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electric dog fences work for all breeds of dogs large or small

Are electric dog fences cruel?

You’ve heard about electric dog fences and are either intrigued, appalled or desperate to know more!  Surely an electric dog fence cannot be humane? Why does anyone need electricity to keep a dog in? Electric dog fences, wireless dog fences, containment fences why do I need one?

Dogs are playful, energetic animals with boundless curiosity. Naturally they require plenty of exercise and are often given the freedom by their owners to roam around a large garden in the fresh air. However, some dogs choose to push the boundaries of their freedom by attempting to escape. It maybe that they are after visiting another dog down the street, a game farm, livestock or even next door’s chickens.  All different scenarios necessitating the installation of a good fence to keep the dog safe and at home.

Electric dog fence transmitter and receiver

The boundary wire starts and finishes at the transmitter box.

 So What are electric dog fences?

Firstly, the name is a red herring. An electric dog fence is not an electric fence. An electric dog fence is actually an electronic fence but are referred to as electric fences. It’s a System that uses a central transmitter which is linked the boundary cable and computer collar worn by the pet.

Electric dog fences generally come in two forms: wired or wireless dog fences. A wired fence is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a physical perimeter created around your garden by a wire, the route of which is determined by you or the company who install it.

A wired electric dog fence is relatively quick to install, and involves installing a boundary wire around the boundary. Ideally the wire should be buried a few inches below the ground to avoid damage. The main criteria is that the cable must start and finish at the main base station to complete a circuit.

Wireless dog fences dog not have the flexibility of the wired systems as they are really only suitable for very flat open properties. Wired fences send out a signal from a central base station and create a circular zone around the property. They require a clean line of sight so are not suitable for properties with buildings or trees that will shield the signal. Similarly, properties on steps or slopes are not suitable for wireless dog fences.

Wired electric dog fences are often seen as a more practical than their wireless counterparts as they can extend right to the perimeter of your property, whereas wireless systems have limited reach. You can also dictate the exact shape of the wired electric fence and create ‘out of bounds’ zones for your dog, which is a major bonus.

How do they work to keep the dog in?

The boundary wire acts as an antenna and carries a radio signal around the boundary. The dog or cat wears a small computer receiver collar. A “no go zone” is set around the boundary. As the pet enters the zone the collar wakes up and alerts the pet with a warning beep. If the pet continues further the collar gives out a static impulse. The impulse is harmless and is set by the trainer according to the dog or cats personality, age and breed. It is not a one size fits all but bespoke for each pet.

The question is, however, are these fences humane for your dog?

Are electric dog fences cruel?

Many dog owners make use of electric dog fences on a daily basis and sing their praises from the roof tops! Most owners will “feel” the impulse and agree that the word “electric” is far from the reality. A tingle or static shock would be more akin to the sensation delivered by the dog fence collar. Given the choice of a tingle or being run over or shot owners will attest that a small tingle is the better option.

Also research exists to support the understanding that electric pet fences are humane.

Animal welfare researchers at the University of Lincoln “found no evidence of long-term welfare problems in cats living with these fences, compared to control cats able to roam freely in and out of their owners’ gardens.” Indeed, researches commented that this was the best option for cats, as indoor cats can be prone to obesity and health issues are more prevalent for cats housed solely indoors. Of course the statics for cat deaths and injuries speak for themselves.

cat in bird bath wearing electric dog fence collar, these fences can be wired or wireless dog fences

Lazing on a sunny afternoon

Electric dog fences are also proven to genuinely train dogs to stay within the boundaries of their property. Dogs are intelligent animals and very quickly (Pavlov theory). They hear the beep and know to avoid the area due to the training. The effect produced by an electric dog fence is similar to a static shock you might receive from a carpet – it’s just enough to distract you, and not enough to cause pain.

Owners point to the positive aspects of electric dog fences, such as their flexibility, effectiveness, and affordable price. The majority of owners who choose to purchase and install an electric pet fence are those for whom a physical fence has previously failed or would pose a problem due to planning restrictions or simply cost.

These owners want to keep their pet safe but also give them freedom. Keeping pets indoors, tied up or in a run is far less humane than allowing a pet to roam and display natural behaviour.

How does the pet learn to use the fence?

As part of the installation process, the pet receives professional training. By using some visual markers in conjunction with the warming beep and impulse he quickly learns how not to go too close to the boundary. The majority of customer’s report that their pet rarely received so much as a warning beep after their initial training.

Conclusion

If installed and handled properly, a wired electric dog fence can work wonders in containing your dog in a safe area where it can enjoy plenty of freedom, making it an affordable and humane option. It also provides great peace-of-mind to you, the loving owner. You can rest assured that your pet is safe – no more worrying about them running off, or getting onto the road. With a DogFence system, you get all the benefits of leaving them to roam without the associated worry.

