Canine 'training' collars??

Discussion in 'The Back Porch' started by Margo_C-T, Feb 20, 2012.

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  1. Feb 20, 2012 #1

    Margo_C-T

    Margo_C-T

    Margo_C-T

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    I am asking for your knowledgeable experiences and/or considered opinions(good OR bad!), about the use of 'invisible fencing' for dog containment purposes.

    I have full perimeter fencing on most of my 10 acres, BUT, it is standard field net wire field fencing, two strands of barbLESS wire above,and none over 4' high. I certainly can't afford to redo this much fencing; have come to realize that 'invisible fencing' of some sort might be about my only viable option. My first instinct was not to like the idea; however, in beginning to research the subject, am realizing that it is like a lot of other 'tools', in that the CORRECT, KNOWLEDGEABLE, and APPROPRIATE use in the hands of someone who had learned HOW to properly use it, may be the key.

    I have found one system that says you can lay the wire on the ground surface(can cover up to 100 acres, supposedly, w/ this one)...I estimate it would take @ 1200-1400' to cover the fenced portion of this 5 acres. I am not up to digging a trench of that length or for the expense of hiring someone to do so...but do think I could manage a ground-level installment.

    Why am I looking into this? Well, after additional research, I came to feel I should look(in rescue) for an adult dog of a breed for whom 'personal loyalty' was a primary trait, along w/ reasonable protective tendencies, and high intelligence. Dobermans and G.Sheperds are high among those that fit that description; I leaned toward the Dobie because of the shorter coat(with 5 minis, I already have enough 'hair' to deal with!)

    Long story shorter...local Doberman rescue recently went outside their norm and took in a crossbreed, said to be Dobie/Shepherd...said to be 3 YO, laid-back for her age, who had been taken from her "irresponsible" young owner by his parents,but then turned in an area County Animal control who is known to be a high-kill, minimal facility...shelter notified Dobie rescue because they realized this was a "really nice dog". I saw her on their Petfinder listing, made contact, arranged to go into the city to meet the dog(whose name alluded to marijuana [​IMG] ! dog was well-along PG when spayed after being taken into rescue, also). SO...I now have her, but on a 'conditional' basis, because turned out she's quite a bit YOUNGER than was stated, and as I'd told them all along, she would HAVE to be OK w/ my two tiny elderly dogs, the minis, and with staying on the premises!

    Well, I'm really liking her! She IS a very smart, very loyal dog(Dobie rescue folks have said all along, Dobies tend to be 'velcro' dogs). In my personal situation, that is a plus, for several reasons. She also has shown no signs of 'wanting' to leave the premises, but HAS already demonstrated that she EASILY could if she wished. Because I DO like her so much SO FAR(it's only been a couple of days, and she is on meds through today, following the spay last Wed., one of which *may*? be affecting her demeanor, I need to see what she is like once she is totally off that, as well as when the weather is nicer, allowing us to be outside together more.I get the distinct impression that this dog might become SO attached that I would need to be sure she was VERY securely 'put up' whenever I would need to leave the premises(I think she might be one who'd 'go looking' for its master/mistress)...but, I have the means to do that. Because I DO like her so well, I decided to at least check out what these systems consist of, and whether I think I could swing the cost. Also, I really would like to find out more about exactly HOW the acclimating is properly and humanely done.

    I don't think I would ever totally depend upon 'invisible fencing' as the 'only' barrier to a dog leaving a specific area...but I have observed that it does 'seem to' work to keep a dog away from a fence it might otherwise be willing to try to go over, under, or through; neighbors in two directions from me, both w/ acreage fenced 'only' w/ field fencing,smaller fenced 'backyards' of @ 4' height, have installed such systems and they do seem to work, as their dogs stay within their acreages.

    Please, those who would, share your experiences and opinions. I am aware that there is a wide range of feelings about the use of what are sometimes called 'shock collars' and give that full consideration.

    Thanks in advance,

    Margo
     
  2. Feb 20, 2012 #2

    MountainWoman

    MountainWoman

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    Margo,

    As a dog trainer, I have a bias against invisible fencing and shock collars so I'll just say that upfront. I'll also state that many people don't agree with me.

    Invisible fencing keeps your dog in (sometimes) but never keeps anything out so something (dog, squirrel, whatever) can run through the fence, tease your dog and your dog can get into as much trouble as if he/she were running loose. Also, depending on your dog, invisible fencing might not contain them if they wanted to leave the property badly enough. Something to take into account if there are cars passing by or children in the area or even wandering horses, etc.

