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When You Need to Fence Your Dog

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Why fence your dog? The answers are as varied as the dogs we own. Some dogs are prone to roam and may become lost. A lost dog is exposed to multiple dangers, including cars, other dogs, wildlife and - sadly - violent or uncaring humans. Every time your dog wanders off your property, there's a chance he'll come back injured or, worse, not come back at all.


Securing your dog also protects you. No matter how well-trained, any dog can bite under the wrong conditions. A dog bite may lead to legal action and litigation. A fence also allows your dog to run free and exercise without constant supervision. All dogs should have the opportunity to run and play in safe outdoor locations, both for their personal happiness and physical well-being.


Without a fence, some dogs spend time outside chained or leashed. At best, this is an ineffective solution. The dog cannot play and explore when chained. According to the Humane Society of the United States, a chained dog also has a severely limited territory.


Pros and Cons of Traditional Fences


Traditional fences provide dogs with a clear boundary, but whether or not dogs accept the boundary depends upon their temperament. Dogs can dig under chain link, mesh and wooden fences, or they force their way through gaps in the fence. They may even jump over the fence. Agile dogs are quite capable of clearing six- to eight-foot fences.


Traditional fencing can have a substantial upfront investment, depending upon the material and coverage needs. Plus, traditional fencing requires regular maintenance. Finally, it affects the natural aesthetics of the property.


Municipal Codes and Fence Limitations


If you opt for a physical fence, remember many neighborhoods and municipalities have set rules on the type of fence you can build and its dimensions. Before installing any physical barrier, make sure you fully understand all local and neighborhood ordinances.


Wireless Fences


If you're considering a fence to keep your dog in your yard, wireless fences are a less obtrusive solution.


Using state-of-the-art wireless technology to alert your dog to the limits of his territory, wireless fences come in two general types: radial and custom shapes. A radial-shape wireless system creates a circular wireless zone with minimal set-up.


Custom-shape wireless fences, on the other hand, can be contoured to your property's boundaries. Both systems provide your dog with a correction when he approaches the fence boundary. The wireless system administers either a tonal correction or a mild static correction, the level of which is determined by you.


Underground and Above Ground Fences


Wireless fences are effective training tools to keep your dog on your property; however, they work best in certain conditions. Drastic hills or slopes, extensive landscaping, heavily wooded lots or aluminum siding can interfere with the wireless signal. In such cases, a wired underground fencing system can provide protection for your dog. Wired systems require more effort to install than wireless systems, but are well-suited to rural properties with varied terrain.

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