recommendations for underground fencing

NinapearlDecember 24, 2009

i have a guy coming out monday to give me an estimate on this one...

does anybody have any experience with this particular one or with underground fencing, in general?

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Haven't seen that one. In my area, Invisible Fence is popular. DS used them and was very happy with the results, especially since the company helped train the dog(s) and was available for any problems.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 4:14PM
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I think it is a waste of money. Anyone can train a dog to stay on their property, which is what you MUST do with the invisible fence. The other issue I have is that an invisible or underground fence does not propect your dog from maurading dogs. My friends Aussie was trained with an underground fence, it tried to proptect its property from a pack of dogs, it took off barely feeling the shock on its way through the barrier. When the dog tried to get back (without the adrenaline of chasing other dogs) it felt the shocks. It could not get safely back into its property and was found in a state of panic runnign around the neighborhood. After that one incident the dog would NOT GO OUTSIDE at all. The incident cause serious trauma to the dog and the dog still has real behavioral issues as a result. Please consider all of your options before investing in this one. Extra training, daycare, boarding, taking the dog with you, having a neighbor look in on it, there are so many other ways to solve the problem of leaving a dog at home.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 6:23PM
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i live on a 20 acre farm, middle of nowhere. my house is at the far end of a private lane, dead ends here. my b-i-l lives at the other end.

i have 2 female great danes who are NORMALLY extremely well-behaved, gentle giants. he has 2 aussies, one spayed female, one intact male. his spayed female is totally unsocialized, extremely protective of him and over the years, has gradually become a holy terror to other female dogs. she came very close, on several occasions, to killing my female corgi.

now, i realize female-on-female aggression is common but this dog is an extreme example. she has charged at my dogs when we walk anywhere near their place, which is the way i always USED to go when i walked down to get the morning paper or the afternoon mail.

on numerous occasions, she would charge out at us, teeth bared, hackles raised. my 2 girls stayed at my side as i shooed her away. a few days ago, she surprised us, came out of nowhere and my 3 year old girl reacted by charging back at her. adrenaline took over or whatever and my girl chased her until she ducked under their porch steps and hid.

my b-i-l heard the commotion and appeared in his window with a bb gun. as we were walking away, he shot my dog and got her in the tail.

i completely understand that we were at HIS end of the farm and i suppose he had the right to "protect" his dog.

since this happened, he has told me that if my dogs hurt his dog, he will shoot to kill next time and i believe he would, there is no doubt in my mind.

since this incident, i have been working with my dogs on boundary training. even though his place is at least 400 yards away, my dogs are no longer EVER outside unsupervised.

i am terrified that my younger girl will bolt in his direction if she hears the aussie barking, and she barks a LOT. that is why i have been considering underground fence. i talked to a rep today who told me they have great success with this particular one.

regular fencing isn't an option as i have a LOT of area and the cost would be prohibitive. if i don't do something, i will never be able to let my dogs free on my own property, something i have done with them since i have had them (18 months for my senior girl, 4 months for the younger one).

moving isn't an option either. if it was, i'd be out of here in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 10:44PM
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Honey, you need a little sit down with the B-i-l, if it was me, I would have responded to his threats with a few of my own, including, if your dog continues to charge us while we are minding our own business, then I will mace your dog. *which might need to happen, you might want to look into getting some pepper spray.
So here are my questions.... How is the underground fence going to protect your dogs if his dog charges your dogs on your property? What if his dog tries something and your dogs charge, breaking the invisible boundary as my friends dog did, and then get stuck outside the fence? You might want to consider putting up a regular fence in the area of your house you dont need to fence your entire property - thus creating a safe place for the dogs to run and play. Personally I dont think it is a good idea to let dogs run freely without a fence...there are just too many variables. I was raised on a cattle ranch in Colorado, the surrounding mountain ranges were the basic property line, miles away - Our dogs were with us or any number of people working during the day and were at the house at night, they were never unsupervised. Good luck with whatever you choose

    Bookmark   December 24, 2009 at 11:55PM
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mazer, until all of this happened, i had a wonderful relationship with this man. "threatening" him would get me absolutely nowhere and would make my life a hundred times more miserable than it already is.

i own nothing out here except my house (mobile home), my animals and my outbuildings. i moved out here 14 years ago when i got together with this man's brother. gary died 2 years ago. when he knew he was terminally ill, he asked george to "take care of me" when he was gone. george told him i would always have a place to live, i was "family".

george sees absolutely NOTHING wrong with the way his dog acts. she's "protecting" him, he thinks it's cute.

in answer to your questions...his dogs don't come up here. he knew, when i had my corgis, there were problems between the females so he was very good about keeping his dogs at home. they don't wander in this direction.

