Invisible Fences – the Perfect Solution?

Tag: Catnip and Carrots, Dogs, Fence

The volunteers at C&C have recently been coming across dogs leaving the confines of their electric fences. While these containment systems are becoming quite popular, we thought we should let prospective buyers (and current owners) know the hidden dangers.

Invisible-type fences work by utilizing an electronic collar kept around your pet’s neck which reads impulses from underground wires or radiowave units. When your pet gets near the border of your yard, the computer generates a signal causing a small electro shock or stimulation to surprise your pet and scare them away from the boundary, therefore keeping them within the confines of your yard.

There are advantages to this system; i.e. lower cost than traditional fencing, conform to HOA rules, the ability to be run around pools, spas, gardens or off-limits play areas, and even underwater or through rocky, hilly or wooded areas. Any design or type of area can be customized for your pet. There are even systems that can be run indoors to keep your pets off counters, furniture, out of the baby’s room, etc.

Unfortunately, there are disadvantages, too. Your pet will need to be trained for 2-3 weeks to the use and effects of the system: invisible fencing is not an out of the box solution. You will need to check the collar daily to assure it is not too tight or Pressure Necrosis can result. This is not caused by a burn, but by rubbing or sensitivity from the collar that can lead to reddening of the skin or worse, ulceration. Your pets coat may also be prone to matting and the neck area may need to be trimmed or shaved to assure proper contact of the electronic probes. The batteries will need to be checked periodically and the unit cleaned and tested, as well.

Your pet will also need a veterinary exam to insure there is no underlying medical or behavioral issue that could be aggravated by “static stimulation”. There are claims that some dogs have become aggressive from the constant daily shock of the collar. Older dogs may also become desensitized to the collar and simply wander away. We believe that may have happened to “Schatzi” a 14 yr old mixed breed that simply went missing one morning.

Vitally important – these systems do nothing from deterring other dogs, cats, or animals from coming into your yard and attacking, killing or traumatizing your pet. Escaping from fear can easily cause your scared pet to bolt directly into traffic and should your pet cross the border, they may be afraid to come back in anticipation of the shock. Make sure the collar is water proof, too. Another dog we recently came across was sweating profusely and the collar let out continuous electronic-pulsations.

Finally, always make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag and is licensed by the county. Electronic collars don’t always have a hook for ID so ask your fence manufacturer or veterinarian for other alternatives. Invisible fences offer your pet freedom to run and play and may be the right choice for your family but please, at the very least, make sure your pet is microchipped and the registration information is up to date. After all, no solution is perfect and knowledge is paramount.

Should your pet become lost or if you find a stray animal. First, call the Monroe Police Dept at 539-9234. Next, call the Butler County Dog Warden at 785-1300. Finally, call C&C at 360-0275, We often know of lost or found pets and we may be able to help. We also help distribute flyers, connect with other animal welfare groups or shelters, scan pets for microchips, perform physical searches, etc. More information and helpful tips can be found on our website at

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