Invisible fence?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cloverfarm, May 11, 2005.

  1. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Do any of you use invisible fence for you dogs? What are the pro's and con's? Any idea of cost?

    Thanks for your input ...
    Ann
     
  2. coventry49

    coventry49 Well-Known Member

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    Several years ago, when I lived in Pennsylvania, I paid over $1000 to have a top-of-the-line invisible fence installed.

    Although my (then) Keeshund took a a lot of training for him to figure out how not to get shocked (he wasn't a very bright dog), he eventually learned to stay within the boundary.

    But my Aussie was a different story altogether! She figured out right away where the boundary was, and for a short time was very good. It didn't take her too long, though, to learn that if she ran through the shock zone very fast, she could get out of the yard without getting shocked. So our $1000 was pretty much wasted on her.

    -Barb in Montana
     

  3. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    I have two Australian Shepherds on an invisible fence. It is not the type where you bury the wire, but the type with a base station that gives them a 90 foot circle to roam in. It works great! You can set the distance from 10 feet to 90. It cost about 250.00-300.00 for two dogs. You can move the base station to where ever you have a plug in. It can even go on trips or when you move. No wires to bury.

    No digging under fences or going over. Not good if you are trying to keep other dogs out.

    Jill
     
  4. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    I very much like my "invisible" fence. At least for my dogs (2 fairly soft golden retrievers). Hated trying to convince my brother's german shepherd to stay in the yard (never really succeded). I think the fence works very well to keep in dogs whose pain sensors are more dominant than their chase instinct.

    Pros: Keeps a trained dog from becoming a doggy pancake on the road. You can fence off areas you don't want the dog (gardens, chicken pens, etc.). My fence has a feature where I can activate the whole yard to correct the dogs when they are barking or won't come inside (but it can't just do one dog-it does everyone who has a collar on).

    Cons: Obviously doesn't keep out other unwanted animals/people. Some dogs are hard to train. Can be a pain the rear to install. Can be shorted out by lightning. Doesn't work when the power's off. Wire can break and it can be a big pain to find the break!

    Cost depends on which fence you go with. I have a Pet Safe model. Bought it on-line for like $250-$300 (it is one of the "deluxe" type models). Extra collars are $50-$90 depending on type of collar. I installed it with help from my family, so that part was free. Extra wire (500 feet) costs $20-$25 per roll. I have used the cheap Pet Safe model (bought at Wally world $99) and it worked just fine. My folks have a newer version of the cheap model for when my dogs visit and it works just fine. I have a new "wireless" Pet Safe model that I have yet to try out (it was free-normally costs $250-$300). It sends a signal out in a circle without wires (about 90' in diameter). I plan to use that fence for traveling/visiting, but it might be nice to use if your yard isn't too big (it can run on regular electrity or batteries). I have also used an Innotek Contain and Train model-didn't like it at all. It was a pain to switch modes on the collar and sometimes would just switch on it's own. And it went through batteries like no other. Next week the "real" Invisible Fence people are coming to talk to all of us at the vet clinic where I work. I understand THAT kind costs $1400 (they install it and help you to train your dog). Extra collars are $250!!!! So I guess you can go as simple or expensive as you want.

    Installation tip: If you have a riding lawn mower (and have a big yard) maybe you can find someone to weld something up to attach to the mower's hitch that will cut a little trench about 2" deep. It is very easy to push the wire into the trench and you're done! My brother got so elaborate the last time that he made a little thing that directly fed the wire into the trench as he drove along with the mower! If your yard is small, maybe you could rent a trencher (sounds like a lot of work for a big yard).

    Hope this helps. If I left out anything you want to know just ask. Sorry this was so long!!!!
     
  5. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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  6. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    I don't recommend them and I won't place dogs in homes that use those exclusively under most circumstances.

    Most harder headed dogs learn VERY quickly that you can run through the fence- and high drive dogs (aussies, bcs, some GSDs, sighthounds, and most terriers) will tolerate the shock in order to get to something they want- whether it's livestock or a car to be chased, a child teasing them, or a small animal running across the yard. The dogs they work best on are soft-tempered, short-coated dogs who are more interested in going to the bathroom and then back into the house. A dog who has already learned that there is more fun stuff outside of his yard is difficult or impossible to teach to respect an IF. Toy dogs usually seem to respect them but are at a terrible risk from strange dogs or people who may come along.

    They are useful for a certain type of dog and a certain situation- for example, a backup system for dogs who don't usually wander to confine them to part of a larger property, or keeping a dog from going near a fence they have never jumped (but are physically capable of). But I wouldn't trust them as primary confinment for my own dogs.
     
  7. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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  8. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your replies. We are trying to figure out what will work best for our dog, who is a tender-hearted Lab mix. Very sweet little dog.

    Ann
     
  9. BFFhiredman

    BFFhiredman Well-Known Member

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    Cloverfarm:

    I agree with those who's experience with the invisable fence has been positive. We started with the buried wire model and it was a pain. About once a year the wire broke and we had to dig it up. We bought the wireless model and it does a great job of keeping our Chow in. The collar/receiver quit after about three years and had to be replaced but that is all the trouble we've had. It is the "Radio Fence" brand. The company is in Knoxville, TN

    BFFhiredman
     
  10. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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  11. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    I can understand that. I would not actually use it as my only form of control in a city type of area.

