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What are people's thoughts on these, and have they had any experience with them? Our fence isn't secure, so we've had to build a makeshift one cutting off half the yard to our border, and unfortunately she, when fired up, can still get over the fence. (We rent so we're not interested in making a heavy investment for legit fencing.)

The yard is pretty small and I'd love to let her run the entire area, so I'm thinking of getting a wireless or underground fence to 'block off' the problem areas (low points in the fence, gaps, etc.). 

Thoughts? 

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Those types of fences are about useless..they may, for a bit, keep your dog in, they do not however keep others out. Also, once out, your dog will have no desire to get back in and get shocked again..

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I agree with Journey.  Border collies are smart enough to find a work-around for so-called invisible fences.  One Australian shepherd I know learned that if she stayed close enough to the fence that the warning buzzer sounded but not close enough to get a shock eventually the battery would run out and she was free!  Another pair of Aussies learned that if they ran full tilt at the fence, the pain was brief but the freedom was worth it.  Of course when coming home it wasn't worth the discomfort, so they stayed outside the fence.

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Definitely agree with the above. Those fences are a big waste of money. Maybe you can expand the fenced in area for your dog a bit at a time, as the money allows? And, if she is getting out over the fence, I recommend not leaving her unsupervised in the yard at any time. 

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Also agreeing with the above.  If the desire is great enough, many dogs will take the shock to get to whatever motivates them outside the fence.  However, they probably won't take the shock to come back in.  I truly believe that a fence itself does not deter a dog.  Dogs can jump and/or climb a lot of fences (or even dig under).  Fences are great boundary markers, but it's all about training the dog to respect the fence.  Starts with training the dog to respect you and your commands, then progresses to training the dog not to breach the fence in any way. 

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I had one many years ago and had mixed results. It was originally purchased for a pointer/retriever mix who loved to wander. Most of the time it kept him home, but if he really wanted to go we could watch him contemplate how badly he wanted to and when he'd decide to go he'd brace himself and then make a dash across the line. As someone said, getting shocked to come home was never an option. He'd sit in the neighbors' yard and bark till we went to get him.

That said, we ended up getting a second collar for another dog, a border collie, later and it worked well for her as long as the collar battery was good. The instant it weakened she was off like a flash, which was more than just a nuisance because the reason we put her on it in the first place was that she like to sneak off to attack neighbors' dogs.

As others have pointed out, the fences do absolutely nothing to stop anyone or anything coming in. People, dogs, cats, deer, bear - nothing is deterred in any way from coming in, which means that people or other animals with ill intentions still have free access. Or if your dog's inclined to chase and gets "fired up" to the point that she'll breech the current fence there's a good chance an EF won't stop her either.

And last but not least, border collies are a pretty sensitive breed and some might be more traumatized by the training than some other dogs. Even my phlegmatic pointer mix was so frightened from the initial training that it took weeks for him to venture more than a few feet from the back door at first and several months until he was comfortable using the entire yard. It's one reason some rescues won't adopt to ppl who use them.

Oh, and the underground systems, unless they've improved from the earlier models, are like lightening rods. Ours was struck a couple times, necessitating new wire to be installed. One time the whole thing needed to be replaced when a lightening strike blew the indoor unit off the wall and across the room.

There are other relatively inexpensive alternatives for fencing. You can buy metal posts and rolls of plastic snow fencing or even deer fencing if you need something taller. Just something to think about.

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21 hours ago, GentleLake said:

And last but not least, border collies are a pretty sensitive breed and some might be more traumatized by the training than some other dogs. Even my phlegmatic pointer mix was so frightened from the initial training that it took weeks for him to venture more than a few feet from the back door at first and several months until he was comfortable using the entire yard. It's one reason some rescues won't adopt to ppl who use them.

When Jester came to me he had hit an electric sheep fence because he tried to go over it to move the sheep. He was afraid to go anywhere near a fence of any kind of wire for at least a couple of years after that. 

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22 hours ago, D'Elle said:

When Jester came to me he had hit an electric sheep fence because he tried to go over it to move the sheep. He was afraid to go anywhere near a fence of any kind of wire for at least a couple of years after that. 

This happened to one of our dogs when I was sixteen. She got stuck in the movable electric sheep fence (the orange net kind), I had to rescue her and she never looked at sheep again. We tried her on sheep when she was a little bit older and she pretended the sheep weren’t there and just sniffed the grass. As it was intended as a hobby we tried twice but after that didn’t push her on it.

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