Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World
Do any owners here use an invisible fence to contain their setters? If so, what is your experience? The thought of one sends my pulse skyrocketing, however, the thought of losing Willow or the soon-to-be Gordon Setter, would put me into the grave.
one of my freinds spent a lot of money on an 'invisible' fence for her young cattle dog. Went through all the 'training' and finally let him out. He just ran straight through it as the zap wasn't fast enough or strong enough to stop him. He was OK though.
I have a real houdini dog who I never let run with any other dog as she always finds a way out. I actually stand with my dogs with either a cup of tea or a glass of wine and watch them play in the yard until they are tired. Paranoid....yes, but dogs safe...yes!!!
I had one put in when we moved to our present house 7 years ago. The company that put it in did some initial training with my Gordon. He in turn was a little traumatised (he has always been a very nervous dog) that he decided that he would rather stay indoors than venture out, although that didn't last for long. My IRWS took to it straight away and easily worked out where she could and couldn't go.
However, having had the fence for 7 years, I have come to the following conclusions.
1) You need to use it all the time or else you give the dog wrong messages.
2) I would not use it if this was the to stop my dog getting onto a busy road (we live in a very rural country lane used purely by walkers, one neighbour and one local tractor) as it will never be totally foolproof.
3) After a few years, my dogs no longer have their collars on and have learnt not to go beyond the boundary.
4) Although you can in theory stop your pet from leaving your boundary, you can't stop other animals from entering, so I am always vigilant when my bitch is in season and have to keep her more or less housebound.
It worked for us as we don't have the means to easily dog proof our grounds, however, we are aware of its limitations.
Hope this helps.
One thing I didn't mention in my thread above is that the level of zap on our system can be managed so as not to distress the dog. There is an audible signal well before they get into the zap zone and on top of that during the training period there are visible flags set up around the boundary to remind them they are entering the audible zone.
I test the collars now and again and as we have the setting quite low, all I get is a gentle buzz..
I have a funny anecdote to add to the more informative responses. I had a good friend who attempted to use an invisible fence to keep his english setter on his property. The dog so loved running free that he was willing to "take the jolt" necessary to leave the yard and go explore, but he was NOT willing to do so in order to return home. So after he was done running about enjoying his freedom, he could be found sitting just on the other side of the invisible fence line, waiting to be let back in. To let the dog back in, my friend had to take the collar off, let the dog trot back into the yard and then put the collar back on. One time, my friend was holding the collar inappropriately as he crossed the line and gave himself quite a jolt!! I never said as much to his face, but I thought it served him right!!! :)
I have a problem that 50% of my property boundary is a river. I can't put up a fence and in places the drop to the water level is very small. I don't mind the dogs getting wet and enjoying themselves slashing around but unfortunately the other side of the river is a road and easy for the dogs to exit on to!
I've researched the "options" One is the good old electric collar and the other the activation of a a high pitched whistle when the wired area is aproached.
I don't like, want to use or ever intend to use an electric collar and from reading this forum the high pitch whistle tone doesn't seem very reliable!
Apart from buying non water loving dogs (are there any around?) rather than IS what other options are available?
Very heavy boots!
Seriously I have never heard of invisible fences until this forum.Knowing my dogs they would find a way round it .With a river as your boundary you are lucky but I can see the problems too and I can't think of any answer.I agree with you,I am totally against electric collars.
Howard, I'm glad you agree my views about electric collars. They are very popular here in France with various settings from the "tingle" to the "zap" modes. Totally cruel in my opinion!
These invisible fences work by using a cable a few inches under the soil which acts as an Ariel. The dog wears a collar with a receiver that is activated by the Ariel and sounds a high pitched whistle when the Ariel is approached. But I think all that will happen is that Garrech will run towards the bank and jump straight in ie just pass through the barrier in a second or so.
He was in the river yet again today! The pup is presently wary of jumping in but I don’t think it will be long before confidence over-rules the caution! Plus these fences aren’t cheap. I reckon for two dogs at discounted prices around the £350-£400 mark! Yes the river is great to have around (also aids residual house values!) but living with it 24/7 with all the rules and regulations and less obvious disadvantages makes it slightly less desirable. The pup is more obedient and will always come to the call (that’s to the breeder’s credit rather than mine!) but I’m sure that left for a few extra minutes unobserved will eventually pluck up the courage to jump in! We only allow the dogs outside when supervised! Even just outside and cutting the grass isn’t good enough as the attentions does wander. As I said going into the river isn’t a problem for me, it’s their ability to exit on the other bank and be at the mercy of idiots driving too fast through the village!
Would it be possible to fence a few yards away from the river bank or would that be impractical?
It is a shame that Garrech and the pup can't be let out unsupervised but you are taking the right decision.
Garrech is a lovely old Irish name.I presume Canagan is too.