We have solutions for areas of all types and sizes, from small gardens right up to 350-acre estates. There are very few places where we can’t install an electric Dog fence – we can go under pathways and patios, or even over rivers and through woods! It is for this reason that here at DogFence Ltd we only offer installation for wired dog fences as the wireless fences do not offer the safety, reliability or flexibility of the wired versions.

Get in touch today to find out more. 03450 623623 or www.dogfence.co.uk

Ref: University of Lincoln Cat Study:

http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2016/09/1265.asp

 

 

dog wearing an old invisible dog fence collar

What is a freedom dog fence?

What is a freedom fence or  Invisible fence?

So what is a freedom dog fence; it’s actually is a generic name for an electronic dog fence. Very similar to a “hoover”, a freedom fence, invisible fence or DogFence are often used to describe the containment dog and cat fences. These dog fences were first produced in the USA over 40 years ago.

The History of Invisible Fences

Electronic pet containment systems originated in the year 1973. The overall concept began due to humanitarian emotion from American Richard Peck. Peck was a salesman in Pennsylvania selling his company’s metal cutting and welding services.

Richard Peck original inventor of the freedom dog fence

Richard Peck with his original Patents

“I traveled the United States and everywhere I went, I literally saw hundreds of dogs that had been slaughtered by cars. They were all over the roadway,” Peck said years later. “I loved dogs and knew there had to be a way to stop this.”

The development of dog fences

In 1973, Peck partnered with an electronic engineer and patented the first electronic dog fence system. The collar was placed on a pet and received radio waves from a thin wire buried about six inches beneath the ground. The radio waves were transmitted through the wire from a transmitter protected inside the house. When the radio waves are received by the collar, it sends a brief uncomfortable static shock under the pet’s skin which deters the pet from traveling farther into a designated zone. To date the word “shock” should be replaced by stimulation as the impulse produced is incredibly low and incapable of inducing a state of shock.

Always concerned for dog safety, Peck worked with the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine to conduct extensive research on the short-and long-term effects the new system would have on animals. The study proved it was extremely effective for influencing behavior of animals and keeping them contained in a specified area. Furthermore, the study proved that pets that were contained by a freedom dog fence had no long-term ill effects from the stimulation.

No boundary gardens

The late 1970s in the USA there was a rise in the popularity of housing tracts and development forbidding traditional fencing. This made it almost impossible to have a large dog so the new “invisible fence systems” became  popular. Peck initially sold the systems through catalogs and direct mail. The growth of the company was very slow. There were only 50 systems sold the first year and were promoted by two nationally distributed dog magazines, Dogs and Dog Fancy.

Peck retired in the early 1980s and sold his company to private entrepreneurs outside of Philadelphia who invested in product improvements and named the product “Invisible Fence.” The engineering staff began refining the technology of the existing product. The company began selling a compact, lighter version of the receiver collar that went from 13 ounces down to 3 ounces so smaller dogs and cats could utilize the Invisible Fence solution.

New Manufacturers enter the market

In 1990, the overall patent for the technology expired and paved way for many other companies to begin work. This led to the rise in other manufacturers, PetSafe, DogWatch, and Innotek are all brands that produced their own version of the original invisible fence. The early systems were not available for self-installation and Freedom Fence Dealers were part of the PetSafe network that started offering installation across the USA.

The market went worldwide

Dog Fence, Invisible Fence and Freedom Fence dealers started to import the technology into Europe and Australia. These markets were mainly self-installation markets and over time some dealerships started to offer a limited installation service through agents and part-time sub-contractors.

In the UK there were 3 Companies offering Installation for freedom dog fences:

Invisible Fence

The original Invisible Fence UK Dealer has recently retired after selling both Invisible Fence and Innotek systems for over 25 years. Most of the Invisible dog fences were sold for self-installation.

Freedom Fence

This business model is slightly different and is made up of a large number of representatives who work on a sub-contract basis. These individuals will install the PetSafe and PetSafe Professional brand of dog fence. PetSafe fences use the same AM technology that was used to produce the original Invisible Fence systems.

DogFence

DogFence were the first Company to offer complete onsite Professional Installation & Training for dogs and cats. This Company uses the DogWatch brand of hidden fence which was developed using an FM radio frequency. When it comes to technology the FM signal is far safer and faster than the AM operated fences.

Why is Technology Important when looking at Freedom dog fences?

Arguably most peoples pets are part of their family, they are as important as children or siblings. Naturally one wants to do everthing they can to protect them which is why they install a dog fence.

Why is the FM signal safer? The reason for the FM signal is to ensure that nothing else can activate the dog or cats computer collar. The Freedom Fence and Invisible Fence brands use OOK (on/off keying).  With OOK the collar is open to picking up other signals when it is in the “down” time. This means that the collar can activate when the pet is not in the “no go zone” as it has “heard” another signal.

