Invisible fences are a great method for containing your dog without using a bulky, unattractive, and often costly physical fence.
While this is a great option for many dogs, you may wonder how your dog’s temperament, age, and breed, affect their trainability to an invisible fence.
So, do invisible fences work for your dog? Read on to see how well invisible fences work for some of the most common dog breeds in our experience.
Do Invisible Fences Work For Your Dog?
In general, invisible fences will work for nearly every dog.
Some dogs are too small, too large, or too stubborn, but they are few compared to the vast number of dogs who will respond to invisible fencing.
Invisible fencing works by placing a virtual or wired perimeter around the yard, then the collar receives signals from the perimeter and alerts the dog when it’s too close to the boundary.
Every dog needs to be trained to learn to obey the fence to avoid confusion and fear, but once trained, most dogs respond very well to invisible fencing and stay safely in the yard.
How Well Do Invisible Fences Work for Your Dog?
In short, invisible fences are some of the most effective barriers.
While many factors such as breed, how old they are, and personality will impact the effectiveness of an invisible fence, it will work with most dogs.
Dogs that will naturally insist on running away, digging out, pushing through, or jumping over a regular fence will also try to escape from an invisible fence, but when it’s adjusted right it should stop the dog.
The key to using an invisible fence is training the dog to respect the boundary and enjoy their time inside the boundary you’ve set.
Dogs that aren’t fully trained are more likely to run through the boundary.
Keep the space inside the fence fun, and mentally stimulating for your dog.
Factors That Affect How Well an Invisible Fence Works
Invisible fences have been proven to work with countless dogs of many breeds, sizes, and ages.
However, every dog is different, and not all will react the same to an invisible fence.
However, when deciding whether an invisible fence will work for your dog, consider factors such as:
- Temperament (especially stubborn or aggressive)
When considering an invisible fence breed and temperament, a dog’s ability to be trained, their prey drive, guarding instincts, and even energy level all play a part.
When it comes to age, a dog should be at least 12 weeks old, to not only be able to handle the physical stimulation of a collar but to also wear it comfortably.
Furthermore, by 12 weeks most dogs have matured enough to start training. Don’t attempt to train a dog to the invisible fence before 12 weeks.
The only dogs that really have trouble with invisible fences are especially stubborn or “untrainable” dogs and especially aggressive dogs. Both temperaments benefit greatly from professional training.
These undesirable personality traits can usually be tempered or completely smoothed away with professional dog training, so you can later train your dog to stay confidently inside an invisible fence.
Before we get into which breeds an invisible fence will work for, here is a quick video on what to expect when purchasing an invisible fence.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Australian Shepherds?
The main personality traits that make Australian Shepherds a favorite dog for families also make them perfect for training to an invisible fence.
Australian shepherds rank quite high when it comes to intelligence. Introducing them to new lifestyles or training styles should be relatively easy as they are quite adaptable.
Like many dogs, an Australian Shepherd will be more than happy to obey its owner and follow their lead.
This need to please coupled with their intelligence makes Australian Shepherds great candidates for training to use an invisible fence.
If you are in the market for a new wireless fence, be sure to check out our article on the best wireless fences!
Australian Shepherds have a history of herding but do not have a high prey drive. They will not have many urges to pass the fence, because of small animals or people.
When given ample room to run and play, Australian Shepherds are extremely obedient and content to stay within trained boundaries.
However, if an Australian Shepherd does not receive enough exercise or mental stimulation, they may become bored or disobedient.
This may lead to unwanted behaviors such as digging or escaping the yard.
Giving an Australian Shepherd plenty of room for exercise, and different toys or tasks to complete for mental stimulation will help deter unwanted behavior.
With these considerations in mind, invisible fences will work for Australian Shepherds.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Beagles?
Beagles have a reputation for a high prey drive and a distractible nature that makes them a little harder to train than some other breeds, but it can be done.
