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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 the freedom to roam and play within your properties boundary. In recent years due to their flexibility and effectiveness electric dog fencing has become increasingly 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 pros 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 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 the 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 towpaths, 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 program).
  • 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 offers a new 2-way communication between the electric dog fence collar and the base station through an app.

Take a peek 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.

dog proof fencing, electric dog fence, invisible dog fence, dogwatch hidden fence

Dog proof fencing – Does it really work?

Let’s talk about dog proof fencingImage result for dog proof fencing

Dogs are a man’s best friend and we all want them to be part of the family, but trying to keep them contained and safe can be a tricky. Dog proof fencing is not only difficult to source but it can be expensive. According to the highways Agency, in 2016-2017 there were 286 reported incidents of dog deaths on UK roads. When it comes to installing a dog fence that is dog proof what are the options?

We have all spent hours searching online, gathering tips and ideas on how to install dog proof fencing. Often after hours of searching we can still be none the wiser. Lets examine the types of fencing and find those are truly dog proof!

Traditional fencing – is it dog proof?

Some properties have no physical forms of boundary so the idea of traditional fencing could be the only option. The more common form of dog proof fencing is post and rail.

Post & Rail

This is generally a costly option as it is installed by contractors who can charge upwards of £35/hr for labour and equipment and then there is the cost of the fencing itself which can be approximately £15/m. A customer recently spend £6000 for a 4 acre plot on this form of fencing and their dog was still escaping. Most fencing starts from around £30.00 per metre.

Post and rail fencing needs to be high enough to stop the dog leaping over it. German Shepherds, Weimarners and Pointers  can clear a 10ft fence in the blink of an eye. Then there are the diggers! Your dog may work on a tunnel over several days – so you may not be able to see it until it’s too late.

Having high fencing can look imposing and may block any views such as pretty countryside. Equally concreting netting into the ground is costly and unfriendly to small wildlife (in particular hedgehogs).

Trellis

 If you have real leaper you may want to install Trellis on top of existing fencing. This will may depend on local planning restrictions.

Wildlife

 There are pro’s and cons to installing traditional fencing when it comes to wildlife.

  • Wildlife cannot may not be able to pass  from garden to garden
  • Wildlife can damage fencing when trying to gain access to a neighboring garden
  • Dog’s will use holes made by wildlife to escape
  • Expensive patching up fences due to damage.

Dog runs and cages

Dogs love to run around and get as much exercise as they possible. If you have a large garden you may not be able to see where they are. Runs and cages are an ideal a way to keep them contained in an area. By using a run or cage they can still have some outside time. Whilst most cages are dog proof they don’t give much opportunity for exercise. For some dogs such as Labradors, Lurchers and Jack Russells they thrive on running around. They need to be stimulated by chasing birds or rabbits. With a run or cage this will not be possible.

Dog runs are ideal as a temporary measure. This type of dog proof fencing costs in the region of £300 for a 7.5ft dog run and goes up to around £1500 for an outdoor kennel.

Points to consider

  • May be able to dig underneath
  • Must have a kennel or somewhere to shelter within the run
  • Do not offer much exercise opportunity
  • Expensive to purchase

An adult dog can be caged for as long as eight hours on occasion, although daily crating of this length can have negative effects on your dog’s well-being. Make sure that they received adequate exercise before a long stay in the crate. The exercise should be at least 30 to 60 minutes.

Image result for large outdoor dog runs

All tied up – or dog fence?

Most rural gardens are not dog proof. It can be tricky to monitor dogs all of the time in the garden. They pick up a scent of a rabbit or see a group of people walking across a field. Dogs are social and they naturally want to say hello. Taking your eye off them or not having complete control can result in dogs running into the road and getting injured. Notably dog attacks on sheep are rising and it is essential to keep dogs under control. It maybe that the dog ran out whilst chasing a rabbit and ended up with livestock. These are real day to day scenarios often encountered by rural dog owners.

Is tethering a solution?

According to the RSPCA tethering isn’t illegal but it does have advisories.

dog proof fencing can be using a tether

Tethering does not offer freedom

“Tethering up dogs is only suitable for a very short periods of time, as dogs left for longer may become distressed or potentially cause injury to themselves”. Dogs love freedom and tethering them up isn’t the best way to give them that freedom.

Rather surprisingly we would agree with the RSPCA on this point! We have often been asked to install a dog fence for an escaping dog. On arrival the dog is tethered and usually they are all tied up against the tether post.

  • Does not allow freedom
  • Can be distressful for the dog
  • Must have access to shelter

Dog Fence containment systems – are really these dog proof?

