Re: Invisible fence - will it be traumatic and cruel???
posted at 8/4/2010 12:09 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Invisible fence - will it be traumatic and cruel???
[QUOTE]I know lukes isn't being argumentative for argument's sake, and I appreciate her concern. Her idealogical distaste for the fence is her right, it just isn't that helpful in making my decision because it's not based on her experience. I'd never leave Gracie alone. If I were going to leave the house I'd put her in her dog shed that has a crate and doggie door to a chain link kennel so she can stretch and go to the bathroom in a protected environment. ...when it's finished. In the meantime, she has to go in her crate inside while I'm gone. She's quite comfortable in there...I've spied on her. :) The fence would be just for when I'm home and only during the day. I just don't want to tie her up when I'm home because, yes, wild animals can and do go through our back yard. Mostly at night, though. Thanks, again, everyone. I'm still not quite sure what we're gonna do...
Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]
I think a lot of it depends on the quality of the collar and the sensitivity of the dog. If I had a dog that was afraid of it's own shadow, then I wouldn't use it. But for the average non-terrier, the invisible fence should be OK. I think the invisible fence would be more effective if used with a younger dog. The bad experience of trying to go through the fence may be more easily imprinted on a young with the dog eventually unable to remember why it shouldn't leave the yard, just that it shouldn't.
You could always teach the dog that it is OK to leave the yard when it is on leash by first walking past the invisible fence with the fence turned off and the dog on leash. Turn the fence on, remove the leash and allow the dog to learn it can't go past the invisible fence without a leash. I think it will be important to walk the dog on leash past the boundary first.
I know you have a lab, but I would never trust an invisible fence on a terrier or a hound. The prey instinct is too strong in those dogs. They'd be more likely to put up with the jolt to go after a squirrel of follow the scent of a raccon.
I have ecollars for my dogs, although not for invisible fences. Different collars are better than others for a couple of different reasons. Collars with variable settings are the best. I think collars that use regular batteries tend to give off a more consistent jolt than collars with rechargeable batteries. When I use a rechargeable collar, I always test it on my hand before putting it on the dog. Sometimes a level 2 is perfect, but other times level 2 is real weak. I haven't been able to figure the cause of the variation, but I always test the rechargeable collars on my hand.
If you get a collar with a rechargeable battery, make sure that you can replace the battery. Rechargeable batteries will eventually go bad. If you can't replace the battery, you'll have to toss the collar and get a brand new one - and they are not cheap. If you get a rechargeable collar, you might want to consider getting 2 collars, allowing you to have one on the charger at all times.
And as far as cruelty goes, my dog gets very excited when he sees me grab the ecollar because he knows that it means a walk - I have a terrier with a very strong prey instinct. When he sees a squirrel, he goes ballistic. And if I'm not careful, he'll bolt after a squirrel potentiall pulling the leash out of my hand. I use the ecollar to teach him that trying to go after squirrels when he is on leash, is not acceptable. It's been an effective training method. I had tried one of those Gentle Leads - it's a collar that loops over his nose so that when he pulls, it pulls his head down. Whenever he saw me grab it, he would run from me. But when he sees the ecollar, he gets excited. When I start to put the ecollar on him, he stands with his neck extended to make it easier for me. The point being, he is not afraid of the e-collar.
I would talk to my trainer about the best way to introduce the collar. The last thing you want to do is make your dog afraid to go outside and a good trainer should be able to tell you the best approach to use.
Gun Dog Supply is good online source for e-collars. They have a wide range of products and are honest (IMHO) in their assessments. They have a wider range of options than Petco or PetSmart.