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Hello,

Since my yard is only partially fenced, I decided to fence the other half and researched some fencing options. Let's get to the problem.

I have a garden that takes up one-third of my entire yard. The garden's fences are not very secure; they are quite short and very weak. But that's not the problem. The problem is, I dump my family's food waste in there; it provides a lot of nutrients for the garden. And with a weak fence, animals can easily come into the garden to have a feast.

I want to fence my garden, and while a traditional fence is nice, it can be expensive and I would have to tear down the entire garden to install it. There have to be some alternatives.

Invisible fences seem like a great alternative, they seem easier to install and not so expensive...but I'm not sure if it's worth getting one. I've heard dogs becoming traumatized by it...it also won't keep other animals out, but it's not my biggest concern, because I never saw a coyote or fox come onto my property.

Should I install an invisible fence? What are the pros and cons of getting one?
 

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One obvious problem with invisible fences (aside from not keeping animals out) is if a dog is really agitated by something on the other side (such as a squirrel, dog, etc.), they can run right through the shock. This leaves the dog trapped on the outside of the fence, as it is unlikely that they will have the same incentive to come back in.

You also mentioned dumping food waste on the area. This will certainly attract all sorts of unwelcome visitors to further excite your dog.
 

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Maybe you can make a small greenhouse to have your garden in and then fence the rest of your yard. I know some breeders don't accept invisible fencing so I don't know if you should do that. You can also use a traditional fence (I know you stated that it can be expensive but I have one in my house that has been their for years!! If you get a good-quality fence its bound to last you!). Hopefully this helps! :)
 

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We have a goat killer on our property. He digs under the fences, climbs the fences, climbs out of a dog run if it doesn’t have a roof, jumps out of horse stalls. He killed a few before we had to try something new.
We opted for an underground fence with a sustained correction while beyond the boundaries vs a short correction that they can escape by getting on the other side.
The training process was pretty simple. They set up a bunch of white flags as the boundary and as a visual aid for the dog to know where the “fence” was. It took about a week (big property) for him to really know and eventually the flags started disappearing. He still has several acres to play on, just doesn’t ever get in the pasture anymore. He knows where the fence boundary is and stops as he approaches it and turns around.
Not for everyone, but it worked well for this dog
 

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Kristy
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Depending on your situation, it can certainly be a valuable tool but the flip side of not having a fence is that coyotes or stray dogs etc. can easily come onto your property and be a danger to your dog. I personally would not feel comfortable with one where I live, but we have a lot of coyotes.
 

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Growing up, my parents didn't want to put in a fence. So they did the invisible fence thing. My experience is that the invisible fence can be a good thing if you use it correctly, and follow-through with the training process. But everyone in the family should be on board.

This was 30 years ago. I was in my teens. I took the initiative, and followed the training process with our lab puppy. He really responded well to it, and knew exactly where and how to avoid the boundary. In my opinion, it was humane because the collar made a sound warning before the electric shock. The training really was about how to turn the warning off. If the dog ignored the warning, it would produce an electric shock that increased as the dog approached the barrier.

Here's where the story turns bad. My parents (primarily my Mom) didn't prioritize maintaining the training. When the puppy was younger, I was around more and didn't use the electric fence as an excuse to leave the dog unsupervised. I used it to reinforce the area he was in. My Mom could not discipline herself to make sure the dog was always wearing the collar, so the dog stopped getting warnings. Also she ignored the battery indicator, so the puppy (now dog) didn't hear the warnings and started testing boundaries.

Then when she fixed the battery issue, she would leave the collar on the dog when taking the dog on an errand in her car. The result was the dog got shocked in the car. Eventually the dog figured out that it was fun to run around the neighborhood learned how to run through the fence for a momentary shock. So the fence became useless.

When they got a new dog, instead of learning from their mistake they didn't bother training the new dog. They put the collar on the dog, and shove it outside to figure out the invisible fence. The result was that didn't work, and the dog learned to run around the neighborhood.

My early training with the invisible fence really built a bond between me and the puppy. It was training, but it wasn't really work as both the puppy and I looked forward to the sessions. The early work it seems almost taught him how to learn things and take direction from me. Although I love my parents, I am still angry that they weren't willing to put the work into maintaining what I had taught the dog.
 

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I just wouldn't trust it. They can't keep other dangers out, and I'd not want my dog to be afraid of getting shocked! I guess if you know how to properly use it, it could be a useful tool, but not for me.
 

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Sorry if I have got the wrong end of the stick. But if you are putting household food waste outside the invisible fence boundary for growing a compost heap lots of golden will happily take the momentary shock to get at the delicious ‘food’!
Most Golden’s and labradors are insatiable foodies!
 

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I know many people who use invisible fences successfully, but I’ve also heard enough horror stories to never want to use them with my own dogs And to actively discourage anyone who asks my opinion of them. I’m sure you’ve seen some of these articles, but for what its worth:


You can install a relatively secure and inexpensive fence using t-posts and coated wire (like this: Green - Welded Wire Fencing - Fencing - The Home Depot. If this isn’t sturdy or atttactive enough, you still don’t have to break the bank to install solid fencing. This article may give you some other ideas. 30 DIY Cheap Fence Ideas for Your Garden, Privacy, or Perimeter
 

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We live in a semi-rural neighborhood along a river (35 homes, each 1-4 acres) where covenents do not allow fences (but dog runs/kennels attached to the home are allowed). Part of the allure of the area is its many and varied wildlife inhabitants. The environment is kept as natural as possible to encourage such wildlife.

Just about all of the homes have a dog or two. All have invisible fences. Nobody has had a problem with dogs leaving their yards, but owners of very small dogs do worry about skunks, coyotes and bald eagles. As one owner said, if you want to live in city, surrounded by fences, walls, cement, traffic and void of nature, live there.

My experience with an invisible fence has been good. After a month or so of training, as a puppy, our dogs don't challenge the fence. Even when the batteries have died they still stay within the boundaries. As a matter of fact, you could not call or entice them off our property.

But, if I lived in a city, I would want an above ground fence or wall, just to protect the dogs from people (thieves etc.).
 

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And those home owners with gardens or flower plots, design the underground fences so those areas are protected from their dogs and have had an excellent experience with just that. But deer and rabbits do eat some of their veggies.
 

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Kate
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Sorry if I have got the wrong end of the stick. But if you are putting household food waste outside the invisible fence boundary for growing a compost heap lots of golden will happily take the momentary shock to get at the delicious ‘food’!
Most Golden’s and labradors are insatiable foodies!
Same thought.

Composting = very happy scavengers (dogs).
 

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I’ve been on the other side of a neighbor that had an invisible fence. One day all THREE of her dogs decided attacking my dog was worth the shock they received, and there was nothing I could do to keep them away. I was screaming, throwing rocks (and hitting them with them), and kicking the dogs. Didn’t matter. The invisible fence did NOT keep the dogs in, and my dog that was on a leash got attacked and bitten. I absolutely do not trust invisible fences at all. They’re terrible for so many reasons.

The only time I think it’s acceptable is if the dog will never be outside alone and the owner has actually trained their dog proper obedience, not just how the fence works.
 
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