Caution .... buried electronic fencing
may not be your best choice!
Buried electronic fencing is a wonderful tool for boundary training a dog.
It is not, the answer to dog control or containment.
Dog owners using buried electronic fencing should be aware of the following cautions:
1. Buried electronic fencing does not offer 100% safety for your dog.
It does not prevent the dog from leaving the yard if
the temptation outside the boundary is worth the shock.
For example, if a Ridgeback sees a squirrel in the distance
it may be motivated to give chase,
ignoring the shock as it passes the boundary line.
The squirrel goes up a tree and the Ridgeback is now "stuck" outside the fence.
There is no motivation to return home which exceeds the aversiveness of the shock.
In other words, your dog was so excited about "the chase" it simply didn't care about getting zapped. However - enduring the "zap" to get back into your yard is not desirable and in fact could affect your dogs desire to return home.
2. With a dog that is very quick,
the dog can run so fast that it can cross the line
almost simultaneously with the shock.
For example, a Ridgeback is running laps around the yard,
very fast, and approaches the boundary.
The warning buzz is quickly followed by shock,
but the dog is moving too fast to avoid crossing the line.
The dog is again "stuck" outside the fence.
3. A wandering dog, a child, or even a rabid animal can easily enter your yard.
A Ridgeback's natural instinct is to choose flight over fight,
but your dog is now "stuck" inside the fence with a dangerous predator or a harassing child.
The fence seriously limits the dog's available avoidance responses.
The wise owner of buried electronic fencing uses it to
control the dog while under the owner's supervision.
It should not be used in the owner's absence as a reliable form of protection
either for the dog or for the neighbor's property or children.
Too many owners have sad stories to tell of Ridgebacks which were hit by cars,
nipped a neighbor's child, been attacked by intruders or ran away when
buried electronic fencing was relied on.
That said, it should also be noted that NO fence should be relied on
for dog-sitting in the owner's absence.
An unsupervised dog is much safer inside the house or in a closed dog run.