Are electric fences good for your dog?

Electric fence sign

No one wants to keep their friends with fur confined. However, sometimes, it becomes necessary for their safety. If your dog or puppy isn’t trained well or doesn’t know the property’s boundaries, it may run away and get lost. Something worse, like an accident, could take place, resulting in severe injury and even death.

It’s the reason why people decide to install fences, and it’s recommended for you as well, in case there’s no fencing around your house or property. It would be best if you took immediate action for your pet’s good. There are some possible options like an electric fence, protect your dog. If you’re interested, read this blog in full.

What are electric fences & how do they work?

Electric fencing is a system of electric wires set up around the property to prevent your dog, cat, or other pets from getting out.

The way an electric fencing system operates is straightforward: a technician will set up underground wires around your property. In this way, there won’t be any visible boundaries. The restricted area will remain hidden from naked eyes.

The dog will be wearing a collar with a transmitter, and whenever it tries to cross the boundary under which the wires are laid, it’ll receive a slight tingle or electric shock. This new sensation startles the dog and lets it know the boundaries’ range.

The wires laid underground around your property will be powered using the wall outlet, while a battery will power the collar.

Electric fence for dogs - danger sign

Electric fence – Safety

Do electric fences hurt dogs?

The idea of giving a shock to your family pet seems quite brutal. However, this is not the case. The invisible fencing system is built to startle or surprise the dog and make him aware of the boundary without causing pain, injury, or emotional damage.

It’s a simple mechanism to prevent the dog from crossing the designated area. The owner can control the intensity of the jolt.

All the dog feels it is a small tingling sensation. If you think the intensity of charge is more than just an itch, you can always reduce that according to how your dog manages this new situation.

Dogs have different levels of motivation and strength depending upon their breeds. For example, a German shepherd would cross the boundary or designated area without worrying much about the shock. On the other hand, a Pug may be hesitant and won’t even try crossing the border after receiving the shock.

Training your dog with an invisible or electric fence

Usually, it takes, on average, fourteen days to train a dog with the new system. However, this largely depends on the breed of your dog and how fast a learner he is. Patience, consistent efforts, and observing your pet’s reactions are part of the training. Owners need to be aware of this and leave enough time to spend with their dogs during the accommodation process.

It would be better if the pet is not left on its own within the first few days of installing an electric fence, as it can be a daunting experience for it. Light training sessions involving strolling, lots of treats for praise, and cuddles to show the dog that everything is ok, for about a month, will result in a dog confident of remaining on its own in the fenced area.

Electric dog fence

Electric fence – Cost

The pricing depends on how much wire do you need according to your area. Apart from the wire, there are several other accessories required for the complete system installation.

The technician’s charges a separate installation fee. All in all, it may cost you somewhere around $500-600.

In the long run, you’ll have to replace the batteries of your dog’s collar. And this will add a few hundred dollars to your expenses every year.

Alternatives to electric fencing

There are numerous good alternatives to electric fences. You can go for a traditional chain link fence, which effectively keeps pets in the desired location. This type of fence can be customized and installed high enough to prevent pets from mounting. It also stops anyone from trespassing.

Some people would choose this alternative as it might feel less cruel than the electric fence option.

Electric fence in the woods

Dog digging under the fence – Solutions

How to keep a dog from digging under the chain link fence?

It’s a common problem where some smart dogs try to dig under the chain-link fence to escape. Here are a few ways to prevent this:

  • Chicken wire

You can install chicken wire 1 feet outward from the fence and 1 foot deep in the ground. Ensure that you keep the pointed edges facing downwards, which will stop your dog from getting injured.

Once the chicken wire is in place, he’ll encounter the chicken wire whenever the dog tries digging. And this will block it from digging any further or escaping.

  • Boulders or Rocks

Placing some medium-sized rocks or boulders next to the fence’s base can be of great help. This will not allow the dog to reach close enough, dig deep, and end up escaping.

  • Train your dog

You can train your dog to stop digging around the fence. Whenever you notice it performing such a task, teach it to stop this behavior.


Electric fences are not harmful to dogs and can make life easier for dog owners and their animal friends. Owners who are required to work away from home most of the day will now have peace of mind as their pets can spend time outdoors.