I'm not really a proponent of invisible fencing but at six months he is old enough to learn where his boundaries are.
I take my dogs out to my front yard with a long line and every time they start to leave the boundaries, they get a big No, No and pulled back. Eventually they learn. Even my newest foster dog Caspar stays within the confines of my yard after less than two weeks.
This will not stop a confirmed cat chaser bent on that unconfined neighborhood tease but an electric fence would not either.
Some neighbors without a fence have this for their giant lab, who charges anyone that walks in front of the house and stops right at the boundaries. It's pretty intimidating, but he doesn't cross the line.
My parents had invisible fence installed in the half of the house that was to be the "no dog zone" - basically the foyer and the upstairs. My parents are no dogs on couches/beds people. (Note as I say this I notice our Siamese cats confidently stealing chicken from our kitchen table). Our Westies were adults when we had it installed, but I would imagine a 6 mo mini would be fine as well. It worked really well with them, and I think they only got "zapped" once or twice before they learned the warning beep. I guess I may get flamed for endorsing it - but our Westies really did not seem traumatized by this at all. I have no experience with it with larger dogs, as we never tried it on our greyhound rescues - they just followed the little ones, and didn't know stairs anyway.
That said, I don't intend to have a no dog zone in my apartment. I would consider it in the future if I had a dog that kept digging under a fenced yard and getting out. I would rather use electric fence than have them get hit by a car, god forbid.
The majority of the problems reported seem to be either that the dog gets through the line somehow, and then avoids coming back, or that the shock is associated with something beyond the boundary (a child, adult, car, bicycle), and the dog thus learns to associate these with pain and frustration. I once, many years ago, had a pony that was briefly kept in a paddock divided by an electric wire fence. He burned his nose - and then would not cross the line where the fence had been no matter what we did. I had to take down a solid fence to get him out. I have been very wary of the impact of associations in animals ever since.
I do not care for them, not because I think its mean or cruel or whatever, but because although it may stop your dog from leaving your yard, it will not stop anything else from coming in and harming your dog.
We got an Inv. Fence for our mixed breed rescue Digger who would charge people and other dogs when they walked by our house. On two occasions, she escaped and looked like she was going to bite the other dogs - not sure if she did or not. Our neighborhood doesn't allow fences and this fence had been partially installed by a previous owner.
The fence has eliminated the problem and she also no longer surprises/startles walkers with her barking - she keeps well away from the perimeter. It has been a great relief to me not to have to worry about her getting out and hurting someone.
I have heard about dogs escaping but I wonder if the fence training was carried through. It took a while to train the dog over a period of several weeks - starting just with flags, then with beeps, working with a trainer on at least 2 occasions - I could see easily someone not following through with all of this.
You should be able to consult with the company as to when is a good time to begin training.
I am not a fan of invisible fences - too many things can go wrong. I want something solid between my kids and the outside world. Also, I am not a fan of "shocking" dogs. This is a good article by Karen Overall:
i think they rae great for certain things.
On a farm- keeping the dog more respectful of boundries- where they normlly are not going to be fenced in... cars are not close etc.
you need to TRAIN the fence properly or it does NOTHING
you need to maintain the training through time as they get cocky (For my one friend on her acerage it mens hosing the dogs off when they get cocky- (big retreivers) the zp hs bit more bite then and then they are good for another couple years
We tried the invisible fence years ago with our large dog (not a poodle). We followed through on the training, everything.
It did not work for us. After the first shock, the dog was terrified to go into our back yard. Eventually, with much coaxing, he got over that. Then he learned where the boundary was, but he ALSO learned that for a second's worth of pain, he could jump that boundary and have freedom, glorious freedom. He would then run to his favorite playmate's house, run down to the end of the cul-de-sac, then run back to our yard and lie down just at the point where the beep would start, and wait for us to take the collar off and bring him back into the yard.
A neighbor up the street with an elderly cocker spaniel used the invisible fence successfully, but for us, with a pain-tolerant dog, it did not work well at all.
Finally we got a regular fence like we should have in the first place and all concerned were much happier.
Now with my two little guys, I am much, much happier with the regular fence. We can play and train to our heart's content with no worries.
Not a fan, I would never use it especially if I was not in the yard.
I would worry about what would come into your yard as well as if your dog left the yard, it sure q\wouldn't want to come back in again
Exactly. We never used it except when we were with our dog. We thought it would be a great idea for him to learn very clear boundaries and be able to play freely inside those boundaries, but it just didn't work out that way. He was either terrified of the yard or else he would jump right over that line and head for his buddy's house, even with us yelling "Stop!" "Come!" or his name.
Prior to putting in the fence, he was very well-behaved. Those shocks just spooked him out badly.
Inside the house, he knew boundaries exceptionally well. When I fed him, I wanted him to wait in the family room (next to the kitchen) until I put the bowl down, because I didn't want him underfoot while I was going between fridge and sink and feeding area. He had that down to perfection.
Same thing when my husand and I were eating in the dining room, he was not to enter but had to wait in the kitchen. He did. He would lie down with his nose exactly on the dividing line between dining room and kitchen.
So he certainly had no problem with the concept of boundaries in general, but outside, he could not understand why he was being "punished" and getting a dose of pain for being in his own yard.
I would never, ever recommend them to anyone for the average suburban situation. It compromises how much area the dogs really have to enjoy themselves, considering the typical size of today's lots, and the dogs are always worried.
Even for my neighbor's cocker spaniel where the electronic fence (er, the "shock dispensing device"), worked, the dog rarely ever moved from her spot under a tree. She didn't go out of the yard, but she certainly wasn't running around enjoying herself.
The OP said that her homeowner's association doesn't allow fences. I wonder if perhaps that would be worth taking up with the board of the association, to discuss the need for fences to keep dogs safe without causing them pain? In our area, we can only have a certain type of fencing (has to be boards of no more than a certain height, can't be chain-link, has to be certain colors, etc.) and that's fine with me. Keeps the neighborhood looking similar and well-kept.
Maybe that rule forbidding fences is one that many of the neighbors would like to see changed. Worth a shot, anyway.