Popular options for pet fencing

Common fencing options for backyards often double as usable pet fences. A standard treated wooden fence or chain link, for example, can provide basic protection, but there are several caveats.

If your dog likes to chew or dig, it's possible for them to break through or go under a wooden fence, and potentially hurt themselves if they swallow splinters. Chain link is more resistant to chewing, but most chain fences are low enough that larger dogs can climb or jump over.

Pet-specific mesh fencing is also an option. Many companies offer install kits which include the mesh itself, along with stakes, ties and posts. These fences use a square-pattern mesh which is difficult to chew through, and different types are rating according to how much punishment they will endure.

Mesh is an excellent way to keep pets in, and keep other wildlife out, but you'll need to be diligent and install enough posts that neither your pet - nor a friendly deer - can push their way through the fence.

Why choose an electronic pet fence?

Another choice for pet owners is an electronic fence. This is a good option if you want to establish a perimeter in your front yard, but don't want to do an above-ground installation.

In-ground fence systems are one possibility. These use a set of cables buried around the perimeter of your yard, along with a power box, receiver collar, and set of flags to mark the location of your fence for reference or training. They can be used with dogs or cats, and often include several levels of correction if your pet passes the barrier.

Wireless systems are also available. These do not require wires to be buried, but instead use transmitters plugged into an electrical outlets to create a circular perimeter. This makes them portable, and allows you to set up multiple fences as needed.

All pets on the system only need to wear a rechargeable transmitter collar, and just like their wired counterparts, provide only stimulation, not pain, if your pet crosses the boundary.

Tips to maintain pet fencing

If you're using a wooden fence, make sure it's free of deep cracks and splinters, and don't leave too large a space between the bottom board and the ground - even large dogs can wiggle through small gaps after a little digging.

For electronic fences, meanwhile, it's essential that you train your animals in what to expect before letting them loose in the yard. Start by taking them across the boundary a few times to see their reaction, and lead them back into the "safe zone" to demonstrate how the collar works.

With a few hours worth of work, your pet should get familiar enough with the concept that they don't try to cross the barrier, and should begin to get comfortable in their new space.

How to install a pet fence

Wireless systems are simple to set up and monitor, and a mesh fence can often be installed over the course of a weekend.

If you have a large backyard, however, or a particularly active dog, you may want to consider hiring a professional to make sure the posts are properly sunk and stable, and that no sections of your fence are loose.

Underground systems should be installed by a professional. While the wires do not have to be buried deep, many utilities run underground, and it's important that the trenches dug to accommodate the wires are of a uniform depth.

Professional installers can customize your fence shape and size, and make sure the wires are buried in such a way that your pet doesn't go digging for them.

Servicing is also an issue -- if the system begins to malfunction, it's often more cost-effective to have a contractor on call who can come out and assess the problem, rather than trying to pull up the buried lines yourself.

The right pet fence can keep your dog or cat safe from harm, while still allowing them a measure of freedom to roam. Which type you choose depends on your preference for yard appearance, cost, and how your pet is prevented from crossing the boundary.

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Comments

Nicole

Subject: Terrible and inhumane

It's called getting a regular fence. What is the new for the electric fences? This should honestly be illegal and I find it absolutely disgusting.

Companies like this should go out of business.

David B

Subject: Burried Pet Stop Fence

My wife and I have had the Pet Stop Fence for 14 years and it has worked wonderfully for our dogs. We have raised Dalmatians and Standard Poodles in a 1 1/2 acre buried invisible fence yard. The first week of training the dogs the humans are always more stressed than the dogs. Dogs learn quickly. They love to run and run but never cross that buried fence line. They stay about 5'-10' away and when on a leash they will sit down and refuse to cross that buried line with or without their shock collar. They will hop in the truck or car to ride across.
Either poor installation, poor training, poor owner habits, poor operation of system or some unusual coaxing by an individual/animal would a well trained dog ever cross the line.
As far as being cruel, many dog owner chain up animals or put them in small cages 20 hours a day and think nothing of it. Wooden or chain link fences are fine but can be very expensive for big yards and a lot of maintenance when mowing. We raised Beagles years ago when our children were young and they would dig under the fence about every week to play with other dogs. Several of our larger dogs would jump over a 4 foot fence. Our Standard Poodles could do that now.
Also we have had neighbors that had fences that never trimmed the grass out of their fence and that lowered property values and was always a problem. The fences always collected the grocery store plastic bags and the neighborhood garbage that blew.
There is nothing better than a loving well trained dog.

Grace

Subject: Electronic Fence

Electronic fence is cruel and ineffective. It's cruel because clearly we won't do that to ourselves or children so why pets that we supposedly love? It's ineffective because my hair stylist had lost two of her dogs with it and I've also seen other dog wander into the street despite of it. Vinyl fencing is the best because it also protect your pets from bb guns too. Pets are shot by these more often than people realize.

Tamara Lee

Subject: Pets

Either the pets weren't trained right or it was installed wrong. Or it was a cheap fly by night installer. When installed correctly by professional and trained right, the system works wonderfully. I have had one for 15 year's and no problems.

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Pet Fencing
Wireless fences work in most cases, but even a trained pet can overcome its fear of the small electric charge form these invisible fences.
 
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