Golden Retriever running along boundary marked with containment fences

Containment Fences Explained

What are electronic Containment Fences and how do they work?

Containment fences hit the news earlier this year when the Government declared that they intended to ban e-collars for training dogs.

Sadly, the media jumped in with both feet first and declared that containment fences were also to be banned. At DogFence we were horrified having Professionally installed containment fences for over 17 years we had no idea why! For our customers that already used a containment fence there was outrage. How could the Government even consider banning a fence that had saved their pets life and given them back their freedom?  For those that had not heard about containment fences there was intrigue. What is a containment fence and why do they want to ban them?basset hound enjoying freedom with containment fences

Even the MP that called for the ban didn’t know if the containment fence was to be included within any ban and the officials at DEFRA did not know how containment fences worked! As experts in the field for containment fencing DogFence were invited to meet with officials from DEFRA and demonstrate the fence.

The comments from the DEFRA team were as we suspected “it’s not that bad” and “it’s not what I imagined”.

So what is a containment fence?

It’s actually an invisible fence or virtual fence which is created by a radio signal. Originally invented to keep dogs safe at home in the USA where gardens are traditionally unfenced their popularity has grown in recent years.

A containment fence is actually a very simple and unobtrusive system which can be installed on virtually any property at a fraction of the cost of traditional fencing. It also offers for safety than conventional fencing as the pet can’t dig under or jump over the fence and it protects open areas such as driveways.

A boundary wire is placed around the property boundary which transmits a coded radio signal to a collar worn by the pet. When the pet approaches the boundary wire a high pitched warning beep alerts the pet to go back. If the pet continues forward, an electrical impulse is given through the collar (this is often referred to as a correction or static shock) and the pet retreats back into the safe area.

How does the pet know where to go?

Every pet undergoes a training programme which usually takes 2 – 5 days. When training to a containment fence it is important that the boundary is flagged to give a good visual of where the virtual fence starts. The flags stay in the ground as a visual marker for approx. 2 – 3 weeks. Containment fences can be used for dogs over the age of 12 weeks and cats 16 weeks or over.

The trainer will take the dog outside and set the collar to “beep only” mode. Using some voice commands, he will introduce the dog to the containment fence training flags and later he will allow the dog to enter the “no go area” of his own accord. By re-focusing the dog back into the safe area with the assistance of the warning beep and vocal commands the pet will quickly learn where he can or can’t go. Following the beep only session the training moves onto to assess the correct level of impulse (correction) required for the pet.  If the owner has more than one pet the likelihood is that they will each have a different training level.

containment fences are marked with training flags

Visible boundary for the pet with flags.

 

With cats the training is carried out internally following the Dog Fence Cat protocol. This training protocol was used as part of the Lincoln Cat Containment Fence study.

 

Will the containment fence hurt my pet?

Of course the thought of giving any impulse or shock to your pet can be abhorrent. It is important to note though that the impulse is very low and is usually only felt during the training phase. The sad scenario is that the pain felt from a car is almost unimaginable and the discomfort of containment fence is no worse than an annual vaccination. Also for dog owners there is always the threat of a shot gun as dog attacks on sheep are rising annually.

What areas of the garden will the containment fence cover?

Interestingly, containment fences can cover the entire garden including the driveway. The largest installation that we have installed at Dog Fence is 450 acres. Usually the fence wire is dug directly into the ground (approx. 3 – 5” below the surface) but it can be attached to existing physical boundaries. It is not uncommon for the fence wire to be attached to post and rail fences, stone walls, run through hedges, ditches or streams and even the odd moat! When it comes to the driveway any surface can be crossed except Resin bonded drives which require special attention.

Containment Fence Collars

The original containment fences from the early 80’s used heavy bulky collars but as with the mobile phone technology everything has been scaled down in recent years. Not only have the collars become smaller and lighter but the battery life has also increased.

At Dog Fence we can boast the smallest and lightest collars worldwide. Our mini containment fence collar only weighs 30g but still features an incredible 6-month battery life. Incredibly our standard collar has a 2-year battery life and weighs in at only 48g which is still the 3rd lightest collar available worldwide!

How much do containment fences cost?

