your dog in the yard or “restricted area” is not only a good
idea; in many instances it’s the law. There are a number of reasons
to restrict the movements of your dog. These include safety from vehicle
and/or pedestrian traffic, minimizing safety issues associated with roaming
dogs, avoidance of possible conflicts with neighbors who may not want to
deal with your dog, and problems associated with trespassing on others property.
There are a variety of fencing options and each situation has different
requirements that help determine how best to contain your dog. One very
popular, but somewhat controversial option is the use of electric fences.
Electric fences when used properly, essentially train your dog to stay
in the yard. A responder on the dog’s collar gives a warning noise
to let him know when he is too close to the fence line and gives a static
shock when he contacts that line. Some don't like the idea of shocking
their pet as a means of correcting behavior. Knowing your dog is important
before choosing an electric fence. Usually the shock is an effective stimulus
causing the pet to quickly learn what to avoid. Sensitive pets, however,
may find it too harsh.
Conversely, some dogs ignore the shock. Large athletic dogs at times ignore
the collar altogether. Also, this may occur if a dog is more concerned
with breaking free or chasing another animal than with the sensation the
collar gives. This is of particular concern with dogs that normally obey
the training and the property boundary thus making escape unexpected. Another
concern is that pets with these collars may not be protected from outside
intruders. People or other animals have no problem breaking this barrier,
which can leave your pet exposed. As such, it is a good idea for outdoor
animals to have a safe area to go to. If wild animals or other people pose
a threat to your pet, an electric fence probably isn't the best choice.
Also, consideration should be given to people entering your yard, and how
your dog will react to them. Will a friendly neighbor be safe when coming
to visit? One of the most effective uses of electric fences is keeping
pets away from forbidden areas such as gardens or pools. If one chooses
an electric fence it is a good idea to supervise its use.
Physical or built fences may provide a more secure area, however, they
can be costly if there is a large area to enclose. Problems that may be
encountered with these fences include dogs able to jump over or dig under
to escape. With a good fence and training, however, most dogs will be both
well contained and protected. Choosing a type of fence is another variable.
The sturdiness, appearance, and price will likely all play a roll in the
choice, but there is a range from chain link, to picket, to plastic or
fabric fences. A common alternative to fencing in a yard is creating a
dog run. This provides a long narrow area for a dog to stay contained yet
still exercise resulting in a more affordable and often more convenient