Why an Electronic Containment Fence is NOT Acceptable
Peaceful Paws does not accept or approve of electronic fencing. Here’s why:
Electronic fencing does not allow innocent people with dogs on leash to walk safely down the street. Since there is no visible barrier, dogs and people walking along the sidewalk have no idea whether the dog barreling at them is loose or safe or friendly. Dogs, especially, feel under attack. And they are the dogs who are walking on leash, inncocent of any wrongdoing. People often feel threatened as well, as many dogs behind electronic fencing charge the fence line aggressively when people or dogs appear on the other side of the barrier.
Electronic fencing does not protect against other animals and people crossing the Electronic border. Since there is no barrier to see and nothing to prevent someone from crossing into home territory, dogs can be attacked by strange dogs in the “safety” of their own yard. In addition, children and adults may cross over into home territory. We’ve had numerous reports of dogs biting kids who petted them while standing on the zap line.
Electronic fencing does not prevent other animals from coming into the yard and fighting with your dog--a fact that vets can attest to because they’ve had to “patch up” dogs that have been attacked while in their own yards.
Electronic collars are not always safe during thunderstorms or with bodies of water on the property. The cautions needed to protect your dog during, and even more importantly preceding, electrical disturbances (namely thunderstorms) are pretty much the same. You must remove the collars and bring the dog indoors–for the same reason you are advised not to use the telephone during a thunderstorm: the dog can get zapped!
Electronic fencing is absolutely no deterrent to dog nappers who are known to steal dogs from owners’ yards while the owners are inside their homes. Even spayed/neutered dogs are at risk, as “bunchers” often steal dogs for dog fighting bait and unscrupulous Class B dealers sell them to research institutions or veterinary schools. Regular fencing, while it can be circumvented, provides at least a sight barrier and requires some work to overcome. Some dogs will submit to the jolt of the shock when they find the reward of getting to something on the other side a higher reinforcement than the brief pain. Very few are going to risk another shock, though, to re-enter the perimeter. When some dogs are spooked, they can become so frightened that they will not even respond to the sound of their owner’s voice.
Electronic fencing puts no observable barrier between the dog who knows the boundaries and visitors/strangers who can’t see them. Because of all the scare stories about dogs attacking people, more and more people are becoming leery of anything larger than a Cocker Spaniel. Additionally, people are becoming more and more apt to sue homeowners over dogs frightening them – and collecting, usually because insurance companies find it cheaper to pay off a claim than to fight it in court. The result of this action is that the homeowner could well loose his insurance.Dogs can learn to associate people or other dogs with the shock of hitting a boundary marker, increasing aggression and increasing the likelihood of biting.
Why Electric Shock is not behavior modification. (By Karen Overall, former Director of Behavioral Clinic at U of Penn Vet Hospital)
Can Aggression in dogs be elicited through the use of electronic pet containment systems? Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science