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Discussion Starter #1
It's still on my mind and I still haven't decided.  I am still concerned about how well they work...but I will say there is a HUGE muscular rotty near us, who is desparate to play with our babies and has not once let his property. One question I have though...what is one does run through it. Do they just get momentarily shocked and then nothing? Or do they continue getting shocked until they return to being on the property?

Also, any thoughts on the wireless sets?


I know some are against the idea of shocking, but from our point of view we have two options....1) we can let them stay on their runners (apart from each other so they don't get tangled) and cry, bark and sometimes throw themselves right up against the end of the runner, flipping themselves (scaring the daylights out of me each time as I see this as being SO harmful to their poor necks) when they cannot reach us.  The long runner is about 175 feet, the shorter one is only 20 feet so they don't tangle but we have over an acre and are not always within their area while working outside. So, they can see me but they can't reach me and are miserable. Or 2) we can install the electric fence and let them have more freedom to sit near me while I work and to play together without getting tangled.
 

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We asked the trainer about getting one because we have the same issue...we're working on one side of the house and Lola's on the other.  You should have seen the trainers face when my bf asked, he looked horrified!  He is strongly against using them and has had 5 clients dogs get killed from running out of the yard and getting hit by a car.  He actually said we could call them if we wanted to and they'd tell us their story.  He told us that once they break through they don't get zapped anymore...they're free.  And it doesn't stop other animals from coming in.  His suggestions to us were to get a fence (obviously! ha!) which we probably will do once the rest of the house is done and we have the money.  Or to set up several runners around the yard.  Or to just keep moving her runner to where ever we are.  It's only one mans opinion, but I wanted to let you know!  I feel your pain, good luck in whatever you decide to do!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ugh, that is the type of thing I am so frightened of! I am not concerned about the animals coming in, they are not out there without us, and we do have several dogs that roam the neighborhood who "come to play." They love it... I am concerned about them realizing they can leave. Several people say it's the best thing they have ever done and that it works. But it's these stories that make me say no way.
The problem with the runners is that I have to keep them separate so they can't romp around together. If I am walking one and the other is on the runner, I find myself always saying, "no no babies...you do that inside, not outside!" hahahah...who says that! Most want them to rough house OUTSIDE! But the runner and the leash get tangled and I don't want them to get hurt!  Fencing is not really an option bc of the size of the property and it still doesn't allow them to follow me. I have bought several of those stakes so I can move the runner leash to where I am, but I still can't let them rough house out there.
decisions decisions. good and bad with everything i suppose!
 

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Yes, it frightens me too that they can get out..one zap and they're gone.  It must be more difficult with two though.  The poor pups just want to play together without getting all tangled up!  I'd feel so bad for them.
 

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We have used invisible fence for 14 years.  If you decide to use one I would recommend the Radio Fence brand.  We have had three of their units (two were hit by lightening and were replaced FREE by the company).  We have had 4 Boxers use it.  

Pros....
It is great to be able to have a large area for the dogs to run in and be with us when we are out (we have 5 acres with just over 1 acre fenced).

Once the dogs learn how it works you very seldom have trouble with them.  Our dogs won't go through the fence even without their collars on.  They know the area they are allowed to go and stay there.

The shock is only as they are going through the fence and stops once they are out of reach of the "fence line".  

You can set the shock to different levels from low to high depending on how stubborn/strong your dog is.

You can set the fence/beep line to your preference....like 5 feet from actual shock it starts beeping to warn dog or set it at 3ft, 6ft, etc.

You can set up the fence anyway you like including any areas and can change those areas as need (increase size of yard, etc.).

Cons...

You have to make sure you properly train your puppy/dog with the invisible fence, you can't just throw them out and leave them.  You have to spend several weeks training them, put up the flags, etc.

You do have to replace batteries which can be expensive (our dogs like to walk around the fence line and let it beep....which runs the battery down).

If you have a very stubborn dog (our Calli) it will walk through it and not care, we actually had two shockers on her and she just walked right through.....she was oblivious to pain of any kind.  We never leave the dogs just out in the yard without keeping an eye on them.  We do let them out to potty on their own but keep a watch or contact with them so they are not just left for hours at a time.  

Lightening can hit your unit and cause the fence to quit working.  The only time our dogs have went through it (other than calli) is when the unit was hit and we didnt' know it.  So the unit was not working and the dogs went through (both times the dogs were young and still learning the fence.
 

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I don't like electric fences for the same reasons mentioned above.. And even after they get shocked, they would probably associate being in the yard and being shocked and running to "get away" from the pain..
 

