(Want a $50 Amazon Gift Card? Read on to find out how this post can help you get one.)
|Freedom zones can be expanded with add-ons.|
It’s been a while since I’ve held a contest and now that I’m in my new Idaho homestead, it feels like a great time to have another one! Everyone who comments and/or shares this post on any social media venue gets put in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card! The contest ends March 1st at midnight and the lucky winner will be drawn using a random number generator.
What’s all the hoopla? Why, Lucky of course. He’s generated quite a bit of comments recently as I post about getting him settled into our new homestead here in southern Idaho. The property we’ve settled on has no perimeter fence and I’ve been working on different methods that will keep him from running over to the neighbors’ houses while allowing him his freedom to be a dog. Or as Joel Salatin might say, to let him experience his “dogness.”
I’ve decided on an electric fence for Lucky. Through the comments on my blog from you loyal subscribers (all three of you!) and my own research, I’ve determined there are six reasonable uses for a DIY electric dog fence.
If you have dogs, keeping them safe and out of trouble is always a top priority. Dogs thrive on having the freedom to run and explore for the good of their physical and mental health, but in some cases they can’t do so without restriction (ie., irritating the neighbors). Electric dog fences are versatile and reliable methods of containment in most cases and they’re relatively easy to install on your own. A DIY electric dog fence can be used in many different ways, and here are some of the ways you can take advantage of them.
Create Custom Dog Zones
One of the great things about electric dog fences is how versatile they are. Our three acres is perfectly rectangular…but our house sits cattywampus (crooked) on the property. Traditional fences are rigid and typically meant for rectangular yards or 90-degree angles. If I ran a fence line in parallel with my house, it would look awkward on my property. An electronic dog fence is easily installed in any shape or angle, allowing you to fully customize your dog’s zone. In small yards, this can let you maximize the space your dog can use, without being restricted by oddly shaped property lines or structures that would interfere with the path of a traditional fence.
Protect Your Chicken Coop
When I had my chicken coop in Flagstaff, I had to protect my flock from Lucky. He would dig under the fencing and swipe large swathes of feathers off their backs…if they were lucky enough to get away from his massive paws. Whether they have the urge to hunt or just want to play, dogs can easily injure or kill chickens (Lucky 4, Chickens 0). A fence around your coop to keep your chickens inside is often not enough to stop your dog from digging under or jumping over it. An invisible fence placed around your chicken coop will keep your dog and chickens separated. If you use electricity in your coop, an electric fence can share the power source. You can also purchase a solar panel for less than $100 to power the electric fence.
Guard Your Gardens or Flower Beds
Dogs that love to dig can wreak havoc in gardens or flower beds. Lucky can dig holes big enough to hide a lawn tractor in. If it’s a challenge to stop your dog from entering your garden, an electric dog fence might be the right solution for you. You can run wire around any sized garden, and your dog’s e-collar will emit a mild static shock if they get too close. You can even use a wireless dog fence in your garden, and some units are even disguised as rocks. An important thing to remember, of course, is that an invisible fence will not stop other critters from going in your garden.
Enclose Large Properties
For people with large properties, an electric dog fence is an excellent option. Some electric dog fence systems can enclose up to 100 acres at a time. Installing your own electric dog fence can save you thousands of dollars and the savings are even more significant over larger areas. With an underground dog fence, you don’t have to deal with evening out the terrain. You also don’t have to regularly survey your fence for damage, because an electric system will notify you if any portion is broken.
Add an Extra Layer of Protection
|Lucky and I watching the Super Bowl|
Even the best electric dog fence cannot contain the most aggressive dogs and cannot keep other animals out of your yard. Because of this, electric dog fences are great as an extra layer of protection in an already fenced-in yard. Dogs who like to dig under or jump over fences will be unable to do so when an e-collar system is added. My neighbor has mad welding skills and was able to spend an entire summer building his on solid pipe fencing around the entire perimeter of his three acres. But he also lined the inside of the traditional fencing with electric to keep his animals from jumping on or leaning up against the fence. With a traditional fence and an electronic fence, your worries about your dog becoming injured - or a liability - will be alleviated. We’ve all heard stories about the neighbor who shot a dog because he was tired of the dog wondering onto his property.
Restrict Indoor Space – Yes, it can be done!
Electric dog fences are not just for use outdoors. They can also be installed inside to restrict the movements of your dog. If you need to keep your house cat and dog separate, for example, an electric fence can set the boundaries. Barriers specifically designed for indoor use allow you to block off access to certain rooms with easy installation. It’s as simple as placing a small strip or wireless unit in a doorway, and your dog can have free range in the rest of your home.
When choosing a containment system for your yard, there are lots of options to consider. For example, the PetSafe YardMax is one of the most popular choices for average-sized yards (based on Amazon customer feedback). Other systems, like the Havanhart Radial, PetSafe Little Dog, and SportDog SDF, are great for specific situations.
Installing your own electric dog fence will save you hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars, and it can be done by anyone, regardless of experience. A DIY electric fence can be installed in just one weekend, and it only takes about 15 minutes per day for two weeks to train your dog on it. There are plenty of YouTube videos available that teach methods of training your dog to respect the fence before going live.
I encourage you to share your experiences with a variety of dog containment systems in the comments section. Commenters and those who share the post in social media qualify for a drawing of a $50 Amazon gift card! Let me know how you share this post and you’ll be in the drawing for the gift card. Again, contest ENDS March 1st, 2015 at midnight.
Published in partnership with www.dogfencediy.com.