Invisible dog fences, whether they be in-ground or wireless systems, seem like a great technology in theory. You can allow your dog to run free, without needing to be confined by a runner at all times. This prevents the need to constantly untangle the leash and also puts the fear of the dog potentially getting hurt by the leash at bay, especially if your yard has uneven ground.
Even the best invisible dog fence is not without its shortcomings though. There is a legitimate concern for your dog’s well being if they don’t take well to training on a wireless fence or in-ground containment system. First of all, there’s the obvious concern with the dog getting shocked when they exceed the boundaries. Most dogs learn to play by the rules quickly, but others are simply stubborn and refuse to stay within the confines. This can easily make you feel quite bad as a pet owner. Then of course there is the concern that once the dog escapes the boundary, they can run loose and get into even more danger. They could run into the street, towards other animals, or any number of dangerous situations.
So what do you do when your dog keeps running through their invisible fence? Hopefully with a little bit of troubleshooting you can get the issue sorted out, but in some cases an invisible fence just might not be the right fit for your dog. Let’s take a look at some of the common problems you could have and see if you can remedy them.
Check The Batteries In The Collar
One common issue that can arise with invisible pet containment systems is that the batteries in the collar could be improperly seated or they simply need to be replaced. This is definitely the first thing you should check, and there should be instructions on how to verify proper operation of your particular collar in the owner’s manual for the product. If it turns out that your batteries do indeed need to be replaced, you’ll need to see what kind of batteries your collar uses and how to install them— this can also be found in the owner’s manual. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your battery levels even if you’re not having problems with your dog running through the invisible fence, as it could eventually become a problem if not monitored.
Check The Base Station for Proper Operation
If you’ve given your dog’s collar a proper inspection and everything seems to be in thorough working order, the next thing to consider is that there might be an issue with the invisible fence system’s base station. Check that the unit is properly connected to power. If it is a system that utilizes RFA-67 batteries, make sure that there is still plenty of life left on it. If there is not, try swapping it out. Also give the base station a once over, the owner’s manual should give you some guidance as to what the indicators are that the system is functional and operating correctly.
There are a few other more technical factors that may be affecting your invisible containment systems operation. Wireless dog fence systems, for example, can have issues when they are used on terrain that is not level. Essentially, drastic grading in the terrain can cause gaps in the boundaries, and your pup will be able to run free if they find these gaps. Unfortunately the best way to try to adapt to this type of issue is to change the range of the boundaries to try to avoid these problem areas altogether.
Although they can have similar problems, how in-ground dog fence systems work is different and they are often a bit more complicated to diagnose. What can happen is that the contacts that supply power to the fence can become disrupted, usually accidentally by digging or other landscaping. The good news is that your base station might well be able to help alert you that there is indeed a connectivity issue. The bad news is that it’s going to be up to you to isolate the physical location of the issue and to fix it. As with all things electricity, make sure the unit is unplugged and completely isolated from power before making any repairs. If there is any doubt whatsoever, you should always get in touch with a professional who is experienced in this type of work.
Sometimes An Invisible Fence Just Isn’t Right For Your Dog
Unfortunately sometimes your dog and your invisible containment system simply aren’t compatible. If you’ve already tried everything discussed above in the article and you’re still having issues, you have to consider that this may well be the root of the problem. If it turns out that this is the problem then you really don’t want to force it. Every time your dog is escaping through the invisible fence they are likely getting shocked, which is just not good for them in the long term.
What you can try is to keep the invisible dog fence system running as normal, but then to put the dog on a retractable leash or a runner to reinforce the idea that they are supposed to be confined to a specific area. Also make sure to put out the boundary flags if you’ve removed them to really drive the concept home. If you decide to go this route, make sure to give it at least a couple weeks so that your dog gets used to the routine prior to trying out the invisible containment system again. As stated previously, if you go back to relying on the invisible fence system to contain your dog and they continually run through the boundary, then it’s probably time to call it quits.
With any luck you’ll be able to get your invisible fence pet containment system working with a few tricks. If everything works properly, it’s a great way to let your dog run free around your yard.