Does an Invisible Fence Hurt the Dog? (Solved!)

In recent years, the use of invisible fences has become more common. Some dog owners and trainers see them as part of their dogs’ training and think that dogs are not harmed by this system. 

Contrary to this view, the electro-shock stimulant system found in invisible fences can cause physical and psychological problems in our dogs.

What is an Invisible Fence?

The invisible fence is a wireless electrical system installed underground that detects the signals coming from the collar around your dog’s neck.

Every time your dog approaches the field limits you set, the collar on his neck transmits the signal from the electrical fences to your dog as sound.

If your dog is still trying to cross the fence ignoring this warning, the collar will physically stimulate your dog with electroshock.

Usually, after a few tries, your dog will probably figure out where these invisible boundaries are. Therefore, it will stay within the limits with only the warning beep signal and no need for electroshock.

Why Do People Use Invisible Fences?

The use of invisible fences has recently become more popular with dog owners. The main reason for this is dog owners want their dogs to feel they have freedom in their yard, without traditional fences obstructing their view.

Another reason is the fact that dogs with high energy can jump and escape from traditional fences or jump into your neighbors’ garden and cause damage to their foliage.

People have open gardens with dogs that do not have good recall, invisible fences limit how far the dog can roam, and thus they ensure the safety of their furry friend.

What Are The Negative Effects of Invisible Fences on My Dog?

Aggression is one of the biggest negative effects of invisible fences. No matter how calm your dog is, the animal exposed to electroshock voltage will perceive it as a threat that activates the nervous system and stimulates protective instincts like aggression and anxiety.

In addition, unhappiness, the desire not to play, reluctance in daily activities, and depression are among the most negative effects of these fences on your dog.

Why Won’t My Dog Go in The Yard After I installed an Invisible Fence?

Your yard, part of your dogs’ territory, is where they rest, play games, and interact. If your dog has received a few shocks from the invisible fence, they may now associate the yard as an area of threat and unrest. 

Because like us humans, dogs have strong association cognition. They may become anxious just entering the yard after a few shocks, even if they are nowhere near the fence boundary.

Is an Invisible Fence Bad for Dogs?

Invisible fences work with a punishment logic. The collar on your dog’s neck gives an electric shock with the electronic signal it receives from the fence when your dog passes the area you have determined so that behavior is reinforced.

Although some dogs can get used to electroshock over time, the majority of them show symptoms such as anxiety, fear, and restlessness.

It is the common opinion of vets and other animal welfare organizations that an invisible fence is not a good idea. However, indivisible fences are good for people who raise cattle, as cattle do not have the same emotional systems as dogs, and they are far larger and less affected physically.

How Do I Train My Dog To Stay Behind The Invisible Fences?

If you want your dog to stay behind the invisible fence, you should train him with positive reward techniques.

Recall your god before he reaches the fence boundary and gives him one of his favorite treats or scratch his favorite spot to show him where the limits are.

Do this a few times and make sure your dog feels appreciated when he stops at the designated place.

With training and patience, any dog can be trained to stay within a boundary and you will not need to use an individual fence at all.

How Close Can a Dog Get to an Invisible Fence?

In the factory settings of the installation, the approach distance of your dog to the fence is generally between 5-7 feet. However this is adjustable, and you are able to program the fence to allow your dog to get as close or as far as you like to the fence boundary.

Invisible fences are very flexible, you can install them in any way you wish, and they do not even have to be in a straight line. However, straight lines are recommended. This is an easier and quicker boundary for your dog to learn which will result in fewer shocks.

Will an Invisible Fence Stop a Pitbull?

Invisible fences tend to make Pitbulls more aggressive.

While signs of aggression and incompatibility appear in the personalities of Pitbulls in general, exposure to sudden and painful stimuli such as electroshocks could send a pitbull into overdrive and he will either become aggressive to others or try even harder to escape the boundary.

Is Invisible Fence Worth it?

While some of the people express that the electric wireless fences are worth every penny of the effort, most are concerned with the psychology of their dogs.

Researchers believe that there are more negatives than positives to using an electric fence for household pets, especially puppies – who should never be exposed to invisible fences.

What Can Go Wrong With an Invisible Fence?

Some dogs are very determined and can endure the electric shock and continue to move over the boundary.

Dogs are smarter and tougher than we think. It is common for some dogs, especially large ones, to cope with one electric shock in exchange for a moment of absolute freedom.

Alternatives to Using an Invisible Fence for Dogs

Installing an invisible fence system in your garden is a laborious and costly task. Instead, you can design a playground for your dog with handmade craftsmanship from wooden fences that both keep them in and provide entertainment.

Training is also another solution. You can apply some affecting recall  and command techniques that allow you to control your dog verbally.

You could also opt for a traditional fence. Traditional fences have worked wonderfully at keeping dogs in yards for many years, and are cheaper than invisible fences.