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Invisible dog fence – can pets out run them?

Can dogs run out of an invisible dog fence?

When looking into purchasing an invisible dog fence one of the most commons concerns is will it work? Can the dog run out of the containment fence? Of course, just a like an ordinary fence if the fence is broken or poorly installed it won’t work. So as with any product, an invisible dog fence needs to be correctly installed but more importantly, both the dog and owner need to know how to use it.

If the fence is correctly fitted and both the pet and owner are trained then a “dog out” will rarely happen. In fact, at DogFence we are so confident we even offer a containment promise on our fully installed dog fences.

So what are the reasons that a dog may outrun a dog fence system?

1. Dead Battery

Unlike other brands of containment fences, our Invisible Dog Fences have a long battery life. However, it is still important to check the battery using the tester every 6 months on our mini collars or 18 months on our larger collars. Consistency is the key to the successful use of an invisible dog fence. If the battery runs out the dog can run out. As a rule, we find that 60% of our troubleshooting is down to a dead battery. Using an invisible dog fence is similar to using your car, it requires fuel to operate and needs topping up and checking once in a while.

2. Loose Collar

As with all brands of containment fence, collar fit is crucial. If the collar is dangling around the dog’s neck like a necklace then it will be completely ineffective! Whilst it is true that once trained 90% of dogs will never receive a collar stimulation again the impulse may need to be activated if the dog is in a high drive moment. If the dog enters the zone and carries onto in the avoidance area with no consequence he or she will quickly learn to challenge the fence. A loose collar = a dog on the lose. We always advise checking the collar fit regularly – your pet may lose or gain weight so checking the collar monthly is extremely important. Our handy troubleshooting guide shows how to test the battery and check the collar fit.

3. Invisible Dog Fence Training – lack of Training

As with anything in life you only get out what you put in! When it comes to containment fencing Training is the keyword. If your pet is not correctly trained to use the fence then it will not work for you or your pet.

DogFence is the only UK Company to offer full onsite training within the package. In 2018 the UK Government announced that they would introduce new legislation to ensure that all dog fences are sold with an installation package. At present, the legislation is still pending. It is hoped that through this legislation there will be a standardized certification program. As a small part of our customer base chose to self-install a DIY Dog Fence we offer full support. Naturally, unlike a total mail order Company, our years in the field mean that we can offer expert guidance and support to those who chose to self-install.

When is come to containment training there are 4 critical elements:

  1. Warning flag & audible only familiarisation
  2. Introduction to correction (impulse)
  3. Distraction Training
  4. Reinforcing Training

Warning Beep Training

All invisible dog fences should be sold with flags – at DogFence we use a min of 20 per 100m. The collar should be set to audible only and the pet should be introduced to the training flags. It is with warming beep that will stop the pet in a red mist or high drive moment.

Introduction to correction

The pet must be on a lead through phases 1 – 3 at all times. This is part of the training where the correct impulse level is determined for each pet. It is important to start on the lowest possible level and look for any signs of recognition/reaction to the impulse. This could be as subtle as a flick of the ear of a small flinch. All good containment fence collars should have flexible training levels.

Distraction Training

Once the pet is avoiding the training flags it will be necessary to create some distractions. These can be getting a game going with the pet, having someone else walk through the flags or bringing another dog to the property. Our DogFence Installers will usually involve the customer as part of the distraction and it’s a great way for the owner to really get involved.

Reinforcing Training

Once the pet fully understands the containment fence it is important that he or she associates it with the property and not the installer. The installer will leave full written instructions on how to carry on and when to allow the dog off the lead (cat training is carried out internally).

Freedom!

Once trained the pet has complete freedom and the owner has peace of mind.

 

4. Faulty equipment – Not all Containment Fences are the same!

Dogs will be dogs and the invisible dog fence collar goes through a lot of wear and tear. Many brands of containment fences are Chinese made and the quality is poor. Our invisible dog fences are high-quality but even these can go wrong. Recognizing that consistency is king DogFence offer a Lifetime Warranty on our professionally installed fences. The warranty covers both the transmitter and the computer collars. And because dogs will be dogs we add in a warranty to cover dog chews on the computer collar as well!

As with a car, it is important to check things are working. Our Installers will show you how to carry out the simple monthly checks using the testing tool. Using the correct battery is extremely important. A good quality containment fence collar should alert when a battery is required. At DogFence we recognize that people are busy so we also offer an automatic battery renewal programme.

Similary boundary wire quality is vitally important. If the boundary wire is too thin it will be very prone to damage. DogFence uses a high-quality heavy-duty boundary wire which is 25 times heavier than most DIY brands supply.  When looking for an invisible dog fence look for the following:

  • Long Battery life containment fence giving cockapoo freedom in the garden
  • Lifetime Warranty on Transmitter & Collars
  • Heavy-duty wire
  • Professional Installation & Training
  • Full after sales service

Escaping dogs will always be a problem as they can cause road accidents, kill or harm livestock or wildlife. Using a containment fence is an excellent way of giving the pet freedom but keeping them safe at home. Not all containment fences are the same and not all containment fence suppliers offer the same level of service. If you would like to receive some professional advice and information call us on 03450 623623.

