The majority of cities and towns have containment laws that forbid dogs from roaming outside without a leash. Also, several homeowners associations forbid physical fences and thus, many owners have resorted to the use of electrical, or “invisible,” fences to contain their dogs. However, dog owners should be mindful of the fact that such fences can be hazardous to dogs.
Electrical fences transmit an electric pulse, or shock, through the dog when the dog is too near to the fence line. Dogs will frequently remain in the yard until they observe something of interest outside the yard, such as a squirrel. While they may risk the shock to approach the squirrel, they will not risk the shock to return to the yard.
In order to remain connected, electrical fences rely on underground wiring, and on the batteries in the collar to be charged. Also, the dog has to wear the collar all the time while in the yard. If any of these requirements is found lacking, the dog will not feel a shock upon nearing the fence, and therefore, will not be curbed by the fence. Once outside the fence, the dog is in great danger of being struck by a car or being attacked by other roaming dogs.
The greatest disadvantage of electrical fences is that they do not prevent other animals from entering the yard. A dog surrounded by an invisible fence is more susceptible to attack from another dog. While the other animal can enter the yard with ease, the dog is unable to leave the yard. Furthermore, a child could enter the yard, and could potentially be bitten by the dog. Moreover, dog thieves find electrical fences to be less difficult to enter than physical fences.
Some dogs may become more aggressive as a result of electrical fences. They may be frustrated by the sight of prey, such as squirrels, or other dogs, and may approach the fence, only to receive a shock. Consequently, the dog connects the shock with the squirrel or other dog, and becomes fearful of, or aggressive toward them, thereby resulting in dog attacks.
If you were injured by a dog belonging to someone else, you may be able to hold the owner liable for your injury. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Andres & Berger.