Creating the Proper Containment Boundary for Your Dog’s Underground Fence
For the last several days I was in Palm Beach working on a large Dog Guard Out Of Sight Fence system. It was as very large and beautiful estate on the Inter-Coastal with a meandering boarder on the water and also situated the main north-south road in Palm Beach. The client had several requirements of keeping the dog from running out the front door, getting onto the driveway, leaving the back entrance to the street, and falling into the ocean. When it came to the perimeter of the estate and scope of the property, the containment boundary over which they were concerned was rather small. When I explained to them that they must consider the entire property and the appropriate boarder location to achieve their goals, they were amazed over the things they were not considering. I would like to share my conversation and give some insight into deriving the appropriate dog fence containment boundary to meet your dog’s safety needs.
- What are the areas where your dog is escaping or you are afraid he might escape? Is it running out the front door? Is the side gate left open? Does your property have a fence that he can get through? Is there an area, such as a pool or garden, where you don’t want your dog to go?
- What are the instances when he does escape? Is it when you are with him and he sees a distraction like a golf cart, speed boat, kids on bikes, etc? Is it when you are not with him? Does he hear other dogs? Are there “critters” nearby and your dog has a high prey drive?
These are the questions that I would first ask to help define your immediate priorities. They will determine the initial containment perimeter areas. Examples would be:
- If he runs out the front door, I would make sure that a perimeter runs across your front stoop or front porch.
- If there are areas where your dog sees distractions outside your property, I will need to put the containment perimeter at least 20 feet from your property’s boundary. The reason for this is that I want to engage the perimeter system as soon as possible to distract and drain your dog’s adrenaline before he “reaches his full run” and might run through the entire containment area.
- If there is a small space between your house and your property’s edge (without a fence), I would put the containment perimeter on or within a few feet of your property’s edge. This will allow your dog use of the area while still delivering an appropriate warning as he approaches the edge of your property.
- If there is an extreme distraction (chickens, squirrels, etc.), I would want to place the containment perimeter in such a way as to block the entire view from your dog. If your dog “goes wacko” when he see them, his adrenaline will spike exponentially and nothing will contain him. The best thing to do here is to passively block his view so that the situation will not occur.
- If there is a “passive fence” (i.e. ranch railed fence, 3 foot garden or decorative fence), I would put the containment perimeter nearer to the fence. This is because the visible fence is already acting as a tool to slow your dog down if he sees something that is outside your property. This will decrease his adrenaline as he is approaching the edge of your property and the placement of the containment field will contain him at his lower adrenaline level.
Once you have taken these items into consideration, you can now sketch out your containment perimeter location. First start with your “must have areas”. These are the ones that you know your dog will try to leave your property. Once you have drawn in these lines, you need to connect them so that you have made a complete circle around your property. Think of these “blank areas” as connection points that aren’t critical in your plan, but are physically needed to make it work. Connect the points leaving the most room for your dog to roam on your property while still meeting the criteria that we have mentioned above.
Although it sounds pretty simple, when you start to draw out your plan, it becomes a very interesting challenge. Take your time and sketch out several alternatives to see what might work the best for you. The one wrinkle that I did not discuss in this article because it does not come up in many installation diagrams is Canine Behavior and your dog’s perspective of safety based on their location.
If you have any questions about where to place your underground fence or the Dog Guard underground pet containment system, please contact The Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers in Palm Beach and South Florida. Also, please check out our South Florida Dog Training Blog on our Home Dog Training of South Florida Web Location.