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Invisible Fence Explained: the What, Why, and How of Invisible Fences

Invisible fences are very popular among those who want to keep their dog safely in the yard without having to build an intrusive fence. There are many advantages to them but they aren’t the right choice for every home.

In this article, you’ll have the invisible fence explained and you’ll learn the pros and cons to help you decide if an invisible fence is the right choice for you.

What Is an Invisible Fence?

An invisible fence sounds a bit like something out of science fiction but it’s actually pretty simple. It uses sensors and electricity to create a border around your home and if your dog crosses that border, it will get an annoying but painless shock.

It works by burying a wire underground around the perimeter of your home. You can also place the wire around anything in your yard you want the dog to stay away from (such as your garden or a pool).

The wire is connected to a transmitter which is placed somewhere on the house (often in the garage or on the back wall of the house). Then, a small receiver is attached to your pet’s collar. Sometimes, the kit comes with a complete collar with the receiver embedded in it.

When the transmitter is turned on, the wires are active. As soon as your dog steps across the perimeter where wire is buried, the receiver on the collar will be triggered to deliver a shock.

With some training, your dog will learn that this shock means it cannot go any further. So, rather than a fence, it’s more like a system for training your dog to stay in the yard or stay away from the garden and/or pool.

The Pros of an Invisible Fence

There are lots of pros to going with the invisible fence option. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Less materials required: all you need is the transmitter, receive and wire. No tools (except the shovel when you dig), no difficult assembly. You get to save tons of money and tons of time on installation since there isn’t nearly as much material required.

Invisible Fence Sensors

  • More affordable than actual fences: regular fences can run into the thousands for materials and installation. Invisible fences, on the other hand, are just a couple hundred bucks for materials and can be installed yourself in an afternoon.
  • Keep your garden safe without walling it off: if you have a little troublemaker on your hands who enjoys trampling or snacking on your garden, it can be frustrating. An invisible fence helps you keep the dog out without having to wall the garden off so no one can see it.
  • Less upkeep than a regular fence: no matter how high quality or sturdy a regular fence is, it will get worn by the weather and require upkeep and repairs. The wire buried underground will not require upkeep so you can just bury it and forget it.
  • You can install it yourself: it’s very easy to set up. You just dig a shallow trench around the perimeter where you want the wiring to be, lay the wire down, and cover it with dirt again. After that, it’s just a matter of flipping the switch.
  • Gives you the open landscape of an unfenced yard: you don’t have to choose between your dog’s safety and your landscaping aesthetic. With the invisible fence, you get to keep your yard as pretty and open as it is while ensuring that your dog doesn’t run out into the street or escape.

Dog Invisible Fence

The Cons of an Invisible Fence

There are some cons worth considering before you go for it:

  • Some training time is needed (just like with using a dog crate): you don’t need to train a dog to stay inside of a regular fence. But there is some training required for an invisible fence. Even though the shock will grab their attention, they will need to be trained to understand what triggers the shock and how they can avoid it.
  • Batteries: you’ll have to check batteries and replace them when they die. It’s not expensive or time consuming but it is an added concern that you wouldn’t have with a regular fence.
  • No protection from outside things getting in: if you live in an area where predators are a problem, an invisible fence won’t stop them and your lovable pet could be in danger. So if you need to keep things out just as much as you need to keep your dog in, you might want to spring for a regular fence.

These are the most significant disadvantages you need to consider before investing in an invisible fence.

Final Thoughts on Invisible Fences

Some of these disadvantages can be deal breakers depending on where you live. But for many people, an invisible fence is the easy, affordable, and more effective option. It’s important to consider what your needs are before you invest in any kind of fencing system for your yard.

Collar for Invisible Fence

In general, we think it’s a great option for your pet and your yard so long as you don’t have to worry about outside threats. And even for those who do, invisible fencing can be a great option inside the yard for the pool area or garden even if you need a regular fence for the outer perimeter.