In-ground fence safe with elderly dogs?

hollanMay 10, 2011

Our dogs are 13 years old and large breeds. We have installed a PetSafe in-ground fence but now I am starting to be concerned if it was a good idea. One dog has dementia and the other has heart problems. They have only been "static corrected" a time or two. The one with dementia seems like he can't hear the warning beep, but he definitely jumped back when he was shocked. The one with heart problems just stood there with a weird look on his face until I realized he was being shocked and jerked his leash back. The vet said this was safe but I'm skeptical. We moved from a house with a chain link fence and didn't want to install a new one at their age since we don't plan on getting other dogs. Has anyone had experience with older dogs and these fences?

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If you put invisible fence in the search tool you will see this has been a good topic, covered from lots of angles. I would like to ask why you chose invisible fencing?
I dont recommend it because a friends dogs was traumatized by it - could not get back home after having a pack of dogs come into his territory without getting zapped - he refused to leave the house after that - it messed him up badly.
Invisbile fencing does not protect your dogs...If you are looking for a way to keep them inside your property and they are elderly and not as likely to create issues, how about a cable run and harnesses???
I worry about any animals out in the yards unattended when other animals can gain access.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 6:21PM
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That's a good point. I've never seen a free roaming dog, only the dog catcher making frequent rounds, but I totally forgot about the bear that quickly passed through our yard last year. Thank you for your comment! This won't work, even if they were younger.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 6:39PM
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My biggest problem with invisible fencing is the safety of the dog. It keeps your dog contained - yes. It does NOT keep other predators (mean kids, coyotes) out of your property. Your dog has no escape, while the predator has free range.

A rather prominent radio personality here in Nashville advertises quite a bit for invisible fencing. However, just a few yrs ago, his own dog was attacked by coyotes and injured severely. He STILL advertises this fencing! I am just stunned that he doesn't see the folly in this.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 1:55AM
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One of my dogs seemed to have trained perfectly on the IF. When we approached the fence, he'd retreat, even when the flags were removed. Unfortunately the dog had 2 brain cells and they rarely connected. So when I walked across the street to talk to my neighbors and he tried to follow me, he got shocked. Instead of retreating as he had been trained, he ran ALONG the fence line, getting shocked and yelping the entire way. The stupid dog lost his little mind. My husband rescued him by literally tackling him and dragging him back into the yard, and then into the house.

I would not recommend the IF for a demented dog. It was bad enough for my non-demented but stupid dog. I can't imagine it working for a dog that can't comprehend the training.

Depending on what the heart disease is, I would be cautious about that one. If it is an arhythmia then I'd think a shock may be bad. If it is just a valve disease then I doubt it would matter.

I don't have a problem with predators of any species; I have 3 huskies and 2 rotties- nobody, human or otherwise, would take on my pack.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:58PM
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Meghane, your dog sounds like ours when he was younger - protection/loyalty on overdrive! Glad your husband rescued him. That story is cute and sad at the same time.

We returned the fence today. Sounds like a combination of kennel/inside frou-frou, old pups will be much better in our situation. I am very thankful for the responses that made our decision clear. I'm surprised my vet said this was okay.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 12:01AM
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BTW folks, I should have mentioned I live in a very residential area with NO coyotes. At worst, we get a stray bunny rabbit or opossum now and then. Also my neighbor across the street lets her yorkies stray at will (it drives me nuts to see those dogs in the street -- I've had to stop and HONK several times to get them out of the street -- they were lucky it was me).

I'm convinced that *if* one of my dogs had taken down one of her dogs, if it strayed over an invisible fence-line, it would have created a great stink. But I do think my dogs would do just fine with an Invisible Fence (IF). However, we already have privacy fenced back yard, and our dog door leads out this area, so its a moot point.

I just wanted to clarify that its not that I'm totally anti-IF; I just think *if* there are other safer measures, then you are better safe than sorry. Additionally, I can't guarantee that no one would ever move to our neighborhood that had an aggressive dog who would stray into our area. However, our city's animal control unit is very active. It would not be a stray for long.

I keep waiting to hear my neighbor complain that someone "stole" her yorkies.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:20AM
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Senior dogs (and younger dogs) get lots of benefits (mental and physical) from leash walking. So if you don't want to install a real fence, just walk them! It's healthy for us too. And yes, I have strong negative opinions about invisible fencing. Punishment and fear aren't good ways to train, contain, or care for dogs. Your vet recommended it because he's not a behaviorist. He's a vet.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:43AM
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I have 2 dogs one is 110 lbs the other 8 lbs we use in ground fences for 2 years and its a great succes. In fact its all about the training you give them. After the training they did only one try (they saw a dog) they had the shock but only the first one witch is the weak shock since we use a smart in ground fence. This one(Innoteck 5100)give gradual shock(3 different as they get closer to the wire...

Here is a link that might be useful: in ground fences

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:55PM
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Even tho the OP's situation does not warrant the use of the IF, I, too, would have to add that I had it and found it very useful. It is definitely all about the training - very important to be knowledgeable about that and do it right.
Actually, from what I've been reading lately, coyotes are becoming more and more common in urban areas. I hope that people realize their cats and little dogs are very much at risk. You should never let your little animals out w/o supervision, especially at night. I've lived in the country (altho in a neighborhood) and now in a city and they've been around in both places. The poor things have never been aggressive. Most often, they're seen and not heard, but make no mistake, smaller animals are in danger. My big Irish Wolfhound and I would be sitting on the porch late at night in the country in the summer and a pack would start yipping nearby, and he would NEVER go to investigate - and he was fearless.
Meghane - your story was hilarious.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 9:34PM
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