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

Why Dog Fences Are Exempt from the UK Ban?

Why Dog Fences Are Exempt from the UK electric collar ban Ensuring Safe and Happy Pups!

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to whether dog fences are banned in the UK. There is no UK ban on the use or ownership of invisible dog fences. This blog should hopefully help with any confusion over why dog fences are exempt from the UK Electric Collar Ban.

Background into the “Electric Collar Ban”

In the United Kingdom, there has been a growing concern about the safety and welfare of pets, particularly dogs. In response to this concern, the government introduced a ban on certain dog training tools and equipment. However, amidst this prohibition, one item remains exempt – dog fences. In this blog, we will explore why dog fences are exempt from the UK ban and the importance of using them responsibly to ensure the well-being of our furry companions.

Understanding the UK Ban

The UK government’s ban, introduced in 2018 under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations, targeted a range of training aids, including electronic collars, prong collars, and spray collars. The primary objective of this ban was to prevent the potential misuse and abuse of such tools, which could cause harm or distress to dogs.

In August 2018 the Government announced: “We received 7334 responses to this consultation. We’ve analysed the responses and decided to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to ban the use of hand-held remote controlled e-collar devices. We do not intend to ban the use of invisible fencing containment systems”. 

The Exemption of Dog Fences

Amidst the controversy surrounding the ban, dog fences, often referred to as “invisible” or “electric” fences, were conspicuously absent from the list of prohibited items. This exclusion is rooted in the belief that when used responsibly and with the welfare of the dog in mind, these fences can be effective tools for keeping dogs safe and providing them with the freedom to roam within defined boundaries.

springer spaniel running with dog fence flags in background

Springer springing

Why Dog Fences Are Exempt

  1. Safety First: Unlike some of the banned training tools, electric dog fences are designed with safety as a top priority. They use mild static corrections or audible warnings to deter dogs from crossing the set boundaries, without causing physical harm or pain. When compared to other training aids, such as shock collars, these fences are generally considered less invasive.
  2. Freedom with Boundaries: Dog owners appreciate the freedom that electric fences provide to their pets. They can explore their designated area while avoiding potential hazards like busy roads or unfriendly wildlife. This increased freedom contributes positively to a dog’s physical and mental well-being.
  3. Responsible Use: The exemption of dog fences underscores the importance of responsible use. Dog owners are encouraged to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturers and seek professional guidance on their installation and usage. When used appropriately, electric fences can offer a safe and humane solution for managing a dog’s outdoor activities.
  4. Encourages Responsible Pet Ownership: Electric fences promote responsible pet ownership by allowing dogs to enjoy the outdoors while ensuring they stay within a controlled area. This can be especially beneficial for working individuals or those with busy schedules, as it allows their dogs to get exercise and fresh air even when they can’t be present.


The exemption of dog fences from the UK electric collar ban on certain dog training tools reflects the government’s understanding of the importance of responsible pet ownership. When used properly and with the dog’s welfare in mind, electric fences can provide dogs with the freedom to roam safely within their boundaries. However, it is crucial for dog owners to be educated about the correct usage and installation of these fences, as well as to seek professional advice if necessary.

Ultimately, the exemption of dog fences encourages responsible ownership, ensuring that our furry friends can enjoy the outdoors while staying safe and secure. It is a reminder that, as pet owners, our primary responsibility is to provide for the well-being of our beloved companions.