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Wireless fences: the facts

© Tobyotter (Flickr) Abandoned (For a Photo)
© Tobyotter (Flickr)
What is the wireless pet fencing and how it works
The components of the "fence"
There are different systems of pet-safe wireless fencing, but essentially they all work in the same way. A wire is stretched all around the perimeter of the garden, or the area in which the pets are to be enclosed, and usually buried. The wire is attached to a transmitter. The dogs or cats all wear special pet safe collars.

How the system works
When they get within a few feet of the wire, the animals hear a loud beep. If they get any closer, they are given an unpleasant but harmless shock, a bit like static electricity.

The owner trains the cats or dogs by taking them near to the underground "fence", and teaching them that going further than the beep is unpleasant. Ideally, the animal learns not to go beyond the point of the beep, and never goes outside the garden. But does it work this way?
Positive points
Animals are kept safe
The system provides a way of keeping dogs and cats safely within a garden, without the need to tie them up, keep them indoors, or spend a lot of money on fencing.

The fence can be installed almost anywhere
It can be put up over a wide area, and in just about any shape of garden. This is better than a traditional fence, which will not work for a hillside garden, for instance.

Ease of installation
It is quick to install, either by the suppliers, or by anyone good at DIY. Moreover, it does not spoil the look of a garden, as high fencing or complicated cat proof fencing do.
Negative points
The system does not work for all animals
Some very determined cats and dogs will escape, either because they cannot be taught, or because they are so desperate to get out that they will jump the "fence" despite the shock.They are then free while wearing a large collar which could snag on things, which is particularly dangerous in the case of cats.

Is it safe?
There has been talk recently on wireless animal fencing being outlawed in the UK on the grounds of cruelty. While this has not happened yet, it is certainly a point to be considered.

The whole issue is quite complicated
Anyone considering this means of confining their pets needs to do a great deal of research before committing themselves.

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