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Invisible Fences: Do or Don’t?

May 1, 2021

Does your dog get excited when he thinks he’s going for a walk or visiting a park? As you may know, our canine companions love to run and play outside. The vast majority of pups will both enjoy and benefit from having a fenced-in yard. If you’re looking at installing fencing, so your pet can have an outdoor play space, you may be wondering about invisible fences. A local veterinarian lists some things for you to consider below.


Invisible fences do offer some attractive benefits. One of the bigger selling points of these fences is that they are quite affordable. If you live in an HOA, you may also be spared the hassle of making sure that your fence is up to their codes and standards, though this of course will vary, depending on the HOA and its rules. Plus, invisible fences can be used on any type of terrain, and are quick and easy to install. Finally, because they are invisible, they won’t obstruct your views.


There are a few downsides to invisible fences. For one, these devices are definitely not ‘plug and play.’ You’ll need to teach your pooch where the fence is, which means taking time to walk him along the perimeter. Most manufacturers do offer directions on this, and some will even work with you. This is something to consider when you go shopping. Another thing to keep in mind is that even if the fence keeps your dog in, it won’t keep the neighbor’s pets—or any other animals—out. Reliability is another issue. If power is disrupted, you basically are going to be down a fence. Finally, these fences do make dogs uncomfortable. Fido may get confused, scared, or agitated. It’s also worth mentioning that some pups will just ignore the fence and bolt through anyway.


You’ll also need to consider your dog’s personality and temperament. If you have an active pooch that is pretty likely to run off, such as a husky, an invisible fence just might not be the best option. Generally, these are likely to work best in quiet areas, and with pups that will probably stick close to home anyway. It’s also important to realize that some of the benefits that we listed can become drawbacks. For instance, an invisible fence won’t mar your view, but it also won’t offer you the privacy that another type of fence would. It’s probably safe to say that physical fences are going to be the better choice in most situations.

Our Advice on Invisible Fences

What are the key benefits of installing an invisible fence for dogs?

Key benefits of installing an invisible fence for dogs include affordability and ease of installation compared to traditional fencing. Invisible fences are versatile, functioning well on varied terrains and in different property layouts. They are less intrusive visually, preserving the natural aesthetics of a property. These fences also comply with many homeowners’ association (HOA) rules, avoiding potential conflicts. Additionally, they provide a boundary for pets to roam freely in the yard while minimizing the risk of them wandering off, offering peace of mind to dog owners.

How does the affordability of invisible fences compare to traditional fencing?

Invisible fences are generally more affordable than traditional fencing. The cost of materials and installation for physical fences, especially wood, metal, or vinyl, can be significantly higher. Invisible fences require fewer materials and less labor for installation, leading to lower overall expenses. They are an economical solution for creating boundaries for pets without requiring extensive construction or altering the property’s landscape. This cost-effectiveness makes invisible fences popular for pet owners looking for a budget-friendly containment option.

Can invisible fences be installed on any terrain?

Yes, one of the advantages of invisible fences is their adaptability to almost any type of terrain. Unlike traditional fencing, which physical obstructions or challenging landscapes may limit, invisible fences use underground wiring or wireless signals, allowing them to be effective in varied environments. They can be installed in hilly, wooded, or uneven areas where conventional fences might be impractical or excessively costly. This flexibility makes invisible fences a versatile option for many property types, providing a continuous boundary for pets regardless of the terrain’s complexity.

What are the training requirements for a dog with an invisible fence?

Training a dog for an invisible fence requires patience and consistency. It involves teaching the dog to recognize and respect the fence’s boundaries. The process typically includes using flags or markers to delineate where the invisible boundary is visually. Training sessions involve guiding the dog on a leash near the boundary and teaching them to retreat when they hear the warning beep from the collar, indicating they are too close to the edge. Positive reinforcement, like treats and praise, rewards the dog for backing away from the boundary. This training usually takes several weeks, depending on the dog’s temperament and learning speed. It’s crucial to ensure the dog fully understands the boundary to prevent escape attempts and reduce anxiety or confusion.

How effective are invisible fences in keeping other animals out?

Invisible fences are not effective in keeping other animals out. While designed to contain a pet within a designated boundary, they don’t provide a physical barrier to prevent other animals from entering the property. This can be a concern, especially in areas with wildlife, stray animals, or neighboring pets, as these animals can easily cross the invisible boundary and potentially interact with the contained pet. Owners relying on invisible fences should consider additional measures or supervision to ensure their pet’s safety from external animal encounters.

Call us, your local veterinary clinic in Peterborough, ON, today! We are always here to help!