Electric, Wireless and Invisible Dog Fences: Ultimate Freedom, Maximum Containment, Minimum Correction.
Electronic dog fence systems and kits serve mostly as a means for confining your dog to your property. They allow your dog the freedom to run and play safely and give you a sense of security that your pet won’t run away when you’re not looking.
TheFreedomFence.com now offers installation, repair and servicing of All Brands of pet and dog fence systems in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada. WE PROUDLY SERVICE ALL BRANDS OF ELECTRIC FENCE SYSTEMS: Pet Stop®, PetSafe®, Pet Guardian®, Invisible Fence ™ ®, DogWatch® and Dog Guard®.
Electronic dog fences are also known as hidden, invisible, wireless or underground dog fences. This type of dog fence uses either single or multiple transmitters that produce radio signals that are picked up by the collar worn by your dog.
As your dog approaches the boundaries that have been established, he will hear a specific beeping sound. If he continues to get closer, he will feel a mild static shock. Many dog owners use this type of dog fence to quickly train their dogs to stay within a “safe” zone.
Most electronic or wireless dog fences are hidden under the ground so not to obstruct your views and are ideal for acreages, and effectively keep your dog confined to your yard. One great advantage of an electric dog fence is that your dog won’t be able to chew through, jump over or dig up the fence like he would a traditional wood fence.
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An electric fence wire is buried under the ground, surrounding the perimeter of the area in which you’d like your dog confined. It is similar to the invisible dog fence in that your dog is outfitted with a special collar that contains a receiver. The difference is that when your dog gets too close to the perimeter of the area that is fenced off, he will hear a loud beep or tone. As he gets closer and closer, the sound will change in frequency. Eventually, he will learn to return to the safety of his yard. If for some reason your dog does go across the electric wire, he will receive a “correction”.
To install an invisible dog fence, an electric wire is run under the ground around the perimeter of the yard, or other space you’d like for your dog to stay. A receiver is placed on the collar of your dog. The underground wire consistently broadcasts a weak signal that will beep as your dog approaches the boundary of the fence. In the case that your dog gets too close to the perimeter, he will receive a mild shock. Most dogs learn very quickly to stay within the perimeter and eventually stop going near the perimeter altogether.
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Electronic dog fences are becoming a very popular solution to the problem of wandering dogs. There are now literally dozens of different brands and models available, some are very high quality and some are simply rubbish. All of the systems available are potential nightmares when they fail to work as you expected. In most cases there is a simple fix for your problem. A few simple tests are all you need to find and correct the fault.
Fault finding in an electronic fence can be a frustrating and time-consuming exercise as often the problem is a combination of faults. Imagine trying to find a bad connection of the boundary wire to the controller by using a collar with a low battery. This will give all sorts of false and confusing results. The way to tackle your problem is to break the fence system down into its 3 main parts and then test each part separately. The 3 parts we will be testing are:
Transmitter or Controller
The best way to test your transmitter is to disconnect your boundary wire and connect at least 30 feet (10 meters) of new wire. Lay the wire out in a circle and make sure to twist the last 3 feet (1 meter) before it connects to the transmitter. Turn on the transmitter and check the "power LED" is illuminated. If the power LED does not come on you have 1 of 2 problems. The power supply (usually a 12 volt plug pack) unit has failed or the transmitter is faulty. If you have a multimeter you can test the output from the power supply to determine if it is working. It is also a good idea to test the power supply in a different power outlet.
The transmitter should also have the "loop indicator " illuminated. An illuminated power LED but no illuminated loop indicator LED indicates the transmitter is faulty and needs to be replaced or returned for repairs. Double check that you have stripped enough insulation from the ends of the boundary wires and that they are making a good contact with the transmitter.
The next step is to disconnect one of the boundary wires, this should produce the break indicator warning, normally a flashing light and an audible alarm tone. If you do not get an alarm to indicate a wire break, the transmitter is faulty.
Now that we know the transmitter is working we can reconnect the boundary wire. The boundary wire is the simplest of all to test but the most frustrating to fix. The transmitter power LED and the loop indicator LED should be illuminated. A break indicator alarm will confirm that the boundary wire has been broken. Your problem now is to find the break in the wire, if the wire has been buried this can be a difficult exercise. Locating and repairing a wire break will be covered in a future article.
The first thing to do when testing a collar is to replace the battery with a fresh one. In the case of rechargeable collars this can be a difficult and expensive exercise. Make sure the collar is fully charged and is holding it's charge, rechargeable batteries do not last forever and often they have a life span of less than 18 months. Low or flat batteries will result in confusing and inconsistent performance.
Test the collar on a straight section of your fence that is well away from the controller. Approach the fence while holding the collar in your hand.
The orientation and height of the collar above the ground can make a big difference to its response distance. Hold the collar with the probes at 45 degrees to horizontal and at roughly the same height from the ground as it would be when the dog is wearing it. The collar should sound a warning as you approach the wire. Common problems are listed below.
The collar has to be held on top of the boundary wire to activate:
Adjust the boundary width control knob on the transmitter to increase the distance from the boundary wire that the collar activates. If your transmitter has a Boundary Control Switch, adjust it to another setting. Make sure your boundary wire loop is separated by at least 3 feet (1 meter).
The collars give an inconsistent response:
Make sure your transmitter is located well away from large metal objects like freezers and washing machines. Check that your boundary wire corners are gradual as sharp corners will cancel the signal. Make sure the boundary wire is not running parallel to and within 4-6 feet (2 meters) of underground electrical cables, telephone lines, neighboring electronic fences, etc.
The dog is not responding to correction:
Test the collar with the supplied test light to make sure it is working correctly.
Adjustable collars may be set to low for your dog, increase the level setting.
Adjust the collar fit.
Shave the area of the dog's skin that is in contact with the probes.
Try longer probes especially on long-haired dogs.
Following the steps above should enable you to identify which part of your system is at fault and allow you to take appropriate action. It is very important that a faulty fence system is repaired as quickly as possible. A faulty or inconsistent fence will quickly lose your dogs respect and retraining a dog can be very difficult.
Invisible Dog Fence: A Safe Way to Fence Your Dog