Invisible Fence

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1.5 out of 5, based on 2 ratings and
7 reviews & complaints.

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Invisible Fence Company "Guarantee"
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CALIFORNIA -- I bought the Invisible Fence pet containment system last summer. I had it installed and paid $1,300. I was promised up and down that containment was GUARANTEED. We had a fence but the problem was my dog was jumping OVER it. He is very agile and he knew freedom was on the other side.

Shortly after it was installed he figured out that he could get over the fence without getting the shock if he jumped over the gated portion of the fence (they don't put the wire on moving gates generally). He got out, I called them and they came out to move the wire. Shortly after that he got out again because he could still make it over getting only the warning tone or just the weak initial shock.

They came out and increased the correction/decrease time for warning. He jumped again and this time was hit by a car. Three days and $5000 later, when he was out of the doggie ICU I called Invisible Fence again to tell them it wasn't working and my dog had been hit by a car. They were unsympathetic and took no responsibly. They blamed me saying I didn't do enough training. Of course the training is to teach the dog where the boundaries are and he was jumping over a 5 foot fence (an obvious boundary). If you read the fine print in the contract they have countless opportunities to come "tweak" the fence if it doesn't work. Then after a year they will tell you you're SOL. They will still come out for service but for a fee starting at $90.

They came out and tweaked the fence again but my dog didn't jump the fence for about 6 months after getting hit because he was injured not because the fence worked. I know this because we took the receiver collar off for that time. My dog recently decided he was over it and jumped the fence again (twice) with the Invisible Fence collar on and "working".

They also told me that I could not turn up the fence by myself (they couldn't make it out to my house for two weeks) because it required special tools. My BF figured it out in about 45 seconds and we turned it up ourselves. They don't like that because they charge you $90 just to show up at your door.

The fence may work for you but be prepared for poor customer service and make sure you get it working very well in that first year. Know that the term "containment guarantee" is interpreted loosely by them. If you have a smart, high energy dog, don't expect a quick fix.
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MyDogsMom on 07/20/2008:
This is not a comment on the Invisible Fence company but as an owner, it sounds like you need a REAL fence...and a tall one at that. Otherwise, your pet may need to stay in the house or in some type of contained enclosure. It's not safe for him otherwise.

Nohandle on 07/20/2008:
I have a privacy fence to contain my dog, not cat, but know several people with an Invisible Fence. One has miniature dauchunds and has not had a problem, the other loaded up Fido in the car along with the children and the dog went berserk as they backed out the driveway. She had forgotten to remove his collar.

I would advise anyone considering this form of containment for their pet to ask around before going to the expense.
The primary problem I found was it obviously didn't keep other animals out of your yard. Animals are smarter than most realize and I expect they will find a way out if possible if only jumping the one portion available to them. Nice review/advice SouthState.
CrazyRedHead on 07/21/2008:
Sounds like your dog needs some better training and a higher fence.
Whizkid on 11/19/2008:
While the basic system does work I found that support is really spotty. MOST important, do not sign their "satisfaction" form until you have walked every inch of the containment area to make sure the underground wire has been installed where it is supposed to be. The idiot who installed my system put the wire three feet in FRONT of my gate. I didn't realize this until 15 months later and Invisible Fence said too bad. They screwed up and kept referring back to the satisfaction form I signed. Also, don't settle for 30 minutes of their training.
FenceByLance on 12/16/2008:
Definitely, it seems that it is hard to find companies in this industry that will give the quality care and attention required to make hidden fence systems work for certain dogs, whether it be those that are especially shy or those that are especially driven as with yours. I believe there are 2 common reasons for this and both are typically involved in situations like yours: 1) Companies often focus on VOLUME, pursuing distributor quotas and personal sales goals; once the sale has been made, they know that the likelihood of a refund is minimal and even if it occurs, their fine print typically dictates only a partial refund to the purchaser. Very few companies offer and stand behind 100% refund for failure to contain a pet. 2) Many companies don't have employees on staff that are truly competent in the areas of installation and ESPECIALLY TRAINING. Putting the wire in the appropriate places and checking field width are necessary first steps to containing your dog. And, it wouldn't matter if you received 100 visits if the trainer didn't know the craft and genuinely care. Training a dog to an electronic fence that reinforces a physical one SHOULD be the easiest training there is to seems as if you would have to spend some oodles of time to find someone incompetent enough to mess it up even with repeated visits to your home. The solution is most often not to simply turn a knob or push a button (though this will probably be the solution first offered), rather it is to TRAIN the dog properly and reinforce ideas until the dog has been CONDITIONED to avoid or retreat from the fence. It is a sad thing when you cannot depend on a well-known company to stand behind their products and services...that extra effort in situations like your own could have such a positive impact on a family's happiness and a dog's safety, but it is an unlikely kindness as things currently stand.

