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Protecting Your Flock with a DIY Electronic Dog Fence

 Raising backyard chickens is a challenging but rewarding hobby. There are many outside predators that are attracted to chickens, but sometimes the threat comes from your own backyard. Pet dogs, especially hunting breeds, may like to prey on chickens. Even playful dogs who just want to be “friends” with your chickens can accidentally injure or kill members of your flock. It may be necessary to keep your chickens and your pet dogs separated, but how can you do that when they live in the same yard? There are several different methods of fencing in your flock, and DIY electronic dog fencing is a reliable, versatile option.


Selecting a DIY Electric Dog Fence


In order to protect your flock with an electric dog fence, you’ll need to select the right containment system for your yard and your dogs. Careful research of the pros and cons of different systems will help you make a decision. One of the deciding factors will be the size of your yard. For example, most yards can be enclosed with the very reliable PetSafe YardMax, which has a capacity of 10 acres. If your area is larger, you may need to explore the Innotek dog fence review, which contains up to 25 acres, or the SportDog system, which has a capacity of 100 acres.


The size of your dogs will also determine which types of e-collars you’ll need. Most systems include e-collars that work for almost any dog over 10 pounds. If your dog is 5-10 pounds, you may need to purchase the PetSafe LittleDog collar. For very large or aggressive dogs that require stronger correction, you may need the PetSafe Stubborn e-collar. Most electronic dog fences come with rechargeable e-collars, so you will not need to purchase extra batteries.


Carefully reading various online reviews and manufacturer instruction manuals will help you choose the electronic dog fence system that’s right for your situation. There are lots of great resources online that can help you select and install your new containment system.


Installing a DIY Electric Dog Fence


An electronic dog fence can be installed by just about anyone - no prior experience required. Installing your own dog fence will save you thousands of dollars in installation fees. The installation savings, combined with the fact that most systems cost more than 80% less than traditional fences, mean you can separate your flock and dogs even with a modest budget. The total invisible fence cost can be less than $300. Anyone can install a DIY electric fence in a few hours over the weekend. You will only need to call 811 in advance so your local utility companies can mark the location of an underground wires, although they usually will not impact your plans.


There are many different ways you can install an electric dog fence to protect your flock. One method is enclosing your chicken coop/chicken run with the underground dog fence. This will enable your dogs to run around your entire yard except where your chickens live. Another method is creating a separate “dog zone,” in which your dogs will be restricted to one designated area. This method is excellent if you want to keep your dogs away from other areas of your property, such as a garden, other livestock, a pond, or dangerous farm machinery. Electronic dog fences are very versatile in that they can be installed in many different locations and configurations, offering more placement options that traditional fences.


Training Your Dogs on an Invisible Fence


Perhaps the most important part of using an underground dog fence is training your dogs to understand their new boundaries. Their e-collars will warn them with a mild, corrective shock when they get close to the boundaries, and it is more annoying than painful. It will take about 15-30 minutes per day for one-two weeks before your dogs fully understand the new system. Consistent and thorough training is extremely important. If you don’t have the time or dedication to train your dogs, then an electronic dog fence might not be the right solution for you. Most dogs respond very well to invisible fence training and quickly get the hang of it. The only dogs that cannot use an invisible fence are pregnant dogs, infirm dogs, and dogs under six-months-old.


Pros and Cons of an Invisible Fence


There are both advantages and disadvantages to the use of an invisible fence. Invisible fences are extremely reliable for keeping pet dogs from bothering your flock, because dogs are unable to dig under or jump over the boundaries. With traditional fences, determined dogs can often find a way to get through. At the same time, invisible fences do not prevent other predators from crossing the boundaries. If outside predators are a concern for your flock, you may need to install both an electronic dog fence and a traditional fence for the most comprehensive protection. A traditional fence will also keep your chickens inside their designated area.


If you’re thinking about using a DIY electronic dog fence to protect your flock, make sure to take the time to carefully consider all your options. Underground dog fences are generally maintenance-free choices that can give your chickens a stress-free area to live. When pet dogs are separated, your flock can maintain healthy, consistent egg laying patterns. Because the safety of all your animals is sure to be your number one concern, fencing is a necessary investment. Fortunately, electronic dog fencing is an affordable and reliable alternative to traditional fencing, and it also works well as an extra layer of protection when a traditional fence is already in place. Your chickens and your dogs will be happy, and so will you.


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