The Invisible Fence is the ideal way to ensure your dogs and cats stay either where you want them e.g. safely in your garden, or even away from places you don’t want them, e.g. food preparation areas, your flower beds etc. I first saw this amazing product in action several years ago when I spent a morning with a professionaldog walking company. One of the dogs we picked up was keenly waiting for our arrival in the driveway of his home, yet did not attempt to leave his yard to venture out on to the road when he saw us coming. The owner of the company explained to me that this was because the owners had installed an Invisible Fence system that produced an electronic field which the dog would not cross all the time it was wearing a special collar. I was fascinated having had a couple of dogs during my lifetime that were real Houdini s, making an absolute skill out of being escape artists no matter how strong and high we built our garden fences. If they couldn’t get under them or over them, they would simply batter or chew their way through them.
Naturally as an animal lover my next concern was how this actually worked. I had a fair concern that if this was going to involve any kind of electric shock being administered to the dog that tried to cross the boundaries I might not approve of it. Personally I have never been too comfortable with the idea of those electric training collars, so why was this going to be any different? Well upon further investigation I was pleasantly surprised. It seems that the collar works more on the basis it conditions the dog or cats behaviour. Yes it does involve a very mild electric shock, but this would only surprise the pet rather than ‘shock’ it, and has much the same impact that a static shock does, something we have all experienced occasionally when entering or exiting our cars and touching the metal. Actually the Invisible Fence works more like the citronella dog collars that emit a spray of strongly citrus scented liquid if the dog barks or a remote control is activated by the owner. The spray doesn’t hurt the pet, but it does make them jump and distracts them from the bad behaviour they are exhibiting.
What I also liked about the Invisible Fence was that if the dog or cat wearing the collar approaches the unseen fence, the collar emits three warning beeps. Usually this is sufficient to convince the pet to retreat, and the mild shock is only administered if they continue to proceed, ignoring the beeps. The collar itself is computerised and linked to the control unit, so there is never any danger that other types of electrical fields will trigger a shock.
Another plus to the Invisible Fence system is that extra wireless units can be purchased to use within the home. In other words if you have a problem with pets continually accessing a certain area of your home you would prefer they didn’t, for example the food preparation areas such as the kitchen, or maybe the dining room when you are eating, the pet bird cage etc, you can set up an extra device to ensure your pet will cease all attempts to enter these areas.
The installation of the outside Invisible Fence is relatively straight forward. Usually a single wire is laid in a narrow trench that is dug along the boundaries of your property by the Invisible Fence agent/supplier, (naturally where digging of a trench is required the local utility companies will first need to verify you are not going to hit any of their cables or pipes in the process). Burying the wire is only necessary in the areas such as driveways or along hedges, as these are the areas where either you need to cross over with a vehicle or on foot, and of course there is nothing else to physically attach the wire to. Assuming you have walls or fences around certain parts of your yard or garden, the wire can be attached along the top and close to the ground along the base of them. A control unit is then installed in either a garage or in the house wherever a power supply is available, and a hold drilled through to the outside allowing the Invisible Fence to be connected to it. The installation technician then configures the unit ready for use.
The next step is to fit your dog or cat with the Invisible Fence collar. This contains a small battery which will need to be changed periodically, perhaps once or twice a year. The collar has a small plastic ‘box’ on it, from which two small blunt electrodes protrude. These electrodes must be in contact with the pets skin as this is where the tiny shock is emitted from in the event your pet strays too close to the Invisible Fence boundary.
The next step is only fair in order for your pet not to be confused by the fact it is receiving mild shocks if it goes near its normal haunts. Each Invisible Fence comes with its own training video, and advises you of the best ways to customise your pet to the new system. Essentially small flags are placed around the perimeter of the Invisible Fence. This helps the pet to recognise where the boundaries are until they have memorised them. With a dog he is then placed on a leash and walked up to the Invisible Fence. The collar will beep as the dog gets too close to the boundary, and at this point the owner runs away from the boundary. The dog is praised for doing the same, and after a short space of time will usually ‘get the message ‘. At some point the dog will need to be allowed to receive a shock though. This is often the only occasion the dog will ever receive a shock as they usually learn that to ignore the warning beeps is a mistake after one attempt. Within days you should be able to also remove the flags because your dog will have learned the boundaries it must not approach.
The cat training is slightly different and involves first leash training the cat before actual Invisible Fence training can commence (for outdoor use), or carrying the cat towards the boundary (for indoor use). Because cats are somewhat more complicated to train I will not cover the entire process in great detail within this hub, but the training is covered in depth if you do a basic internet search. The Invisible Fence training for a cat still shouldn’t take very long, and is well worth the effort if you live near a main road, or if you want to keep your cat away from your bird table etc.
There are of course many brands of Invisible Fences for dogs and cats, and whilst ‘Invisible Fence’ is obviously a trademarked brand name, there are other makes of fence and suppliers of similar products such as PetSafe, SportDog, StayDog, Freedom Fence etc. The prices seem to be very reasonable for the service these electronic pet fences provide, and are often far cheaper than building an actual fence. I have to say I am a complete advocate of these now and have read testimonials from many satisfied owners during my research into this article.