If you’ve been a dog owner for a while, chances are you’ve heard about invisible fences. The concept is fairly straightforward: it’s good for keeping dogs in your own yard, without having to have an actual fence. However, is an invisible fence worth it?
You may have also wondered: why? Fences work fine for that purpose, and you’ll be exposing your yard if you take down a perfectly good fence. Well there are a number of reasons why invisible fences are good for your dog, as well as for your peace of mind. Let’s take a look at why invisible fence systems can be preferable to traditional ones, as well as the strong points of the latter.
Why Get an Invisible Fence?
There are a number of reasons why dog owners would make use of an invisible fence. One of the most common reasons is to eliminate the need for a physical barrier.
Another advantage is the flexibility. Expanding the reach of an invisible fence is often as easy as adjusting a setting on the control panel, especially if it’s a wireless fence.
This lets your pup take advantage of extra space when they want to play, or relieve barrier frustration in a pinch. Likewise, tightening the radius is just as easy when you want to restrict them to a smaller area.
They’re also much harder to escape, especially if your dog is particularly sensitive to static shock or irritants like citronella. A physical barrier will only tax them during the escape attempt, whereas an invisible fence collar will keep on shocking or spraying them if they stay outside of the fence area.
Additionally, a lot of invisible fence systems come with extra features that make the overall experience of caring for your dog more convenient. The SpotOn fence, for example, offers highly precise GPS tracking, for dogs who tend to get lost or run away a lot. The Halo collar, on the other hand, boasts a fleshed-out feature suite that makes it a training collar as well.
The Advantages of a Physical Fence
As many great points as invisible fences have, there is still a good case to be made for setting up a physical fence.
One of the things traditional fences excel at is keeping out wild animals, other dogs, and perhaps most importantly, trespassing strangers. Even if you live in a particularly tame neighborhood, you can rest much easier in the extra insurance that a traditional fence provides.
When trying to prevent dogs from jumping fence, physical barriers like a wooden fence will not suffice to protect dogs and your property, especially if your dogs are always keen on escaping and there are many motivated intruders in your area. However, you need to know how to train your dog for an invisible fence to make it work effectively. Not so with a simple wooden or chain link fence.
There’s also the matter of the traditional fence being an asset that adds value to the property, provided that it’s aesthetically appealing. While invisible fence systems are a surefire way to work around stringent HOA standards on fencing, they don’t increase the value of your home either.
If you have stubborn dogs or there are some brazen coyotes in your region, you can easily work around that by installing an electric fence system. Here’s a guide on how to install an invisible fence.
Now, you may think that electric fences won’t fly with most homeowner’s associations, but most of these systems nowadays let you keep within HOA standards while still being an effective deterrent. Many electric fences today look like standard wire fences or could be inconspicuously added onto your existing fence. The level of electric shock can be adjusted on many of the newer models as well.
The Downsides of Physical Fences
The number one disadvantage to keeping a physical fence is the installation cost. Fencing companies’ rates currently average at around $2800 for a medium-sized yard, reaching up to over $3500 if you want a chain link fence or other metal fence to prevent other dogs or other animals from boring or gnawing through it.
The second negative point is maintenance. An invisible fence system may need to be constantly powered and replaced if it breaks, but that’s usually less expensive than the potential costs you can incur if your fence is damaged by inclement weather or other causes. That being said, with enough care, and if there aren’t too many threats to the integrity of your fence. Check here to find out just how much does an invisible fence cost?
And lastly, you miss out on all of the features that you can get from an invisible dog fence. You have much less flexibility in adjusting the shape and size of the bounded area, as well as where to place each boundary line.
The Bottom Line
Aside from aesthetics and the fact that an invisible fence can’t keep out other animals and people, they’re better than solid fences in almost every way. Invisible fencing is much less cumbersome, less expensive to set up, and harder to escape. Additionally, the average invisible fence collar these days comes with a lot of nifty features.
While it’s true that you might face a lengthy training period before your dog learns to live with a wireless dog fence, that can be surmounted with a healthy amount of care and patience. However if there are a significant external threats beyond your yard, then you should also look at the right fence to get for your situation, or any alternative ways to keep them out.
In situations where money isn’t an issue and there are wide swaths of land for your dog to range on—or if you already have an existing fence—it may be best to use both a solid fence and an invisible fence system so they can work together as a larger containment system.
A sturdy outer fence will be good for bounding your property and keeping other dogs and wild animals out. Meanwhile, the invisible fence will be for keeping your pet from getting too close to the outer barrier. Or, if you permit them to leave through the gate to explore beyond your yard, it will let you define how far they’re allowed to go in each direction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a dog run through an Invisible Fence?
They can try, but the correction system of the receiver collar will discourage them from staying beyond the fence boundary line before long. Stronger dogs can resist the static shock or citronella irritant delivered by the collar, but raising the correction level should fix that.
How long do invisible fences last?
Both wireless and underground fence systems can last up to 30 years. The underground wire in a wired system can break sooner due to ground movement and other factors, but by and large this doesn’t happen often.
Which is better dog watch or Invisible Fence?
Both are highly popular and effective brands, but the key difference between DogWatch and Invisible Fence is the way they make use of their beep zone. DogWatch delivers the warning beep and eventually electric shocks once the dog approaches close enough to the boundary. Invisible Fence on the other hand doles out its warnings and corrections based on how long the dog stays at or beyond the beep zone.
How long does it take to train a dog with Invisible Fence?
A well-disciplined dog can figure out an invisible fence within 2 weeks, but many brands recommend closely monitoring them for a few months after to see if they really get it.