A nice big yard without a fence is simply a sin to a dog. Your dog knows it, you know it, and I know it. The problem with a big yard is the big price of fencing it. Professional installation will cost your thousands. If your yard is small enough, fencing it yourself can be a weekend project. The only real alternative to physical fence is an electric containment system or electric dog fence.
The modern way of dog training is through positive reinforcement. There are those who oppose electric dog fences because a dog is corrected by an electric shock. You will most likely not see the word ‘shock’ in any of the manufacturer’s material, instead it is referred to as a ‘correction.’
How It Works
A wire is buried a couple of inches underground along the perimeter of your yard to establish a boundary. The wire is connected to a transmitter that runs an electric current to the wire. Your dog wears a receiver attached to a collar.
The receiver will warn your dog when he approaches too close to the wire. Usually it is an audible beep, some receivers vibrate. If your dog continues toward the wire, the receiver will give your dog a correction. In other words, it shocks your dog.
What You Need
You will have to purchase an in-ground/underground fence system kit that will include the following:
1. Transmitter & AC Power Supply
3. Wire (get the right length)
4. Boundary flags
How much wire do you need? 500 ft for 1/2 acre or less, 1000 ft for 1 acre, and approximately 250 ft for every acre you add to the initial acre.
Make sure your system includes batteries for the receiver or plan to buy them separately. They are usually the small cell type and not your standard AA or AAA batteries.
There are many brands out there and I recommend you stick with either Innotek, PetSafe, or SportDOG. All three have quality intro systems and provide customer service from the U.S. and have warranties. The Innotek systems start at $89, PetSafe $119, and SportDOG $200.
If you shop of eBay, stay away from the no name brands from sellers from China. You probably won’t get a warranty or customer service and the quality of these systems is questionable at best.
After you install the underground fence you need to do some boundary training. This will teach your dog where the safe area is using the boundary flags. You will do this on-leash while the receiver collar is on. As your dog learns the boundary off-leash, you will gradually remove flags until there are none. This is an important part of the underground fence system, don’t skip it!
* Plan on spending an entire day or weekend installing the system if you have a large yard.
* Buy a reputable brand like PetSafe, Innotek, or SportDOG. Beware of no name brands off eBay from China.
* Make sure you properly do boundary training with your dog.
* Always supervise your dog and never leave your dog unattended while using the underground fence.