    Jill
     
  12. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    I agree with Cirgitails...I have 2 corgis, and I know better than to use an invisible fence. I KNOW my 3 yr old would run right through it. He is the most hard headed dog I have ever met. But my friend who lives on a downtown street uses one for her Husky mix, and is very happy with it. I was there when a jogger ran by, and the dog lept longingly at the girl, but that was it.
     
  13. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Ann,

    I can't speak from personal experience because I know our husky would go right through it. I can talk a little bit about a use I know of.

    Sages Orchards in Geuaga County, Ohio use it around all their orchards and have dogs that are given the run of those orchards. They are trained from birth and if one isn't trainable it isn't used. They are there primarily to keep the deer away.

    They are real please with their results and I'm thinking about doing something similar as we put the orchard in down at the farm. We would of course have to get a different dog (or dogs) in addition to our husky Taz.

    Mike
     
  14. poppy

    poppy Guest

    I have a friend with a beagle hound that loves to get out and run rabbits. He put one in and she learned to run fast to get out. She would back off a ways and then run full blast at it. She knew where the shock zone was, and just as she got to it, she would launch herself into the air and throw her head back and howl. :haha: I guess the howling took some of the edge off of the shock. Really funny to watch.
     
  15. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    I have been very happy with ours. We have 3 acres enclosed and own a basset hound and a beagle mix. Both of these dogs can be stubborn at times. With this much area enclosed there is no such thing as "Just run through it". When I have the fence turned up to just 7 or 8 they would need to get through a 180' shock zone(about 90' on either side of the wire). They totally respect the fence . I have seen the beagle mix ,in full pursuit of a rabbit, run into the shock zone. He pulled up and ran back after a few jolts. If you have the space to turn up the transmitter, you won;tr have any problems.

    Shane

    Note: Because I have such a large area enclosed we used a lower gauge wire....makes all the difference in the world.
     
  16. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've yet to meet the dog that was actually stopped by an invisible fence. Know a number of folks that have them, all their dogs escape, some more than others, but they all escape.
     
  17. Susan n' Emily in TN

    Susan n' Emily in TN Well-Known Member

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    I didn't have a good experience either. One of my st. Bernards would respect the fence, but the other could have cared less. We even shaved his neck and everything. The last straw came when they began to chew each others collars off. That was it. Susan
     
  18. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) I guess I would have to say after a lifetime of suturing up dogs or putting down or dumping them in the freezer, that these so called "fences" are a joke. How could anyone who cared about their dog(s) possible put them outside with this pathetic lack of protection?

    I would NEVER take the chance with mine. I don't think in this day and age it makes any sense, cost wise, even if you don't care much about your dog. Anything can get in and get to your dogs, anything. Loose feral dog packs, wildlife, anything. A good friend of mine in our little town got a mastiff...a wonderful dog. When he was 7 months old he was killed by three Pitbulls running loose. How did those people protect this sweet, expensive dog? A stupid Invisable fence! snort!

    They got a second dog....an adult mastiff this time, three years old. bigger and stronger. He blew through that fence after a deer and was hit and killed by a car.

    The list is endless and I could go on for days. The cases are all sad. All of the bills were substancial and would have payed for a very good perimeter fence or a large, covered dog kennel system.

    IF your dogs are staying in one of these things, it's only a matter of time before they go after something and they won't stop, or something comes in and gets them. Is this really worth it?

    LQ
     
  19. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) I guess I would have to say after a lifetime of suturing up dogs or putting down or dumping them in the freezer, that these so called "fences" are a joke. How could anyone who cared about their dog(s) possible put them outside with this pathetic lack of protection?

    I would NEVER take the chance with mine. I don't think in this day and age it makes any sense, cost wise, even if you don't care much about your dog. Anything can get in and get to your dogs, anything. Loose feral dog packs, wildlife, anything. A good friend of mine in our little town got a mastiff...a wonderful dog. When he was 7 months old he was killed by three Pitbulls running loose. How did those people protect this sweet, expensive dog? A stupid Invisable fence! snort!

    They got a second dog....an adult mastiff this time, three years old. bigger and stronger. He blew through that fence after a deer and was hit and killed by a car.

    The list is endless and I could go on for days. The cases are all sad. All of the bills were substancial and would have payed for a very good perimeter fence or a large, covered dog kennel system.

    IF your dogs are staying in one of these things, it's only a matter of time before they go after something and they won't stop, or something comes in and gets them. Is this really worth it? Not to me!

    LQ
     
  20. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I don't have one myself, but would buy one before I got another dog. I have a few friends that have them and I'm amazed. I just came from a friends house that has the buried wire. He lives in a subdivision with plenty of cars and people going by. He has a large energetic dog that is dumber than a box of rocks. This dog will not cross the line at all. He said it would at first with the cheap collar that came with the fence, but with the upgraded collar even this whirlwind stays on the property. I have another friend that has land but lives on a main road. He has a Sharpei that is very playful. As we walked down the driveway the dog started following us. I was concerned the dog would follow us to the main road, he said not to worry. About 1/2 way to the road the dog just sat down and watched us keep walking. He then told me about the transmitter mounted on the house and how the dog knows his boundaries.