Hidden fencing (a.k.a. electric dog fencing, invisible fencing, or underground fencing) has been in existence for a long time but has recently become more popular due to the ever increasing fence restrictions and our ability to trust more in technological advancements. There are some people, however, that are still leery due mostly to myths associated with this type of pet containment. We would like to address these myths and help educate the general public about the safety, humanity and convenience of hidden fences.

The six most popular myths associated with hidden fences are 1) the shock is dangerous and inhumane; 2) it doesn’t work on my breed; 3) my dog will never want to come outside again; 4) it will make my dog become aggressive; 5) it is too expensive and 6) store-bought systems work just as well as professionally-installed hidden fences.

Myth #1:  The shock is dangerous and inhumane.

Many people feel that “shocking” a dog is harmful and an inhumane method of training. With Hidden Fences there are so many more factors involved than just a shock.

The “shock” from the collar is an electronic stimulation similar to the static shock you receive after walking across a carpet in your socks. It is briefly uncomfortable, it gets the dog’s attention but it does not injure the dog and it cannot burn the dog’s skin.

The myth that electronic collars can “burn” the skin may be the result of misdiagnosing ‘pressure sores’. Pressure sores are caused by a collar that is too tight and/or not removed regularly. Pressure sores are not related to electronic stimulation and can be avoided by adjusting the collar if it is too tight and by removing the collar at night.

Additionally, it should be understood that a pet who is properly trained rarely receives the “shock.” In most cases, after the initial training, dogs do not continue to test the system and they only experience the audible warning. The audible warning gives the dog a chance to turn around before the electronic stimulation even occurs.

Myth #2: These types of fences won’t work on my breed.

DogWatch has been in the pet containment industry for over 25 years, and our DogWatch Dealers have successfully trained hundreds of thousands of dogs to the fence. Sighthounds, scent hounds, Beagles, terriers of all kinds, giant dogs, tiny dogs, hairy dogs and hairless dogs – our Dealers have worked with many dog breeds, including breeds with a reputation for being escape artists. With the proper training ALL breeds of dogs can be trained to a hidden fence. 

Claims that these types of fences don’t work are usually due to lack of or improper training. This type of fencing does work – which is why any reputable company will offer you a money-back guarantee if they cannot contain your dog. They should also offer training assistance if you experience any sort of problems – it only makes sense to stand behind your product.

Important Note: DogWatch Hidden Fences are only intended for use with trained domestic dogs. If your dog has a history of aggressive or violent behavior and could cause harm to itself or others inside or outside the fenced premises, you should take other measures to restrain your dog such as traditional fencing.

Myth #3:  My dog will be afraid of the fence and won’t want to play in the yard.

All dogs respond in their own way to Hidden Fence training. Some dogs take to it right away and others, just like humans, take a little more time to adjust. Initially, some dogs may stay close to the house or the front door while they are learning their new boundaries. For them, a little more work may be required to learn that it is safe to play in the entire yard. You just need to spend a little time with your dog playing and giving them treats to remind them that the yard is a fun and safe place to play.

Myth #4: It will make my dog aggressive.

Some people believe that dogs will become aggressive if they are contained with a hidden fence. Our customers, however, overwhelmingly report that their dogs are much happier when they have the freedom to play outside without a leash or chain.

It is rare, but if someone reports that a dog became aggressive after the fence was installed, there are usually underlying issues unrelated to the Hidden Fence. For example, a dog who has never been properly socialized may not be comfortable around strangers. After a poorly socialized dog is trained to the hidden fence, the dog may appear to be more aggressive when people enter the yard. This may be because the owner has never had the dog loose in the yard before and, therefore, has not observed that the dog is territorial around strangers. The same thing could happen if a physical fence was installed and someone tried to enter the yard.

Myth #5:  It is too expensive.

Many people mistakenly believe that hidden fencing is very expensive so they never even explore the possibility of using it for their pets. The fact is, a professionally installed DogWatch Hidden Fence is significantly less expensive than a traditional fence. The more acreage involved, the greater the savings, comparatively speaking.

Myth #6: A store-bought brand is equivalent in quality to a professionally installed brand.

With this myth, nothing could be further from the truth. As with any product, there are different levels of quality. Generally speaking, professionally installed systems offer more quality and reliability, more features, better customer service and better warranties.

In addition, a system purchased from an Authorized Hidden Fence Dealer will be properly installed by an experienced professional who will also ensure that your pet is trained to understand the fence, thereby increasing the likelihood of successful containment. Finally, a professionally installed system will come with a performance guarantee of some sort and your local Dealer will be available to provide assistance and service, should you need it.

Although hidden fencing isn’t for everyone, we hope that addressing some of these more popular myths associated with it will help open your mind to the possibilities. If you or someone you know is ever in need of pet containment, give your local DogWatch Dealer a call today!

The following blog post was adapted from a post written by Emily West, co-owner of DogWatch of Columbus.