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Wood fence, Electric Dog Fence, or both?

Electric Dog Fence plus a wood or chain link fence?

You have a wooden, vinyl or chain link fence in your yard and your dog finds a way over, digs under or escapes through an unsecured gate. Can the Electric Dog Fence be used with a physical fence and  keep a dog from escaping?


“I have a wooden fence in my backyard. Can I just have the electric dog fence installed in the front of the house?” is a question we hear  frequently.

Many pet owners install a traditional wooden fence in their yard, both to make their property look nice and to contain their canine companion … only to find that their dog is resourceful and is able to maneuver around this physical boundary and escape either through or under the wooden fence or out an unlocked, or unsecured gate. While you may want to install an EDF in your front yard only, the system works best when you fully surround your property, for a couple reasons.

Price- First, it typically doesn’t cost anything extra to do front and back yards. (Really)

The Electric Dog Fence will form a backup for your traditional fence in that part of the yard. Installing the electric dog fence (EDF) in conjunction with its wooden counterpart will ensure your pet does not even consider trying to sneak out of the back yard through that loose slat, unsecured gate or gap between the fence and ground!

In the rest of the yard  your dog will learn (and with proper and complete training) where the perimeter of the yard is and stay inside that area.

There is also another reason why we encircle your house with the Electric Dog Fence; functionality. In order to keep your pet safe, the Electric Dog Fence needs to make a full circuit in order to work correctly and effectively. (Think of a single wire connected to itself – this is a “full circuit.”) The best way to form a full circuit is to encompass the yard with the house inside the ‘circut’.

More of a visual person? See the most common yard configurations for the Electric Dog Fence HERE

Electric Dog Fence: Can the safe area include a pond?

Electric Dog Fence and Pond

Using an Electric Dog Fence in yard with a pond

Mary & Frank from Connecticut have a pond on their property and they like to let their dog go swimming occasionally. Mary, like many of our customers wondered if an Electric Dog Fence can include part of a lake or pond so that the dog can go into the pond without having to remove the containment collar first.

The simple answer is yes the containment area can include a ‘wet’ location such as a pond

The real life answer really requires you ask your self how you plan to utilize the system and if you want your dog to have access to the pond/lake without you being around.

You have two choices on how to configure your electric dog fence system when there is a body of water in or abutting the yard.

The first option is to place the boundary wire in the lake or pond in order to provide the animal with direct access to the water. This will allow the dog to enter the water on his own without having to remove the containment collar. In reality it seem like a good idea- give the dog access to romp, play & fetch without having to change anything in his routine.However… in many years of experience we have found that allowing the dog direct access to the water often results in a muddy pet and a messy house. This may seem like a non issue to some folks. Why not just give a dog that loves water access to it? Well…if your dog goes from outside to inside the house you’ll find you have to frequently clean and dry him before he comes into the house a a wet mess. Do you live in an area that freezes in the winter? Be careful, very, very careful. If water freezes where you live your dog will likely encounter times of the year where the water  doesn’t freeze completely putting his safety at risk by falling through the ice. Is his safety worth this?

The second (and more common option) is to keep the containment boundary  area away from the body of water. This gives you control over when he is allowed access to the body of water. You make that choice, not him. A month or so after containment training is complete  you can remove his collar and walk them to the water on a leash. This is the most common way of keeping pets safe and happy.

By structuring the containment area this way, you’re able to make the call as to when and for how long their pet has access to the water. This results in a happy, safe dog and a happy owner with less muddy paws in the house.

Hidden Dog Fence or shock collar?

Remote CollarWhat is the difference between a handheld remote shock collar and an electric or ‘Hidden’ type dog fence? Consistency. The difference is mostly a matter of consistency, which in the training of any dog is extremely important. Electric Dog Fences provide a much more consistent and therefore a much more fair experience for the dog in training. The use of a hand held remote can only be successful if the human operating it is with the animal 24/7.  From a behavioral point of view, there are just too many variables at play for the handheld remote to be effective. If a human is there, they must always be watching out for the dog in order to ensure that the animal receives a correction every time they cross the boundary area. The operator of the remote must also ensure that he or she is consistent in assessing where the boundary is. This is understandably difficult, even for the most expert trainer.

The electric dog fence (EDF) provides your dog with a clear and consistent message, making training much more effective. With proper and complete electric dog fence training, the dog is easily able to attribute the flag boundary in your yard with the shock he or she receives when they pass it. This means your dog will begin to see the edge of your yard as the “edge of the cliff”. There are no variables. The collar will always give your dog a correction when they reach the boundary, and the boundary is always in the same place. This gives your dog many opportunities to learn where the boundary is and eventually he or she will know that their yard is a safe place to run and play, but the edge is somewhere they should not go regardless of whether their owner is watching them or not.