How to Stop My Dog From Running Through an Electric Fence

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An electric pet fence is designed to keep your dog from wandering away by emitting a warning beep and then an electrical shock if he tries to cross the perimeter. Some dogs still get through an electric pet fence anyway. This may be because of a problem with the electric collar or the system not working properly. Troubleshoot your electric dog fence to keep your dog safely enclosed.

  • Make sure your dog is wearing the electric collar. Some electric pet fence instructions advise owners to remove the electric collar every night to avoid irritation. Pet owners may forget to put the collar back on in the morning, allowing the dog to get through the electric fence.

  • Check that the electric collar is working. If the batteries are dead, the collar will not emit the warning beep or the electric shock required to keep the dog confined. The electric collar should also fit snugly so the shock plate is right next to the dog's neck. Dogs who have thick fur may need to be trimmed near the neck so they are not insulated from the electric shock.

  • Verify that the electric pet fence is working. Most brands have a radio transmitter box that will flash error messages if there is a problem. Some have indicator lights or warning noises if the electric pet fence is not working. Check the manual that came with your system for what each error code means. Some, such as dead batteries, can be resolved on your own. Other error codes might require calling the installation company.

  • Consider increasing the amount of shock delivered through the collar. Some larger or more persistent dogs may not be deterred by a normal amount of electric shock when they try to cross the electric pet fence. Not all brands allow you to change the level of electric shock, and those that do may require that a service technician to increase it.

  • Perform some training exercises with your dog. Your system should have come with small flags to mark the perimeter of the fence. Take your dog to the fence flags and wait for the electric collar to emit a warning beep. Run away from the flags and call your dog. Give him plenty of praise when he follows you. Repeat this to help the dog understand that the warning beep means retreat and give it a positive spin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dog training with an electric pet fence is not for every dog. Some just are not affected enough by the electric shock and are not prevented from wandering off. If you dog repeatedly runs though your electric pet fence even after you have taken steps to prevent it, you may have to find another way to keep your dog in your yard.

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