i am told (although i know this isn't ALWAYS the case) that if my dogs are trained properly to respect the underground fence, bolting through it is "unlikely". i suppose, if i decide to go this route, it is a chance i would take.

i also suppose that i *could* fence off a smaller area for my dogs but the layout of the land and my house in relation to where my horses are would make that very difficult.

i have always been able to simply open the door and let my dogs outside when the urge strikes them. my corgis had a dog door they used. i have windows everywhere and was constantly watching where they were and what they were doing, they always stayed within sight. it was never a problem until now. i am being absolutely anal about making sure my danes stay with me. they are both on 30' nylon ropes when we are outside and i am working with them on "boundary" training although until i have a definite barrier of some kind, i will be a nervous wreck. i have horses to take care of and the dogs are not allowed inside that fence. i am now constantly calling my danes to the fence to pop a treat in their mouth so that hopefully, until i HAVE something more secure, they will not WANT to think about running to the other end of the farm.

i really hate the idea of tying them to a tree or fence post even temporarily but it's something i may have to start doing in order to save my sanity AND my dogs. :(

oh and by the way, if it helps you to understand this situation, i think cesar milan is an idiot. george worships him. *sigh*

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 7:34AM
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I have the Invisible Fence brand and I love it. I have 5 dogs- 3 huskies, a rottie, and a lab. Huskies are a breed prone to run off, and I needed something besides a split rail fence that only partially encloses my property.

I never have the dogs outside when I am not home. I don't have marauding packs of dogs in my neighborhood. I live in the downtown area of a large town, so there isn't any wildlife to worry about except some squirrels. My neighbor's cat knows the IF boundary as well as my dogs so he stays out of harm's way. My dogs have seen other temporarily loose dogs and have stayed in the fence.

Nunyette got out once because she followed me to the curb when I was putting out my yard waste. I took off her collar and brought her back in the yard so she was never shocked on the way in. Tatyana's collar malfunctioned once and she got out. I have no idea how long her collar was malfunctioning or why she decided to leave that morning, but I got her back safely (she was only 2 houses down the street). The IF company replaced her collar the next day for free.

While I did boundary train the dogs, sometimes they do need to be reminded or have the boundary reinforced, which is what the IF is for. There is nothing that prevents my dogs from going up my driveway and into the front yard, but I boundary-trained them to stay in the back yard. The IF goes all around my property, enclosing the front, back, and sides in one huge area. Nunyette only went in the front yard the one time she followed me and got out. She's the rottie and that breed does tend to follow their owner very closely- she's no exception. So it is partially my fault she got out.

Anyway, I really like having the IF especially when it is miserable weather so I can just let the dogs out to potty and not have to go out too, in shifts with leashes, like I used to do. I don't really like fences, especially privacy fences which is what I would need to secure the dogs without the IF. So it works well for my purposes.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 2:38PM
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maghane, good heavens! i used to have siberians. if YOU can keep those dogs inside of an IF, it should certainly work with MY girls! thanks much for your input, it does give me hope!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 3:15PM
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We also live in the middle of nowhere on 60 acres. Our (unspayed) lab has the run of the property but doesn't go far enough where she can't see our house. She has been through two heats and we never saw a stray dog here. We will breed her in the spring and then have her spayed, but if you can let your dog run free, they are happy campers that way!!!

Actually, we also have a in-tact cat and because the other cats are fixed, there are no cats coming into our area. I believe cats are territorial enough not to allow others in. That is, at least, our experience. She is only a year old, so if she gets pregnant, we will have her spayed after she has kittens.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 5:45PM
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Do you have a couple of trees about 50 feet from each other?? Go get yourself a cable and put your danes in harnesses. That way until you can get them trained for your fencing, they can at least romp around less encumbered than if tie to a tree or post. We use the cable system when we are camping. That way the dogs have free range of the campsite but can not go farther. And we use harnesses so there is no chance of strangling.
I hope you find the fencing works for you. Sorry to hear about your troubles. Nothing like having a jerk for a neighbor and a relative....

    Bookmark   December 25, 2009 at 6:47PM
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I hate invisible fencing for one reason only - it will NOT keep other predators out of your yard. That is the ONLY reason I dislike it.

I totally think you can teach your dog to respect the boundaries of an invisible fence - thus I think it is viable only for certain areas or neighborhoods.

In my neighborhood? I think it would totally work, but its not what I have - I have a privacy fenced 1/2 acre back yard (gah my dogs have waaaaaaaaaaaay too good of a life).

Meghane stated "I never have the dogs outside when I am not home. I don't have marauding packs of dogs in my neighborhood. I live in the downtown area of a large town, so there isn't any wildlife to worry about except some squirrels.

