Pros & Cons of the Invisible Fence for Dogs

Invisible fences consist of an underground perimeter wire that triggers a transmitter worn by your dog to emit a mild electric shock when the transmitter comes within a certain distance of the perimeter. This alternative to traditional fencing is not suited for every pet.

Pro: Yard Appearance

Unlike traditional aboveground fences, the invisible fence will not detract from the appearance of a yard. As its name suggests, no one else will be able to see the electric perimeter keeping your dog in your yard. For this reason, invisible fences make good choices in communities or subdivisions that do not permit wooden or metal fences. The invisible fence will not interfere with trees, bushes, flower beds or other aesthetically pleasing yard elements, either.

Con: Training Required

Advertising may make invisible fences seem simple, but you will need to spend several weeks training your dog to work with the fence. Without proper training, the shock the transmitter delivers will not discourage your dog from crossing the electronic barrier, thus making the fence nearly useless. Also, if your dog does escape, she will be shocked when she attempts to re-enter the yard, too, discouraging her from returning home.

Pro: Speed & Affordability

Compared with the installation of a traditional fence, installing an invisible fence usually costs less and is finished quicker. Invisible fences typically cost less than $500 depending on the brand, size of yard, and installation options you choose. Most traditional fence installations take time, require building permits to ensure the property boundaries are accurately accounted for, and need ongoing maintenance. Invisible fence installation, on the other hand, requires a visit from your utility company to mark the location of underground power lines.

Con: Accessible by Other Animals

Traditional fences provide two forms of pet protection: They keep your dog in and other animals out. Unfortunately, invisible fences cannot do the latter because the other animals. Other dogs, wild animals and people can enter your yard easily. Additionally, children and other animals who wander into your yard could become victims of your dog trying to protect his territory.

Pro & Con: Dog Safety

People who purchase invisible fences do so to provide their dogs with freedom and safety. If a dog continually jumps over or digs under traditional fences, injuries are likely to incur. Plus, an escaped dog faces threats from other animals, cars, humans and even dogcatchers. Those opposed to invisible fences argue that the shocks are painful and cruel.