Amanda asks how a dog fence can help her pups running off to join a Biker Gang.
Ok, so I have been living on my 40 ac farm now for 6 years and never had an issue with the dogs running UNTIL the neighboring farm got a dog. That dog is always running and now my dogs run with her. Last night the dogs took off after a biker. This is not acceptable. At the same time, I want to be able to let my dogs run in the immediate 8 acres with the kids. I already have a 40×60 dog kennel to keep the dogs in while I am gone but now they are digging to get out of there. I have a German Shepherd Dog and a Collie/Lab. Both are similar sized/weight. I have been looking at these systems for hours trying to decide what to do/buy. I’m not planning on doing to whole 40 ac, so the 25 ac system would be fine. My questions: 1) Bolting – when the neighboring dog comes over she bolts across the street and my dogs chase after her. I know this system is supposed to work against that, but how does it really work? If the dogs just bolt and know that the zap will only last a few seconds, whats to stop them? 2) The collar – I have been reading so many reviews on other sites that complain about the newer light weight collar – it falls off easy, breaks within 8-10 months, flimsy, etc. I see your site touches on it a little but I cannot (and sorry will not!) buy 200 bucks of new collars every 10 months or so. Also if the dogs are bolting across or even in the back of the 8 ac, and lose the collar, that would be another 100 bucks. 3) is there something in the pipeline for this system for collars for different sized dogs? I would love to have a Chinese Crested and a Burmese Mountain Dog someday….Um, they are slightly different in sizes! For this reason I am actually looking at the Dogtra system. 4) on average how long do these systems work? Would I be replacing parts in 5yrs? 10? 50? I know it’s to be expected. The reason I ask is because if I have to replace in 5-10 years, then the different dog sizes would not be an issue right now. 5) I’m really thinking about the Dogtra system because of the Innotek collar issue that I have been reading about and the possible different dog sizes in the future. 6) On average, how much will an electricity bill go up with the use of these systems? We have a co-op and already have a high bill. Dogtra says their system is energy efficient. Thank for your honest answers, as with all the comments, this site has been the best that I have found! Thanks again!
I generally try and get a system that is rated to do well above the area I am trying to enclose. If you use a system that is too close to the manufacturer’s maximum, (for example using an IUC-4100 to contain 25 acres, it’s maximum capacity) then the boundary width even when set to maximum tends to be unnecessarily thin. When you have a nice big area like you do, you want to set that boundary width as wide as possible – because it will make it much easier to train the dogs and much harder for your dogs to break through the boundary. So if you are going to do 25 acres, I would use the Dogtra (it is rated to 40 acres), or another one I really like is the SportDog (rated to 100 acres). Alternatively you can use a thicker gauge of wire than the standard 20 gauge which will also help you get a nice wide boundary using the Innotek.
(1) If you train the dogs on the system, they will not bolt. A trained dog will usually not even realize that running through the wire is a possibility and will assume that the correction extends out infinitely. The last step of the training is to use your dogs particular temptations to test them. So if you are concerned about the neighbor’s dog – we can borrow the neighbors dog and use him to test your dog’s compliance and to train them that they cannot cross the fence under any circumstances.
(2) Not sure what you are reading about a new light weight collar. Which system? We rarely hear about losing a collar because it slipped off a dog (the usual story is that someone takes it off the dog and forgets where they put it down!), the few times it has been a dog with a really fat neck. If the dog’s regular collar stays on, then expect the correction collar to stay on. We have a few customers that are concerned about losing the correction collar and zip-tie the correction collar to the regular collar so that if it falls off it stays attached to the dog. We find this overkill.
(3) The Dogtra collar is a bit heavy for a small dog like a Chinese crested, I would not use it on a dog under 20 lbs. But, the SportDog system is compatible with the PetSafe inground collars, so you would be able to use the PetSafe Little Dog collar with the system.
(4) I would estimate a typical life span on a base station would be ten plus years. Collars I would guess a bit less, somewhere from 5-10 years depending on how much of a beating they take. Wire tends to last 8-15 years depending on the soil type.
(5) Dogtra is a good choice. The Innotek is not a great choice given the size of your yard and the breeds of your dogs. My guess is that the German will require a higher correction than the Collie/Lab – and the Innotek does not let you do independent correction levels. Consider also the SportDog SDF-100. It has a disposable battery, but it is a regular store 9V battery that is not too expensive and the system is a fair bit cheaper and comes with more wire. I think the SportDog is particularly good if you also plan to have small dogs, because you can add in the PetSafe Little Dog collars.
(6) All the systems use similar levels of electricity, and it works out to be about $10 a year. They only emit a very low powered radio signal so have very low power drain.
Let us know if you need any further assistance!
Dog Fence DIY .com