Jungle Dog Fence System

by Gajan Retnasaba on April 13, 2011

A customer has question specific to a jungle dog containment system installation.

Hi, we live on about an acre in south west Costa Rica in a remote village in the mountains above the ocean and we are in need of an electronic dog fence. Since we have the smallest property in the area our principal concern is not the area of coverage but the durability of the system — for several reasons:

1) 200 to 300 inches of rain per year
2) difficult jungle boundaries and VERY rocky
3) no local support or spare parts
4) lots of wildlife to chew the wire.
5) lots of streams and ocean to swim in
6) the dogs in the jungle are the happiest I’ve ever encountered but there is no shortage of opportunities to get hurt or into trouble.

We do not currently own any dogs. Shortly before moving to CR we lost both of our dogs to old age. We will be looking to adopt 2 medium to large breed dogs for home security and because larger dogs fare better with jungle life. Cats and small dogs are frequently referred to as “bird bait”. Our dog(s) would join us on our daily 1 to 2 hour nature walks on jungle roads, frequent walks on the beach and not infrequent hikes to jungle waterfalls. We have a small property but we suspect our part-time neighbors with adjoining properties may want us to include their frequently unoccupied homes in the dogs’ boundary (maybe 6 acres at most).. Since trenching is out of the question our intention is to lay the wire on the ground through the jungle near the boundary roads and route it through the culverts under the driveway(s) at the road.

After reading multitudes of reviews on the internet (yours being the most helpful) I have come to the following conclusions:
– the collar is the biggest weakness in all of the systems but is particularly troubling with the PetSafe and Innotek systems.
– given an above-ground installation, lots of gnawing animals and difficult access for repair we need more durability for the wire
– we should have at least one extra collar/receiver on hand
– since we don’t yet own dogs we should have a system that sets the correction level at the receiver instead of the transmitter
– with frequent power outages we need battery back-up either in the system or externally
– whatever it takes, we need to provide significant lightening protection
– we probably need a signal tracer to locate breaks in the boundary wire given the ruggedness of the jungle
– remote correction would be nice (but by no means necessary) given the number of opportunities to chase some nasty critters into the jungle during our walks
– we need bullet-proof collars and electronics, regardless of the looks

Soooooo…….. we still have some questions remaining:
– How big of a problem is gnawing through the wires by rodents and such?
– would we be better off using large gauge wire (e.g. 14awg) or routing it through plastic pipe laying on the surface?
– how big of a problem is the durability of the collars?
– just how useful is remote correction — really?
– how important is progressive correction?

Finally, we have concluded that our needs would probably be best served by the SportDog SDF-100A, using a computer UPS for battery backup, with an independent grounding rod and a stout surge protector, one extra collar and a supply of rechargeable 9volt batteries. We’re not sure if we should upgrade to 14awg or buy stock in a PVC pipe company but we’ve pretty much concluded that one or the other is necessary.

How do you feel about our conclusion and what would you add to our analysis?

Hi Jerry,

(1) Rodents seems to vary a lot from area to area. It is not a significant problem for our suburban customers, I suspect it is a bigger issue in Costa Rican Jungle.

(2) The PVC pipe would work better than the thicker wire. The thicker wire doesn’t make a huge difference in terms of resilience. Any type of conduit would work better. Hose pipe, or sprinkler system irrigation pipe would work nearly as well as PVC and is easier to install because it is flexible. It also will not crack if someone steps on it or drives over it.

(3) We don’t see that many collar durability issues with PetSafe or Innotek. I suspect the larger number of online complaints are because these two brands are 95% of the market. The reason you rarely see Dogtra complaints, is that they sell very few dog containment systems. The only thing I would really avoid are some of the lower end collars and the Humane Contain collars.

(4) Remote correction is not something we use much with our customers. It is useful for people doing more serious dog training that have a bit of experience in remote-training or are working with a trainer. For most ordinary pet obedience issues, leash or clicker trainer works well and does not carry the risks associated with remote collar training. It is definitely not an easy/quick-fix solution that many people think it is and should not be undertaken lightly.

(5) Progressive correction is nice to have but not high on my list of importance. What is really important is the training. If you do the training the dogs will remain faithful to the boundaries. Without the training, no feature is going to help you get the dogs contained.

Jody Riojas
Customer Support Manager
DogFenceDIY (888) 936.4349 ext. 701

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