 

 

dog with lead - no dog fence collar on

How do I take my dog for walk if I use a dog fence?

How do I take my dog for a walk if I use a dog fence?

After you have had your dog fence installation one of the most common questions we get asked at DogFence is “how do I take the dog for a walk?”.

It’s actually really simple. The DogFence installer will have trained your dog or cat to stay within the dog fence boundary.  This is a reverse training protocol and usually takes the dog approx 7 – 10 days to feel fully comfortable with leaving the property.

There are 2 main points to observe:

  • Never allow your dog to cross the boundary unless he has contact with you. This could be with the lead or by carrying him or simply having a hand on his shoulder.
  • Never allow your dog to cross the boundary with his fence collar on – even with the system turned off.

To cross the boundary:

  1. Remove the dog fence collar and put it in a safe place. Do not turn off the fence.
  2. Pop him on his lead and walk him up to the exit.
  3. Ask him to sit or stop him before the boundary line (only for the first week).
  4. Give the command to walk and walk slowly out of the property.
  5. Give him praise when you have crossed the boundary.
  6. Repeat the process when you re-enter the property.

The best way to see how it works is to watch the lovely Lionel demonstrating how it’s done:

When we install a dog fence for you we will run through how to take your dog for a walk after. As with any new training, it may take your dog a few days to adjust to going out for a walk. If you would like to learn more about how we can give your dog freedom in the garden check why not call us today on 01628 476475?

 

dog fence most reliable hidden fence worldwide

So what’s the difference between a freedom fence and a dog fence?

So you’ve done a bit of googling and come across a few options for  keeping your dog at home. An electronic dog fence, freedom fence or a containment fence. So where do you start.

How do you know what the differences are if you don’t know how a freedom fence works?

How does a freedom fence work?

Well, they are all derived from the same principle. A radio transmitter is installed on the owners property and connected to a boundary wire that carries a radio signal. The signal has to start and finish at the transmitter.

The pet wears a radio receiver which is programmed to pick up the radio signal. When the pet enters the signal area (“no go zone”) the receiver collar emits a warning beep, followed by a static impulse (static shock). With some training the pet quickly learns where the no go area is and stays within the boundary.

dog fence training flags

Visible boundary for the pet with flags.

The boundary should always be marked with training flags when the dog is in the training phase to give the dog a visual for the “no go zone”.

What are the differences between Freedom Fences and Dog Fences?

Answer: Technology & Speed

A Freedom Fence is actually a product called PetSafe Professional; it uses a technology which is over 25 years old. All PetSafe systems use a digital AM radio frequency.

Why is an old technology an issue? In simple terms the system will work but it could do better! Dogs can cats are precious to owners and most want to ensure that they are using the latest and safest products available.

Why is an AM fence inferior?

The issue with the AM frequency is it is prone to false activation (house electronics other than the freedom fence system can activate the pet’s collar when they are not in the “no go area”).

This is confusing for the pet as consistency is the key when it comes to electronic pet containment. In order to reduce the chances of a false activation the Freedom Fence collar checks for 2 x signals. Naturally, this slows the reaction time down on the collar.

dog fence is faster than freedom fence - dachshund running

Catch that pigeon!

The Dog Fence system is another name for a DogWatch Hidden Fence. It uses a newer digital FM signal (DAB). The FM signal is more secure and cannot be activated by any other signal.

It goes without saying that this guarantees the safety of the pet.

The dog fence system only checks for one x signal. This makes the collar reaction time quicker – 15 times quicker! So when your dog is chasing a squirrel the dog fence is 15 times quicker at stopping him than the freedom fence system.

What does reaction time mean?

The reaction time is crucial for both the start up and shut down on the collar. For example if your dog was running at 10 mph with the Dog Fence system he would only get 0.125ft into the zone before the collar has activated. Whereas if the dog was wearing a freedom fence collar he could potentially go 7ft into the zone before activation.

Conversely, if the dog makes the right decision and retreats back into the garden the shut down on the collar is virtually instant (less than a second) for the Dog Fence whereas it will be between 2 – 5 seconds for the freedom fence collar.

This is called response hang on time. It is important that the dog is not “corrected” when they are in the safe zone – the safe zone should be safe. This could be the difference between the dog staying in or running out.

Quality & Warranty

Originally the Freedom systems were manufactured in the USA but approx 10 years ago the PetSafe manufacturing was moved to China. The Freedom Fence is supplied with a Limited Lifetime Warranty and does not include the following malfunctions:

  • Lightning strikes/electrical surges – Transmitter not warranted if lightning or power surge damage the transmitter.
  • Dog chews – if the pet chews the receiver this is not covered by the warranty.
  • Accidental damage – if the dog damages the receiver this is not covered by the warranty.
  • Limited life warranty – 3 years.

