Small dogs can be a handful, especially when they won’t stay put! So, can small dogs use Invisible Fence options?
Provided that you go with a ‘sonic’ Invisible Fence, along with supervision, or are simply using it for quick, efficient training, then yes. That said, you should not use the variety that deliver electric shocks or leave your dog alone for too long with any style electric fence. We’ll explain why in detail shortly!
In this article we’re going to into 3 reasons why an Invisible Fence might be useful and to keep things balance, we’ll also give you 3 reasons where you shouldn’t use one. Let’s take a look and see!
Table of Contents
- Reasons small dogs CAN use an Invisible Fence
- Reasons that they CANNOT use an Invisible Fence
- The verdict – Invisible fences might not be the best option
Reasons small dogs CAN use an Invisible Fence
Invisible Fences definitely have their perks and there are certainly scenarios where they might indeed be quite useful. Below you will find some good use-case scenarios for this training method.
You are using ‘sonic’ instead of ‘shock’
There are two types of ‘Invisible Fence’ options – one uses sound and is called a ‘sonic fence’, while the other uses mild electric shocks and is most often referred to as an ‘electric fence’. Sonic varieties will produce unpleasant sounds when your dog goes ‘out of bounds’ and are considered the more humane method.
‘Shock collar’ type Invisible Fences, however, are not recommended. If you believe it to be completely safe and wish to use one anyway, you can certainly test it on yourself to see what happens, but we really can’t recommend devices that use pain from electric shocks as a humane training option.
You are supervising them anyway
If you are using a sonic collar, there is still no guarantee without a physical fence that all dogs are going to comply with it. Some dogs will make a run for it anyway, but if you are there to supervise then you can call them back or catch them before they put themselves in danger.
As such, Invisible Fences can still be quite useful, as long as you are there to supervise.
You are training them
If you are training your dog to stay within a certain area, then an Invisible Fence is really quite optimal for this. Since you are assumed to be using a sonic variety and supervising, then you can take your dog out for 3 brief training sessions per day and they should soon learn which areas are off-limits.
This can increase the speed in which they learn and thus a sonic Invisible Fence could be quite useful in such a scenario.
Reasons that they CANNOT use an Invisible Fence
There are pros and cons to everything and in this section we’ll give you reasons why you shouldn’t use an Invisible Fence with your small dog. Let’s take a look at when this would likely be the case.
If the Invisible Fence uses electric shock
Even if they are mild, electric shocks are electric shocks. If you’ve ever been zapped by static electricity after scuffing around on the carpet on a dry day, then you know that shocks hurt – plain and simple. This makes electric Invisible Fence collars an option that we simply cannot recommend.
There are many ways to train a dog and pain should NOT be one of them – stick with positive reinforcement and consider a sonic Invisible Fence instead.
If your dog is unsupervised
All dogs have their own unique personalities and you can’t correctly predict what they will do 100% of the time. As such, you can’t simply put your dog outside on their own and expect the Invisible Fence to train them for you.
Without a physical barrier to stop them, it is still quite possible that they’ll end up outside of the ‘allowed range’ and somehow get themselves stuck in their panic. As such, any training with an Invisible fence needs to be always and fully supervised.
Devices such as these are intended for use as training aids only – so along with ensuring that they are supervised, we highly recommend that you do a little research on efficiently using them and check out some training videos on YouTube to ensure that you are using the Invisible Fence properly and safely.
When used correctly, they can certainly speed up training time and will work very well, but they still require a little homework on your part to make sure that you are using the device the right way!
If your dog has hearing problems
A sonic Invisible Fence option isn’t going to work if your dog is hard or hearing. While this is rare, it is something to consider, though if you are supervising their training then you should quickly notice if this is the case.
If it IS, don’t simply switch to the electric variety – instead you will want to train them to stay within bounds on your own or you should consider simply building a fence if at all possible. With small dogs, it’s really best to keep them inside as much as possible.
The verdict – Invisible fences might not be the best option
While there are indeed specific scenarios where Invisible Fences might be a useful training tool, keep in mind that with small dogs, this might be an option that you want to skip altogether. Ultimately, the safest option is simply always keeping them close to you.
Due to their size, there’s really no way to guarantee their safety outside alone. Predators such as hawks, for instance, can be a very real danger for puppies and the smaller dog breeds. Strays and larger animals of other species, such as raccoons, are also a danger to your little one.
Arguably, if you had a large dog, then an invisible fence might well be a better option, but with a smaller dog this kind of training device really doesn’t have enough viability for them to consider it worth the time.
That said, now you know the pros and cons and should be able to make an informed decision in the best interests of you and your dog!