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I have recently decided against one.  not for any of the reasons given above but my new pup doesn't leave the yard any more.  I have a prominent tree line in my back yard and if he goes out side of that he gets a swat and no treat.  If he stays in the yard he gets a treat.  He has learned that he can only go out of the yard on a lead and my 6 y.o. I have taught to walk by my side without a lead.  these dogs are way too smart.  I wonder if I can teach them to sweep and do laundry :)
 

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I love my electric fence. Zoie dosent even use the collor anymore because shes trained as to where the line is. Gunner is in training now and is also coming along great with it. Neither of them have ever tried to run through it.
 

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I think I've said it all before, but to answer your specific questions, when the cross the fence line they get shocked, and then they'll get shocked again if they try to come back over it to get home (the reason many dogs who will run out of an electric-fenced yard won't return).  

I'm not sure what you mean by "wireless sets".

This article by Pat Miller, noted trainer, behaviorist, and author, discusses electric shock fences:
http://www.kerryblues.info/WDJ/SHOCKING.HTML
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for the information...I have been looking at various brands to learn more...If I were deep in a neighborhood where if they ran through on occassion (if one is stubborn or the unit has been hit), I woud not be so concerned, as it's likely that it would take little convincing to get both back on the property ("Guys, wanna TREAT?). Our issue is that we live in a historical home, and like many, it's on a more main road. While the side of hte property faces a great neighborhood (and is more likely the spot they would run for given that they know their "friends" are down there), the front of hte house faces the main road, which has a 40 mph speed limit that, despite high police presence at times, does seem to encourage higher speeds. All it would take is one time of them passing through the fence in front of the house (no fence covering driveway) to have a problem. Ugh, decisions. I also don't like them flipping themselves when they run at the end of the runner....I can imagine a similar consequence! Although they do seem to be realizing that that hurts!
 

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My daughters neighbor has a golden ret & a black & tan hound of some kind. His acre is invisable fenced and the dogs guessing 10 months old or so, picked up on it what seemed to be quite well. Then one evening I saw the hound break thru it with a yipe and on he went. After a short little walk about , he went to go back in his yard and ended up sitting at the edge barking and crying back and forth with the golden until his owner came to the rescue. I got a good laugh out of it , but I havent seen either one of those dogs out of thier yard since.  
     JTMAX
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Interesting responses. I have to laugh at JTMAX's because one experience of not being able to come see their mommy, and neither would ever leave the property again! hahah!

Interesting article too...There seems to be a lot of bad experiences mentioned in that article which result from people who leave their dogs outside all the time, neveremind without supervision (not the case here). That's awful about the burn...seriously, for how long was that poor dog being hurt without anyone noticing! The aggression issue is the one effect that I can see being applicable in our case, given that they are not out there without us, etc. But I wonder whether them throwing themselves against the runner is really any different?
 

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Tie outs can cause their own problems, but if you're in the yard that's less likely to  be an issue; the biggest concern there is people/kids teasing the dog and causing them frustration.  

Of course, the electric shock fence companies have great reviews on their websites. :)  Do a web search for "problems with invisible fences", and you'll get not only the good but the bad, as well - like this article, with associated links to continue reading:
http://www.positivedogs.com/electronic_fencing.html

This article, from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, discusses how an electronic shock fence works, the pros and cons of their use, the situations where it may be an appropriate option, and the detailed training that must be done before the dogs can be let loose in the fenced area:
http://www.iaabc.org/articles/ECS_Systems.pdf
 

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Our dogs have never been burnt by the collars.  We did rescue an abandoned Australian Shepard that had burn marks on her neck but those were most likely from a no bark collar because she wouldn't bark for anything.  We found them when we were checking her over (we live in the country and get lots of dogs dumped near us).

As for the safety of the fence.  It (like anything else) needs supervision, I have friends who put up a fence only to have their dogs jump it or dig out under it.  You always have to be with or near the dogs when they are out, especially on a busy road.  The great thing about the invisible fence is you can place the fence where you want it, under the drive, leave parts of the yard open, etc.  Dogs that run through it and back are usually not properly trained with the fence.  Our Calli WALKED through the fence with two shockers on her.....she didn't care but we didn't just leave her out there, we knew she would do that and kept a good eye on her.

Ziggi who is 14 months old has went through the fence ONCE and that was during training, we were right there with him and went and got him.  We continually let them know where their space was in the yard and they learned it very quickly.

We have people walking their dogs, dogs off leash, bikers, cats, rabbits, deer,  etc. all times of the day and night and the dogs always stop at the fence line.  They have scared MANY people running up to the fence because they didn't know they would stop.  People have also said how well trained they were that they always stop back in the yard  :D  they didn't know we had the fence.

