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Do Underground Fences Work?

If you have a dog, you need a way to contain him. But what if you don't want to spend a lot of money putting up a fence? Or what if you have too much property to make a fence practical? What if you just don't want a fence in your yard to spoil your view?

The answer might just be an underground fence.

How Underground Fences Work

how does underground fence work

Underground fencing works by transmitting an electronic current to a special collar worn by the dog. When the dog approaches the underground fence, the collar emits a warning sound. If the dog continues toward the fence, the collar gives the dog an electronic correction. The dog learns to stay within the confines of the underground fence.

For some dog owners, this sounds too good to be true. Do underground fences really work to keep dogs contained? And what exactly is an underground fence?

An underground fence is a buried wire equipped with a transmitter. When the dog gets too close to the buried wire, the transmitter sends a signal to the collar, which administers a correction to the dog. The transmitter must be mounted in a dry area close to an electrical outlet, where it is plugged in. The collar uses an alkaline battery that must be periodically replaced.

Why Training Is Key

training pet to use invisible fence

The key to success with an underground fence is training. All underground fencing systems come with instructions on how to train your dog or cat to respect the fence.

Boundary training is the first step, and involves teaching your dog to use a visual cue in the form of a flag to determine how far he can go before the collar emits a warning tone. Training at this stage involves keeping your dog on a leash, and rewarding him with treats and praise when he stays within the allowed area.

Eventually, your dog is introduced to the electronic correction when he strays beyond the acceptable boundary. Collars that work with underground fences can be set at different levels, depending on your dog's sensitivity. Some dogs only need a mild correction, while others require a stronger message.

Works for Almost Any Dog

do underground fences work for any dog

Underground fencing systems can only be used with dogs who weigh at least 8 pounds. Dogs who weigh less than this are too small to support the weight of the collar. Puppies must be at least 8 weeks old to be contained by the underground fence, and should know some basic commands to learn the fence training.

While most dogs respect the fence once they learn the connection between crossing the boundary and getting a correction, an occasional dog will accept the correction as the price for crossing the fence and getting off the property. In these cases, you can try retraining the dog to the fence with the help of a professional dog trainer.

Underground fences are perfect for keeping pets contained with a little DIY installation and training. You can enjoy the yard together without worrying about your pet wandering off. And remember: the fence can keep your pet in, but won't keep other animals out.

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