Interestingly here at Dogfence Ltd one of our most common questions is “what is a dog fence”? At DogFence Ltd we supply and install electronic dog proof fencing to keep your pets secure within a boundary. This keeps them safe from roads and away from the threat of a farmer’s gun. The cable is installed underground around an agreed boundary.  White flags are then placed around the perimeter so that the dogs have a visual aid during the training. A radio signal is run through the cable from a transmitter and sent to a small collar worn the the pet. The receiver collar omits a warning beep followed by an impulse when the dogs approach the boundary. Dog Fences are far more dog proof than a traditional fence. cannot jump over signal

  • Cannot dig under the signal
  • Can be installed on any terrain
  • Covers driveways and open areas (river banks, lakes and ditches)

This form of dog proof fencing is positive because it gives the dog their freedom. A Dog Fence gives you as a pet owner the peace of mind that the dog is safe. It has also been proven to show that it strengthens the relationship between owners and their pets. Below are a few other deciding factors:-

Points to consider

An electronic dog fence is affordable for most people. Although electronic fencing can be expensive, it is often significantly less than the cost of materials and installation for traditional fencing.

Electric fences give homeowners some flexibility. Electric fences (stock fences) should not be confused with electronic dog fences. Of course electric fences are still physical fences and if touched by a human or child will give a significant jolt. They are also aesthetically unpleasing as they are designed for agricultural and not domestic users. Electronic fences don’t interfere with surrounding views. In addition, an electronic fence can be installed more quickly than many traditional fencing options and are safe to both wildlife and humans. These fences are often referred to as “invisible fences”.

An Invisible dog fence is proven to be effective. Many dog owners choose this fence because other alternatives have failed to keep their dog within the boundary. The dog either climbs over or digs under a traditional fence. In most cases, dogs quickly learn to stay within the boundary line to avoid the warning signal and correction. They work silently 24/7 covering all areas of the property, even driveways and open areas.

 

dog proof fencing with an electronic dog fence.

Electronic dog fence – a fraction of the cost of traditional fencing.

There are many types of fencing and when it comes to choosing dog proof fencing this will depend on your budget. If you choose to go down the traditional route this will be a large investment but it may also enhance your properties value. Electronic fencing is most certainly the cheapest option. This type of fencing can be moved from one property to another making it the most effective method of dog proof fencing.

To obtain an estimate or learn more call us on 01628 476475.  https://dogfence.co.uk/quote/

Labrador wearing an electric dog fence collar - these collars are also called containment fences

Are electric dog fences illegal?

Are electric dog fences illegal – what you need to know

With new legislation on the way, the question everyone is asking is: are electric dog fences illegal in the U.K.? The straight answer is an electric dog and cat fences ARE  LEGAL. Electronic dog and cat fences are completely legal in the U.K.

Why the confusion? Electric dog fences (which can also be used for cats) were included in the government consultation into electronic training aids for pets through a lack of understanding of the subject. However, Michael Gove, an ardent dog-lover who is heading up the legislation, realised the error and ensured that electric dog and cat fences were not included in the new law due later this year. Thankfully DEFRA has realised that to make dog fences illegal would comprise the safety of both dogs and cats.

Michael Gove with dog

Michael Gove declares containment systems safe.

So whether you need an electric dog or cat fence because you have a tricky boundary, escapee pet or simply need to keep your dog or cat within a specific area of your garden or home, breathe a sigh of relief and read on for a clear and easy explanation of why  dog and cat fences are still legal in the U.K.

The confusion over electric dog fences explained

We all know that making dog and cat fences illegal in the U.K. would be a complete disaster because they save lives. However, civil service ignorance meant that when the department set out to consult on the legality of electronic training collars, the mistakenly included electric containment fences in the mix.

Any animal lover knows that electronic collars and containment fences are two completely different things.

So when experts like Ward Chapman, DogFence.co.uk founder (who has been in the business for over twenty years), were invited to consult on the proposed legislation with The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), they immediately pointed out the error.

In fact, it was the experts and pet-owners that had to remind the government that in previous years DEFRA had themselves, excluded electric dog fences for pets from their past research. 

Thus, began a series of high-profile requests for the distinction to be made between electronic training collars and containment fences. Ross Thomson, Member of Parliament for Aberdeen South, was unaware that the government was consulting on making containment fences illegal too. Thomson’s request had referred to the electronic training collars, not containment fences.

When confronted by the Countryside Alliance in March 2018, Ross Thomson was quick to clear things up, stating that he had no problem with containment fences. With the backing of dog charities, his issue was with electronic training aids.

Luckily, knowing how containment fences work, Michael Gove, a dog owner himself, stepped in and removed containment fences from the legislation. So your pets can stay safe and you can remain hassle-free because electric dog fences and cat fences will not be illegal later this year.