    Your dog does go through a training period with the fence where they will install flags as a visual cue but your dog is going to get shocked as a learning experience. After your dog has learned the fence will shock, the flags are taken down and the dogs wear the collar. When they approach the fence, they hear a warning beep so they will have further reinforcement not to go through the fence.

    I personally would never use it. I purchased a property that had it installed on about 10 acres and just disconnected the entire thing. The people who owned the property before me actually had their dog attacked by a stray dog who just came into the yard while their dogs were out.

    If invisible fencing is the only way you can give this dobie a home and you really want this dog in your life, it might work for you.
     
  3. Feb 20, 2012 #3

    jyuukai

    jyuukai

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    My parents had a rescue dog that loved to jump their 4ft yard fence, and they invested in a shock collar. It was a waste of money. The dog would STILL either jump the fence or dig under it because she knew she only had to endure temporary pain to get out of the fence.

    There was a family in a nearby subdivision who had the same problem, their dogs would just charge the invisible fence and come visit us all the time!
     
  4. Feb 20, 2012 #4

    Minimor

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    The invisible fencing works very well for some dogs; not so well for others. As said, if the dog is one that really wants to leave the premises then he will probably learn that if he charges the fence and runs fast over it he will get only a fleeting shock--and he won't care, he will just go. What can happen is a dog will leave the property fast--just takes off after something, gets the shock & keeps on going, then when he goes to return home he is actually stopped by the fence--he cannot get back into the yard without getting a shock, and so he stays off property.

    I do not use invisible fencing for several reasons--a major thing for me is I want my dog to keep predators away from the property. If my dog were contained by a fence she would not be able to be effective--in the past I've had cats grabbed by a fox. My dog at the time would give chase, forcing the fox to drop the cat & run--had the dog been contained by a fence she would not have been able to save some of those cats. My current Shepherd isn't that good yet but with a bit more time I hope she will be--and if she needs to run something out of here then she is welcome to chase it well off the property. I do teach our dogs to stay on property and until I am reasonably sure that the dog won't leave the property it does not get left loose without supervision.
     
  5. Feb 20, 2012 #5
    I have used "training" collars in the past. However, not in conjuction with an invisible fence. But I did do a lot of research and used a professional trainer to assist us. The bottom line is that they may never work for SOME dogs. Many who already have the desire to roam will quickly learn the discomfort is only a split second and well worth it to go through it, get shocked, but then be free to run. Other dogs are extremely deterred by them. You will not know without trying. As others have stated, it does nothing to keep other animals outs, but obviously you realize that.

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  6. Feb 20, 2012 #6

    anoki

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    I did have Moxie trained on an invisible fence at the horse barn I used to work at, because the owners of the barn told me it was the best thing for her.

    Knowing what I know now about dog behaviour and training, I would do whatever I could without using the invisible fence. It caused aggression issues in the barn owners' dog, and it didn't stop him from 'running the fence' at horses, bicyclists, etc, etc.

    Moxie is now absolutely terrified of being shocked, even just a static shock.

    There are certain breeds that is just plain doesn't work on (I believe the invisible fence brand even warns about that on their website, but I may be mistaken)....and I've heard of some dogs digging up the wire and chewing it, even while they are getting shocked.

    Looking back on the training part of it, if you train a dog to the invisible fence (should take 6-8 weeks to do it properly), you really shouldn't need the shock collar, as you should have the boundary set for the dog with just the training.

    And yes, it doesn't stop other dogs (or whatever) from coming into your dogs territory and causing problems.

    After my experience with it, I would leave the invisible fence as the absolute last resort, if there was no other way to make it work. Personally, I would spend the extra $$ and put up a higher fence before I would use the system again.

    ~kathryn
     
  7. Feb 20, 2012 #7

    Lizzie

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    I have to agree with much which has been said here. Invisible training collars might work for some, but very few. The money might better be spent on a dog run when the owner must leave the property. Preferably one where the dog can see most of the house and farm and be alert to intruders. Also good for putting a dog out to potty late at night, so the dog doesn't just disappear into the darkness. A good course of obedience training, will also reap many benefits.

    Some breeds are extremely prone to roaming. Great Pyrs and other flock guardians, must have very good fencing. They will jump, climb or dig under a fence and especially to catch an intruder. Many sporting dogs, such as Bassets and Beagles, will put their noses to the ground and be intent on following the scent. No amount of calling will take their mind off their determination. Sight and scent hounds will also run off and be gone when the moment presents itself. It pays to know well, the breed you choose and discover that which they were bred for originally. It will help the owner make informed decisions, as to their care and safety. And of course, the safety of other animals with whom they might come in contact.