Remember that with ALL TRAINING, YOUR reinforcement of the RIGHT IDEAS is what will ensure that your dog continues (or begins if this wasn't accomplished by your trainer) to perform as desired. With that said, all you need is for someone to take the time to evaluate your situation thoroughly and give you those RIGHT IDEAS to work with and you should be able to have the peace of mind you seek.

My suggestions: Contact your local Better Business Bureau and submit a report concerning your experience so that other pets are less likely to fall through the cracks as yours did. Look to your neighbors, dog-park friends, a local dog-related forum, or your local Angie's List to find a (or THE) local dog professional who will have the necessary skills and passion to complete what your chosen company did not. Keep in mind that your vet and others in the pet industry may have received special treatment because of their position to refer...they may not truly know the company they are referring...this is why you want to look to others in YOUR position.

If you would like to discuss your dog and his current relationship with your fence, you can email me from my website and I will make myself available to respond as thoroughly as I can, though someone local who could provide on-site assistance if necessary would be best.

Best Wishes, Lance Sinkowski, Trainer
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Endless Calls Before Installation -- Zero Service After They Got the Check
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA -- We got a quote to add Invisible Fence to a home we were building. We got endless calls during the year it took to build and received many promised about the level of service that came with the Invisible Fence.

Once the house was up, the installer came out on a rainy day. He laid the fence on top of the ground in some places to get done and out of the rain sooner. The spots he showed us looked great. The mower found the not-so-great spots. He didn't have the piece to connect it to the house, so he gooped around the wire with caulk and promised to come back in a few days to do it right. And he put the dogs collars on warning beep for the training period.

That was a year ago. The first communication I've been able to get since then was them reminding me that a year was up and I needed to renew my battery contract. I told them the installation wasn't complete and the collars needed turned up. They were very apologetic and asked when they could come out. I told them when we would be available. It's been a month since that email... Haven't heard from them since.

Warning...the collars are proprietary. You can't adjust them. They won't come back to do it and from what I've read online, when they do show up, they try to charge you for the service call.

Go to Petsmart, get the generic version and hire an electrician to help you connect it. Cheaper in the long run.
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NO Invisible Fence Brand Company Customer Support
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PRESCOTT, ARIZONA -- One year after Invisible Fence Dealer installed fence and terminal on outside wall of our home, we contacted the dealer because the terminal was not working. Dealer responded that his original installation of terminal on outside wall was in error, removed transmitter (we repaired/repainted wall), installed transmitter on interior garage wall, and charged service call fee to correct his error.

Approx one year later, terminal again not working. Referred to "Invisible Fence Owners Manual" provided with original unit, but directions did not match terminal installed. Dealer advised he had installed new unit, did not provide owners manuals, and could not service unit for 48 hours. After advising my wife not to remove the transmitter cover, he told me to remove the transmitter cover and disconnect power and battery back-up to stop constant beeping.

Multiple phone calls to Invisible Fence Brand produced only recorded messages directing you back to your dealer. Email messages to Invisible Fence Customer Support produced only boiler plate messages back to your dealer.