A local radio personality here touts invisible fence allllll day long. I could strangle him. He neglects to mention that his OWN DOG (jack russel) was attacked by a cayote last year and mauled to death. He STILL touts this fencing.

If you're in a city without roaming "aggressives", or without roaming wildlife out in the country, then by allllll means, it is awesome. Like I said, in my neighborhood it would actually work great! I got my fencing before invisible was actually invented so why switch right? It woulda been the perfect alternative for me.

Just evaluate though what goes on in your area.

I will also add, my privacy fence prevents children from coming into my yard as well to play with the dogs. In my neighborhood they would. And with my dogs that would be jsut fine. My dogs love kids, but not everyone's dogs do. Just bear that in mind.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 2:50AM
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we have coyotes out here but in 14 years, i have only seen them one time. i hear them a lot but rarely see them. i seriously doubt, if they did come near the house, they'd hang around long with 2 pony-sized dogs out there!

also, in 14 years, i have had only ONE stray dog show up on my property. strays simply are not a problem out here.

i stayed home yesterday, decided i just wasn't in any mood to celebrate anything and really did not want to be in the same room with george. last night, he called me and apologized all over the place and promised he would not shoot my dogs. this is a HUGE breakthrough. for george to apologize for ANYTHING pretty much takes an act of God. he said we will work this out and he will help in any way he can. we'll see.

in looking over my property yesterday, i have decided that one long length of underground fencing, about 500 yards or so, going from my big hay barn, across the alfalfa field and down to the timber will work perfectly and this will be much less expensive than i had originally thought.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 6:56AM
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We have a lot of wild life and I had two Parson Russell Terriers. The invisible fence worked great. It is not a system to give dogs total unsupervised freedom but it sure works great to have your dogs run and play within the fenced area when supervised.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 1:38PM
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We have 2 aussies and an underground fence. We live in a neighborhood which does not allow fencing, but is near a very busy street. Neither of our aussies has ever run through the fence, not for a deer (herds of them in our area) or squirrel or rabbit, or any other distraction. If you know aussies, you know they are very prey driven. We don't have stray dogs ever. Both dogs learned the sound of the beep very quickly. And, we adopted one of our aussies at the age of 4. You do have to watch your battery life, and I still always frequently check on them when they're outside. If your dogs are smart, they know when the beep stops, they can wander.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 8:35PM
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these posts do give me hope. my dane girls are very smart and i really think they would learn quickly. if aussies and huskies can be trained, certainly other breeds can! :)

    Bookmark   December 26, 2009 at 9:36PM
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This is my experience with underground fencing
I have had "The Invisible Fence" for 15 years. I have the old analog system with a lifetime warranty and three collars with a lifetime warranty. Invisible Fence would like for me to upgrade to the digital system but I have refused because I am completely satisfied with my system, so why spend the extra money. They still honor my lifetime warranty. In fact, they replaced one of my collars a couple of months ago.

I have trained four dogs on the system. A Lab that was 4 years old, a Toy Poodle that was a year old, a Jack Russell that was 7 months old, and the most recent, a Husky that is approx a year old. The Lab was the easiest. She was an only dog at the time and was very smart. She lived to be 17 years old and her collar did not have a battery in it the last 3 years of her life because she was deaf. The Toy Poodle was easy also. Training a puppy was different and did require a longer period. Then came the Jack Russell, she was easy too because she just followed the Poodle. But then came the Husky. She is the most stubborn of all. But, we finally did it. However, we did have to have the delay removed from her collar and the "correction" bumped up. Before we did this she would run through the fence and walk back through and just "yelp" a little when she did. I have found it beneficial to leave the flags out for an extended period of time during training. Especially with the Husky since she has had her delay removed. The Lab left the yard one time and stayed in the neighbors yard until I got her. The Poodle and Jack Russell have never left the yard and the Husky has not left since we adjusted her correction.

Time alone - my Poodle, Molly, and my Jack Russell, Butterscotch have a doggie door and are allowed to go in and out as they please even when we are not there. But Sashenka, the Husky, does not. When we are not there during the day she is contained by wearing a harness and being attached to a 100 foot cable. At night they all sleep inside and do not have access to the outside. I know I am going to receive all the responses of why Molly and Butterscotch should not be left out alone. I have neighbors on all four sides that are home during the day and keep an eye open and regularly check on my dogs. We do not have any wild animals or other dogs that are not contained. The neighbors cat came in our yard one time but has not come back since he spent the day in our tree with Butterscotch staring at him.

