Skabenga the Labrador and his favorite Aunty Eddy enjoy a plodge in a dam on the golf course
My beautiful pup in a typical Labrador stance knee deep in the water
Skabenga, as an impressionable pup who never left Aunty Eddy's side, would have learned the bad habit of breaking out of our yard and getting into the street. He'd not have known to come home and wait at the gate like Eddy did; he could've been hit by a passing car or even stolen.
It's with this in mind I'm happy to post about DIY Electric Fencing here below.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of a DIY Electric Fence
Your dog is a member of the family, and keeping your family safe is your first priority. Every year, millions of dogs are lost or stolen from their families, and not enough of those find their way home. To prevent the tragedy of the canine member of your family becoming lost, you need to keep them contained in your yard. This can be a tricky task, because some dogs will do whatever they can to break free and get to the outside world.
There are many different containment options for your yard. Traditional fences, like wood, PVC, or chain link, are common solutions. An invisible dog fence - either underground or wireless - is another alternative. If you’re considering an invisible fence, a DIY electric fence can save you money while still providing reliable and versatile protection for your dog. Here’s a closer look at some of the pros - and cons - of a DIY electric fence.
Once the system is installed and your dog is properly trained on it, an electronic dog fence is a reliable tool. This reliability is one of the best things about an electric dog fence. An underground dog fence is protected from the elements, so it’s unlikely to be damaged in a storm. Electric dog fences rarely experience breaks in the wire, but if they do, it’s an easy problem to fix, and even easier if you installed the fence on your own and understand its mechanics. With a battery backup for your system, you don’t have to worry a power outage either.
Electronic dog fences are also very reliable when it comes to dogs who are skilled or determined escape artists. Terriers, dachshunds, huskies, and other “digger” breeds can easily escape - again and again - from a standard fence. Vizslas, weimaraners, greyhounds, and other hunting dogs are also prone to escaping when their prey drive is stimulated, such as when they see squirrels or rodents on the other side of the fence. A wired dog fence does a great job at containing these types of dogs, because their e-collars will deter and prevent them from crossing the perimeter of the yard.
A DIY electric dog fence is also great for all types of yard, especially those that are difficult to enclose with a traditional fence. A wireless dog fence, for example, can be used almost anywhere despite obstacles that could prevent a traditional fence section from being placed, such as the shape of the yard or topographical features. The wire of an underground dog fence can even be run under water to give your dog a safe area for swimming in a pond or lake. If you want to preserve the scenic view on your property, an electric dog fence is the way to go. If you have acreage or a large property, an electronic dog fence is much less expensive and much more efficient than traditional fence sections.
The best argument for installing your own invisible dog fence is that it will save you a great deal of money. A small budget does not have to mean your dog is less safe and secure in your yard. Getting a professional to install an invisible dog fence or a standard fence will cost thousands of dollars. You will save at least 80 percent by purchasing the dog fence system and installing it yourself. No DIY experience is necessary to install the fence; you just need to be dedicated to completing a weekend project outside in the yard. Surprisingly, electronic dog fences can cost just a couple hundred dollars to purchase and mere cents (in electricity) to run each month.
There is still some stigma attached to the idea of electronic dog fences and e-collars, despite their advocation by many professionals in the dog industry. Most people, however, don’t understand the way an e-collar actually works, and they mistakenly believe that a dog is painfully shocked on a regular basis. In truth, the shock is a mild, static correction, and it is preceded by an annoying warning tone, which gives the dog the opportunity to turn and retreat before being corrected when they approach the boundary. As long as a dog is properly trained, they will not feel the correction outside of the training phase when they learn the system.
Installing your own electric dog fence does require more effort than having a professional install it or a standard fence. However, as mentioned, it’s little more than a few hours on the weekend, especially if your yard is relatively small. As long as your read the instructions thoroughly, you should be able to install the fence with little to no issues. After installation, you must commit to three 15-minute training sessions per day for two weeks, which is a small but incredibly important commitment. If you follow the training protocol exactly, your dog will learn quickly and effectively. Without proper training, your invisible dog fence will be worthless.
The biggest difference between an electric fence and a standard fence is that an electric fence only offers one-way containment. An electronic dog fence will keep your dog inside your yard, but it will not prevent other animals or people from entering your yard, either purposely or accidentally. Depending on your home’s location, this may or may not be a concern for you. However, owners of aggressive dogs should beware of the potential liability should a small child or animal unknowingly enter your dog’s territory. For aggressive dogs, the combination of an electronic dog fence and a standard fence is a safer idea.
Before you decide on a DIY electric fence, be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons. Online reviews of invisible dog fences will also help you choose the correct make and model for you. For example, some systems have limitations on the size of the yard they can enclose. No matter what you decide, the security and safety of your dog should always be forefront in your mind.
If you want to learn more about what goes into installing your own electronic dog fence, you can review the detailed installation and training instructions at Dog Fence DIY - our partners in dog safety and containment education.