Whether you call it underground fences, an electronic barrier designed to keep an active dog on its own property, or simply hidden fences, some owners have the perimeter of their property outlined to slightly shock their pooch. That is, if they step over the line.
Sometimes homeowners opt for hidden fences if they’re not permitted to construct visible fences on their property. Or, if visible fences imply an increase in taxes they may opt for the invisible hidden fence which won’t create another cost. This provides the owner with the ability to think their pet won’t be officially fenced in or have a yard that’s closed off, thinking once the hidden fence is installed at some point their pooch will simply know to not get too close to the edge.
Here’s how it typically works: a radio antenna issues a signal which activates a battery in the dog’s collar. The battery causes a shock similar to static electricity and as a result, the dog backs off and does not approach. The radio waves may be adjusted so the dog doesn’t get too close to the property edge before getting the warning. Whereas some people may think the hidden fence is a hot wire that zaps the dog immediately, as explained above it’s actually a shock issued in the collar itself.
Some people using the hidden fence may say eventually their dog knows enough and has enough memory to not even go towards the perimeter of the property while others may say it’s an improper way to train a dog. In any event, the fence consist of boundary wire, a transmitter, a receiver, a test light, training flags, and a sign. Plus, the receiver needs to be attached to the dog’s collar.
After the wire is installed, flags are placed along the hidden fence line. At first, your dog would be kept on a long leash with the receiver-collar around its next. Initially after the first few days the hidden fence is installed, one prong on the collar is taped so the dog can hear the warning tone without experiencing the shock. Each time the dog gets closer to the fence and hears the signal, the leash will be jerked to bring him back to the safe area. Then, he needs to be praised.
After the few days of conditioning have passed, the dog will run into the safe area of the yard and the tape is removed from the prong of the collar. Therefore, the dog will hear the warning tone and get the shock the next time it gets too close to the edge. Once it returns to the safe area to play, it will also need to get praised again.
Eventually the dog will connect the hidden fence notion: the boundary creates the shock. Next, the following week of training as it relates to the hidden fence includes removing the leash. The dog needs to learn the boundary causes the shock and not the leash. After two weeks, the flags should be removed.
Training aside, there are some disadvantages which should be noted:
Underground fences can not be seen by people. Therefore, mailmen, visitors and the like may be frightened if they see a dog outside defend their property. On another note, other animals such as rabbits, stray dogs and cats also won’t know about the fence and may enter a yard by accident.
Some dogs have a high threshold for pain and may not take to the training initially, plus it requires maintenance. Batteries need to be replaced, collars need to be fitted, etc. As with everything else, proper responsibility on the dog owner is key to ensuring safety of their dog.