If your dealer is not cooperative or not available (illness, injury, vacation, etc., ) you have NO alternative source for customer support. Invisible Fence Brand provides NO company support.

When I advised the dealer, Invisible Fence of Northern Arizona, that I was going to share my experience at multiple Internet sites, he responded, "Go ahead, knock yourself out!"
No response from Invisible Fence Brand after notifying them of their dealer's encouragement.

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Beware of injuries to your dog from the collar of Invisible Fence
Posted by on
LUTHERVILLE, MARYLAND -- I am a veterinarian. My dog received SEVEN burn holes and skin burns from the shock collar of the Invisible Fence. The company will not stand behind their product, nor will they do anything about what it did to my dog. They will not accept the responsibility that there is something
defective in the collar
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jktshff1 on 03/23/2011:
Not enough details for commenting.
trmn8r on 03/23/2011:
Here is what one company says about the topic:
"A popular myth of electronic dog and cat fencing is that the collars "burn" holes through the pet because of the static correction. In reality, it is actually the collar being too tight on the pet causing a loss of blood circulation where the posts make contact. This can account for a costly vet bill."

Yesterday, I heard the pleasant blood curdling scream of the dog that bit me a week ago - evidently its owners installed an Invisible Fence to protect people like myself.

I opted for a physical fence, to keep outside dogs out. Personal preference.
Anonymous on 03/24/2011:
I've always seen those invisible fences as barbaric. It's cruel to train your dog by using shock torture. How would you like it? I don't see how you could be shocked ( pun intended) to see that they can burn your animal.
Anonymous on 03/24/2011:
I'm sorry, but I agree with throwback in that I think it's cruel to use pain/shock to train an animal. Secondly, even if they did take responsibility for the pain and suffering your animal was put through, would that be enough? Sure, that would appease your wallet, but not the suffering your dog went through.

What happened to good ole fashioned training and fences?
Starlord on 03/24/2011:
I was listening to a call-in radio show about animals one time, and heard a priceless bit of business. A caller wanted to know if those invisible fences would keep skunks off his property. The show's host said, "Sure, if you can get the skunks to wear the little collars." I got coffee all over my desk. That had to be a world class spit take.
metrocatdoctor on 05/05/2011:
With regard to Invisible Fence:
I have half an acre fenced infor my dogs. My newes rescue dog Tonka continued to get out under
the fence. I bought railroad ties, but couldn't get anyone to install them. A neighbor suggested Invisible fence of Baltimore. It was fine for two years and kept the dogs in until I recently changed the battery, that is when my dog suffered
burn holes in the neck, a total of SEVEN, all lining up with the prongs. The collar was actually looser than the company recommended. The company will not take responsibily for this defective and dangerous product. I am a veterinarian and shame on me for not doing more research on the product before buying it. I realize too late how dangerous a product it is and what a shoddy company Invisible fence is for not correcting a wrong!!!! I now have the railroad ties around the exterior of the chain link fence and I sleep better at night knowing my
dogs will NEVER AGAIN feel pain or be harmed !!!!
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Pets vs Visitors
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We live in a housing development, these are issues that we have seen. I would like to urge all pet and home owners to take a strong look at all of the perspectives of this device before purchasing. (1) It keeps your pet inside the area you have included in your perimeter. (2) It doesn’t keep other animals from entering the perimeter and hurting your pet. (3) If your perimeter includes your driveway and front walk your visitors may be in danger if your dog is a biter or even just a jumper. (4) If your visitors are bitten or knocked off their feet you are liable for damages. (5) You insurance may not cover these damages. (5) If the collar doesn’t fit your dog correctly it can cause burn, blisters and infections on your pet. (6) Be aware that the collar still works if the pet is inside your vehicle and you drive across the perimeter.
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PepperElf on 01/25/2010:
actually that's some good advice and pointers to people who are thinking of getting that.