Beagles are high-energy dogs who love to work and are people pleasers. However, they have high prey drive and can be very self-willed at times.
Their desire to make their owner happy makes a Beagle much easier to train. But, their natural instincts and selective independence can also make training difficult.
With patience and consistency, a Beagle can be trained to use an invisible fence.
Proper boundary training takes several weeks to a couple of months for some dogs, but taking shortcuts isn’t an option with Beagles.
With Beagles, an important step will be distraction training – helping the dog learn to obey and stay inside the fence even if there’s something interesting outside the fence.
Beagles have high intelligence levels, meaning they will understand the boundaries you set for them, and the consequences for crossing said boundaries.
Further, their desire to follow your direction will help keep them within the boundary.
The main cause for concern with Beagles is their prey drive and natural hunting instincts.
Beagles are naturally inclined to take interest in small animals scurrying by, and may even chase them.
Despite being aware of the consequences of passing the invisible fence, the prospect of catching a small prey may just be too tempting for a Beagle.
An invisible fence can work for Beagles, but you may find you have to use very wide perimeter boundaries to really keep the dog at home.
Here’s an article where we explain why a dog might run past an invisible fence.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Border Collies?
Border Collies are some of the sweetest dogs on planet earth.
They’re intelligent working dogs who are bored easily and prone to destructive behavior when they don’t have an energetic outlet.
Border Collies are:
Border Collies are extremely trainable. In fact, they are often considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds.
Much like Beagles, Border Collies also love to please their person, and often follow their lead.
They have a great attention span and are easily able to adapt to new lifestyles and surroundings. This can be attributed to their high intelligence levels.
Training a Border Collie to use an invisible fence should be quite fast and easy. If done thoroughly, the Border Collie can understand and remember to stay inside the fence.
The drive to obey their owner should be convincing enough for a Border Collie to remain within the fence.
Further, their ability to understand the consequences of leaving will deter them from breaking the boundary.
Border Collies don’t typically have very high prey drives as they were primarily used for herding in the past as opposed to hunting.
They are curious and easily bored, so it’s vital to keep the space inside the fence interesting for the dog to help cut down on the temptation to run outside the fence for entertainment.
Nowadays, Border Collies are still used for herding but are increasingly becoming just everyday companions for pet owners.
This is due to a border collie’s friendly and affectionate nature towards people, especially those that are part of their “pack.”
A Border Collie may be enticed to leave the boundary if say, they see their favorite person, and can’t contain their excitement.
However, this can be trained away with correct and continuous training.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Chihuahuas?
Chihuahuas are a favorite companion dog because they are small enough to be comfortable in any dwelling and enjoy lap time and cuddles.
They still need play time outside for their health.
A common misbelief about Chihuahuas is that they lack intelligence. Although they may not be as intelligent as some breeds, Chihuahuas are pretty smart.
Chihuahuas are most certainly trainable and are intelligent enough to follow commands. Yet, Chihuahuas can be stubborn, and that is not a myth.
Usually, a chihuahua will seek to please their owner as they are extremely loyal companions.
But, sometimes they have strong self-will, and even the best training will not work.
Training a Chihuahua to use an invisible fence is possible, however, it isn’t definite, and may be rather difficult.
An invisible fence will work for a Chihuahua simply because the dog is too small to leap over the invisible boundary.
However, a stubborn Chihuahua may receive more static correction than other dogs.
Chihuahuas love to be around their people, so, they don’t typically have a desire to run away from home unless they think they can follow people who have left the house.
However, they are also very protective, often of one person they consider their “pack leader.” This can lead to unexpected over-protectiveness of that person.
A Chihuahua may believe the mailman or a neighbor poses a threat, and attempt to scare them away with their tiny but mighty bark.
A Chihuahua’s instinct to protect may lead them to chase the threat.
Invisible fences keep Chihuahuas in anyway, but the dog may have more frequent corrections from the collar which can be tough for a macho dog like a Chihuahua.
