What is the purpose of a fence? It may seem like a silly question, but when you think about it, the answers do vary- so it is not that silly of a question. One of the first questions a breeder may ask of a prospective home is, “do you have a fenced yard?” If the answer is, “Yes” then a follow up question of, “what type of a fence is it?” needs to be asked- why? Because the answer to that question gets at the true nature of the purpose of the fence.
Fences that surround pools for example are there to provide the pool owner with “liability insurance” – to keep children and animals from “accidently falling in”. Some fences are decorative in nature. Some fences are for privacy so that your neighbors can’t see directly into your living space. Some fences are to protect the neighborhood children-outside the fence- from a large dog which is inside the fence. In the case of sheltie breeders, we want fences that will protect the dog-inside the fence- from the large dogs (and children) that are outside the fence. I consider fences to be a protection of my family member- a kind of “dog insurance”.
I am not a fan of Invisible fences. They do not serve to protect the dog within the fenced area from dangers that may come into the yard. I personally know of 5 people whose SHELTIES were KILLED by attacking dogs. Additionally, one dog that I bred and sold to a pet home was attacked by a large dog. This sheltie survived, but did have extensive damage. It happens a lot. I don’t know what it is about shelties, but they seem to wear a sign that says, “bite me”. I wouldn’t be surprised to have many of you leave comments saying things like, “yeah- a (such and such dog) attacked my sheltie while we were at the (park, agility trial, walking in the neighborhood….)”. Home associations might like invisible fences, but I don’t. They do not protect the dogs within their boundaries.
In my opinion, if the purpose of the fence is to enclose a dog, it must be an actual physical barrier. If it is not, then other dogs (or kids) can enter your yard and cause harm to your dog. This physical barrier must also reach the ground. There should not be spaces where a dog could squeeze out. Dogs can squeeze out of very small spaces.