Despite their sizes, and the often unjustified fear of them that strangers have, many big dogs are best described as “gentle giants.” Depending on the breed, they may even be much less active than small- and medium-sized dogs, happy with a walk or two around the block before lazing around all day wrapped around a child or lying on your feet. In any case, for the safety and happiness of your pet, you may need information to help you determine the best electric fence for big dogs.
The Great Dane, for example, often thought of as the largest of all the dog breeds, loves children and is exceedingly gentle. The St. Bernard is less of a surprise, and his quiet, calm manner is perfect for a steady, less excitable lifestyle.
This also means that large dogs may have special needs when it comes to containment systems. Not out of stubbornness but actually from sheer calm of temperament, they may be more resistant to static correction. On the other hand, because they are so general, they may become more upset if the static correction is not correctly set to their levels.
Why Use An Invisible or Electric Fence for Big Dogs?
Many bigger dogs are gentle, yes, and quiet, yes—at least, much more quiet than most small and medium dogs. The other end of the spectrum of misunderstanding large dogs is taking their silence for a lack of threat. Small dogs bark loudly because that warning system is their defense mechanism: they are both telling the intruder that they will bite if forced, and calling for back-up.
Big dogs, on the other hand, feel like they can take any intruder because of their sizes. Because of this, rather than barking, big dogs rush first. Unfortunately, the problem of controlling them is the opposite of owners with small dogs. While small dogs are usually just scooped up without being allowed to investigate the problem for themselves, it is often impossible to restrain a large lunging dog.
Unfortunately, this can create more problems than necessary. Dog owners tend to cage or leash their large dogs because of this. The effect this has on the gentle giants is negative: their temperaments may actually become more aggressive. The best response would be to use a containment system that leaves the large dog free to investigate his surroundings.
What is the Key Feature of These Electric Dog Fences for Bigger Dogs?
The key feature of these invisible or electric dog fences is that either the static correction range is custom-made for large or stubborn dogs, such as the PetSafe® Stubborn Dog In-ground Fence, or there are more and higher settings than the normal range, such as the Perimeter Technologies WiFi Wireless model. Both of these models take the unique needs of larger dogs into account.
How Do These Models Compare?
If you travel often, either by car or to family homes for long vacations, the portable Perimeter Technologies model is much more practical. It can also support itself on battery for up to 8 hours, so you could actually set it up without an electrical outlet. On the other hand, the Stubborn Dog In-ground Fence is more practical if you are most often at home. It also has stronger static correction, so an incredibly thick-skinned dog would require that.
Best Electric Fence for Big Dogs for 2015
Weights and Neck Sizes
The Perimeter Technologies model has the highest minimum weight of any of the wireless fence options. It was designed primarily for use on medium and large dogs, precisely because the static correction favors the upper range. It supports dogs who are 10 pounds and up, with neck sizes from 14 to 26 inches.
On the other hand, the Stubborn Dog In-ground Fence supports dogs who are 20 pounds and up. The weight of the dog matters in their resistance to the static correction. Any dog lighter than that may become overly upset. The Fence also supports neck sizes from 6 to 28 inches.
Set-up and Preparation Time of an Electric Fence for Big Dogs
Being a wireless fence, the Perimeter Technologies model is simply plug-and-play. After taking the unit home, simply set it up somewhere high (the higher the better), and plug it in. It will only take 1 or 2 hours to test the boundaries and the collar. On the other hand, being in-ground, the Stubborn Dog Fence will take at least a weekend to set up properly. After planning the layout of the fence, you should be able to lay it in and begin training within 1 to 2 days.
Space and Area
The Perimeter Technologies model has the most reasonable boundary range of the present wireless fences. It has a maximum radius of 180 feet, or 360 feet in diameter. This gives your dog around 2 ½ acres of play space. For the Stubborn Dog In-ground Fence, the standard length of in-ground wire in the package is 500 feet, although it can be extended up to 5000 feet. This gives your dog from 1/3 to 25 acres of play space.
The Perimeter Technologies model’s largest disadvantage is in the range of its boundary fluctuation. The boundary can shift as much as 20 feet at a time. This may confuse the dog, if he has not been properly trained to listen and obey only to the warning beep. On the other hand, the Stubborn Dog In-ground Fence only has a boundary blur of ½ feet at any given time.
The Perimeter Technologies model has 8 static correction levels, and 1 tone-only level for training. Because it is made for medium and large dogs, the upper range of the static correction should be able to correct even the thickest-skinned dogs. On the other hand, the Stubborn Dog Fence has 4 static correction levels, all in the upper range of correction, and 1 tone-only level for training. It is advised to use this model only for the most stubborn dogs.
Batteries and Power Outlets
The Perimeter Technologies receiver collar uses rechargeable batteries, and they have very good charge life: 5 to 7 days. Although it is best to check them regularly, at least there is less pressure to rush charging the second set. It also has a battery back-up for the transmitter, which can last up to 8 hours. For the Stubborn Dog Fence, the receiver collar has replaceable batteries, which last from 3 to four months.
Making the Choice: In-Ground or Wireless Fence for Bigger Dogs
It really depends on your needs at the moment. Is it portability you need? Then consider that a wireless fence might be more practical. Is it a stable boundary around your property that you need? Then consider that the in-ground fence would be a better fit. However, remember that the Stubborn Dog Fence is stronger than most for a reason: it is designed for the more thick-skinned canines. If you do not believe that your dog needs that strong a level of static correction, then opt for the Perimeter Technologies model instead.