With proper training and positive introductions to other people outside of the household, this can be remedied.
It’s wise to take a Chi to obedience training as part of the invisible fence plan.
NOTE: Keep in mind that Chihuahuas are small, and often electric collars are heavy and bulky.
Buy an invisible fence that is designed for dogs as small as 5 pounds. If the collar is still too heavy for your dog, don’t use it.
Do Invisible Fences Work for French Bulldogs?
French Bulldogs have been a favorite companion dog for the last century, with no sign of slowing down. Their playfulness and sense of humor are their owners’ favorite traits.
French Bulldogs are:
French Bulldogs are extremely loyal companions and love to make their owner happy. Furthermore, they are an impressively intelligent breed.
French Bulldogs can be quite playful at times, and a couch potato at other times. They can also be quite agreeable one minute, and extremely stubborn the next.
Learning your dog’s habits, and their energy levels will help decide when to train them with the invisible fence.
While French Bulldogs have a decent attention span, it may not be enough if they’d rather be lounging in the shade or playing fetch with their favorite ball.
Training a French Bulldog to use an invisible fence is possible but can pose some challenges depending on the dog.
An invisible fence is a great option for French Bulldogs as they have a great likelihood to respect the boundaries and stay within them once they’re trained.
The dog knows following your command will make you happy, and possibly earn them love, praise, treats or play.
Positive reinforcement is key to training French Bulldogs, so use it to your advantage.
Additionally, French Bulldogs do not have high hunting or herding instincts, giving them less reason to respond to happenings outside of the fence.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Golden Retrievers?
Golden Retrievers are:
Golden retrievers are one of America’s all-time favorite dogs. This is because they are extremely loyal, easy to train, and quite gentle.
A Golden Retriever possesses the ability to learn new concepts and does so rather easily.
They are more likely to pay attention and listen to your commands due to their gentle and docile nature.
Training a Golden Retriever to use an invisible fence should be a walk in the park!
Golden Retrievers are known for their obedience, often appearing in dog shows, and obedience trials.
They do not have high hunting or herding instincts and do not easily respond to outside distractions.
They have a high desire to please and respond well to positive reinforcement.
A Golden Retriever’s calm nature makes them less likely to chase squirrels down the street or run after your car as you leave.
An invisible fence will work with a Golden Retriever, and it shouldn’t be difficult to train them.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Great Danes?
Some people worry about training Great Danes because they’re so huge, but this shouldn’t be a worry.
Great Danes need some extra patience, but they reward with loyalty and obedience.
Great Danes are:
Great Danes are highly adaptable and are moderately trainable. They are mostly open to training and learning new concepts.
They aren’t the easiest dog to train, but certainly not the hardest either.
Their patience will help through trial and error as you accustom the Great Dane to the fence.
Training a Great Dane to use an invisible fence shouldn’t be difficult, but it will take some patience from both you and your dog (which isn’t an issue for Great Danes).
Great Danes are reliable and protective. They can make great guard dogs or companions.
They also do not possess a high prey drive and are often not aggressive dogs.
Their nature to guard the territory, along with the lack of desire for chasing prey will make a Great Dane very likely to stay within a fence.
Great Danes do need a lot of mental stimulation, be sure to give them toys and activities to keep them busy in the yard.
They’re plenty big enough to soar over the invisible fence barrier, so it’s essential to train them thoroughly, remind them frequently with positive training, and keep the yard fascinating so they want to stay home.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Great Pyrenees?
Great Pyrenees must be trained so they can be enjoyable to live with, but training can prove difficult, especially when they’re puppies.
Great Pyrenees are:
- Gentle guards
Great Pyrenees are fairly intelligent dogs who have roots in guarding livestock. They also love to work and can be very independent.
Their high intelligence and independence mean the Great Pyrenees isn’t always going to listen to you. At times, they have other plans, and training can seem impossible.
