When we own a dog, we do everything that we can to ensure that they are healthy and protected. We purchase or make the best food, we find the toys that they love the best, we spend time with them, snuggle them and make sure that they don’t get hurt.
Part of keeping your dog safe is to make sure that they cannot run away, get lost, or run into traffic. Some people opt for typical fencing and gates, some families decide to use invisible fences. An invisible fence is essentially a ground wire system that sets off an electrical sensor that reacts to a collar that the dog wears.
The invisible fence creates a sound first to warn the dog that they are approaching the perimeter, and if the dog does not mind the sound, they are given a shock from the collar.
Although an invisible fence can be a great alternative to regular fencing, some dogs find their way around it. What do you do when your dog runs through the invisible fence? Here are some ways that you can retrain your dog to your invisible fence.
Before you give up on your invisible fence, there are some things that you can do to be sure that the system is working. Once you have done a full troubleshoot on the system, there are other things that can be done to utilize the system to secure your dog.
Why Does My Dog Run Through the Invisible Fence?
The best place to start the troubleshooting is with the easiest part of the system – the batteries. Both the main system and the collar have batteries or battery packs, so be sure to check to ensure that they are in correctly.
Once you have made sure they are installed properly, if the system is still not working, replace all of the batteries with new ones.
The goal is to make sure that you are starting with everything new so that you can be sure the batteries are not the issue.
Keep in mind that many of the manufacturers of invisible fencing recommend that the collar battery packs are checked every three months, so making sure you have a schedule to check them will be important to ensuring the safety of your dog.
Another part of the process is to ensure that the collar is being checked at the same height as your dog – if you are holding the collar higher than the level of where your dog wears it, you may get a false reading.
You want to be sure that the collar is working at the same height as your dog’s neck. Another quick check is to make sure that the collar is sitting correctly on your dog.
The collar should be snug enough to sit close to the skin through the fur, but not so tight that it is choking the dog. Similar to a normal collar, there should be about a finger width of space between your dog’s neck and the collar.
If you feel that the fit of the collar is correct, the batteries are working, then it is on to the next level of hunting to find out why your dog is running through the invisible fence.
Fencing Wire Assessment
Once you have established that batteries are not the problem, you need to do a full fence check. Although this may seem daunting, there are a few different ways you can go about making sure that there has not been a breach in the line.
Think about the last time that you knew the fence was working – has anyone been digging in the yard since that time? When was the last time that the fence was in working order?
If there has been any change in the landscape or digging on your property, the fence line may have been cut. If you suspect that the wire has been cut, you will need to find the area that has been split and repair it.
Before digging there is one more way to check to see if the wire loop circuit has been broken. By plugging in the fence transmitter for the system, you can double-check the loop light. If the indicator light is on, you can assume that the break is in the other half of the loop.
Many of the invisible fence systems have a similar system to check for any breaks, so read the manual for your system before you start the bigger process of digging things up. When you find the break, although inconvenient for sure, there is a way to repair the cut in the wire.
If you feel that there is only one breach to the system, prepare the area for repair by creating a wide enough space around the broken wire by digging a hole around the space to provide enough space to work in.
Repair and Retest
If you feel that you have found the cut in the wire and the space around the area is cleaned out, you will need a few things to splice the wires. Although not exactly the same for all systems, most invisible fences work in a similar fashion.
The most important thing to do before you start is to cut the power to the system. Although the collar is not working, there can still be a current running through it, and if you do not cut the power, you will be faced with an electric shock.
The repair process for most systems is fairly simple – once you have the two ends of the wires cleaned and exposed, the process to join them is a simple splice method. Twisting the wires together they are then inserted into a gel-filled capsule that helps to keep the wires clean, protected and ensures that the connection will be waterproof.
Be sure that you follow all of the recommendations for your system to ensure that you complete the repair in a way that ensures no further issues with your invisible fence.
An invisible fence is a great way to work to keep your dog safe. Once you have the technical part of the fence secured and fixed, it is time to get back to the other part of using the system – ensuring the training component of the invisible fence continues.
Dogs need to be trained to understand and learn the perimeters of the system with the white flag markers, learn to walk near, but not through, the invisible fence, and respect the boundaries. A consistent, repetitive training program, often included with the system, will help to train your dog to use the fence.
Even after the training has been done, it is important to continue periodic training lessons to make sure that it is reinforced. Training your dog and praising them for respecting the boundary will help to provide encouragement to your dog and peace of mind to you.