Should I Get an Electrical Fence or Stick with A Traditional One?

Traditional VS Wireless Electrical Dog fences

It goes without saying that having a fence around your yard is crucial for keeping your lovely pooch safe. The fence allows your furry canine baby to be free and physically active but inside the limits of its safe zone.

Today, the market offers a plethora of different fencing systems. Generally speaking, there are two types of containment systems for dogs. Those are:

  • Traditional fencing systems
  • Electrical (invisible) fencing systems.

Traditional fencing systems include several different types of fences. Those are wooden fences, chain link fences, picket fences, split-rail fences, and snow fences. Traditional fences consist of mutually linked posts and rows made of different materials. The linking system can also be made of different materials.

Electrical fencing systems include two types of fences. Those are wired (or in-ground) fences and wireless.  Wired fences consist of electric wires and receiver dog collars, while wireless electrical dog fences consist of indoor placed transmitters that emit signals and receiver dog collars.


Traditional fence PROS:

  • Traditional fence systems add property value to your home.
  • Traditional fences come in a variety of styles and can be made from a plethora of materials.
  • Traditional fences create a sense of space and define your yard.
  • Dogs do not require training for proper use.
  • Traditional fences do not harm nor minimize the dog’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • Traditional fences keep your dog in the yard and other dogs and animals outside.
  • Traditional fences, especially if made of durable and high-quality materials can last for many years.

Traditional fence CONS:

  • The style of the traditional fence should complement the environment. Since neighbors may complain about how the fence looks, it is advisable to ask them before installing it.
  • Traditional fences are made of pricey materials like traditional wood, aluminum or vinyl.
  • Skillful, escape artists dogs can jump over the fence if it is not too high or dig underneath it if it is not buried too deep.


Electrical fence PROS:

  • Electrical fences keep dogs secure without obstructing the property’s views.
  • Electrical fences do not need to be approved by the neighbors and do not need to meet neighborhood codes. Since they cannot be seen, electrical fences cannot disturb anyone.
  • Invisible fences are way less expensive than traditional fences.
  • Electrical fences are very simple to install and usually take 1-2 hours.

Electrical fence CONS

  • Dogs need specific and extended training to learn how to use electrical fence systems. The training process takes time and patience.
  • The shocks used to teach the dog its boundaries are quite controversial. Many dog parents and dog lovers consider them inhumane and unnecessary harmful.
  • The punishing stimulation electric fences use can have negative emotional or physical effects on the dog and make its behavior worse.
  • Electrical fences keep the dog inside the safe perimeter but unfortunately, do not keep other dogs and animals out.
  • The radio signal that electrical fences emit can be obstructed by certain factors (type of the terrain, weather changes).
  • In order to work, electric fence systems need to be connected to a power source.
  • Electrical fences are not 100% foolproof. Simply put some dogs can outsmart the system by slipping out of the collar or run across the perimeter in spite of the shocks.


Traditional VS Wireless Electrical Dog fences

To make things easier it would be better to review both traditional and electrical fences side by side. When doing the review there are several factors worth considering. Those include:

  • Initial cost – traditional fences are usually 2 to 4 times more expensive than electrical dog fences
  • Setting up – traditional fences should be set up by professionals and the whole process may take up to several days. On the other hand, electrical fences can be installed in less than an hour. Check out our guide on how to install a wireless dog fence.
  • Effectiveness – when it comes to this factor, both traditional and electrical fences can be outsmarted by dogs. Dogs can escape traditional fences by jumping over or digging underneath. What is more, dogs can escape electrical fences by slipping out of the receiver collar or ignoring the correctional stimuli.
  • Flexibility – traditional fences are fixed, while electrical fences are more flexible and their boundaries can be changed depending on your specific needs. However, traditional fences can be shaped as you wish while electrical fences usually provide circular or rectangular containment area. 
  • Aesthetics – at first traditional fences are more attractive. However their quality and overall appearance deteriorates with time. In addition, they can limit the grass and plants that grow in the yard. Electrical fences are invisible and vegetation friendly.
  • Maintenance and upkeep – generally speaking traditional fences are harder to maintain. The grass that grows around them needs regular trimming, the chain links are prone to rusting and the wooden parts warp and rot. Traditional fences need periodical repairs that can be costly. On the other hand, electrical fences are easy to maintain and if something malfunctions they can be replaced without spending too much money.

All in all, from the above stated facts, it can be concluded that both traditional and electric dog fences have certain advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, there is no ideal, one-model-fits-all type of dog fence. It all depends on what you want and what you need. The type of terrain that needs fencing, as well as the overall external design of your house, are crucial factors for determining whether to stick with a traditional fence or to upgrade your yard and install a high-end, electrical fence.

However, the most important deciding factor is your dog. Every dog has a different personality and temperament and therefore requires a different approach in proper containment. Even the best and most expensive fence will not serve its purpose if your dog finds a way to outsmart it.

Before making the final decision read some blogs and reviews. That way your decision will be evidence-based and reliable.

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