Articles & Advice

Electric Fence

by Marcus Pickett

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If the only reason you want to build a fence for your yard is pet containment, an electric fence is effective, economical, and leaves your yard unencumbered. Many homeowners are skittish about electric fences. They worry the shock is painful. Yet, they protect pets from the risk of getting run over by a vehicle, from potentially being provoked into biting someone, and from other harms that don't compare to a little shock. Most electric fence companies have spent a lot of time and money with animal experts to ensure their product is safe and harmless.

Imagine spending six hours in your backyard. Would you rather spend that time boxed in by fencing you couldn't see past or putting your tongue on a 9-volt battery whenever you walked to the edge of your property line? If you think dogs enjoy the view of wood fencing, why do so many of them spend so much time trying to jump over or dig under it? Owning a pet requires disciplining. Electric fences are often more humane than many other acceptable forms of pet containment.

Electric Fence Pet Training
To help your pet learn what the boundaries of the fence are, you'll need to spend time training it. Your electric fence should come with training instructions for that specific fence, but the principles are pretty much the same. Your pet must learn the boundaries of the fence, they must stay inside these boundaries even with distractions, and these boundaries are present both on and off their leash. The training may take several weeks to complete but often require at most thirty minutes a day to conduct. Essentially, training is little more than structured playing.

Electric Fence Installation and Maintenance
You should discuss with a fencing contractor the best boundaries on your property to install an electric fence. If the fence is placed too close to a neighbor's property, it may inadvertently be cut during landscaping, gardening, excavation, or other work requiring digging.

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Install a Fence

Electric fences require little maintenance but should be checked regularly. If you're not sure that your dog would respond to an electric fence, see if you can test the product first. Check for money-back guarantees, so if the system doesn't work with your dog, you can return it for a full refund. You might also ask about how electric fences tend to work for your specific breed. For example, how old a dog should be before it is trained with an electric fence can vary depending on breed.

Electric/Physical Fence Combinations
Many homeowners buy an electric fence in combination with a physical fence. An electric fence is equally effective at preventing a dog from jumping over or digging under your fence. If you like the look of a short picket fence or post and rail fence, but know this fence won't contain your pet, an electric fence can allow you to choose the fence you want.

Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.