With the DogFence system the signal is constant and the collar can only read the programmed signal. In order to reduce the chance of a false activation both the freedom fence and invisible fence systems use a 2nd signal to reduce false activation. Naturally checking for 2 signals slows down the reaction time on the collar.

diagram to show FM verses AM for dog fence

Diagram to show FM and AM

Why does speed affect the dog fence?

Put simply if your dog is high tailing if after a rabbit toward the no go zone the collar needs to stop him before he runs into the road. With the DogFence system if he runs at 10mph he will only get 0.125ft into the zone before the collar has given a warning beep and impulse. With a freedom fence he will be at 7ft before the collar has activated. Conversely many people never consider the shut down time on the fence. What happens if the dog retreats? How quickly will the collar stop? Again, speed is crucial the start up and the shut down times are equal. If your dog retreats the FM fences will shut down in less than 1 second. With the PetSafe, Invisible Fence and Freedom Fences AM brands the time is 2 – 5 seconds. Food for thought!

Conclusion

Today there are well more than 2 million freedom dog fence systems installed worldwide. Recent studies by Lincoln University and the UK Governments consultation have proved that these fences save the lives of dogs and cats. It maybe that you are skeptical or adverse to the idea of using a Freedom dog fence but those that use them swear by them. A few of the comments from the Government consultation can be read here:-

If you would like to obtain more information on our containment fences call us (01628) 476475 or click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Electric dog fences will give keep dogs free to run

Are electric dog fences legal?

Are electric dog fences legal?

So you’ve read the recent media reports and are confused about whether electric dog fences are legal. If you are concerned about your pet’s safety and want to use an electric dog fence read on …..

 

 

 

 

 

The good news is if you are considering installing an electric dog fence they are completely Legal to use in England. Our dogs and cats can have their freedom and safety!

In March 2018 the Government launched a consultation into the use of all electronic dog and cat collars.  Over a 6 week consultation period 7000+ people responded. Interestingly, the majority of people (64%) were opposed to a ban. The Government looked at the evidence and the  research for both the hand held units (aka remote training collars) and containment fences (aka electric dog fences). In August the Government announced that they would not ban invisible dog fence systems. They went on to state that these fence systems offer safety to pets.

Are there any regulations for installing a electric dog fence?

After considering the evidence the Government noted that in the interests of pet welfare containment fences must be Professionally installed. They . From Autumn 2018 all containment fences will have to be professionally installed with onsite training for the cat or dog.

What do I get with Professional Installation?

So what does Professional Installation give the customer? Firstly extensive knowledge as well as advise and a good standard of product. Companies that offer full installation will have correctly trained their operatives. The operatives will be trained to  know where to place the wire and how to correctly train the pet. These Companies will have also researched the best products in terms of durability and safety. If a product is constantly breaking down due to poor quality of wire or hardware it will leave the pet vulnerable.

When installing an electric dog fence correct placement of the cable is crucial. Ideally the cable will be buried to avoid damage. In situations where burial is not possible the Installer will find a safe position above the ground.  The product sold should have in-built safety features to protect the pet. This will include automatic shutdowns, a low battery warning and a good long battery life.  It is important to consider that if the battery runs out the pet could run out! When installing the cable advice should be given on areas to avoid and where possible the cable should follow natural boundaries.

Once the fence has been installed the Professional should train the cat or the dog for the owner. Ongoing  guidance and support should be part of the service.  A reputable Installation Company should keep records of the pets individual requirements and offer a follow up service for the future.

How do I know if I am getting a Professional Installation?

Companies that offer full installation will have a proven track record  so it will be easy to ask for references and check reviews. They should also offer installation using the trenching equipment and post installation service. Using a one man band or sub-contractor may not meet the Professional Installation regulations require. Due to the high cost of the installation equipment it is unlikely that these individuals will have access to correct installation tools and are most likely not trained. Furthermore a reputable installation Company will usually offer a good guarantee regarding their product and service.

Intrigued and want to learn more? call us on:  03450 623 623 or email us on: info@dogfence.co.uk today.

https://dogfence.co.uk/quote/

 

 

 

stop dogs escaping from garden

Top Tips to Stop your Dog from Escaping Out of The Garden

Top Tips to Stop your Dog from Escaping Out of The Garden

stop dogs escaping from garden

Yipee – let’s go guys!

Boredom, loneliness, territory protection, prey instincts and separation anxiety are reasons that may lead a dog to stray. So how do you stop your dog from escaping? The answer may be more straight forward than you think.  Firstly it is important to assess the reasons why the dog is escaping.  What is it that draws him off, is it food, livestock another dog or boredom? It goes without saying that every dog owner wishes to prevent their dog from escaping and getting into danger. Outside the safety of the garden your dog risks getting into a fight, being hit by a vehicle, being stolen or even eating something poisonous. There is also responsibility; a free roaming dog is a threat to children, livestock and even other dogs on a lead.

