by Richard McLaughlin
“Invisible Fence® Brand has been keeping dogs and cats safe at home by providing pet owners with trusted technology, proven training procedures – and total peace of mind.”
– according to Invisible Fence that is
Personally, I think that this is a wonderful tool because it does exactly what it intends to do, exactly as described. On the other hand, I have tested this material myself and find it a bit cruel.
I visited my family in Ohio who has had an invisible fence installed for about 15 years. While there, my parent’s dog was chasing a neighbor’s cat across the yard, as dogs will do, and he ran through the invisible line that marked his boundaries.
According to the literature of the invisible fence site, a running dog would have to be running in excess of 200 miles per hour to move through the signal field and escape without being shocked. I am pretty sure that the dog was not doing 200 miles an hour.
The dog yelped and had one of those looks in its face where you want to give some human quality to your dog; fear, sadness or confusion I suppose.
To get him back on the right side of the fence I had to go over, take his collar off and carry him (120 pounds of him) back to the right side of the fence. He would not walk through that invisible line, nor could I drag him.
So, my brother-in-law Jamie and I were talking to Dad about how effective the fence was, to the point of making the poor dog afraid to come back. I went into a rant about how I both love the fence and hate the fence. Love it because it really does what it was designed to do, and hate it because I am opposed to hurting any animal. Dad was pretty sure that the fence did not hurt “that much” so I put on the dog collar and walked through the line. It did hurt “that much”. Then I backed up to gain some speed and ran through the magic line, simulating what the dog felt when he did it, and it did hurt “that much”.
Jamie couldn’t be outdone by me, so he put on the collar and the pain was bad enough that he could not get to the middle of the line. Then he tried running through the line, but Jamie is rather overweight and not really a sprinter. He could not make it all the way through the line, the shock made him stop. Then he could not get back, because the zapping left him confuse. I had to grab his arm and pull him to the right side of the line. From my point of view – not wearing the collar – it was rather funny.
As I said, my Dad was watching. He decided that couldn’t be outdone by me, so he put on the collar and started walking towards the line. The collar started beeping, and he hesitated. Then continued and go the first light zap, which made him back off and not continue through. Like I said, the product does what it intends. On the same idea, a hand gun does what it is intended to do, get bullets moving really fast. A lot of people like, and a lot of people dislike, handguns. Like guns or not, you have to admit that they do what they were designed to do quite well.
So, in the end I suppose that I am not strongly for or against the invisible fence, I just feel that people should give it a test on themselves before they attach one to their pet.
About The Author
*Richard McLaughlin is a Project Manager, Productivity Coach, Former US Marine & Cat Herder. He can be seen on http://www.linkedin.com/in/richmcl and http://twitter.com/_McLaughlin. His blog is http://richardmclaughlin.biz/