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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I would like opinions on the wireless pet system. Do they work? What would be an appropriate age of the puppy to start using it. Does the system have to sit at a certain distance of the ground? I will be getting a standard poodle puppy.:)

Thanks!

Kim
 

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I don't like them..while sure they can work (on some dogs) I don't think it's the best way to contain your animal.

Also, many dogs learn that freedom is worth the fraction of a second of pain..and chances are once they get past the barrier..getting them to come back to you willingly will be difficult! I know i wouldn't want to go back to a place that shocked me.

I'm also not sure what it teaches them..other than learning to stay in a very specific area..it doesn't really teach them anything.

I think you would be better off building up a solid recall. I have a fence in my backyard..but I can let my standards off leash if I wanted and they would come right back. I don't generally test this theory, because accidents can happen..but at dog parks and other areas with many high distractions I have never had a problem getting my dogs to come when called.

If you don't have a fence consider having an outdoor dog run built for times the dog can be outside. Or just use it as an excuse to get more exercise and take several nice walks throughout the day. I lived in an apartment with a German Shepherd for about a year...not exactly the best breed to have in an apartment..but she got plenty of exercise. She never seemed to miss having a yard during that time.
 

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We use radio fencing at the horse barn as an adjunct to, not a replacement for, the regular fencing. It's helpful for containing a couple of the hard core escape artists. Some of the little verminators will dig under the regular fencing, and one of the bigger dogs has figured out how to climb. We strung the radio fencing wire along the top of the chain link and cattle panels to prevent escapes. The regular fencing slows the dog down, and the zap collar then gets the dog to retreat back away from the fence line.

We've found that invisible fencing by itself is pretty much useless for a dog which wants to leave. The terriers simply scrunch up their eyes against the pain and bolt through it. Poodles are smart enought to adopt the technique someone's border collie figured out. The dog would lie just close enough to the fence to get the collar to beep without triggering the zap. And lie there. And lie there. Eventually the battery in the collar would go dead. Then the collie would trot thru the fence and go off on his merry way.

I personally don't like the effect the zap has on the dogs' personality. As I said, we only use the collars on the dogs which refuse to be contained by the regular fence. They know the collar is what's giving them the zap. They get very dejected and mopey when the collar goes on. They can't join the greeting commitee at the gate, say hi to the neighbors walking dogs along the fence, and do other things the better behaved barn dogs get to do. I can definitely see how the problems described in the dogstardaily article could occur.

All in all, I'd say you should start with regular barrier fencing first. Use the radio fencing only as a last resort, if neither training nor barrier fencing will keep your dog on property.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. This is not something I was going to do anytime soon and I am glad that you have brought up the cons of the wireless fence. It definitely gives me something to think about.

Kim
 

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I would never use one on my dogs. When I was working at a vet, we had people tell us their dogs were afraid of their front yards, of even going out the door, a dog that had holes burned in his neck from an improperly fitted collar, dogs who had escaped and either been hit by cars or attacked or picked up by people who couldn't find their owners that were wearing electric fence collars.
 

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We had an invisible fence for a short time when I was a kid. Ony, our GSD/Siberian Husky mix would just run through the shock and then never want to come home (we'd find her sitting just outside the barrier, unwilling to let anyone lead her past the shock spot). Molly, our Great Pyrenees, was shocked once and thereafter wouldn't go outside the house at all because she was so afraid. It took a lot of work and coaxing to get her to use the front and back yards again, and she always hated that collar.

I know some people who use them successfully as a backup to training (my sister lives in a suburb in CT and almost everybody has invisible fences, I think because of Home Owner Association rules), but they certainly wouldn't be my first choice. You can always get a long line to use when the dog is outside. That's what I'm planning on getting since my back yard is only partially fenced (and I can't fence the rest because I'm renting).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It seems like most are not in favor of this. We would never let our poodle outside when one of us wasn't outside with her. The only reason I was thinking that it would be a good idea is b/c I wouldn't want her to chase after someone that was walking by or walking their dog in front of our house. I think we will try some good training instead. I definitely wouldn't want her to be afraid of the yard or have her personality altered due to the electric fence.

Kim
 

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About the only time I've heard of it being really good is when there is already an ornamental type fence (that in normal circumstances wouldn't be dog proof) and a willing home-body type of dog! The ornamental fence provided the visual obvious boundary, and the dog was the sort that lounged about in the front yard rather than was off investigating everything anyway!
 

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Our standard poodle is 8 months old and she responded quickly to the training - we have had no problems with it at all. Our other dog is older and once she was trained on it we removed her collar and she won't go near the boundary.
 
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