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- If your dog runs through the invisible fence, check that the collar battery is not dead or is seated properly, inspect the base station, or check for other issues such as gaps in the boundaries.
- If the invisible fence seems to be working properly, revisit boundary training with your dog.
- If all else fails, it might be that invisible fence is not for your dog.
Invisible fences keep dogs contained and safe in their yards. Whether the best wireless dog fence or in-ground, the advanced technology of these fence systems allows for a more suitable level of safety. With these fences, there is no need for having a dog tethered to a chain.
Unfortunately, invisible fences are sometimes problematic. If your dog runs right through the invisible fence with ease, you must know how to troubleshoot and correct this issue. I suggest that you check the collar, all batteries, the base station, and all other possible technical issues.
If your dog runs through the invisible fence, his wellbeing and safety are in danger. First of all, there is the immediate concern of the dog getting shocked. Even though these invisible fence systems deliver a mild shock, dogs can experience fear and discomfort .
Secondly, your dog could run into the street. Your dog could get attacked by another dog or a wild animal.
All dogs are different. I’m lucky to have dogs that quickly learned to follow the rules and stay within the confines of an invisible fence right away. Other dogs may be more tenacious. If your dog is in the latter category, you may have to work a little harder to get him programmed to obey.
I am here to help you understand why your dog is running through the fence line. I will guide you on the steps to take to fix this problem. First, let’s examine some of the reasons your dog may be getting past the invisible fence.
Reasons Your Dog May Run Through an Invisible Fence
Your Dog’s Collar Batteries
While it may seem obvious, many owners do not realize their dog’s collar batteries have failed right away. If your dog is consistently getting out of the fence, the receiver collar batteries are the first thing you should inspect.
Check to see that the batteries are seated properly. If not, this is likely the problem. The batteries may also be dead. Dead batteries won’t allow the fence system to work accurately. Replacing the batteries should correct the issue.
Always refer to your owner’s manual regarding troubleshooting battery issues. You should periodically check the batteries in the invisible fence collar. Even if your dog is not getting loose, failing batteries will become a problem later.
The Base Station
If you’ve checked the batteries in the dog’s collar and they are good, you need to inspect the base station. See if the base station is plugged into an outlet. If the plug is not secure, this could be the issue.
Does your base station use RFA-67 batteries? If so, it’s important to make sure there is still life in the batteries. A battery meter is useful to have on hand because it will allow you to test all types of batteries and ensure they have life.
Other Possible Issues
Other technical issues could be causing your dog to run through an invisible fence. One of them is uneven ground.
If the terrain of your yard is uneven, gaps may develop in the boundaries. These gaps could allow your dog to run through the fence without any shock. Eventually, your dog may learn where the gaps are, and stubborn dogs will run to these areas to get free.
To fix this issue, you will need to try to change the boundaries to even areas of the landscape. If possible, you can also have your land graded so it is made even.
The contacts that supply power to an invisible fence system can also become disrupted or damaged. They may not be buried correctly, or they could become dislodged during landscaping. Some mischievous dogs may even dig in an area and cause the contacts to become disrupted.
Most invisible fence models have base stations that alert a dog owner when there is a problem. Unfortunately, the base station will only tell you there is a problem. You will have to take the time to find the location of the issue.
Before you begin checking an invisible dog fence, make sure it is unplugged and disconnected from any power source.
A word of caution: You can learn how to repair an invisible fence wire, also called underground fences. However, if you do not have the knowledge, tools, and ability to check your invisible fence contacts, and you are not confident enough, don’t! Rely on a professional to come out and inspect and repair the fence for you.
An Invisible Fence May Not Be Right For Your Dog
If you’ve checked all the components and nothing is wrong, look at your dog for answers. An invisible fence may not be right for your furry friend.
Invisible fences are meant to contain your dog. If he is not being contained, having the fence is a waste. Getting shocked constantly is not good for your dog. You may need to face the fact that an invisible fence is just not right for your pooch.
If you want to keep the fence and continue to work with your dog, here are some helpful tips.
- Your invisible fence should have come with flags to set a boundary. These flags alert a dog to stay within the confines of the boundaries. If you have not been using these flags, put them out again.
- Use a long dog leash and allow the dog to explore and sniff the boundaries. He needs to know where he can play and what is off-limits.
- If your dog approaches the boundary while on the leash, gently pull back, and let him know he cannot proceed.
- Do not use the transmission collar for leading. Use a non-metallic second collar.
- Use lots of treats and toys to reinforce exemplary behavior when fence training. If your dog remains within the boundaries, treat him.