All the Dog Fence systems are thoroughly tested before leaving the DogWatch HQ in Boston. Each unit is individually tested and receives a unique identification number. This ensures quality and consistency. People of often suprised to learn that the following items are all covered under the Dog Fence warranty;

dog chew on dog fence receiver collar

Covered by Dog Fence Warranty

  • Lightning strikes & surges (surge box supplied as standard) – transmitter is fully covered even with the surge fitted – repair or replacement sent.
  • Dog chews – if the pet chews the receiver this is covered under the warranty – repair or replacement sent.
  • Accidental damage – because dogs will be dogs so we expect our receivers to be tough and durable – repair or replacement sent.
  • Lifetime warranty

Battery Life

The freedom fence collars use 2 x 3.0 volt batteries which last approx 3 – 4 months in the collar.

The Dog Fence system collars offer a choice of 2 x collars.

  • Mini Collar – 1 x 3.0 volt battery every 6 months
  • Standard Collar – 1 x 3.6 volt battery every 18 – 24 months.

Receiver Collar Size and Weight

cat in bird bath wearing dog fence collar

Lazing on a sunny afternoon

If you have a very small dog or a cat then the Dog Fence system cannot be beaten on either weight or size. Our mini receiver collars are the smallest available worldwide and weigh in at only 30g even with the battery fitted. Our standard collar weighs in at only 48g which compares to 54g on the Freedom Fence model.

Boundary Wire

The boundary wire is important with all containment fences as this is the part that conducts the radio signal. The quality of your boundary wire will depend on which PetSafe system you purchase.

As a general rule the Freedom Fence systems are supplied with a 1.5mm wire. The dog fence systems offer 2 grades of wire either 2.5mm as the heavy grade or 4mm as the premium grade wire. As the wire is buried in the ground the heavier the wire the more durable and less likely the cable is to be damaged.

Professional Installation

Both Freedom Fence and Dog Fence offer professional installation, however, there is a difference to the level of service offered by each Company due to the employment status of the staff.

  • Dog Fence staff – all trained and employed by Dog Fence – every installer has fully equipped van inc cable burial trencher and wire detection system. – All staff IACP approved.
  • Dog Fence also have a dedicated cat fence team – www.catfence.co.uk as the training for cats is very different to dogs.
  • Freedom Fence Staff – trained by Freedom fence but working on a sub-contract basis – not full time employment. Only some installers have trenching equipment.

New Technology comes to Dog Fence

From November 2018 Dog Fence will be the first UK Company to offer a two-way communication on a containment system. Our new smart fence will feed information back to a base station via an app. You will be able to monitor your dog’s movements as well as the technical info for the system. Learn more here…. 

Containment fences have been used for over 40 years to keep dogs and cats safe. The owners of DogFence Ltd realized many years ago that there was a requirement for a complete all around service and pioneered the concept of full installation and training for dogs and cats. To learn more about our products and services call us for a quick no obligation quote or fill in our quote form. 03450 623623 https://dogfence.co.uk/quote/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dog wearing an old invisible dog fence collar

Freedom fence, Invisible Fence, What are they?

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 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 wire buried 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. The “shock” deters the pet from traveling farther into a designated zone. In todays’ world 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. Together they conducted 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 estates forbidding traditional fencing. This made it almost impossible to have a large dog. Naturally with the new “invisible fence systems”  quickly 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. The fences 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. These entrepreneurs 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. Thus the market was opened so that 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 other companies to began to appear. This led to the rise in other manufacturers, PetSafe, DogWatch, and Innotek. These Companies have 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. As these are part time representatives they do not all offer the same level of service.

DogFence

DogFence  Ltd 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. DogFence Ltd pioneered bringing the full installation & training service to the UK. Unlike Freedom Fence the installers are all employed by DogFence. This gives consistency in quality of service and equipment standards.

Why is Technology Important?

Arguably most peoples pets are part of their family, they are as important as children or siblings. Naturally one wants to do everything they can to protect them which is why they install a dog fence. As with your car it is important to look at safety features within each product.

The Original Invisible Fence used an AM radio signal. This was mirrored by all manufacturers except DogWatch (DogFence). DogWatch inc were concerned about the high numbers of false activation on the receiver collars with AM. The dog may not be in the zone but the collar was activated because the collar picked up a similar signal. It is for this reason that they decided to explore using an FM signal. After developing and patenting the FM signal it quickly became clear that this was a far superior channel.

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 case of false activation freedom fence and invisible fence systems use a 2nd signal to reduce confusion. Naturally checking for 2 signals slows down the reaction time on the collar.

Why does speed affect the dog fence?

Put simply if your dog is racing towards 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!

freedom fence and dog fence collar reaction times illustrated with 2 dogs running at 10mph

Collar reaction times for DogFence and Freedom Fence. DogFence is 15 times quicker!

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.