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Opinions on underground dog fence

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am considering one and was wanting to get opinions on them. Both good and bad experiences with them. I know many people would be 100% against them because they use shocks and I respect that but what I am looking for is for those that have them or have tried them in the past:

How well did/doesit work to keep the dog in?
What kind of dog did/do you use it with?
How well did it hold up?
How far down did you put it? (the instructions I have read said 1-6 inches)
Anything else about it you want to share?
post #2 of 8
Most dog people I know are against them, and not because of the shock issue. An invisible fence does not protect your dog or you. There is nothing to stop say, children from entering the yard and taunting the dog. Or other dogs whom may start a dog fight, or wild animals. Dogs routinely run through them. If there is something exciting enough on the other side, even the most well trained dog may take the shock to get at it. And then, once the dog is outside of the fence, they get shocked every time they try to cross back and come home, which is of course, far less enticing than what they sped off after. I also don't think an electric fence will stop the dog catcher from picking up your dog, as to the naked eye he will be "lose". Because the fence is not physical, you wont be able to routinely check the fence to be sure all parts are working. And its extremely important to always check the batteries in the collar, I've heard of more than one instance where the owner did not notice the collar batteries where out and the dog escaped.

Overall, I would only use an electric fence if you are going to supervise your dog in the yard 100% of the time. And really, if you're out there with her, I'd rather the dog be under voice control, or a long line.
post #3 of 8

I have an underground fence. I have six acres fenced. Across the driveway it is buried about 4 inches other than that it just lays over the ground. It has been up for about 3 years with no problems. 

I have no idea how they would work in a small yard but for our needs it has been great.

How well it works depends on training, the dog and the situation. 


Its important that they don't associate anything with the shock like a leash or certain harness. When I brought my third dog home he associated the shock with his leash. All my dogs learnt what the beeping meant after one shock. Its also important to walk the perimeter with them where they wont get beeped at or shocked so they know where they can go and that it is safe. When the dogs are inside I take off their collars and leave them by the door. 

In large part it depends on the dog-

My jack russell would not leave the porch with her collar on and she had only been shocked once. After a summer she eventually got over it, which it quite silly considering 6 acres are fenced in. She stays in the yard no matter what is going on outside her boundaries and doesnt try and go with us.

My labradoodle stays in the yard just fine no matter what is going on with the neighbors or outside his boundaries.

After a few weeks my husky learnt that she can just run though it so there is no point in using a collar on her. She knows where her yard is and rarely wanders but loves to go across the road (not a main road) to poop, I cant complain about that :)

Situations-  Many pets have weaknesses cats, squirrels, moose, children, birds or other dogs. My husky learnt that she could simply sprint across by chasing a cat over the line. My parents dog cannot use an underground fence because he chases cars no matter what. They have tried an underground as well as a manual he really could care less. On the other hand the the jack russell and labradoodle will not cross the line with their collars on.

Once the dog has crossed they will not cross back over. My labradoodle inadvertently (only time it has happened) crossed over with our husky one day, she (husky) not having a collar on came right back over, he on the other hand was stuck. I had to go over take off his collar and show him that it was safe to return to the yard. 


After awhile with the collars, the dogs do really well without them on. They know their boundaries and stay in them most the time. Our labradoodle rarely needs to wears his and the husky knows her boundaries. The jack russell is the exception she is the neighborhood busy body and will be long gone spying on the neighborhood without her collar. We leave the dogs outside when we leave and the collars keep them in the yard and from trying to go with us.


Overall, they work very well. 

It really depends on the individual dog as I would never have thought it would keep our jack russell in.


It also depends on what you need it for. All we needed our fence for is to keep our dogs on our property and it has worked very well. We do get various neighbor dogs that escape from their yards and come over for a play date. The dogs seem to enjoy it and if I want the neighbor dog to go home I simply let all my dogs inside, it gets bored and wanders home. 


You can tell if it is working, the box has lights on it that are on if it is working and other light that come on if it has been broken. For us its pretty obvious to tell if the collars are out of batteries as our jack russell will cross the boundary as we go to leave. They are easy to test, just take the collar off the dog and walk towards the line if it beeps its working.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
JulianneW that is exactly what I was looking for thank you smile.gif
Oubliette8 so great things to thank about and take into account.

Where I live there are no dog catchers not even an agency that polices animals in any form so that isnt a problem. We are well off the main road and our drive way is private with no traffic unless they are coming to visit me here. There are no kids that would be coming into my yard since none live nearby.

Isis loves cats so that isnt a problem though I am not sure about other wild animals.

Right now I let her out on a long lead which works but I would love for her to have the freedom to roam. She would have an acre to run on with the fence up. We are working on voice training but she isnt reliable at all still outside in the house she is very much so. She does have a fenced area to be in totally loose but it isnt large enough for her to run full out which she desperately needs.

I would by far prefer a traditional fenced yard at least 5ft high but that is not an option at all at this point in time and probably wont ever be we just cant afford it.

She would only be out in the yard when I am home to watch her like now unless I am here she is in the house or in her fence outside that wouldnt change. I dont know how she would react to the fence and it may not work with her but I dont have any alternatives at this point in time other than keeping her on the long lead.

The fence I was looking at has the light that comes on if the fence is broken and I think the collar beeps if the battery is getting low not sure about that one.
Edited by MCatLvrMom2A&X - 1/18/11 at 4:00pm
post #5 of 8
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post

How well did/doesit work to keep the dog in?
For our dog it works perfectly!  Love it. 

What kind of dog did/do you use it with?
We have a very easy going yellow lab.  We started the training at 10 weeks and used the company provided training program.  We have the Invisible Fence brand.

How well did it hold up?
Really well.  We have no idea how old it is but it still works without any issues.  We've accidentally cut it twice (if we had put it in we would know exactly where it was and I don't think this would have happened) and the repair jobs have not damaged the performance at all.

How far down did you put it? (the instructions I have read said 1-6 inches)
It was professionally installed.  Both times it was cut I would say it was 4-5 inches below the surface.

Anything else about it you want to share?
I think an invisible fence can be great - for certain dogs and certain areas.  I would not trust it in a *regular* subdivision.  Would be beyond my comfort level.  I would also not trust it if our yard backed up to a busy road.  And, some dogs just aren't going to comply.  If you are going to go with it, I would highly suggest purchasing the company run training program.  Ours works so well that if Sam goes to my mom's house all we have to do is put flags out.  ;-)  The other thing I really love about it is the ability to use it inside.  We have a portable unit for it as well so that we can block off certain areas of the yard or house.  We used it to keep him out of 3 rooms and away from the Christmas tree and to keep him from counter-surfing for snacks.  Very convenient!

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you ChristyMarie that was very helpful smile.gif

Any other thoughts anyone?
post #7 of 8

There is a large country property near my mom's that has this for their dogs. It works when they keep the collars charged.

Scared the poop out of me the one day though. I was walking by and they had a new (to me) dog. A very large (and well-bred by the look of him) boxer. He came a charging over to us snarling and barking. I was trying to decide the best move that would keep dd safe, when he slammed on the brakes and started bouncing up and down and barking.

I was so releived it was working.


That is my only experience with it.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yesterday Isis slipper her collar and was running around the yard. Scared the crap outta me but she didnt take off for parts unknown she stayed in our yard. I was telling dh that some dogs are more home bodies and if that is the case with her as it seems to be then she is more likely to respect the fence I hope.

My main concern is obviously keeping her safe and I hope that the fence will do the job though I still dont know for sure. Time will tell.
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