Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs
Dog Fences Reviewsby Geoffrey English
There are many types of dog fences on the market today. The manufacturers of dog fences include Innotek, Petsafe, Dogtra and SportDog. In this article, I would like to help clear up some of the terminology and concepts associated with choosing the right underground dog fence.
Innotek UltraSmart IUC-4100 In-Ground Pet Fencing
Every underground dog fence is made up of three devices; Wall-mount transmitter, wire and flags, and the dog collar.
The wall mount transmitter is the system’s control center. Most systems allow you to customize your system by making adjustments at the control panel. For example, most containment systems allow you to adjust the distance your dog can be from the wire before hearing the warning tone and receiving a correction.
The transmitter is connected to a standard 110v outlet. For safety sake it is recommended that your transmitter be mounted indoors and is protected from the elements. Some containment systems also have a battery backup that provides power to your system in the event that power is lost at your home. This is an extremely valuable feature if you live in areas subjected to frequent power outages. Remember, if your transmitter does not have power to it, your dog fence will not work.
Stimulation Levels - this corresponds to the level of correction your dog will receive when he or she challenges the system. Most containment systems offer a warning tone prior to issuing a correction (typically 2 seconds prior).
Run-Through Prevention is a newer technology that prevents your dog from “running-through” the containment field by issuing the highest level of stimulation as the dog continues to challenge the system by proceeding more than 1/3 of the way through the containment field, regardless of the transmitter stimulation level setting. For example, if the field width is set to 12 feet from the wire and your dog enters the containment field, the stimulation level will increase to the highest level once the dog gets within 8 feet of the boundary wire.
External Lightning Protector helps protect the transmitter from electrical power surges due to lightning strikes near your system. A lightning strike near your boundary wire can cause a surge of electricity to be issued to the transmitter and damage your system and render it inoperable.
Underground Wire and Flags
Don't be fooled by retailers trying to sell you thicker gauge wire for your system. Manufacturers provide the appropriate wire to generate the correct signal to be picked up by the collar/receiver. Most systems come standard with at least 500 feet of boundary wire. Remember, the wire must form a complete loop in order for the system to work properly. Therefore, it is important to pace off the boundary of your yard to determine how many feet of wire your system will require. Containment wire is only buried 1” - 3”. Usually, all that is necessary to install the wire is to take a lawn-edger and fold back the sod, put the wire under the sod and replace the sod over the wire. Interference can occur around large metal objects and buried electrical, telephone and cable TV wires. Do not run closer than 10’ to these cables. You can minimize interference issues by crossing perpendicular to these lines. For your dog’s safety, it is recommended that you keep the containment wire at least 10’ from the street. Keep in mind that you will want to place the wire where there is room for an 8’-12’ containment field. As a rule of thumb, you will want to set flags every 10 feet along the boundary. Once the dog begins to learn where the boundary is you will begin to remove every other flag, over time until no more flags are left and your dog no longer challenges the system. This usually can be accomplished over 3-4 weeks.
Collar / Receiver
The receiver is attached to a nylon or biothane collar strap that your dog wears. As the dog approaches the boundary, the collar will pick-up the signal transmitted from the wire. Depending on the strength of the signal, the collar will administer a warning followed by a correction. The collar should fit snug and the receiver should rest near the bottom of the dog’s neck. A good rule of thumb when putting the collar on the dog is to make sure you can fit two fingers under the collar. It is important to make certain that both contact points are touching the dog’s skin or the system will not work consistently. Dogs with thick hair may need their hair thinned to ensure proper operation.
Number of Dogs
Most systems are capable of running an unlimited number of dogs within a system. All that is required is for the collar to be synchronized to the existing system.