The key to training the Great Pyrenees is patience. Through diligence and determination, you can eventually train this hard-headed breed.
It also helps to start training when the dog is young before they get any ideas that they are the boss.
Training the Great Pyrenees to use an invisible fence is possible but can be a tedious and lengthy process.
Great Pyrenees can be good listeners when they want to be. Yet, they are naturally independent dogs and therefore are not always obedient.
This is especially true when they do not receive enough socialization or mental stimulation.
Obedience training is key from the very beginning because the dog is so big and stubborn that a failure to train the dog can make it difficult to live with for life, and very hard to train to an invisible fence.
Boredom can lead to the dog misbehaving, and even escaping the yard to find some fun.
They are big and tough enough to ignore an invisible fence when they want to. You’ll have to find ways to keep your dog busy!
If Great Pyrenees receive proper care and attention they can be mostly compliant dogs, but still possess that independent nature.
Invisible fences might work for Great Pyrenees, but training will take a lot of effort, and there is still no guarantee the fence will work.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Italian Greyhounds?
Italian Greyhounds are a favorite small breed dog for families who want a loyal, affectionate companion dog.
They’re happiest with people, but they have some prey drive that makes them bolt from time to time.
Italian Greyhounds are:
Italian greyhounds are smart and able to learn new concepts with ease. They also love to please their humans and aren’t very independent, in fact, they can be quite clingy.
They love being around their people and you’ll find that they pay a great deal of attention to you during training.
Training an Italian Greyhound to use an invisible fence is certainly possible.
Italian Greyhounds are people pleasers and will follow your commands, obeying boundaries you set.
That is until a small animal, a car, or possibly a simple leaf goes by. Italian Greyhounds were bred for hunting, and they are hunters through and through.
If an Italian Greyhound catches anything going by, especially at a quicker pace, the chase is on!
Distraction training will be a key to keeping your dog home, and you’ll need to practice very frequently.
You can possibly try to train your Italian Greyhound to ignore these temptations, but it’s in their blood, so training it to respect the fence line will be hard.
However, the dog is small enough that jumping over the invisible boundary will be too hard, so the static shock reminder should be enough to keep a stubborn Italian Greyhound at home.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Jack Russell Terriers?
Jack Russel Terriers are one of the most common terrier breeds, and they’re intelligent though renowned for being stubborn, chasing people and animals, and barking at everything that moves.
Jack Russells are:
Jack Russells possess great cognitive skills. They are diligent, smart, and often forward thinking problem solvers.
A Jack Russell is a hard worker, and has a moderate desire to follow their owner’s commands.
However, Jack Russells are very strong willed dogs, and can be stubborn sometimes.
Training a Jack Russell to use an invisible fence can be done, but they may test your patience and determination.
A Jack Russell Terrier must have obedience training to reach its potential as an intelligent, obedient working dog or pet.
This training will make all the difference in your success with an invisible fence.
Jack Russells are highly adaptable making them likely to adjust to new boundaries if they’ve already been trained to respect and obey you.
If they’re willful and disobedient, they’re likely to run through the fence.
Jack Russells were bred for fox hunting and they have a naturally high prey drive instinct, especially for small animals.
An invisible fence can be helpful to control those dogs who chase cars and neighbors.
Despite being fairly agreeable, a Jack Russell will stop at almost nothing when their instincts kick in.
An invisible fence most likely would not work for a Jack Russell without intense behavioral and fence training.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Labradors?
Labradors of all colors are some of the most common household dogs because they’re relatively easy to train, loyal, and very playful.
Labradors are known for their gentle and agreeable nature, they’re often kept as companions, service or guide dogs, and even working dogs.
Labradors’ naturally conforming nature means they are pretty easy to train. They’re also relatively adaptable to new surroundings and routines, making introducing new ideas easy.
