How Much Space to Give a Dog

by Gajan Retnasaba on March 28, 2010

I have a border collie/ black Lab mixed. He will be 1 year this year. Would this be a good system for him? What about putting the fence across the drive way? I have 1 acre, what is a good amount of space for my dog? I don’t want to go overboard, but I want him to have enough running space. When looking at some of the different systems I see that some come with the regular wire and then some come with the twisted wire also, Why is this? Does this system come with a hand controller?


Hi Amber,

(1) You have a lot of good choice for a collie/lab cross. Both breeds tend to be easy to train, so would do well on nearly any system with adjustable correction levels. Our favorite is the Innotek IUC-4100, it has been our reliable workhorse system for the last few years, and also has a few nice features like having a rechargeable collar, being relatively small, and being able to help you make sure the collar is fitted right. If you wanted something with remote training (the hand controller), the IUC-5100 is a good choice. But, again we would caution against

(2) The amount of space you give your dog really depends a lot on how much space is available and the energy level of the dog. I imagine being both a puppy and a cross of two high energy breeds that the he is quite high energy, so I would try and get him as much space as you can, particularly since you only have an acre. Generally I try and give a high energy dog as much space as possible up to about 10 acres, after which I will temper that recommendation with the practicality of doing so much area. You want to try and capture any spaces where you and your dog go together (e.g. a garden shed).

The only place I would restrict is around the front of a house near a frequently trafficked footpath. As a matter of safety for pedestrians, I try and keep a good safety distance between the dog and the footpath. It is no fun for a pedestrian if a big strange dog comes barrelling toward them at full speed. Even if the dog is contained on an electric fence system, because the boundary is invisible and walkers by don’t know where it is – it can be quite scary.

(3) To get across the driveway, most people will either lay the wire in an expansion joint and caulk over, or cut a slot in the driveway with a circular saw lay down the wire and then caulk over.

(4) The twisted wire comes included in the package and is an optional extra on some systems. Not everyone needs the twisted wire, and you can also create it yourself using the standard single boudnary wire.

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