It was with a lot of hesitation that we installed the electric dog fence, a SportDog inground system. One of my big concerns was that, being on a fairly small solar system, the system might use too much power. After talking with Elvis, our electrician, he said that it should take less than one of our small wattage light bulbs.
I took all the dogs out on leashes to let them see the flag that alerts them that they're near the fence. At the flag line they hear a chirp. If they continue they will feel a zap. It gets stronger if they continue towards the fence line. I had to let them go to the line and allow them to feel the jolt. It breaks my heart to have them be hurt and afraid, BUT it would be much worse if they roamed into the bush to get bitten by a snake or some other creature, or get trapped in bushes and vines, because they all wear collars, or have someone pick them up. They are all so beautiful.
Well I finally told the weeny part of me to toughen up and I let them loose. I started with the two pups. Shannon wouldn't even leave the porch. They all seemed to recognize the flags and realize that they were the cause of their pain. I let Bailey loose and he was very hesitant also, but walked around a little, so I turned all three out together. It turned out to be perfect. Bailey's calmness reassured the pups, who now are doing exactly what we'd hoped. They run and tear around the grass area, never going near the fence line.
Bailey is a big concern right now. He's so heavy and our best guess is that he's nearing 10 years old. He doesn't want to play with the pups and when turned loose now he just goes out ant lays down. Art is continuing to take him on his short walk twice a day. To cross the fence line, which goes across the drive, we take off the SportDog collar and then Art just tells him that "it's ok" and Bailey will walk across. He's so smart!
I did research on various systems and settled on the SportDog system because we could set the collars themselves to different levels, thinking that Bailey would need a stronger deterrent. As it turns out, all three collars are set on the lowest setting that gives the chirp signal and the lowest zap. The SportDog collar also came with a set of longer posts to allow for Bailey's very thick coat.
It has made it so much easier for me to get up in the morning, turn on the system, put the collars on the dogs and let them out. No more getting up at 5:30am and taking the pups out to the enclosed fence in my pj's. (Good that we don't have close neighbors).
It's still new, but I have to give the whole thing high marks as it's given us all more freedom.