Boss*sMom wrote:I wonder what my PBF friends would have to say about us using the wireless fence set up...
I'll give my opinion, since this is a thread that involves electric stimulation, and I just plain dislike those things.
One of the reasons I don't like them is that an electric fence does not prevent animals from coming into your yard, since a loose dog that is not wearing the collar would have no problem entering the flagged area. That means that if something was to happen your dog is not protected, and might try to escape the boundaries, which would end up with an electric stimulation while the dog is panicking.Not a good combination at all.
There is plenty of stimulation from the outside world that can cause interest or even a reaction in a dog, such as a child running with a skateboard or bike, a group of strangers walking outside the flagged area, people walking dogs etc, you name it. When a dog become curious and want to approach a child passing by (just to use an example) in a friendly manner, the dog receives an electric stimulation, which creates a negative association. For a dog who is already easily aroused, fearful or wary of children, that is recipe for disaster. Even for easy going animals, stimuli that were once okey become associated with an electric stimulation. Never mind the very stupid owners with dogs with aggression issues who use an electric fence, who end up creating the perfect environment for full blown responses, out of frustration.
Like electric collars, these are tools that are easily accessible to everyone, in place like Petsmart, Petco or other pet stores. They beat the price of a fence and they sure take some work away from owners, which is why they are so popular.The companies that build them advertise them to "keep pets safe" but the fact is that they do not. Fences keep pets safe, and owners without a fenced yard who take the time to go out there with their dogs on a long line when the need arise. I had a client who brought me the box with the kit she bought and, apparently, when "done right", this was a super cool thing to confine dogs. Problem is...how many owners know anything about behavior dos and don'ts? How many even know what they own and realize that this is not a reasonable option? How many monitor their dogs each and every time the dog is out, to be aware of what the dog is zapped for and what kind of behaviors follow? Also, it is not unusual for these collars to fail and create nasty burns on a dog's neck, which is certainly not safe nor fair. I am sure I have some pictures saved, of dog's neck that have been burned, if anyone want to see them.
We exhausted all options with them, and this was the only thing we could do,
Exhausting all the options, are you sure it is the case? If the dogs are only out to potty or romp around, as you stated, what prevents you from putting a long line or them and watch them for the time they are out?
Now the collars are on, and set to beep only, they never cross the fence.
That is, in my opinion, even worse. It takes one time for your dogs to cross the boundaries and find no consequences to try it again. In order for positive punishment to have the desired effect, the performance of the behavior has to be followed by the presentation of a stimulus (in this case the electric stimulation), each and every time.One of the reasons why positive punishment can be damaging and it is so hard to execute, is that it requires perfection, both in timing and magnitude of the punishing stimulus. It would not be fair to your dogs to cross the boundaries when the beeper does not work (if it ever happens), and then get electrically stimulated when you turn the collar on for delivery of stimulation. It is confusing and frustrating for the animals.It can also lead to learned helplesness in some cases, when a dog is unsure and afraid of what might cause punishment, due to previous conflicting behavior-consequence sequences.
Here is a video of a golden behind an electric underground system.I don't know the dog, so I can't say whether or not he was already showing those behaviors when other dogs passed the front yard, but it is very common for arousal levels to be increased by a negative stimulus and frustration. If the dog decided to cross the boundaries, he was at the point of high arousal already, and the dog to dog meeting would have not ended up well.The dog that belongs to the client I mentioned before, had his dog to dog reactivity starting from minor (very manageable with positive re direction)to ugly and prolonged behaviors shortly after the dog ended up on an underground system. Bottom line, it is not enough to call it containment or safe containment.