This has been the best investment I have ever made for my dogs. But, as you can see different breeds do require different training and maintenance. I don't know if Sashenka will ever be left out alone for an extended period of time. When we are home she is allowed total freedom. I check their batteries often. Butterscotch always needs a new one before Molly and Sashenka is still in training and only on her 2nd battery. I do recommend "The Invisible Fence" brand. They have stood behind their product and when I purchased my system they guaranteed containment and offered a lifetime warranty. I am not sure what they offer now. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 11:41AM
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beccap, thanks for taking so much time with your response. i, too, have had siberians in the past and believe me, i can't even imagine the time and effort it took to train your girl!

as for the "dogwatch" system, the only noticeable differences between it and the "invisible fence" brand are that this one goes off of an FM frequency rather than AM and i am told that it is less likely to experience "interference". also, the battery life is longer, 2 years. the whole system, including the collars, has a lifetime warranty, even a "chew" warranty.

it's pretty pricey but i am having to pay extra since they will have to come back in the spring when they can dig to bury the wire. for the time being, it will be staked to the ground and the flags will stay in place. good idea to leave the flags up, i'm thinking they'll stay up indefinitely!

thanks again. :)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 2:12PM
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Hi Nina,
I tried to read all the responses, but they were just too long.
In answer to your original question -- yes, according to my friends, these fences work. There was just one friend of ours, who had the fence, and it didn't work -- they had a jack russell -- who knew? lol.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 12:03AM
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hi trisha,

thanks for your input. yup, long responses for sure but i love it when people take the time to give me their experiences. it has really given me a lot of food for thought and i'm even more determined that this will work for my girls. :) i just wish i had done it sooner!

LMAO! huh? i always thought JRT's were laid back couch potatoes........NOT!!!!!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 6:10AM
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Nina - Good Luck with the training. I am by far no expert but I have trained four very different dogs so if you have any questions, let me know. I am sure you can do it. Just remember it will not happen over night and, as we are finding out, reinforcement may last a long time. Someone made the joke about a Jack Russell being a couch potato, well compared to our Husky our Jack Russell is a couch potato :). Our Husky was a spur of the moment rescue, we literally removed her from her former owner and gave her the $85 adoption fee that she had paid. We did not know we were getting her so we were not prepared to begin the invisible fence training right away. But, I have no regrets. It is a big investment but I consider it a once in a lifetime investment. We can contain up to 10 acres with the system we have. Have fun training and enjoy your dogs!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2009 at 4:52PM
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thanks, beccap. i'm the farthest thing from an expert you'll likely find but i do have determination and i'm just about as bullheaded as the next guy. ;) already, the boundary training i've been doing with my girls is working wonders. they have been VERY good about staying on THIS side of the imaginary line.

the guy called today and said he could come out next week but it is SO bitter cold here and we still have 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground. we agreed to wait a couple of weeks and hopefully, temps will be more agreeable and the snow will be gone. **fingers/toes/eyes crossed** i'm paying an arm and two legs for this system and i want it done right the first time!

i agree, it's a huge monetary investment but the investment in my peace of mine and the safety of my dogs is priceless! :)

i'll give you a shout if i have questions.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2010 at 4:53PM
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How much (roughly) do the invisible fence versions cost to do about 1/2 acre?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 11:52PM
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cardmark, i think that depends a lot on which system you go with. i would think anybody who installs would give you a free estimate. this is something that, unless you are pretty experienced, i wouldn't do myself.

since this thread has been bumped up, i will give an update. my 2 dane girls are 100% reliable on the invisible fence. they will not go near the boundary. there is virtually nothing that will entice them to cross. i have kept their refresher training going by having friends bring dogs out and even dogs they have never met cannot convince them to cross.

this summer i rescued a third great dane, a 4 year old male. bentley was a big time wanderer...if i turned my head for an instant, he was off like a shot. more than once, i had to go retrieve him.

i started him on the underground fence training about a month ago. he did require 2 corrections (on the lowest setting) before the light bulb came on in his head. now, he will follow me down to the hay barn but he will stay well to the inside of the boundary. only one time he got close enough for the "beep" and he immediately turned around, walked 20' back toward the house and sat down to wait for me to catch up.

the peace of mind i have is priceless!!!!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 8:00AM
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Again...Oh Nina! I wished you'd mentioned that to me!

You could have come here and seen for yourself the wonders. i think it's the best thing ever. Yes, other animals can get in, but are usually just chased out. My dogs put ont the brakes waaaayyyyy before they get close. Like 25 feet. You have to come here one day.

Although, I just realized some time has passed since you first posted, so maybe you did mention it. I didn't learn about it until we moved in here in But anyway...we may have the same fence guy!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 2:04AM
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susi! where the heck have you been??? i pm'ed you at the working farm to see when we could get together and never did hear back from you. was it something i said? LOL!

i'd LOVE to come out and see your place, preferably before the snow flies!!

btw, the underground fence has worked perfectly! :D

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 7:28AM
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