A Guide to Wireless Pet Containment

Wireless pet containment systems-sometimes called invisible fence or underground fence-are a safe and economical way to keep your dog confined within your property. A boundary wire is buried around the perimeter of your property; your dog wears an electronic collar that issues a mild shock or "correction" when she comes too close to the perimeter.

Advantages of Wireless Pet Containment Systems

  • Cost: Compared to a traditional wood or metal fence, the cost to install an invisible fence is very low. Maintenance is minimal or non-existent.
  • Installation: Boundary wire is laid in a trench, typically one to six inches deep. The wire can be laid above ground, but the wire will be left exposed to the elements, rodents and falling debris, making it more vulnerable to a break. A trencher or "ditch witch" can be rented to do the digging. For smaller areas, a spade can be used.
  • Effectiveness: Most dogs learn to respect the boundary within two to three weeks. With proper dog training, most dogs can be considered reliably contained by a wireless pet containment system.
  • Preserves View: A wireless system is completely invisible. Views are preserved and the continuity of the neighborhood remains.
  • Configurable: Boundary wire can be configured to create "no go" zones in your yard. Ponds, gardens and specialty areas like home putting greens can be made off-limits to your dog.

Disadvantages of Wireless Pet Containment Systems

  • Violating The Fence: Certain breeds are not as easily trained to the fence as others. Dogs with strong prey drives, sight hounds like greyhounds or dogs with very dense coats may violate the fence. Many systems have increasing levels of "correction". If your dog repeatedly runs through the fence, you may need to increase the power.
  • Damage: When a wire breaks, the in-house control panel will alert you, but finding the break can take time. Using a break finding device available from your fence dealer, you will need to walk the line, listening to the tones created by the device. The wire is exposed, repaired and reburied.
  • Installation Problems: Proper installation is a must. If the wire will be running under a driveway, be sure it is protected by a conduit. Any unburied wire is vulnerable; if a break occurs, that's the first place to check.

Tips for Containment Systems

  • Check batteries every six months.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing the collar and that the collar is snug.
  • Keep fence perimeters a safe distance from her dog house.

Warnings for Proper Use

  • Wait until your puppy is at least three months old before training to the invisible fence. She should be able to walk on a leash and understand basic commands like sit, stay and come.
  • Do not leave your dog unattended, no matter how well trained.