especially since some dogs are court-ordered to be killed over bite incidents.
bargod on 01/25/2010:
They are all good points except for #6 if you have to figure that one out on your own then you really shouldn't own a dog.
PepperElf on 01/25/2010:
o god. #6.

is it bad that I laughed?

bargod on 01/25/2010:
It is kind of funny(unless your the dog of course)
Anonymous on 01/25/2010:
I think the idea of this device is to keep your dog in your yard, not to protect the public from your pit bull
Anonymous on 01/25/2010:
I thought better about getting on of those things.
I owned a Chow/Lab that would have endered the pain just for a taste of freedom.
jktshff1 on 01/25/2010:
Ever thought of just training your dog?
Anonymous on 01/25/2010:
A fence?
jktshff1 on 01/25/2010:
Home owner's assoc probably won't allow a fence.
Starlord on 01/26/2010:
True, an HOA may not allow a fence, but then, they would not allow you to dig up the yard to install the Invisible Fence, either. I saw a column where people could ask questions and a member of the newspaper or magazine staff would answer them. A guy wrote in and asked if the Invisible Fence would keep skunks out of his yard. The writer answered back, "Maybe, if you can get the skunks to wear the little collars."
Anonymous on 01/26/2010:
If it is your yard then why wouldn't you be able to dig up a a canal to lay the wires as long as you cover it back up?
Nohandle on 01/26/2010:
Starlord, I'm still laughing about the skunk comment. Wonder if that works with opossums as well?

Linda, if anyone does his research on Invisible Fence he will know it is intended on preventing the owner's pet from leaving his yard. And yes, if someone loads Fido up in the family van and leaves the collar on while the fence is activated well..the chances Fido will hop in the van the second time are nil to none.
Linda De on 01/27/2010:
See these points may not be covered by a sales rep. and they are valid points to consider. And just because you don't have a violent dog doesn't mean that the dog isn't a happy playful type that jumps on visitors or rough plays with children. These dogs can be dangerous too. Dangerous in the sense that you may be responsible for higher insurance rates and liabilities ... than if you have a built fence. And those issues can be substantial.
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Invisible Fence A Waste Of Money
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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- Our baby boy, Duke, our family pet was shot with a shotgun and left to suffer along the railroad tracks about a ½ mile west of 600 W in New Palestine. We had to end his suffering ourselves. If you have any information related to this tragic event, please contact Wayne at the Humane Society at 477-4367 or Hancock County Deputy Christie McFarland at 477-1144…CAD# 090560228.

DO NOT invest in the Invisible Fence. DO NOT rely on a collar/cable leash to contain your loved one. We do not want anybody to have to experience this devastating tragedy as we have been forced to. We love you Duke! And you will always be missed…Run the RR tracks in heaven freely!
Company Response 03/19/2009:
The underground fence is just a tool to -help- keep your pet in the yard. Our company has installed hundreds of underground fences in the past years. Training, training, training, and an understanding of your pet, are crucial to keeping your pet in the yard. A dog may cross the boundary if he feels one of his people is in danger, a hunting dog may be too tempted by a passing racoon, another dog may just be bored. Part of the training is watching the dog and knowing what areas need to be addressed. We do not quarantee your pet will not cross the line - no company should - but we give you the tools to make the fence give you peace of mind.
I am sorry for your loss - I love my dogs and (especially) my cat.
If you acquire another dog my husband and I would be happy to help you through the training process so the fence can give you peace of mind.
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bargod on 02/27/2009:
Wow that is tragic. I think I might cry. Excuse me for a minuite everyone.
Sparticus on 02/27/2009:
Very sorry to hear about your poor dog. What an awful thing to happen.

Most electric dog fence companies do not guarantee their product will keep your dog from leaving the yard. We have one and our dog has gotten out on occasion. You really need to stay on top of the dog even when they are outside... and re-enforce their training every few months.