    Lizzie
     
  8. Feb 20, 2012 #8

    Sonya

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    I have never used one, but I can tell you my parents have an invisible fence and they are very satisfied with it...in 6 years none of their dogs (4) have ever crossed the fence.
     
  9. Feb 21, 2012 #9

    minimomNC

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    The one thing that I think some have missed is this will not be your only fence, its to keep the dog away from going over the perimeter fence. With another fence already in place, there wouldn't be unwanted animals just roaming in, she couldn't run through the invisible fence because the other fence would be in the way, its just to keep her from finding out she could jump the regular fence.

    If you do the proper training, you should be able to use this type of fence. Research the product you are wanting to use throughly. All of the systems I deal with come with the flags (they are a visual aid for the dog, it gives them a reference when the collar gives the first signal which isn't a shock, its usually a beep) You will teach the dog to go away from the sound, they will begin to understand where the sound is because of hearing it and seeing the flags. You do this about 10 minutes twice a day. Once the dog starts backing away on their own, then you start taking up every other flag. Keep the training the same for a couple of more days and then take up every other flag, and so on. The shock is only a correction if they push the boundry of the warning beep, its a reinforcement to back away from the beep, not push forward. It usually takes at least two weeks to complete the training. As for the shock, its more like rubbing your foot on carpet and touching someone, I know because I have felt it. It can't burn a dog because it has no amps. But you must take the collar off at times to keep it from rubbing a sore, which is how some think their dog is being burned. They didn't follow the directions.

    I think with your situation it would work for you because you understand it takes training, not just install and turn loose. And the last thing is, nothing is perfect, you do need to make sure you check the batteries and keep a spare on hand all the time. Get a battery back up to your system in case of a power outage too.

    Good luck with your new friend, I think she is going to be one lucky dog.
     
  10. Feb 21, 2012 #10

    Margo_C-T

    Margo_C-T

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    Just what I hoped for...your replies ALL have put forth good points, some of which I had not considered before!

    Cottontails are about the only things that are apt to 'run through' here; roaming dogs are VERY infrequent...and as noted, there is a perimeter fence in place; the 'invisible' would be mainly to keep the dog away from THAT fencing.

    I am becoming more optimistic that I may not really 'need' the 'invisible' fencing. This Dobie/probably Shepherd is notably the most 'loyal' of the big-breed dogs I've had ...all spayed females.)She seems more interested in being with me than in about anythihg else here....just what I'd hoped for, since I am here most all the time, and that personal loyalty will I hope also work to keep her from 'wanting' to take off. I am mulling over ways I could workably increase the height/resistance to 'penetration' of my generously-sized 'side yard' that is JUST for the bigger dog(s), and make the channel steel gates in/out of the back acreage, where 'everything' except the house, is, more resistant to crawling through or under. I do turn her off-leash out there, but ONLY when I am out there, too, and can check on her often. She is exploring it further and further out, but so far, comes back promptly when called, and on her own frequently to 'check in' with me as I work in the barn.It is wonderful and very endearing; I am fast falling for her, for sure!

    I wanted to have some good information/opinions 'in hand' BEFORE a demonstrable need arose; your comments have all been extremely helpful in that regard! And of course, I'd still welcome any addtional comments from any others w/ knowledge of the subject!

    Sincere thanks again,

    Margo
     
  11. Feb 22, 2012 #11

    shorthorsemom

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    Hi there,... My 2 cents... I personally would avoid using shock as a means to train any dog. I have trained dogs for 37 years and have had the sad task of trying to rehabilitate "shock collar gone wrong" dogs.

    One dog decided the shock was so scary that he decided to do all pooping and peeing in the garage and around the house because the yard was too scary. I have seen dogs that blew through the shock perimeter and got shocked trying to re-enter the yard and ran off. My friends dog blew through the fence and got hit by a car because he ran off when he got shocked trying to return to her. I have seen owners have to drive their car up into the yard and put the dog in it to get the dog to go for a walk with them because the dog doesn't trust them to just put on a leash and go for a walk. They fear the perimeter. Think about the training involved. Person brings dog up to "warning zone" and then "shock zone" and the dog gets a correction and learns that if you go near those flags or that area you will get shocked. I have seen aggression issues where the dog went to the zone to say hi to someone walking by and got shocked and associated the shock with the person and the dog becomes people aggressive. I could go on and on.

    Yes there are many success stories but I can tell you of so many stories that would make you cry too.

    What I say to people, is put in a run...Put in a fence... walk your dog on a leash. I personally would never live in a neighborhood that would tell me that I had to only use an invisible fence to contain my dog, but if I had to, my dog would be leash walked rather than resort to a shocking boundry. As far as the country... We live on 200 acres... I have 6 dogs. I have a smallish fenced in "dog yard" where my dogs can go potty and play around. I leash walk my dogs for exercise. This works great and honestly, my dogs really don't want to be outside by themselves all day, they want to be with me.

