Dog e-fence?

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by Squeeker, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Squeeker

    Squeeker Member

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    We camped at Earl Rowe provincial park a few weeks ago. It was our first PUP trip with our two animal pups, 12 and 9 year old Brittany spaniels. They are very well-trained dogs (agility and hunting titles, therapy dogs, etc.).

    Of course, the “rule” is that the dogs must be on a 6’ leash at all times and not annoy the hell out of anyone. This was a bit of a problem as the site we booked did not have any suitable places to tie up the dogs. The site was all brush on the edges and sandy soil in the center so we couldn’t use one of those screw-anchor things. We had the picnic table, but that was difficult at mealtimes as a tripping hazard for our two young children. We ended up mostly tying them to the PUP, but that put them in areas that were not social with the humans.

    Another site near us had their lab off leash and contained with the white petsafe flags indicating the boundary of an e-fence. I thought this was BRILLIANT so I stopped to talk to the owners. Turns out that they didn’t actually have an e-fence hooked up; their dog was easily fooled as they trained him with the flags.

    We live in the country and our dogs are contained using an e-fence. They are older, and while they are still sound, a good 5-8km run with me in the morning takes the edge off and they sleep like rugs the rest of the day.

    Given that my dogs are already trained to use an e-fence, calm and sedate during the day, we don’t leave them alone, and (for the moment) let’s ignore the leash rule, plus I realize this would only be possible on an electrically services site, has anyone ever purchased an e-fence and used it while camping?
     
  2. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    My folks did this when they had their "permanent site"... used the Pet Safe wireless unit... had one base unit at home and one in their trailer. It worked well for them.
     
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  3. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    In a campground, the e-fences are problematic. They only keep your dog in. Any other animal can come in. That creates the potential of two (or more) unleashed dogs in your campsite. If a fight breaks out, you have no way to grab your dog without putting YOU within reach of teeth.

    In addition, many dogs will go right through an e-fence if there is something to chase. It only takes once for some dogs to realize the pain stops as soon as they get past the line.

    And if something happens, regardless of whether your dog is in your campsite, you will be at fault for having a dog offleash against the rules.

    I use a double leash for my two dogs. Sometimes, I hook each one at either end and run the leash through the picnic table - allowing them to move further away from each other but their movements counter the other. I either have the leash in my hand or connected to the camper or picnic table. I use two leash extenders rather than a coupler - they allow me to easily separate the dogs if needed, and in combination with a couple 6ft leashes offer a multitude of configurations.

    With small kids, I recommend one parent handle the kids and the other handle the dogs. At mealtimes, you can put the dogs inside while you eat at the table. During the day, sit in a chair slightly separated from the table and hold the dogs' leash - keeping them with you while letting the kids hang out at the table without tripping on the dogs.
     
  4. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    I’ve never used the fence but thought it had to be buried. I’ve seen the flags at campsites and always thought they had to be a decoy because of this. The problem with any dog not on a leash is it makes some people walking by nervous and on edge. I don’t know any dog in the campground so if I see one off it’s leash fence flags or not when I’m with my little kids I don’t know if the dog is friendly and just wants pet or might snap if touched in the wrong way but I won’t let my two year old find that out the hard way. An unleashed animal causes extra preparation and observation that is unnecessary due to the leash rule. A dog tied up is much less of a threat to people walking by.
     
  5. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    The wire doesn't need to be buried, they just usually are for protection and aesthetics. Also, some dog fences don't use a wire at all, but a wireless transmitter in the center of the "in-bounds" area.
     
  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I used an e-fence at my parents home and never again. One of my dogs was traumatized by being zapped and the other I sware must have had an insane amount of pain tolerance as he walked out of the fence every time he saw a squirrel run through the line and back out. Then again he never wanted to get back in the line until we took the collar off. In a campground setting where your line is much tighter than home not to mention far more wildlife able to walk through the line it will only take once to learn the sting only lasts a short time. Your dog may be trained but other dogs may not be and if yours slips out it can be a huge accident waiting to happen.
     
  7. Squeeker

    Squeeker Member

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    My older dog once got loose while camping I n Algonquin park. It was a long time ago, we were newbies to dog ownership, and she was an insane puppy. Believe me, my dog is well-trained now!! We use an e-fence exclusively at home and our dogs have never breached it. We live in the country and have neighbours with dogs and free-range cats (don’t get me started on the cats!); each is on a large lot. We regularly have coyotes, fox, skunk, raccoons, even deer wandering through. A campground does not phase my dogs.

    Other people’s dogs, however, are a different story. If my dogs are leashed I suppose it can help me pull them away but it will not keep a strange, loose dog from advancing while I do so. In fact I’d drop the leash to give my dogs freedom to defend themselves. The best way to get between fighting dogs is water or a broom.

    I completely understand the rules; I only want to know if anyone else has used an e-fence while camping, and how it worked for them.
     