- Do not leave your dog unattended in the invisible fence until he is fully trained and consistently obedient.
Try the Response to Signal Method of Training
You cannot install an invisible fence and expect it to do all the work. If you have not trained your dog to use an invisible fence, the results will be lackluster at best. Training a dog to use an invisible fence is essential.
The following method has been found highly beneficial for training a dog. I have used this method, along with countless other dog owners. The following are the steps involved in the signal method of training.
1. Set the fence to signal only.
Setting the collar to signal only means your dog will only get an audio signal when approaching the fence boundaries. The dog will not get any corrective stimulus.
2. Walk your dog to the fence boundary line.
While your dog is on a leash, walk him to the boundary line. Make sure his leash is attached to a non-metallic collar. Leashing the fence collar could cause interference.
3. Move away from the fence when your dog is signaled.
When the collar sends the audio signal, this means the dog is too close to the boundary. Perform corrective action by moving your dog away from the boundary. Give him treats as he moves away from the boundary. Repeat this process often.
4. Turn on the correction.
When your dog has proven he responds and moves away from the boundary line when he receives the audio signal, turn on the lowest level of static shock correction.
5. Practice your dog’s response to the signal.
Now that you have turned on static shock correction, continue to test your dog’s adherence to the signal. Go close to the boundary. If your dog ignores the signal and goes over the invisible fence boundary, he will receive a small static shock.
6. Try incorporating distractions.
Next, you will need to create distractions for your dog. He may listen well when nothing distracts him. When distractions occur, his obedience will be tested thoroughly.
Provide a toy or other dog distraction beyond the boundary of the fence. Make sure it is something your dog will want to pursue. If your dog follows the distraction, he will receive the corrective stimulus.
7. Continue to monitor his reaction to the corrective stimulus.
Continue to monitor how your dog reacts to the corrective stimulus. Does he retreat? If so, reward him with a treat. If he continues to ignore the corrective stimulus static shock, you may need to dial up the intensity level.
Once your dog begins staying within the boundaries consistently, make sure to reward him. If he hears the signal and backs away, he gets a treat each time.
8. Remove his leash and practice.
Now, it is time to remove your dog’s leash. Removing his leash will be the true test of his obedience. Whenever your dog moves away from the fence when he gets the audio signal, reward him with a treat.
If your dog ignores the signal and gets too close to the boundary, he will get a corrective response. Monitor the corrective stimulus level regularly until your dog is responding correctly.
FAQ About Dogs Running Through Invisible Fences
I like to answer all your questions and ensure you have the information you need on topics relating to your dog. The following are some of the top questions and answers dog owners have about their dogs running through invisible fences. Allow these questions and answers to help you fix the issue.
1. Why does my dog run through the invisible fence?
In most cases, there is a problem with the function of the fence. If your dog is repeatedly going past the boundaries, follow the steps above. Check your dog’s receiver collar and the base station. The invisible fence may not be working correctly.
The corrective stimulus could also be too weak for your dog. Try turning up the intensity to see if a stronger static shock encourages your dog to remain within the fence.
2. What happens if a dog crosses an invisible fence?
If your dog escapes the invisible fence boundary, he will receive corrective stimulation. For most invisible fences, this means a small static shock. The static shock is not harmful, but it does cause discomfort. It is meant to deter your dog from going beyond the fence boundary.
3. Can a dog escape an invisible fence?
Because the fence boundary is invisible, your dog can absolutely escape. Multiple reasons may cause a dog to escape. If the collar batteries are dead or the base station is unplugged, dogs will not get corrective stimulation.
Your dog may also ignore the correction. If he ignores the highest level of correction, he needs more training or an invisible fence is not right for your dog.
4. Can an electric fence harm a dog?
If you use electric fencing that is typically reserved for cattle, your dog could be hurt if he comes into contact with the fence. Invisible fences are meant to startle dogs more than cause them discomfort. Vets recommend invisible dog fences because they are effective and safe.
Troubleshoot The Issues
Have you installed an invisible fence and are having problems? Does your dog run right through the fence, ignoring the audio signal and corrective stimulus? If so, you need to know why.
Perform the above checks, and see if there is an issue with the operation. If the fence is operating normally, your dog may require further training. Try the training tips above. You may also need to dial up the intensity of the corrective stimulus.
Invisible fences are highly effective and safe when used correctly. If the fence is not working, there are alternatives that may need to be explored such as using the best GPS dog fences or even the best dog GPS trackers.