    Somebody recently asked me to assist her in training her 2 year old golden. She uses an invisible fence that goes all the way around the house and includes the front and back yard. When I came to her house the dog bounded up to me and was bouncing all over and around my car and I had to stop at the end of her driveway. I then got mugged all the way to her house and was a mud ball by the time I got to her door. What did she tell me was her number 1 thing she wanted her dog to learn??? How to greet people properly. I now have to tell her that she will have to put the dog on a leash and do some hand training and not let the dog free roam the yard inside the invisible fence. Her answer?? But he loves to run around the yard, it is good exercise.

    Anway... best wishes and good luck... I hope you find something that works. I have many friends that are happy with their invisible confinement... but so many people that wish they had never done it or considered it. Dogs are very sensitive. They live to make us happy and there is no reason to train them with a shock or any harsh correction. I love dobies and shepherds. I have had both and have owned 8 dobies in my life and I can imagine them getting up enough speed to blow through any fence. Shepherds tend to stay close, most of my rescue dobies had run away issues when they came to me. [​IMG] take care.. Send photos of your baby...
     
  12. Feb 22, 2012 #12

    shorthorsemom

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    PS as a secondary means of containment, not as bad... but I do still find shock training something I just can't recommend.
     
  13. Feb 22, 2012 #13

    susanne

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    Margo -- I hope this all works, because I know that that is one lucky dog to come into your life!

    As others have mentioned, an invisible fence may not contain a truly motivated dog, and you can't get much more motivated than a velcro dog.

    My sister rescued a white shepherd that had "haunted" a local community college campus. She was beautiful and many people tried to coax her to them but had no luck. Carla came out one evening and talked to her for nearly an hour, leaving her car door open, and eventually Shasta jumped in. From that moment on, they were completely and utterly devoted to one another..

    Carla learned just how much of a velcro dog she had the first time she tried to leave Shasta alone in the house. She returned home to find Shasta standing in the driveway and her living room window shattered. Fortunately Shasta only suffered cut paws, but she actually went through a window to get to her person.

    I agree with shorhorsemom about putting in a run -- with a top to prevent climbing, and, if you can, connect it to/run it into a garage or large shed for protection from the weather. Since it sounds like she was given few boundaries as a puppy, I'd get her a crate for when you wish to leave her indoors -- this gives them a safe, secure place that is all their own.

    I would also consider training her as a coach dog so that, when appropriate, you could take her along on drives with your minis. My sister's current dog -- a Basenji/Shepherd mix -- learned very quickly and now loves running alongside when we drive in enclosed areas. (She and Mingus are great friends.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2012
  14. Feb 23, 2012 #14

    Margo_C-T

    Margo_C-T

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    Know that I really didn't want to feel I would even have to 'try' an invisible fence; just felt I should find out as much as possible about thoughtful people's experiences and opinions about them. I have made up my mind that, for various reasons, yes, but in good measure due to your responses, I will not be attempting any kind of 'invisible, 'shock' barrier. (Cost, difficulty to install also big factors, ultimately!) I do recognize that there are times when such a thing may work well, in the right hands and with dogs that react 'properly'.

    I do have a crate in her size; in fact, I crated her today while I left for a bit over an hour to go buy groceries. She'd been crated before, at her fostering place. She did not seem upset as I left, and while excited to see me when I returned, she was not frantic or anything.

    A run might be possible. I'd have to construct my own, but I'm pretty handy(for a 'girl'..LOL!)that way. Am thinking I could use cattle panels for all sides AND top, with some cross-supports, maybe of rebar, for the top.We buried @ a foot of horse wire under the bottom edge of the chain link after our backyard fence was put in, to prevent 'digging out'; could do something similar.Something to think on...meantime, I have an empty, matted stall in my insulated barn that is VERY secure, which would be fine once the weather is a bit warmer, at least until I can come up w/ a suitable run.

    (Wow, Susanne...kinda scarey to hear that a dog can actually be THAT 'attached'!How great of your sister to take her in, but bet she had no idea that ANY dog would do such a thing...I know I never would have thought it!! And yet, I do plan to encourage her to run beside the cart; I have the perfect totally tolerant horse to 'start' her with(my dear Handy!)My daughter has also already volunteered to let her run with her; she is here every other weekend, and works out in some form daily. She runs in my arena; the ground is just right for it, it's plenty big at 125 X 250', and safe...no 'traffic' of any sort to dodge!

    Thanks again to all for your helpful input!

    Margo
     

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