My dog isn't scared of the yard, but certainly respects the boundary that it represents.
3. The collars/receivers don't burn the dogs neck. Any collar that is placed too tightly on a dog can cause terrible sores and damage, but the corrections aren't the type of electricity that "burns".
There are some truths that are important to consider about electronic containment. First, they do not prevent other animals from entering your yard. This was never a problem for me, but it could be for some. Also, if the dog runs through the fence, they're not likely to run back to get home. The company I bought from in Texas provided me and my dog with enough training that the dog doesn't even consider leaving. Not for a squirrel, not for me, not for other dogs or kids, nothing. From what I've read, if you don't do the training thoroughly, (takes about 10 days) your results might not be as good.
Consider other types of fencing - I 've seen dogs climb chain link fences, and get hung up on them.. I've seen dogs push pickets off of cedar fences; I guess my point is that all fences have pluses and minuses, and the Invisible Fence Brand does a better job of containing all types of dogs than any other solution. Your dog can't dig under it, jump over it, or with the proper training, run through it. So, don't scratch it off the list. Good Luck!
26th October 2011, 08:15 PM
have a 13 year old Ruby Cavalier who I recently trained to an Invisible Fence
Well, I'm really saddened by that– 13?! why can such a dog, at such an age, not simply be left inside, or taken out under caring supervision–or why not “properly fence” the garden or at least a limited area for the dog? :sl*p:
The previous information is not “bad” information–unless you are saying that basically every single major animal welfare association, a broad range of the world's leading trainers ( the ones who do not also advocate jerking your dog around and punishing it in order to train), vets (who have seen the burns these can cause if set too high or they malfunction -- there are websites that will graphically show you what can happen!), some national governments, some law enforcement agencies and so on -- have no idea of what they're talking about when they clearly oppose the use of invisible fences? And we are not talking about a hot wire/electric wire across the property –the posts/links above are about exactly the kind of invisible fence you also are talking about –a shock collar that is triggered when a dog crosses a particular line. If you think they only administer a mild shock, then please put one around your neck and put it on the highest setting and trigger the shock. YouTube is full of videos of people jolting themselves and their friends at the highest setting and it is clearly not a mild shock at all. Even the highest possible setting used on a human body is probably considerably below the equivalent of what a cavalier would feel on the smaller dog setting. :yikes
The only people I know who support use of such things are the manufacturers, the stores that sell them, and people who doing not understand or care about the negative effects these things have, the health and welfare risks or the basic cruelty of using a shock collar.
There should never be the need of such a device for any breed much less a cavalier –this is not a breed that is happy being outside on its own generally in the 1st place, and I cannot imagine putting a 13-year-old dog outside unsupervised to run the risk of having somebody/something either attack it, carry the dog away, or be shocked In the sensitive neck area.
I am sure you will find other places where you might find other advocates of using such a system and will therefore feel more at home, but this is definitely the wrong place for an advocate of using an electric shock system on an elderly dog of one of the most gentle breeds known– a dog which, at that age, has a 7 in 10 chance of having syrinxes in the neck area from the neurological condition syringomyelia, widespread in the breed. I would hope you might reconsider using such a barbaric system for this reason at least if not for any other.
26th October 2011, 08:49 PM
We have a "run", which is basically a cable that stretches from one corner of our deck to a tree.
If a fence is really impossible, trainers do consider this a reasonable option for the times when you want to have a dog outside (of course, when someone is still around) and is safe and humane. :) Because the line is overhead, it gives dogs a lot of room in which to safely run back and forth without the risk of getting entangled. Note that it is quite different from staking a dog out on a chain or rope, which is sometimes okay if someone is sitting right there and watching a dog, but risky otherwise (in some areas, it's actually illegal to stake out dogs in this way).
One reason a cavalier will sit and “mope” by a pen is that many dogs, and most cavaliers, just find being left in a pen or outside alone, way too boring. They need active play with people, whether on walks or in a safe area in a park, etc. :D Cavaliers will not run around and exercise themselves if put out into a garden. Most will sit and begin to whine or bark to be let back in and can become really anxious and even destructive –behavior that often will be duplicated if they are put outside in a pan. It is nice if they can have an area that they can wander out to, safely, out of the door–like Nicki suggests, possibly setting up a play area that is safely attached to a door area–mine like to do this when the sun is coming in to the front hallway. If I am working just outside or in the hall, I will take my puppy pen pieces and hook them into the doorframe and around a radiator and then run them outside so that they have a little porch area where they can watch people go by and lie in the sun.
But really–I think people probably are mistaken in thinking there is any need to have a large garden for entertaining a dog, especially a cavalier–and it is definitely a mistake to think the dog will go out and get lots of exercise running around alone, as they generally don't. Dogs would much rather get their exercise out on a walk with their people, or playing somewhere and some of the saddest, most neglected dogs I have come across in working with my trainer friends and in doing rescue, are dogs that live in homes with big gardens, as people so often just leave the dog alone in the extremely un-stimulating surroundings of a garden and think that that is giving the dog exercise and entertainment. :( Some of the very best homes I've ever put dogs into have been people that own condominiums or apartments, or small houses with little/no gardens, because that means the dog is going to get out on numerous walks every single day for toileting and exercise. I know this myself :lol: –I have only a small side garden in my city house, but my dogs get at least an hour total of walks daily, spread out over 4 different sessions, 1st thing in the morning, last thing at night, and more during the day. Often one of those walks is an hour or two spent running in the massive nearby park, at a beach or on trails in the nearby Dublin or Wicklow mountains, where they can be off lead (a dog that would like to run around more but isn't reliable off lead can be taken out on a 25 m long lead used for recall training, easily available in many pet shops or online as a training aid. Handheld extensa leads can be far more risky because they easily pop out of the hand, and many dogs will bolt in terror because they are dragging the handpiece behind them. You can get a wrist strap to make extensa leads safer and for a dog that is comfortable and won't bolt, they can be a great solution in areas well away from traffic).
I often think about something Thelly, who home boards dogs, once told me–she only takes in small breeds, and she says all the other dogs will go out in the fenced garden area except the cavaliers–who like to sit inside on the armchairs and sofas!:lol: The cavaliers usually only go out if a person goes out with them :). I have found that this is true in my partner's house too, which is on many acres. If we are in the house, the cavaliers all stay inside. Once we go out, then they are ready for action (especially, of course, Jaspar...). But they really could care less that they have acres of land over there versus no acres over here :D. Good times as far as they are concerned, and the opportunity for exercise and action, are entirely connected to what we actively do with them either on or off lead. :thmbsup:
26th October 2011, 09:39 PM
Just to put my two cents in, I live in an estate where there are so many dogs who are virtually held prisoner in their back gardens. They are there day and night without any stimulation, companionship, sometimes even food or shelter. Some of them have managed how to 'escape' from their prisons. Some have chewed through wood and plastic coated wire, some have knocked down wooden gates. The owners don't really care, they don't take responsibility and some don't even make repairs to the fences/gates. Now there are problems with dogs straying around the place and when I'm out with my dogs I get scared. Yet, most of them are harmless.
I think a secure garden, no matter how big or small is an absolute must... but I am also strongly against the idea of an invisible fence. If you give your dog enough exercise and stimulation, he probably won't want to escape... he'll want to be with you, and won't want to run off. As the others have said, 100% recall is so important. I'm sure you do these things for him, but just secure the garden in a different way, such as a high fence surrounding the perimeter of your garden, I know it costs a few, but it would give you peace of mind.
I hope you find something to secure your furry friends and that your daughter will get well soon.
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