Installation of Containment Fences

What did come out of the consultation was a need for the government to ensure that containment fences across the U.K. are high-quality products. Most importantly it was noted that they should be installed properly by professionals along with proper training delivered to owners during installation.

So from later this year, it will be a requirement that any electric dog fence or cat fence is installed by a professional, and full training is given to both the pet and owner.

At DogFence.co.uk we have been professionally installing high quality, modern and safe hidden fences for over twenty years. With full training for owners and a lifetime warranty included, we have been ahead of the game for years.

How do electric dog fences work?

If you have happened across this post and are wondering how electric dog fences for pets actually work, let me explain:

Firstly, the word “electric” is incorrect – these fences do not emit an electric shock. A lack of understanding over how dog and cats fences work can mean that containment fences for pets can be classed as the same thing as a dog training collar. However, as recent events have shown, the two are completely different.

Training collars for dogs

There are many different types of training collars that are used by trainers and owners for dogs, these include shock collars, spray collars, and sonic collars. The controversial ones are electronic training collars. However, many dog training tools inc; leads, flat collars, head halters,  and even harnesses can harm a dog. All training tools need to be used correctly. It goes without saying that vets will have come across dogs that have been injured by incorrect use of a training tool. I would hazard a guess that very few have come across an injury from an electronic training collar though.

Why do people use training collars?

Although many dog trainers rely on positive reinforcement methods, there are some dogs or occasions where some dogs need negative training for a particular situation. In these cases where a reward is not sufficient or reward-based training has failed they may choose to use a negative response as a learning tool.

There are many myths that surround the use of electronic training collars, so let’s take a quick look at the facts.

Electronic training collars

Electronic training collars are sometimes referred to as “shock collars”. You may be horrified to hear that they do exist, however, with around 170 different types of electronic collars available around the world, here in the U.K. we only have five that are actually in use.

Each of the five approved electronic collars, meet British and E.U. safety and protection requirements for animal safety. The standards that we use here in the U.K., and across the European Union, were drawn up by The Electronic Collar Manufacturer’s Association (ECMA).

One of the biggest myths is that training collars are wired up to the mains electricity! Clearly, this is not true. When you use an electronic collar, the dog receives a “mild stimulation”, which distracts them from the hazard that the owner wants them to avoid.

The stimulation is to gain the dog’s attention. A good analogy would be “tapping the dog on the head to say – excuse me I’m talking to you!”. These collars can keep the animal safe by preventing them from chasing livestock and assisting with recall and other training issues. They do not as reported cause them pain, fear or distress. Instead, they keep the animal protected, and in some cases avoid the animal being re-homed or shot.

Why the controversy?

Some observers suggest that because the collar is operated by humans, it may be open to abuse. However, the reality is that there have been no convictions in the U.K. of animal cruelty resulting from electronic training collars or electric dog fences. Indeed, the cost of a training collar would make it a cruel and long-winded choice for a means to abuse a dog!

How are dog containment fences different?

Why is a containment fence different to a training collar?

The dog or cat is in control.

A containment fence is a passive Pavlovian system governed by the animal’s own behaviour. A containment fence collar releases a small static impulse if the dog or cat enters an exclusion area.  The impulse mimics the ‘nip’ that an adult animal would give its young to alert them of a threat. Before the impulse is given the collar gives a warning “beep”. The pet decides whether to continue or retreat. In the initial training phase, the exclusion zone is marked with temporary marking flags.

containment fence training with red setter

Dog in training using vocal commands and training flags

The impulse itself is a secondary measure because, during the training delivered by professional staff, we at DogFence.co.uk will train the dog and owner. We use vocal commands and visual training flags to understand that the areas in question are out of bounds.

In this way, the impulse from the electric dog fence should be minimal and only in the training phase. Once trained it is rare for the pet to activate the containment fence collar.

At DogFence.co.uk, our customers report time, after time that because of our training, their pet stays away from the fence thus the impulse from the fence is never needed. It is merely a precautionary measure. The pet is firmly in control. Watch our video of Lionel Demonstrating the fence!

Is there any research that says that electric dog fences and cat fences should be illegal?

No, there are no studies that suggest that these fences should be illegal. Indeed, research by Professor Mils at Lincoln University proved that containment fences are a safe and effective way to protect cats from hazards.

Professor Daniel Mills

Prof. Daniel Mills
RCVS

Why are containment fences exempt from the ban?

Once the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) looked at all of the evidence, they were able to conclude that containment fences were indeed different from electronic dog collars. Further, they recognised that containment fences can, in fact, save lives, enabling cats and dogs to roam freely outside, safe from dangerous roads. To make dog fences illegal would have a negative impact on animal welfare.

Why are electric dog fences illegal in Wales if the Government has proved they are safe?

