Keeping your dog in your yard can be a pain no matter what kind of fencing you use, so if you want to use an invisible fence to keep Spot from getting into trouble, you’ll want to understand how exactly the system works. And of course, the answer to the question “do they really work” is “yes”.
The good thing is that most of these systems, no matter who sells them, are basically the same product with maybe a few extra features here and there.
How the components of these systems work is pretty basic. Let’s take a look at what parts make up an electronic dog fence.
The collars are different depending on the system that you buy, but serve the same basic functionality. They almost always require batteries. Some collars are capable of only delivering an electric shock correction to your dog, while others can deliver warning sounds or simple vibrations. What type of correction you have available depends on what the system you choose supports. Collars from one system will not be compatible with any other.
When installing your system, you want to use a heavy gauge wire where possible. Fortunately, there are wires that are universally compatible with all invisible dog fence systems. The best wire to use is about 14 gauge and the jacket is made of polyethylene material instead of PVC. Polyethylene is waterproof and can withstand a much wider range of temperatures than PVC.
Waterproof splices are used when you need to repair a broken section of wire in your fence, whether it’s due to corrosion or the wire is simply broken. Nobody wants to have to replace all of the wire in the system due to a break in one location!
If you don’t want to do any digging to install your fencing wire, lawn staples can be used to hold the wire in place exactly where you want it. This makes installing your fence simple and involves a lot less back breaking labor.
The transmitter will be different for any given system and you’ll often have transmitters that cover different amounts of distance. They can also sometimes have different options for the type of correction that they support.
Boundary flags are pretty standard and serve only to show the boundary of the system. You can use these or not; it’s up to you because they don’t serve any function within the system itself. They’re solely a visual aid for your convenience.
How It All Works Together
When a dog approaches the boundary where the wire has been placed, it may give a warning vibration, tone, or shock to deter the dog from crossing the boundary. Because the signal is transmitted through the wiring of the system, you can use the system with as many dogs as you have compatible collars for. This also means that if one dog is on one side of the yard and another dog is on the other side of the yard, the system will correct either one for attempting to cross the boundary, even if they do it at the same time.
If you want to block off certain areas of your yard, such as a garden or a pool area, this is simple to do. Surround the desired area that you want to block off with the fencing wire and make sure that the whole area is connected back to the main loop with a section of twisted wire. In this case, your yard would be your primary enclosure, while something like your pool would be a secondary enclosure.
The secondary enclosure is still connected to the main system with the twisted wire that cancels the signal out so that while your dog can cross the section of wire that is twisted, they cannot cross the single strands of wire that enclose the desired area (again, such as a pool or garden). Without this twisted section of wire, you can’t have a secondary closed off area within your main closed off area (your yard).
Electronic dog fences aren’t that complicated to set up and they do their job fairly well, especially if you don’t want to deal with the eye sore of having physical barriers around your property to keep your dogs where they should be. They’re far from the greatest dog fencing system you can get, though. You can see that over here.