We recently received a few questions from a wonderful family up north who is fortunate enough to have a team of sled dogs with both huskies and malamutes. These two breeds are the most commonly used breeds for sleds but many people also keep eskimo dogs and Chinooks. All four breeds are known for their obedience, determination, resilience and tolerance to cold weather.
When a team of dogs is not out working dog owners experience challenges related to containment that are peculiar to cold weather and large groups of working dogs. To try to help all of you looking for a sound containment solution for your pulling breeds let’s take a look at the most commonly asked questions related to electric dog fences in cold weather.
1. Will Electric Dog Fences Work When The Ground is Covered By Snow and Ice?
Yes, your electric dog fence will work under the snow. You will need to make some adjustments to the settings in the control box in order to expand the boundary width. Basically as the snow accumulates you will need a wider boundary to match the height of the snow pile. Think about the wire emitting signals in all directions. As the snow pile decreases you can decrease the width of the signal.
2. How Exactly does one train sled dogs to understand boundaries when there are no visible signals of the fence?
Early in the winter you want to begin training using flags. Eventually the dogs will develop a sense of distance that will help in how they interact with the invisible fence. Because no visible cues are present you may want to consider training the dogs to respond to the tone or vibration warning feature present in many of the collars available for electric dog fences.
3. If I need to install the wire in the winter can I just lay it on the ground or does it need to be buried?
Yes, wire perimeters can be laid on the ground and secured with ground staples. The main problem you will face with this method is potential damage to the wire when vehicles cut across them. For example if you use a snow plow.
4. What about a wireless perimeter fence?
Wireless fences are useful inside the house to keep dogs off certain areas. We have found that they are not the most reliable option when it comes to signal and training for outdoor applications
5. My team of dogs has over 14 dogs, Can the fence handle that many dogs?
Electric dog containment systems can be used for large groups of dogs making it ideal for long-term kennels, training facilities and work dogs. Each e-collar costs about $130.
6. What about the reliability of electric boundaries in areas prone to blackouts?
A winter storm can wreak havoc as far as power supply. When installing a wired electric dog fence in areas with electric supply problems we highly recommend the use of an alternate power supply or battery.
7. I have heard that dog collars are problematic with dogs that have a thick coat. Is that correct?
Yes and no. One of the main reasons for failure and injury when using electric dog fences is improper fit or improper contact. To avoid this problem we recommend that you fit all the collars with the long prongs available with each of the collars we ship. We also suggest that you do a fit test to make sure there is proper contact with the skin.
9. What about battery life in cold weather?
Our collars of choice when using electric dog fences are the rechargeable collars. A two hour charge can last up to a month but many dog owners have routines in which they remove the electric collars for charging when the dogs come inside for warmth and food.
10. Are electric dog fences expandable?
Electric dog fences can be used to create invisible dog barriers as large as 100 acres. We have assisted many dog owners in planning the installation of fences designed to keep dogs inside the boundaries of working ranches and large properties. Many dog owners make these installations by laying the wire on top of the cross or post fences.
Ready to pick the best and most affordable electric dog fence for your dog? Go to our dog fence store