Your story is a sobering reminder of the fact that there is no replacement for supervision of your pets while outdoors. Even real fences cannot keep a dog in if they really want out...
Anonymous on 02/27/2009:
My sympathy for your loss. Sparticus is 100% right. Thanks for sharing your tragedy as a warning to others.
madconsumer on 02/27/2009:
the Invisible Fence is not a blockade. it is just merely a 'signal' that reminds the animal where the boundary is. animals can cross the line with little effect other than a scary shock.
Anonymous on 02/27/2009:
(BA) MadC.
What kind of dog was this?
I had a Chow Lab Mix that was shot but survived.
BokiBean on 02/27/2009:
Poor Duke, I'm so sorry!
Anonymous on 02/27/2009:
I'm so sorry for your loss. Stories like this just break my heart and make me wonder what's wrong with people. I really hope they find the monster who did this to poor Duke.
Nohandle on 02/27/2009:
I've heard pro's and con's concerning the Invisible Fence. If a dog is determined to escape I guess they will find a way. I fully understand you felt comfortable after investing in this fence for Duke; otherwise, you wouldn't have gone to the expense. You can't watch your animal at every moment and still give him freedom to enjoy the outside. I have a privacy fence to contain my animals and a pet door to come in and out. I've come home and found the gate standing wide open and my dog loose. Nothing will fully protect them but we all do the best we can.

Your review is most helpful for anyone who thinks the Invisible Fence is the ideal protection. I sincerely hope the individual who shot Duke is caught and prosecuted. I'm sorry for your loss and we all appreciate the warning.
jktshff1 on 02/27/2009:
Yep, sorry for your loss, but it is completely your responsibility to see that whatever containment system you are using works. The Invisible Fence works good for some pets, a collar works for some pets, voice control, chain etc.
It is totally the owner's responsibility to ensure that their pet is under control at all times and knowing what works for your pet is part of that.
hvdogguard on 05/20/2009:
I feel bad for you. We've replaced lots of Invisible Fence collars because they don't work.
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We Do Not Honor Our Contract!!!!
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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK -- Invisible fence containment did not work for my English Pointer. They simply would not accept that it was never going to work for my dog because of her breed as a hunting dog. They accused me of not training the dog correctly no matter how much I told them I tried. My dog was a rescue and I had no idea that this fence was never going to work for her. I found that out later after researching English Pointers. I did ask them repeatedly, however, that I was afraid it might not work for her and asked if I would be refunded. The salesman and the trainer reassured me many times that I would be refunded in full as the contract clearly states. They will not honor their contract period. Now, I have to install a wood fence to contain her, so I will be paying for this twice. It's a scam and I would never recommend IF to anyone.
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Anonymous on 02/19/2007:
I'd take a chance in small claims court.
Nohandle on 02/19/2007:
Dontpanik, we are speaking of the Invisible Fence when a line is buried, a monitor attached to the dog's collar and if the dog goes near the fence line he receives a jolt? I'm curious as to why it doesn't work for an English Pointer even though yours was a rescue dog. Others with certain breeds of dogs will be curious as well. The individuals I know who have them have not had a problem, with the exception of one who had the family dog in the backseat of the car..forgot about the collar and backed down the driveway. That's not done anymore.

How training your dog correctly should have any bearing on this I don't understand. That sounds like a bunch of hogwash to me. What's training got to do with it? If they guarantee in their contract the fence will work, no training should be necessary. It works or it doesn't work and I assume they gave you a second monitor to make certain the first one was not faulty.

Passingby suggested small claims court, a good idea. If you don't want to go that route and a guarantee is written into your contract and the company refuses to honor the terms of the contract, I believe I'd contact an attorney.
FenceByLance on 07/12/2007:
Training has EVERYTHING to do with it! A dog's containment is based on an understanding of where the boundary is coupled with a conditioned behavior relative to it. The company should have returned repetitively and with new approaches until the issue was resolved or refunded per the contract when they decided to cease in this pursuit. Lance Sinkowski, Trainer
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