  8. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    I didn't know there was a wireless option. Thanks for the information. I've only seen the flags with no wire and know the owner didn't take time to bury it.
     
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Yes, people have used them before. You read about it on occasion. It worked well until it didn't.

    But, it is not in compliance with the rules. Your dog is not on a leash. No matter how well-trained your dogs are, they are not under your immediate control. One important factor in proper dog training is understanding that no matter how well-trained, unforeseen things can and will happen. A leash is the most effective prevention and protection.

    Other people in the campground will only see you with two unrestrained dogs. Rangers will see you with two unrestrained dogs. If another dog walks by and enters within the e-fence border and a fight ensues, you will be equally at fault for your unleashed dog. And if that other dog is on a leash, you will be fully responsible. Even if that dog behaved aggressively. Because YOUR dog was not leashed per the rules.

    Using an e-fence on your own property is your liability. Anything happens and you are the one held responsible for your choice.

    When camping, whether at a public or private campground, the campground owners are ultimately liable for your choice. While you state that your dogs are very well trained and would never do anything, the owners cannot take your word for that. If a child wandered into your campsite and your dogs bit the child, the owners can be sued for your decision to not leash your dogs.

    Yes, camping with dogs can be annoying due to leash laws. But they are there for a reason. To keep EVERYONE safe. Don't try to shortcut the rules. Find a way to make it work for you within the rules OR don't take the dogs camping.
     
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  10. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I agree with most of your post, but on this point, the same is true if a child wandered up to a dog that was chained to a tree.
     
  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Which is why the rule is always "dogs must be on a 6 ft leash" not "dog must be tethered", "dog must be in an exercise pen", etc. The leash constrains the dog AND places the dog owner in direct control of the dog.

    Tethering, penning, etc., allow the dog to be out of the direct control of the owner. Same with an e-fence.
     
  12. Squeeker

    Squeeker Member

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    Yes, I completely understand your reasoning. I’m not even saying I’m going to do this. It’s attractive, but I’d still have to buy a unit, which is a few hundred dollars, and figure out how to train my dogs where the boundary was in a very short time. It might not be practical, it might not be safe (depends on the site, the traffic, the presence of other dogs or very young kids in close proximity), but it could be useful in some circumstances. I’m not an ignorant dog owner and I am not a “rule-breaker”, and for that reason I’m hesitant.

    Like I said up top, hypothetically, let’s assume the leash rule were not in effect, what would I need to think about in order to do this properly?
     
  13. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    The fact that it only (and that is very dependent upon the individual dogs) keeps your dog within a certain area. It does not prevent anything else from coming into that area. And without a physical constraint on your dog, your dog is more at risk of danger.

    With the e-fence, you are not worrying about the dog moving around within that allowed space. So when the dog checks out the bush, you will be focused on your kids. You won't know about the rattler until the dog has been bit. With a leash, you will be very much aware that the dog is wanting to check out the bush and you will be able to pull it back at the first sounds.

    If something scares one of your dogs, it may run to get away and that very well may take it outside of the area. You then have to ensure one dog is safely kept inside the perimeter while trying to get the other dog back in the perimeter.

    And you have to consider the perspective of the other campers. They see your two dogs unrestrained and you focused on the kids. Whether they have a fear of dogs, or have had unrestrained dogs charge at them, etc., you have affected their enjoyment of the campground because they cannot know about (or put faith in) an invisible fence.

    I would love to be more relaxed when camping with my dogs. I would love to tether them or pen them or use an e-fence. But when out of my home, I am my dogs' first line of defense. I do everything I can to minimize the chance that something could go wrong and the best for that is to have the dog on a leash (regardless of the rules).
     
  14. Squeeker

    Squeeker Member

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    Points all made, and made well. I appreciate your point of view, sincerely. The points you make are all valid, and I agree on the whole.

    That said, I still want to look into this more, so can we please move on from the cautions and warnings? There are still situations where I can see this working and I wouldnt be breaking any rules (bush camping on my friends property, when I stay with my sister and she does not have a fenced-in yard, etc etc etc).

    Some of my questions include:

    Practically speaking, how small a perimeter can the wireless systems be set to? Are there any cheap, no bells-and-whistles units that could be kept as a PUP unit? Anything else I haven’t thought of?
     
  15. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    For those answers, you're going to have to look at different systems and their individual capabilities. Read reviews. You may find a small perimeter cheap device, but it may not be effective. You may end up having to pay more for a small perimeter than something bigger. Look at the places that you mentioned and figure out the most effective square footage that would work for most situations then read the reviews fitting those.

    Then you'd have to consider the varied ground types. Does the fence use a wire? If you run it above ground, how will you keep it secured? Will you need to use stakes? Are those going to be a potential tripping hazard for the kids? Power source? With a wireless system, you have to be careful of sloped ground and other interference, is there anything that would break the signal? Any ravine, holes from downed trees that could be a potential hazard, etc?
     

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