Invisible dog fences are a hot topic. Some believe that it is an efficient way of preventing a dog from wandering off, a good alternative to a physical fence. A good number heartily disagree and consider invisible fences inhumane.
Iris Ulbrich, a behavior consultant and trainer with Tully’s Training in Los Angeles also advises against the use of invisible fences:
Usually the dog wears a collar that initially gives a warning beep when closing in on the boundary line, leading to a shock if crossing the invisible line to reinforce staying within the parameter… The advantages do not seem to outweigh the disadvantages of using electric fencing and I consider them to be inhumane,”
The Negative Effects of Invisible Fences
It is difficult to gauge the exact physical impact that the electric shocks have, as dogs differ in size, demeanor, and weight. However, the dog may learn to associate the shock with what he is focusing on, rather than the fence itself. This means that he may develop a fear for your neighbor, for example.
In time the invisible fence may cease to be effective. A strong dog may learn to disregard the shock and still get away.
The Recommended Solutions
A good alternative is to train your dog. This is what Ulbrich suggests:
“As an alternative to the use of an electric fence I recommend working on a very strong recall as well as impulse control with your dog and focus on a solid duration stay,’’
In addition, a GPS collar will enable you to keep track of your dog. A microchip and dog collar with an ID tack is also invaluable.