Containing Aggressive Dogs

by Gajan Retnasaba on May 18, 2010

A reader asks whether a containment fence is appropriate for dogs with aggression issues.

I have 2 lab like puppies we rescued from a dumpsite. They are now approximately 10 months old approximately 50 lbs, and were spayed and neutered about 6 weeks ago. They just attacked and seriously injured our neighbor’s dog inside their fence yesterday. I am in immediate need of a fence and wondered if an underground fence would be recommended since as of yesterday, they now have a history of aggressive behavior. They have run at the dogs behind the neighbor’s fence prior to yesterday but otherwise they are the most gentle dogs we have ever owned.

I forgot to ask one other question. I noticed on 1 site that the collars should not be worn more than 12 hours a day and that this was normal for all these type systems because the contacts will create sores. I haven’t found this mentioned anywhere else but wanted to make sure this system is for dogs who stay outdoors most of the time.
Or are these systems intended for intermittent outdoor time?
Thanks so much for your help.

Hi Michelle,

They sound like wonderful dogs, I am glad you had the kindness to take them in.

I generally avoid using a dog containment fence alone for a dog aggressive or people aggressive dog. The systems are just as effective, the issue is more that the consequences are so much greater if the dogs get out. Dogs escaping just one time can cause very serious consequences as you just had the bad luck to experience. I like to see dogs that are still working through these issues (hopefully with an experienced trainer) contained through two or more methods so there is a backup in case one method fails. I know that is not always possible.

The dog fence collars are all designed to be worn during the day, and to be taken off at night. The issue is that some dogs will develop allergies or pressure sores. Some people do leave the collars on 24/7, if you do plan on leaving them on continuously, also plan on checking the neck area. For the first few weeks check daily, then check weekly. If the dog does develop a reaction, it is no big deal if you catch it early – it does become an issue if you leave it untended for a long time and it gets infected.

Hope that helps

Wes Riojas

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