Train your dog?

You may have already asked your trainer how to stop your dog from escaping. Many owners report that the dog develops the habit of escaping through the front door as soon as it is opened. They may also get rewarded for escaping. They get to roam the neighbourhood, scour bins and possibly enjoy a game with another dog! Hence, this then becomes a hard to break habit. Teach your dog to wait at the door until you open it for him and to never go out on its own. Always rewards his good behavior. Your dog will stop getting out of the garden to enjoy treats from you.

Secure your garden

Ensure that your garden area is well secured to stop your dog from escaping. You may be able to use a 6-foot fence to secure the area because most dogs cannot jump over it – you could also consider digging in a chicken wire along the fence line below ground. When a dog is determined to escape, it can do anything to gain access to digging under the 6-foot fence. The chicken wire will be uncomfortable for the dog, and may prevent deter the dog from digging. You can also place concrete or wood blocks at the bottom of your fence to discourage digging. Try to avoid picket fencing as this can cause serious injury to your dog or cat if they impale themselves on the stakes. The issue with a lot of fencing is that wildlife can damage the wire and make holes within the fencing.

Containment fencing

If you have an uneven garden terrain, consider having a smaller dog run that could be confined to one corner. Another alternative for securing the garden is installing underground or invisible fencing. The hidden fence uses a small computer collar that interacts with a signal that surrounds the property. When the dog enters the “no go zone” the dog’s collar reacts to the radio signal and gives the dog a high pitched warning beep to alert the dog that he or she is in the wrong area. If the dog continues the collar gives out a low level static shock (correction). The dog will have been trained to know where the “no go zone” area is located through a training protocol that uses both vocal and visual indicators. The advantage of an invisible dog fence is that they can be installed on nearly any terrain.

Over the years there has been negative press on the use of electronic dog fences, often referred to as electric dog fence but recent studies have dispelled the myths, indeed a study into cat containment reported that there are no negative long term effects with using an electronic fence. (Lincoln 2016) http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2016/09/1265.asp.

The issue of how to stop your dog from escaping is always going to be a difficult subject but below are few tips:-

Driveways and open boundaries

Driveways are always going to be a weak point, as are open areas which cannot be fenced due to planning restrictions. These areas really are ideal for using electric dog fences. Escaping dogs will always use the weakest point on a property and an open gateway or clear area is a golden opportunity for a dog to make a bid for freedom. An underground dog fence will operate invisibly and effectively 24/7 to prevent the dog or cat from escaping through the vulnerable area. Owners often install electric gates to keep dogs and cats off the roads, however, most dogs will quickly learn that when they hear the buzzer they have an open opportunity to not just run out but amble out at a steady pace. An underground dog fence can be fitted in conjunction with electric gates to prevent the pet from escaping when they hear the buzzer.

stop dogs from escaping through driveway

An open driveway is difficult to secure.

Consequences of an escaping dog

If your dog escapes and is caught by a council dog warden you may be issued with a warning, a caution or a fixed penalty fine. If your dog is considered out of control you may even be prosecuted and fined. The penalty is up to 6 months in prison or an unlimited fine!  This is surely a big enough incentive to stop a a dog from escaping! Also further controls can be given to the owner.  In some cases the dog may be transferred to a local kennels whilst the owner is located at a heavy daily cost or even transferred to shelter and possibly re-homed. Recent media reports have also found out that the RSPCA is too quick to euthanise. Sadly owners pets have been permanently separated from their vets within a matter of weeks.

 

Exercise your dog

A dog that only stays and plays in the garden will eventually get bored, stressed, frustrated and unhappy. Dog’s need a change of scenery. Just like people a change is as good as a rest. If your dog is bored it will look for ways to break the tedium.  For you and your dog’s sanity it is advisable to walk your dog every day if possible. This way he can experience a new environment, remain engaged and interact with other dogs. Exercises not only boosts your dog’s socialization skills but also stimulates its mind. Country walks or walks in the park are a great way to stimulate your dog. The sounds, scents and interaction with nature and other dogs will keep him fresh. If you exercise your dog daily or regularly then this should help to stop your dog escaping from the garden.

Conclusion

Just like human beings, dogs like adventure and to discover new things. If you want to stop your dog from escaping you need to break the cycle. It may be that you need to install a containment fence or that you need to train your dog or exercise him more. If the issue is not tackled then the habit will continue. As an owners we must look at the issue from two angles. Primarily we need to be responsible for our dog’s welfare, state of mind and health. However, we also have a responsibility to those people, livestock and property that a wandering dog may come in contact with.  An engaged happy dog will be less likely to wander.