A containment fence costs a fraction of the cost of installing a traditional fence or driveway gates. Unlike a wooden or stock fence a containment fence becomes more cost effective the larger the area. Naturally the price is dependent on the owner’s location and the number of dog or cats that they have. There is no need to visit a property to give an estimate for the containment fence; this can all be carried out via our online survey tool.

Summary

Thankfully, the Government looked at the evidence, research and responses from containment fence owners and deemed these lifesaving systems safe to use. Indeed, Michael Gove stood up and supported the life-saving fences in Parliament.

If you are interested in receiving a quick free quote contact us today on 01628 476475 or fill in our quote form https://dogfence.co.uk/quote/

our mini receiver R7m is suitable for Pomeranian dogs

Electronic dog fences – are they safe for small dogs?

Are electronic dog fences safe to use for small dogs?

Electronic dog fences have been around for over 40 years. Unsurprisingly in the early years this type of electronic dog fencing was most certainly not suitable for small dogs. Why were they not suitable? Size and weight of the computer collars!  Many of the early collars used a 9 volt battery to power the collar which was both bulky and heavy. As with mobile phones recent advances in technology have enabled the size and weight of the computer collars to be dramatically decreased.

At DogFence we are proud to be able to offer the smallest and lightest electronic dog fence collars on the market today. Our mini computer collars weigh only 30g including the small 3.0 volt battery. Our electronic dog fence collars are suitable for all breeds of dogs and cats and with the increasing popularity of toy breeds our sales of mini collars has risen significantly in the last 5 years.

Bengal cat wearing R7m mini electronic dog fence collar

Small enough for cats too!

Will the electronic dog fence hurt my dog?

Naturally a common concern is that the “correction” or impulse will hurt the dog. Naturally, at DogFence we are all dog lovers and the last thing we would want to do is inflict pain or suffering onto any dog or cat. The impulse level is set to each dog or cats personality. People often asks does it hurt? can I feel it?  In reality, once they feel the impulse the next reaction is usually “how will that keep my dog in?” or “oh it’s not that bad!”.

Electronic dog fences have been tested by leading Universities and pet professionals across the world. The results have proved that these fences are safe to use with both dogs and cats. The amount of impulse delivered is not determined by the size of the pet but their personality. The average setting for most dogs is level 2 this would equate to some 250 times lower that a cattle of electric stock fence.

Interesting, the impulse is generally only received during the training phase. All our electronic dog fence collars give out a warning beep prior to giving out the impulse. During the training phase the pet also has a visual marker with training flags. If the training is carried out correctly the pet will rarely receive any activation after the initial period. All our DogFence installers are qualified to train your dog or cat to the containment system. DogFence is a member of the IACP an international organisation set up for training dogs using electronic stimulation alongside conventional training protocols.

Will I have to use the electronic dog fence forever?

This is always a difficult question to answer. It really depends on your dog’s personality and hunting drive. As a rule we find that dogs and cats that are trained before the escaping behavior begins will train quickly and easily and never challenge the fence. However, if you have livestock or game birds nearby and a dog with a high drive then it is advisable to use the system everyday. With electronic dog fencing consistency is king. If every time the dog enters the zone they hear the warning beep they will not “challenge” the fence. Issues can arise  if they can go through the zone one day because they are not wearing the electronic dog fence collar and not on another day it becomes confusing to the pet.

What do the Experts Say?

Professor Daniel Mills headed the study into the use of electronic dog fences

Prof. Daniel Mills
RCVS

Recent studies through Lincoln University, headed by the well revered Prof. Daniel Mills, and the Governments research have proved that electronic dog fences are  only safe and also save the lives of dogs and cats. With modern technology size is no longer a barrier to pet containment with an electronic dog fence. Read more about what the experts say on our web site.

If you would like to learn more about how an electronic dog fence can keep your pet safe contact us on 01628 476475 or email us @ info@dogfence.co.uk.

 

 

three poodle cross breeds wearing electric dog fences collars

Electric dog fences – Weighing up the pros and cons

Electric Dog Fences: Pros and Cons

Electric dog fences are both a safe and affordable solution to keep your dog safe at home whilst allowing them freedom to roam and play within your properties boundary. In recent years due to their flexibility and effectiveness electric dog fencing has become increasing popular for cats as well.

