You might have come across wireless dog fences when you were looking for a fencing solution to stop your puppy pal from wandering outside the boundaries of your property. But are they too good to be true? Surely something with a “shock collar” could be harmful for your pooch?
Well we’ve taken a look at the research and compiled our conclusions below so you can take a look and make an informed decision when it comes to keeping your pet safe.
What is a wireless dog fence?
As the name suggests, a wireless dog fence is a containment area for your pup that doesn’t involve any wires being placed in or around your property.
Instead, the area you wish to contain your dog in is transmitted via radio signal from a small control box that you keep inside your home.
You set the size of the containment radius from the controller, place the specialised collar on your dog and that’s all the setting up you need to do.
Now, when your dog moves towards the boundaries of the radius, they will hear a warning signal. If your dog continues towards the boundary they will receive an electric pulse which is transmitted through two small nodes on the collar that rest against your dog’s skin.
This electric pulse is completely customizable to your dog’s temperament, size and fur type and has been likened to what humans feel when we received a static electricity shock.
Ultimately, the wireless dog fence aims to train your dog to stay within the boundaries by sending them slightly annoying pulses. When they stay within the boundaries, the collar will not be triggered to send any pulses so your dog will quickly learn which areas are okay and which aren’t.
Wireless dog fences are great for dog owners who own properties with uneven land, streams, rocks and obstructions that make it difficult to put up a fence. It can also benefit adventurous families who like to travel with their dogs, a portable wireless fence can be set up around your temporary holiday spot. Additionally, there are no unsightly wires to trip over or run through your garden and none that you need to bury in your lawn.
Will a wireless fence hurt my dog?
When considering a wireless dog fence, this is the most common and concerning question. The fact of the matter is, your dog is probably your best friend and you don’t want to put them through any kind of ordeal that could damage them, mentally or physically.
Well, the good news is that a wireless dog fence will not hurt your dog. There are a lot of myths surrounding wireless fencing systems that mean dog owners are afraid to give them a go.
When it boils down to it, the worst thing a wireless dog fence will do is annoy your dog. However, they will quickly learn to avoid this annoyance by simply staying inside the boundaries, it’s easy for us to understand and the same goes for your dog.
Some dog owners may be worried that the electric pulse can cause seizures. This is simply not true. The pulses that the collar sends out travel between the two nodules that touch your dog’s skin.
This means that there’s no way the pulse could ever come close to reaching your dog’s brain to cause a seizure, even on the highest setting. The products simply wouldn’t be on the market if this weren’t the case.
The biggest risk with a wireless dog fence is that your pup may associate the shock with something else, such as when they see a family member coming towards the house and receive a shock when they try to run to them and hit the fence boundary. This kind of thing can be confusing to the dog so it’s best to have a period of training where you keep a close eye on them and their reactions to the new fence.
Generally, if you stick at it for around 6 weeks paying close attention to how your dog is responding to the wireless dog fence, you will see the results your after. Eventually, your dog will react towards the boundary as they would react to any normal fence; getting close to it but not crossing it.
If, on the rare chance, you do notice your dog having an adverse behavioural reaction to the wireless fence then it’s best to cease use and speak to a qualified vet on the best ways to move forward with the training.
Are there any other risk factors with a wireless dog fence?
There are a few important things to consider if you’re looking at a wireless dog fence, most of them have to do with the area you are placing the radio transmitted radius around.
If your property has many large bushes, trees or obtrusive structures like sheds then the signal from the controller in your house may be a bit patchy where these objects obstruct the line of signal. This shouldn’t occur with good quality systems but make sure to check the boundary for gaps before letting your dog loose on your property. The optimal environment for this product is a flat, unobstructed line of sight between the transmitter and the boundary line.
What if there’s a storm, will the wireless dog fence cut out? The only reason your wireless dog fence would cut out would be if there was a blackout and your product wasn’t fully charged. To avoid this, always keep the transmitter plugged into your wall so the batteries stay charged. And if it’s a portable system, make sure it’s always charged and you have a fully charged backup battery. These systems are tested for adverse conditions and are able to stand up to them as long as you make sure to maintain them.
Wireless dog fences are a safe, easy and convenient option for dog owners who want to keep their furry friend inside their property. With so many different types available, there will be a wireless system to suit your situation and your dog’s needs.
To see our review of the top rated wireless dog fences on the market, click here.