With the current furor, it is expected that the Welsh Assembly will revisit their hasty and poorly researched ruling, to separate containment fences and electronic collars. With the original ban rushed through before the consultation was completed, the large rural population in Wales are up in arms.

There is a widespread call from farmers and dog owners for the review to take place sooner, rather than later. Further support for the Welsh campaign can be found on their Facebook page at: “Save our Welsh cats & dogs from death on the roads”.

Thankfully, through proper consultation, here in England we were able to ensure that the distinction was made between containment fences and electronic dog collars. As a result, containment fences are not illegal in England, now, or in the future, with Wales looking to follow suit soon.

Although, what you will need by law, is a high-quality containment fence that is properly installed by professionals, along with the delivery of full training for the animal and owner. Naturally, we are glad that DEFRA has chosen not to make dog fences illegal but the confusion has been worrying for pet owners across the UK. We can now put a line through the dark cloud that has been hanging over the fence and continue to offer dogs and cats safety and freedom.

At DogFence.co.uk, we are proud to have been installing and training high-quality, modern and safe electric dog fences for over twenty years. For more about how we can help you to keep your dog or cat safe both outside or indoors, call us on:  03450 623 623 or email us on: info@dogfence.co.uk today.

 

Links:

Hidden dog or cat fence

https://www.dogfence.co.uk

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https://www.dogfence.co.uk

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how we can help you to keep your dog or cat safe

https://dogfence.co.uk/customer-service/

electric shock collar

What is an electric shock collar?

So what is an an electric shock collar?electric shock collar

Oh how ghastly an electric shock collar for pets! Firstly, we need to remove the words “electric and shock”. These words are misleading implying a degree of intensity which does not accurately reflect the nature of the stimulus.  Shock is too much of an emotive word. These electric shock collars deliver an aversive stimulus but do not induce a state of shock. The stimulus is lower than the sensation delivered by a tens machine and is similar to the static shock received from a nylon carpet. It is not an electric shock that is delivered.

There are two types of “electric shock collar” – the handheld devices used for dog training and those linked to containment fences. One may well ask what the difference is between a remote trainer collar and a containment fence collar. There are principally 3 differences:

  1. The training levels are lower on a containment fence collar.
  2. With a containment fence the pet is in contro;l with a remote trainer a human is in control.
  3. The containment fence collars are small and lighter.

What are the benefits of a remote training collar?

Some may argue that there are no benefits to using a remote training collar. It is usually from the people who refer to the collars as “electric shock collars”. When used correctly by a qualified trainer these collars can be a life saver for many dogs. Dog’s that have not responded to solely positive training protocols and have behavioral issues can be re-trained with an e-collar. This may well save the dog from being euthanized or shot by a farmer. Respected dog trainer Jamie Penrith of Take the lead Training is a supporter and user of the collars has been instrumental in changing people’s opinions on their use. He has talked openly about the benefits and posted videos to his facebook page and you tube channels to demonstrate these devices.

Frustratingly many of those opposed to training collars have never even used or seen a collar in action. Just as people dogs are not a one size fits all and what works for one dog may not work for another. All dog training involves an element of negative reinforcement you cannot train a dog with a solely reward based training. Many well respected trainers use an advocate the use of these collars.

Big Leash electric shock collar

Remote Trainer Collar

What are the benefits of a containment fence?

Freedom and safety are the key words to use when considering a containment fence.  Again, an electric shock collar is completely inaccurate. The stimulation delivered by the containment fence is 250 times lower than a stock fence. For many cats and dogs they are a life-saver. Each year in the UK there are 300,000 pets killed or injured on the UK’s roads. Many owners have tried all types of traditional fencing and are concerned for their pets safety.

A loose dog can cause an accident or kill livestock; they could even be run over or stolen. Of course, some cats are happy to be kept indoors but other require their freedom. Also, housing cats solely indoors can cause obesity and urological problems. By installing a containment fence the owner can give their cat access to the garden but keep them safe and away from the road. A containment fence is also very flexible and can be used to fence areas that are not suitable for traditional fences at a fraction of the cost.

electric shock collar for containment fence

Containment fence collar

Those against electric shock collars will argue that the collars cause pain, fear and suffering and yet the scientific evidence speaks for it’s self. Owners and users of both remote trainers and containment fences are highly supportive of these products. The research into containment fences carried out by Lincoln University proved there were no adverse welfare affects and bizarrely until Feb 2018 DEFRA maintained that there was no evidence to support a ban for the use of remote trainers collars. In August 2018 the Government announced that they intend to ban remote trainer collars but exempted containment fences. This seems a strange position to take when there have been no new studies. Why the U-turn?

To learn more about our fences call us on:  03450 623 623 or email us on: info@dogfence.co.uk today.