It goes without saying that electric dog fencing is not for everyone. It’s important to fully understand how the fences work and weigh up the pro’s and cons between electric dog fencing and traditional fencing.

How do electric dog fences work?

There are two types of electric dog fences, wired and wireless. The most popular and effective are the wired systems.

Wired Fences

The fence consists of a transmitter box, a boundary wire and a small computer collar which is worn by the dog or cat.

The transmitter box is installed on site and the boundary wire is connected to the transmitter box. The is buried around the perimeter of the property and wire carries the harmless low-level radio signal around the boundary.  The pet wears a computer collar that emits a warning beep followed by a mild stimulation (similar to a carpet shock) when he gets too close to the designated area. The no go area for the electric dog fence is marked with some temporary training flags to assist the pet with a visual. The dog fence Installer trains the pet to understand the avoidance area.

Wireless Fences

With the wireless dog fence there is no boundary wire. The transmitter is located centrally around the area to be fenced. The transmitter sends out a circle of signal from the base station. Unfortunately, wireless dog fences are prone to false activation and are only effective for flat properties with no obstructions for the signal.

When it comes to the electric dog fence there are two types — wireless and in-ground. Even though they work in different ways, both systems consist of some sort of base unit that creates a hidden boundary around whatever area you want to contain your dog in. Read more about wireless dog fences here.

PROS OF ELECTRIC DOG FENCES

  • Price – an electric dog fence is far cheaper than a traditional fence and gate.
  • Dogs and cats can be allowed to roam freely – not kenneled or caged and exhibit natural behaviour.
  • Dog or cat cannot jump over or under and signal is 360 degrees.
  • The driveway is protected so no worries about an open gate or slow electric gates.
  • Can be installed on terrains that are not suitable for traditional fencing. Can be used through streams, along tow paths, woodland, steep slopes and areas with planning restrictions.
  • Quicker to install than a traditional fence. Up to 10 acres installed in 1 day.
  • Electric dog fencing does not restrict views.
  • Can be used to keep pets out of areas – pools, play areas, flower beds.
  • Easier to maintain than a traditional fence.
  • Can be moved from house to house.
  • Electric dog Fence collar also works indoors to keep pets out of rooms or off furniture.

CONS:

  • Does not keep other dogs, cats or wildlife out of your garden.
  • Not recommended for aggressive dogs as with wireless or electric dog fencing there is no physical barrier.
  • Batteries in the dog’s collar must be changed every 3, 6 or 24 months (reputable Companies should offer an automatic renewal programme).
  • If the power goes down the electric dog fence can go down – look for a system with a battery backup.
  • Not suitable for dogs in whelp or very old dogs.
  • Customer must assist with training so can take dogs up to 10 days to fully learn the fence.
  • Must make contractors aware of buried boundary wire if digging or landscaping to avoid damage.

Electric dog fences have been available in one form or another for over 40 years. Recent advances in technology have now brought these fences to another level and items listed in the “cons” list are now easily avoided with the higher specification systems.

The latest electric dog fences

In 2018 DogFence launched their new enabled fence. This new generation of  electrical dog fencing gives the owner real-time information and notifications regarding the status of their system. The fence offer a new 2 way communication between the electric dog fence collar and the base station through an app.

Take a peak at our video which explains all the amazing features in the Smart Fence here.

  • Sends out an email alert for a wire break

    a new generation of electric dog fencing - smart fence uses 2 communication via wifi. Consists of a collar, portable and transmitter.

    The new Smart Fence

  • Sends out an email alert of a challenge to the fence by the pet
  • Send out an email alert regarding the battery level.
  • Activity tracker for each pet through the app.

These email alerts are also sent out to the DogFence office so we can contact the customer to book a service visit or arrange a replacement battery.

If you would like to know more about our Smart Fence or our other fences please contact us on 01628 476475 or email info@dogfence.co.uk.

Black cat laying on sofa wearing cat fence collar

Cat Fence – how a cat fence saved my cat!

Cat Fence Saved my Cats Life!

