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Electric Fencing

So you're concerned that Spot will wander onto your neighbor's property, or worse – the street - and would rather he stayed within ear's reach. One of the most ingenious developments in the home improvement world has been the electric fence.

Electronic fencing consists of an electric wire that runs along the perimeter of your property. Though present, you are not able to see anything resembling a fence. A special dog collar picks up on the current when your dog gets too close to the perimeter. If the dog approaches the fence, a tiny, almost inaudible, warning tone sounds - strong enough to prevent your pet from going any further. If he continues on, your dog will receive a small shock. As Pavlov once proved, your dog will learn through association very quickly, keeping Spot safe in the yard.

In Training
The process by which your dogs learns to stay in your yard can take a few weeks. For the first few days, the prong collar is placed on your dog but with tape on one of the prongs. This allows your dog to hear a warning tone without getting a corrective shock. For each phase of the first weeks training, your dog remains on a long leash that will jerk him back into the safer areas of your yard where you will be waiting to give him praise.

After a few days, once your dog has become familiar with the warning tone, it's time to remove the tape from the prong so that your dog will receive a corrective shock when he wanders too close to the fence. When he high-tails it back into the safe zone, be sure to praise him and play with him for a bit.

After your dog has begun to understand that wandering too far causes an unpleasant, mild shock, it's time to add some distractions beyond the fence. As usual, reward your dog with praise and play every time she ignores these diversions. Ideally, this training should take about a week to complete.

During the second week, your dog will be allowed off the long leash while you stand dutifully by to supervise his backyard fun. The purpose of training this week is for your dog to understand that his corrections are caused by his wandering, not by the leash. By the end of the week, your dog should know his boundaries.

Benefits of the Fence
With electronic fences for dogs, you are not forced to erect a style of fencing that, while effective for keeping pets at home, may not complement your landscape design very well.

And because you are not erecting anything, per se, with electronic fences, you don't have to worry about the zoning laws or inspection codes that go along with erecting physical fencing.

Hammer Thinking about an electric fence? Why not ask another dog owner who has one in our forum on fences.