The classic electric fence
This is one or more electrical wires placed around an authorized area for your dog. This allows you to keep your dog inside the desired area out of fear. In fact, after one or two times when the dog comes in contact with the fence, he will quickly understand that it is painful for him and he will avoid it. There will therefore be a strong psychological effect rather than a physical effect. So after a while you will be able to set the value of the electric current to a weak position or even cut off all power because the sight of the wire will be enough to control your dog.
An electric fence simply consists of posts connected to each other with a wire or wires (or a strap) through which an electric current passes. When an animal (or a man) comes into contact with this wire, a brief discharge of about 5000V occurs but only for a thousandth of a second at a frequency of about one hertz. Thus this discharge is not dangerous to health.
The fence can be powered directly from the mains, from batteries or from an accumulator, as the case may be. The use of an energizer is essential: it is a transformer that increases the voltage but removes the amperage of the electric current, a parameter that is dangerous to health.
It is relatively easy to install a fence of this type. The stakes should be installed every 5 meters at most. It is possible to use the posts of the existing fence and to lay only the wire.
However, certain rules must be respected:
- The fence (the wires) must not come into contact with the ground or vegetation in order to keep its effectiveness.
- The connection between wires and posts must be made with insulating materials.
- There are regulations concerning this type of installation. It is necessary to contact the town hall of your municipality in order to declare your installation. Rules concerning the maximum voltage and amperage level are defined. In addition, it is mandatory to warn of the presence of an electric current by placing signs on your fence to warn possible passers-by.
It is sometimes more judicious to call upon a professional electrician to install this type of fence and thus have guarantees on the safety and efficiency of the system.
Runaway fence (buried)
This kind of fence is made of an electronic wire that buries a few cm deep underground. There is therefore no visible wire. The wire must be placed, as for a classic electric fence, around areas that the dog must not go beyond. The dog is also equipped with a special collar containing electrodes that are activated when the electronic wire is approached. This way, when the dog approaches the limit, it is warned by an audible signal and if it tries to pass it, it will be given a brief electric shock via the electrodes.
If your dog has a lot of hair, it is advisable to lightly trim the neck so that the electrodes make good contact with the skin. This collar should not be worn permanently by the dog but rather during the day when you are not around and the dog has access to the outside. Thus, quickly after the installation of this anti runaway fence, the dog will assimilate the collar with the idea that it should not exceed a certain area.
As far as the installation is concerned, the wire has to make a loop in your garden in order to work properly. Thus, place the wire at the edge of your garden, or at the borders of certain areas that are forbidden to the dog (vegetable garden, flowers…) If you need to cross your garden to reach certain places and you do not want the wire to be active along this crossing, simply twist the wire on itself, which will cancel the signal. There is also wire already twisted for sale.
The transmitter box must be placed in a dry and protected place. When you have finished installing your wire by marking out a desired area, test it by taking the collar in your hand and following the path of the wire.
Next, you will need to set the detection distance from the collar to the wire: this is the distance from which the collar will warn the dog that he is approaching the prohibited boundary.
Installing a kennel
The kennel is a way to keep your dog under control during the day, for example when you are away. It is also a place to protect and shelter your dog and keep him safe. Some common sense rules should be applied.
It is considered that an average dog (such as a Brittany Spaniel or Border Collie) must have a minimum of 5 square meters of space. If you have several dogs, you must therefore multiply this value to obtain the correct kennel size for your animals.
By law, if your kennel is made of concrete, it must be less than 20 square meters. You will only need an authorization from the town hall. If the size of the kennel exceeds this limit, you are then obliged to apply for a building permit.
The location of the kennel is important. The kennel must not be located in a place subject to strong winds, nor in a place where the land is too wet, such as a swamp. A shaded area is preferable to shelter the dogs in the summer. When building the kennel, it is important to check ventilation and drainage.
As for the bottom of the kennel, it is important to add an insulating material. This can be plastic or rubber gratings, wooden pallets or straw. It is easier to use straw that can be changed regularly.
Many manufacturers sell kennels. They are often kits of different possible materials. Some are made of wood with wire mesh; others are only made of wire mesh and bars (be careful, in this case it has no protection against the weather); finally some are made of sheet metal panels.
Finally, you should know that if you want to build a kennel because you are a professional dog breeder, precise regulations exist. You will have to contact your town hall to obtain information on the steps to follow.