I wanted to take a moment to tell you all about how a Cat Fence saved our cat’s (Figaro’s) life. You may have heard them called containment fences or even electric cat fences.

Without our Cat Fence I really fear that Figaro would not be with us anymore and I would not be able to tell you all his tail.

Figaro came to us when he was 6 years old we rescued him from a local cat shelter. The whole family fell in love the second we met him. He was so handsome; his glossy black fur and bright shiny eyes. I couldn’t believe my whiskers when the lady at the cat shelter told us Figaro had been tricky to re home due to the colour of his fur. Would you believe that black cats aren’t as popular because they don’t look as good in ‘selfies’? At this point in time we all felt that our garden was safe and had not even considered a containment fence or cat fencing.

Figaro settled into his new home nicely. We kept him inside for a week or so but he was so inquisitive about the outside world. I couldn’t keep him indoors any longer. Figaro had missed his freedom being in the cat shelter and I couldn’t wait to let him explore the garden.

black cat wearing cat fence collar sat on tool box

Figaro helping with the DIY!

At first he stayed within the garden and loved lazing in the bushes and hunting mice. Over the next few weeks Figaro began to explore further afield. At first it was the neighbour’s garden, then a visit to the tabby cat down the road. His adventures grew longer and longer but he always bought himself home in time for dinner. We never knew quite how far he went but he always returned.

That dreaded moment when the cat did not come home!

Then it came that awful night he didn’t come home for his dinner. It was getting late and he still wasn’t home. I went into the garden and called him…nothing. I tried to tempt him with his favourite – Tuna! But still nothing. I decided to leave his cat flap open and went to bed, he would be home in the morning, I was sure.

Morning came and he wasn’t home. I searched everywhere for him. As the days went on I started to fear the worst. We lived a reasonable distance from a few busy roads and knew two families that had lost their fur babies in road traffic accidents. Trying to remain positive I decided to visit as many neighbouring houses as I could to ask if they had seen him.

There had been no sightings. One of my neighbours (who had previously lost several cats to the road) told me about this amazing device called a

A small lightweight collar that the cat wears and a wire installed around the garden. The cat is trained to know how the collar works and receives a warning beep followed by a small static impulse to stop them from straying outside of the garden. She let me feel the collar as I had visions of my cat leaping out it’s skin for it’s life. I have to admit that I was skeptical as to how it would work because when I felt the sensation it was very small and not at all how I imagined.

My neighbour told me it’s the only way she’s been able to have a cat again after the devastating losses of her other cats. It enables her cat to explore its natural environment but keeps them safe at the same time and gives you piece of mind – How amazing!

I walked home furious with myself that I hadn’t discovered Cat Fence before. If I had just known about it, Figaro would still be at home safe in his garden. I brushed a tear away as I reached my front door. How could I have let this happen? I was probably never going to see my beautiful boy again.

Several days went passed and I resigned myself that he was gone. It was the not knowing that hurt the most, had been injured, killed or had he just found a new family. I hope it was the latter.

The day I decided to research Containment Fences.

One wonderful day after turning the key in front door and letting myself in I heard his little meow.  He came straight over brushing against my leg and purring. Actually he looked fine, a little thinner and obviously relieved to be home. We had had a lucky escape and I vowed not to let it happen again. I went straight around to my neighbour and got the details for the cat fence Company. Within an hour I had booked for our new Cat Fence to be installed.

The installer was excellent and explained all about the cat fence to me. He did some indoor training with myself and Figaro which allows Figaro to learn about the “no go zone” before using it in the garden. After 20 minutes Figaro knew what the beep meant and he was no longer entering the “no go Zone”. We had to keep indoors for a few days to ensure that he really knew how the cat fence worked.

The gentleman explained that cats are very intelligent and pick things up quickly and that I would need to use Flags in my garden for the first few weeks to mark out the “no go zone” but could take them out once he fully understood.

cat fence training for containment fence is carried out inside using indoor unit.

Cat in training.

It’s been 4 years now since our Cat Fence has been installed and I am able to relax Knowing that Figaro will always be home for dinner. As I type this I can see him out of the window, happily hunting the mice in the sun and enjoying his freedom whilst being safely contained in his haven.

Thank You Cat Fence!