Every dog owner knows the importance of having a safe contained outside area for your dog. Some homes come with a nice fenced in area, which is perfect for your pet.  But what do you do if you don’t have a safe area for your dog outside?  Is a wireless fence the answer to keeping your pup safe?

Invisible Fences – An Overview

Before you can make a decision, you need to know how wireless fences work.  A wireless dog fence consists of a transmitter that creates a perimeter that is defined by you.  A receiver is worn on your dog’s collar.  As the dog approaches the perimeter of the fence, the receiver will first emit a beep to warn your dog.  If your pup continues toward the fence, he will feel a small shock.

Old school wireless fences used to have a wire that was placed underground around the perimeter of your yard.  Newer models use the above-mentioned transmitter and receiver.  There are also models that are GPS enabled that allow you to set a uniquely shaped, or rather large areas.

Why Get a Wireless Fence?

If you look around, there are plenty of yards with wooden or chain link fences.  Why not get one of these to keep your dog safe?  Cost is always a big factor.  Traditional fencing is extremely expensive to purchase and install.  Another factor to consider are neighborhood associations who govern what you can and cannot do to the outside of  the property.

Some of them do not allow fencing of any type.  If you bought your house before you adopted your dog, it probably isn’t something you would have considered, and most people don’t want to move just because they adopted a dog.  But as convenient as a wireless dog fence may be, there are some drawbacks to consider before you purchase one.

Conditioning Aggression and Fear

As was mentioned earlier, the wireless fence works with a receiver that emits first a sound, and then a shock to your pet.  While aversion training can be super effective, it’s also not without it’s challenges.   You want to find the right correction strength to deter your dog from crossing the fence, you also don’t want the correction to be so powerful that it traumatizes your poor pet, or conditions him to become aggressive or fearful.

Dogs, like people are unique individuals, and what may be an effective correction for one, could be extremely painful for another, or completely ineffective for yet another dog.  Trying to find the proper level is very much a testing game.


While we’d like to think a wireless fence is completely reliable, dogs can get through them.  There are dogs in shelters right now that are wearing a wireless fence receiver.  Maybe the shock wasn’t strong enough, or maybe whatever was on the other side of the fence made the shock worth it.  Just note that a wireless fence is not foolproof.

Safety Concerns

You need to remember that a wireless fence is not a real fence.  It does not provide any type of physical barrier to contain your pet.  While it may keep your pet contained within the perimeter, it will not keep other things out.

Your pet may be in danger from other people either taunting him, or worse taking him from the yard.  The wireless fence also does nothing to prevent other dogs or even wildlife from getting into your yard.  While this may not be a problem in many areas, if you live in a rural area, your dog could be in danger from bears, wolves and coyotes.

Final Thoughts

There are no guarantees that a wireless fence can keep your pup safe.  The only way to avoid may of the pitfalls mentioned is to stay outside with your dog.  And if you’re going to be outside with your dog, you don’t really need a fence. If it’s the only option you have, then yes, go with the wireless fence, but be aware that there are many factors that can impact the efficacy of a wireless fence.


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