Favorites: a dog and his fence

On Fridays I post about ‘favorites’… movies, music, food, or something that just makes our family’s life work  better.


This is our dog, Sparky. He has been a part of our family for one year now. We can’t even imagine life without him. Except that it was less fur-covered. We adopted Sparky in the middle of winter, and brought him home to our fence-less property.  He had a reputation for running away, so for about 3 months, we took him outside on a leash.  Delightful in January and February. Our situation (both geographical and financial) doesn’t lend itself well to fences of any kind, so we weren’t sure what to do to make it possible to allow Sparky outside without a leash.  Then, we discovered this.


This is the PetSafe wireless fence system.  Not underground wire… wireless.  The grey transmitter sits in our basement and emits a ‘safe’ zone with an adjustable radius.  Our dog wears the red receiver collar.  When he gets close to the boundary of the ‘safe zone’, his collar beeps.  If he crosses the boundary, he receives a slight shock (the intensity is also adjustable). It took just about a week for him to get used to the beeping and the boundary location after experiencing just 2 low intensity ‘corrections’. Now, he doesn’t ever challenge the boundary and we’ve set the collar to its lowest level, where it only beeps. 

We totally trust the system and the dog; he spends lots of time outside by himself (weather permitting).  With the transmitter set to the largest radius, he has freedom to run in the yard all the way around our house, striking fear into the hearts of birds and rodents and cats as he goes. The only weaknesses of the system are (a) a power failure takes out the transmitter, or (b) the battery runs out on the collar.  Power failures don’t happen that often for us, and when they do, I’m fairly certain Sparky is oblivious to this effect.  The collar pack gives warning lights when the battery is failing, and so far we’ve noticed it every time. This system is sold at Petco and at various online sources. I totally recommend.

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