Invisible dog fences have been around for quite some time now, but with the inception of reliable wireless dog fences, they have become easier than ever to install. Whereas a traditional in-ground dog fence is fairly labor-intensive to install with all of the digging required to bury the wire, wireless dog fences can be set up in a matter of minutes.
Sure, they have some limitations – but what product doesn’t? Like many dog owners, you’ll probably find that the limitations are far outweighed by the benefits that they bring to the table. Let’s start by taking a closer look at the technology.
How They Work
What you’re likely to find when you unbox a wireless dog containment system is a base station, at least one wireless collar, and some training flags. The brains of the operation reside within the base station.
The base station is supplied with power either from a standard wall outlet or with batteries. It then emits a wireless signal to define a circular boundary – the base station serves as a center point. Most models allow you to define the radius of the boundary so that the circle can be made larger or smaller depending on your needs.
The second essential component to the wireless containment system is the collar. Many of the systems available today are at least water-resistant, and in the best cases, they can be completely waterproof. This is great if your dog likes to go swimming from time to time. Almost all of them operate on RFA-67 batteries which are not as common as your standard AA but are still readily available on the internet or even in local stores.
Your dog wears the collar so that it can be signaled when it approaches the boundary. Usually, these systems are designed to warn your dog when they are getting near the boundary with an audible signal or a gentle vibration. If your dog continues to cross the boundary, the collar delivers a mild static shock to let them know. The intensity of the shock can be changed to best train your dog, so you’re not over- or under-doing it. Many dog owners are concerned that the shock can hurt your dog, and while these concerns are founded the risks can be completely averted with proper training and use – that’s where the training flags come in.
When you first receive your wireless containment system, you’ll want to install barrier flags along the border so that your dog has an additional visual aid as to where they can or cannot go. Over time, they’ll get used to their new environment, and you can begin to remove the flags. Dogs usually become acquainted after a couple of weeks with the system.
Are They Better Than In-Ground Systems?
As with seemingly all answers on the internet, it depends. Let’s start by addressing the two major shortcomings of wireless dog fences.
First and foremost, while they are incredibly easy to set up you are limited to a circular boundary cantered around the base station when using a wireless dog containment system. The same is not true with an in-ground dog fence. The boundary can be defined essentially in any pattern you would like, as long as your back doesn’t give out digging the path for it. Despite the extra labour required, there are indeed some excellent products out there if boundary shape customization is one of your top priorities. Check out this article from The Pampered Pup if an in-ground fence seems more up your alley.
The other potentially major shortcoming of wireless systems is that wireless signals themselves are susceptible to interference. This means that depending on your situation, there may be circumstances under which your wireless dog fence system may fail, allowing your dog to get through. This tends to happen most in drastically uneven terrain, or places where there are other strong electric signals present. In-ground electric fences are, not surprisingly, less affected by such scenarios.
That said, there are definitely huge benefits to wireless dog fence systems that make them worth considering. They are even so moderately priced that you could have both if your situation demands it. Compared to a physical fence, they are a no brainer in terms of price.