Labradors usually are not stubborn, and would much rather follow your lead then call the shots. This makes them relatively easy to train to an invisible fence.
As mentioned, Labradors are agreeable. Even without an electric collar, a Labrador is likely to obey your commands.
But, the collar helps when you are not there, and further instills the idea of consequences in the Labrador’s mind.
Furthermore, Labradors have worn many hats as companions, guides, and retrievers. They have proven to be dependable dogs who follow commands and train well.
Labradors typically have not been used for hunting or herding.
This helps as the Labrador has less reason to feel the need to leave the yard, so invisible fences work really well for Labradors.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Pitbulls?
Check your local dog regulations to be sure that invisible fencing is allowed for Pitbulls before putting in the time and effort to train yours to stay inside of one.
Most often, Pitbulls are very loyal companions who will look to you as the leader, and follow your commands.
As said though, a breed doesn’t always determine a dog’s temperament.
In turn, some Pitbulls can be quite stubborn, and don’t care about pleasing people.
Pitbulls who have been abused are more likely to not care what you think about a fence or anything else.
More often than not however, Pitbulls are mostly agreeable. But, if you have a hard headed Pitbull, there are invisible fence options tailored to stubborn dogs.
Proceed carefully with training a fearful Pitbull to stay inside an invisible fence.
Static shock can increase dog aggression, an attribute you don’t want to increase with training a Pit Bull.
Pitbulls can be trained to use an invisible fence, and training should be somewhat easy if you’ve had the dog from a pup and know that it is loving, loyal, trainable, and has a desire to please.
Always use positive reinforcement and love when training any dog, and Pitbulls are no exception.
They’ll respond to love, acceptance, and treats, while negative reinforcement will make the dog impossible to live with.
For the most part, Pitbulls will show great obedience. They are loyal to their owners, and usually follow commands well.
Yet, an occasional urge to be zesty, or perceived threats may cause a Pitbull to be disobedient.
Pitbulls shouldn’t be left alone all day with an invisible fence.
If a Pitbull runs through the fence and something bad happens – a dog bite or fight – the Pitbull will face worse consequences than other dogs.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Rottweilers?
Rottweilers, despite their appearance, have a funny, smart, and curious personality that endears them to owners.
They’re fantastic guard dogs with the intelligence to distinguish between friends and foes.
Anybody who owns one will tell you that despite their intimidating appearance, Rottweilers are extremely loving and loyal dogs.
They have a natural desire to please and protect their owner and territory. Additionally, Rottweilers are smart, and inquisitive.
Their natural instinct to follow your commands, and their intelligence level, means Rottweilers can be trained to use an invisible fence.
Rottweilers are naturally inclined to listen to you, and respect boundaries set before them. Yet, they can be stubborn occasionally, and may push the limits at times.
This occasional stubbornness along with their instinct to guard their territory by any means necessary does cause concern.
Depending on each individual dog, this may cause issues where the Rottweiler is leaving the boundary to deter what they deem as a threat.
They also may break the boundary because they are stubborn, and may push through any physical consequences that stop them.
Reconfirming boundaries, increasing correction intensity, and constant training will help curb these behaviors.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Shiba Inus?
Shiba Inus have a face that has become iconic, but they’ve long been loved for their loyalty and hard work.
Shiba Inus are:
Shiba Inus are good companion pets as they are loyal to their owners. However, they have roots in Japan as hunting dogs, and often are better as workers.
Shiba Inus are intelligent, but not always easy to train, they can be stubborn as a mule, or more.
Furthermore, they are only moderately adaptable to new surroundings, expectations, and training.
Your Shiba Inu may have a hard time accepting the boundaries you set and understanding the consequences.
While Shiba Inu are loyal, they don’t always listen. They’re usually well behaved, but do have a strong sense of self-will.
If or when you get through introducing your dog to the fence and initial training, there is no guarantee the Shiba Inu will always respect the boundary.