If I lived on a busy street I would not use an invisible fence unless I was out there with my dogs all the time, it just isn't worth the chance if you get a stubborn one or have a problem with the fence going out.  Where we live I am very comfortable with the fence and will always use one.  It does not hurt our dogs (my husband and I have both been shocked by it....we tried it out before putting it on our dogs), they know their area, they can be with us in the yard and we don't have to worry about them getting tangled, etc.  If we will not be able to watch them or need to leave them outside they go in their kennel.

It isn't for everyone but for those who are interested in using it I would highly recommend them.  Boxers are extremely intelligent and learn the fence very quickly.
 

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I had a problem with Dante jumping our fence a while back but surprisingly Zeus never did. So after the 3rd time i had come home from work and Dante was out playing with the neighbors dogs i finally went and bought an electric fence charger that is used for dogs and other small animals, something with not too high of voltage that would cause severe pain for them. This costs me about $35 from Tractor Supply and i bought aluminum wire to go with it. I got the wire holders that go on top of ur fence and the ones u can stick in the ground and i wired the top and then about 3 feet inside of the fence i put the sticks in the ground so they couldnt get close enough to the fence and strung wire low, medium and high so they couldn't step through. And after the first couple times they got the hint not to touch the wire. And when i tested it on myself because im stupid and curious, i come to find out it has a good jump of electricity that will run from one hand to another. But yes it worked for me. Sorry about writing a whole story here.
 

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You always have to be with or near the dogs when they are out, especially on a busy road.
This is true of any fence, though; dogs should be supervised when out in the yard, especially during the first few weeks of a new fence.  There are easy steps to take which can prevent jumping and digging, but I am not a proponent of leaving dogs outside unattended all day regardless.

We continually let them know where their space was in the yard and they learned it very quickly.
Right; this is an important part of electric shock fence training that is often forgotten - though, as any trainer knows, you can do the same training without the electric shock and get the same results. :)

It does not hurt our dogs
It must; if it doesn't hurt them, then it is not going to prevent them from crossing the line - in which case, you don't need the shock.  The entire point behind electric shock training is that the dog receives a painful shock whenever it gets too close to the boundary.  (There may be feel-good terms used to describe the shock - "stimulus", "tingle", "mild", etc. - but if it doesn't hurt, it's not going to work.  Think about it - if you had a feather touched to your finger every time you got too close to a hot stove, would that stop you from touching the stove?  No; it's only when you get burned - you hurt yourself - that you start to avoid touching the stove.)

I think Pat Miller summed things up nicely in her article, linked above, when she talks about her training philosophy and how it just doesn't fit with electric shock training.
 

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It must; if it doesn't hurt them, then it is not going to prevent them from crossing the line - in which case, you don't need the shock.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you for all your responses...I know that this is a touchy subject and often sparks a good deal of debate. But this is why it's important to do the research first to determine whether the cons are worth the pros.

I agree with you Newcastle about the dogs being attended to while they are outside...I think it is an important part of the system working. And while I understand that you can also train a dog, without the electric fence, to remain within certain boundry lines (which is what we did growing up...our cocker spaniel was trained in this manner, although we did keep a 15 foot lightweight rope attached to her collar so we could step on it quickly just in case she started to roam too far), given the road we are on, I like the added security it would provide. (A physical fence would not work for us, one because we have a natural digger and a natural jumper...and two, we live in a historical home with zoning issues.)

Regarding the issue of whether it hurts...I agree it would not work if it did not have some impact on the dog..however, if used appropriately once the dog is trained, and I may well be wrong, I would think a low enough setting would not be enough to "hurt" a dog. Startle them? Yes...but doesn't yelling "NO!" have the same startling effect? My father wears a tens-unit which shocks him all day long...it is actually intended to relieve pain!  In my case, I also see it as a swap also for something that I KNOW is hurting them...launching themselves off the end of the runner and flipping themselves when they can't get to me or a visiting neighbors dogs because they are just out of reach, as was the case this morning when their "friend" Samson came to play.

I am sorry to spark such a debate but the same reasons that spark the debate are those things affecting my decision, so it's important to me to read what people have to say about the pros and cons.
 

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I agree with you AbbyandBrady, it is a heated subject....I did get a little heated up (always happens to me when there is something I really believe in)!  :(   I would just hate for some one not to explore all the options out there.  

There are pros and cons to every situation (we have had a regular fence too and have lived near dogs who have been tied up all day every day) at that time we didnt' have other options so fence was what we used.  It has to be a personal choice on how best to care for your dogs and what your options are for where you live.  

I will get off my box now and be good!   :D
 
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