Invisible Dog Fence: 3 Risks of the Controversial Fence

An invisible dog fence usually describes an electric, optically invisible fence variant with which a dog is to be kept within the property boundary using light electric shocks. The electric shocks intimidate the dog as decorative as a fenceless garden can look. Even if they’re too weak to cause pain, they give the wrong signal for dog training.

An invisible dog fence usually means a system consisting of a cable or wire, radio transmitter, and radio receiver, which generates a magnetic field that uses punitive stimuli such as light electric shocks to ensure that your four-legged friend does not cross a particular mark (property boundary). The cable is laid underground around the property line and is surrounded by a magnetic field that reacts with the radio receiver attached to the dog’s collar. Suppose the four-legged friend comes into the area above the cable. In that case, the punitive stimulus on the collar becomes noticeable, and the dog learns over time that there are unpleasant consequences if it crosses the border, so it avoids this if possible. Other variants do not require a cable but are very similar in principle (radio transmitter and receiver). However, an invisible dog fence also harbors other dangers and risks, and ethical concerns.

  1. Electrocution in dog training is ethically questionable

First things first: We advise against using an electric dog fence. Classic garden fences or mobile dog fences are better. Even if the punitive stimuli in the form of light electric shocks are not physically dangerous for a dog, this method of dog training is highly controversial because it can break the dog’s heart and psychological damage is possible. The consequences of conditioning with punitive stimuli are difficult to assess. Initially, a dog may not necessarily be able to connect the punitive inspiration and the property line and thus suffer behavior problems or an anxiety disorder. Possible reactions are panic, stress, and deep insecurity due to the surprising stimulus.

  1. Undesirable conditioning possible

Dogs establish connections between their environment and impulses – this is an elementary part of dog training but can have undesirable consequences with the principle of invisible dog fences. An example: A cyclist passes your garden. Your dog would like to greet him and run with him but is rudely prevented from doing so by the punitive electric stimulus. As a result, your dog could react aggressively to cyclists because it associates pain or fright with them. Something similar is also conceivable with children or other people and events.

  1. Invisible dog fence is not safe

In most cases, an invisible dog fence prevents your dog from crossing the mark but does not guarantee that the four-legged friend will always flinch in time. If a dog crosses the border too quickly, for example, driven by the desire to hunt or panic, it may be frightening, but it may end up on the other side of the property – and doesn’t dare to go back. The magnetic field acts not only on one side of the invisible fence. This is how a dog can lock itself out of the garden. It must always be expected that a dog can cross the marking, which is why this type of fence is generally not suitable for properties on busy or even busy streets. Another problem: Other dogs can step onto the property at any time without being blamed.

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