Also, as stated, Shiba Inu have hunting instincts, and we all know what that means. Their instincts will most likely take over when faced with animals their size or smaller.
A Shiba Inu can be kept inside an invisible fence, especially if you’ve already completed obedience training with the dog.
They will receive more frequent static correction than other dogs, but it will work.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Quiet Dogs?
Some dogs are quite vocal while others are quiet as a mouse. You may be wondering if this affects their ability to use an invisible fence.
Quiet dogs are more likely to remain silent during training and focus on your command.
Additionally, a quiet dog is less likely to bark at dogs passing by, causing doggy drama that would lead them to run away.
An invisible fence doesn’t work based on how loud or quiet a dog is. It works when the collar comes close to the invisible boundary.
- You set the boundary line.
- You set how wide the boundary line is. This determines how close the dog can get to the boundary. Narrow works for obedient dogs, but the boundary may need to be many feet wide for stubborn dogs.
- The collar gives the dog a warning beep when it approaches the boundary line.
- If the dog turns away, the beeping stops, and nothing happens to the dog.
- If the dog proceeds to approach the boundary line, the collar begins to administer a static shock.
- When the dog turns away, the static shock stops.
- If the dog proceeds through the line the collar will shock as long as it takes the dog to cross the boundary and then it will stop.
If the dog learns to run through the boundary it can stay away as long as it wants. The collar will not shock the dog as it runs the neighborhood.
We recommend purchasing a collar that also will not shock the dog during reentry into the yard, encouraging the dog to come home on its own.
Do Invisible Fences Work for Older Dogs
We have covered many breeds of dogs, and discussed the minimum age requirement for invisible fences.
Yet, you may be left wondering if a dog can be too old for an invisible fence.
They say you can not teach an old dog new tricks, but this simply is not true.
With your guidance, praise, and A LOT of patience an older dog can be trained to use an invisible fence.
While discretion is advised, for the most part you shouldn’t have issues training or getting an older dog to use an invisible fence.
Older dogs may be more sensitive to the physical stimulation of the collar, or the hefty size, which makes them great candidates for collars for smaller or sensitive dogs.
These collars have lower correction levels, ensuring Old Yeller isn’t hurt in the process of containment.
An invisible fence will work great for older dogs, and as with all dogs, positive reinforcement like cuddles, praise, and treats will encourage your old dog to learn new tricks.
Which Breeds Respond Best to an Invisible Fence?
All dogs are different, and breed doesn’t always determine temperament.
You may have a Beagle who has no desire to hunt or work, or a Shiba Inu that always follows commands without fail.
These findings are only to help understand how temperament can affect a dog’s ability to use an invisible fence.
|Breed||Will it Work?||Why / Why Not?|
|Australian Shepherd||Yes||Obedient, People Pleaser|
|Border Collie||Yes||Obedient, Intelligent|
|Golden Retriever||Yes||Obedient, Agreeable, Calm|
|Great Dane||Yes||Obedient, Diligent|
|Great Pyrenees||Not Likely||Stubborn, Strong Self Will, Size|
|Italian Greyhound||Yes||Small size|
|Jack Russell||Most likely||High Prey Drive, Stubborn, but Small|
|Labrador||Yes||Obedient, Conformable, Calm|
|Pitbull||Possibly||Depends on the dog|
|Shiba Inu||Not Likely||Stubborn, Hunting Instinct|
So, you’ve learned that an invisible fence will work for your dog, but you may be wondering if it’s worth it. Here are the pros and cons of an invisible fence!
Ultimately, an invisible fence should work for nearly all dogs.
If you are searching for an invisible fence, and wondering if it will work with a breed we didn’t cover, keep our same considerations in mind.
But, also remember that breed isn’t an end all be all factor, and you must use your best judgment for each individual dog.
Further, know that invisible fences work for all kinds of dogs. Whether they’are small, stubborn, quiet, or old, there is an option for all dogs!
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