Wednesday, March 20, 2013
She's wearing her electronic collar that connects with the PetSafe "Wireless Containment System." We could not be happier with this inexpensive ($199 on eBay) and easy alternative to a real fence or an undeground wired fence. The wireless option includes a base station that acts as a wireless router that you hang in an out-of-the-way spot (I bolted mine to my garage wall), and a collar that receives the signal. The system provides a 90 foot circular radius from the router that acts as the safe zone. A 90 foot radius provides quite a large area. When the dog approaches the outer limits, the collar beeps. If the dog continues past that point, the collar shocks for up to 20 seconds, or until the dog renters the safe zone.
It took Ingrid exactly 1 shock to understand what the beep meant. I placed white flags about every 10 feet to give her a visual (you can see those in the background), but I'm about to take those up. She knows her boundaries well. The flags are part of the package and they have withstood more than 3 feet of snow this winter. She actually gets excited when she sees we're grabbing the red collar because that means she gets to roam on her own. Ingrid is a pretty sensitive dog, but there have been no bad side effects to this collar, just good ones.
A real fence would have been unsightly, not to mention very expensive and also a lot more confining. There was no way we were going to fence the size area that she gets with the wireless fence. A wired underground fence for the area she enjoys now would have cost approximately $3,000 installed. Half that for a back breaking self-install. The wireless fence cost $199 online and it came with everything you need. I simply plugged it in, made sure it was receiving our wireless signal, hung it on the wall, and set the collar. You can choose among several shock strengths. Ingrid's was set to the second lowest out of I think 6. I then walked the collar around to establish where the boundary was and placed the white flags.
I then put the collar on Ingrid and enticed her over the line. She yelped and ran back into the safe zone. I wasn't sure if she understood it, so I brought her to a different section and tried to entice her over, but she wasn't having any of that. So, I picked her up and slowly walked her over the line. When her collar beeped, she struggled out of my arms. That's when I knew she understood.
We have a little area just inside the treeline where we put kitchen scraps during the winter (when the compost is frozen) so that the squirrels, raccoon and deer can snack. Ingrid would scarf that garbage down, but it's JUST outside the safe zone. After I dump it, she'll walk over and slowly approach the scraps, straining her neck, but she never crossses, because that collar beeps before she can reach the food. If there was ever a test for this food-centric dog, that's it.
at 8:32 PM