Nico is as much a member of our family as we are, but boy does she get herself into trouble sometimes! Nico has gotten into our garden and dug up our potatoes (which would be helpful if she only knew what time of year to dig) torn down trellises with precious plants climbing them, and knocked over potted plants.

I wish I could say our traditional fence kept her out, but alas, it does not. This has me thinking that an electric fence would be a good option for our garden. It would keep this mischievous devil out, and preserve the beauty of our backyard at the same time!

If dogs are also members of your family, you know firsthand the mischief they can get into on the homestead. Keeping them safe and out of trouble is always a priority, but it can be difficult when you’re dealing with a smart and clumsy pup.

Giving them space to run and explore is important, but you may need to keep them out of certain areas. Do-it-yourself electric dog fences are versatile, and they’re excellent for homesteads because they only restrict access for your dogs – not you.

Here are seven ways they can be used on the homestead.

Keeping your dogs safe is great, keeping your livestock safe as well? Even better! DIY electric fencing can do it all.

Separate Dogs and Livestock

If you’re not raising livestock guardian dogs, you might want to keep them separated from the rest of your livestock. Untrained dogs can be dangerous with other animals, especially babies. We like to go by the motto “better safe than sorry” around here.

An e​lectric dog fence is perfect for these purposes, because it’s easy to create custom zones with the wire. You can run the wire in any shape or size necessary, and it’s much easier to move or manipulate the wire than to move sections of a traditional fence. With an electric fence, you can keep your livestock separated from your dogs without interrupting your own movement across your yard or ranch. It also helps to not have to remember to close and lock a gate! Who needs more things to remember?

Protect the Chicken Coop

An electric dog fence is also great for protecting your chicken coop from your dogs. Dogs can injure or kill chickens with ease, and oftentimes they do it accidentally while trying to play. In order to keep your chickens safe, and to avoid interrupting their egg laying patterns, you can surround their coop and run with an underground dog fence. An electric dog fence is more reliable than a traditional fence, because your dogs will not be able to break through or dig underneath it. While it won’t stop other animals from entering the coop, it will allow your chickens to move freely without fear of a dog attack. A wireless, radial containment unit is especially well-suited for a chicken coop. If you use electricity in your coop, you can use that same power source for your electric dog fence.

Chicken Snacks | ImaginAcres

Enclose Gardens

An invisible fence can also be used to protect your gardens or flower beds from your dogs. Again, the wire can be easily formed to fit the exact perimeter of your garden, allowing you to protect oddly shaped gardens while leaving maximum space for your dogs to roam in the rest of the yard. When you’re in and out of your garden frequently, the absence of a gate is a great benefit.  You also won’t have to obscure the view of any of your gorgeous plants with a traditional fence. Some wireless systems are even disguised as rocks!

Enclose Large Ranches

Keeping dogs on your own property is incredibly important. Year after year I hear sad stories of the farm dog getting out into traffic and not coming back. Not only do you need to keep your dog safe from harm, it’s your responsibility to keep your dog from wandering onto neighboring properties and doing harm to their livestock. There’s nothing more upsetting than a visit from the law because your dog got out and incurred damages.

It’s easy and inexpensive to avoid all of that with an electric dog fence.Dog fence wire is relatively inexpensive, and you can add as much wire as you need to your system, up to the capacity of that system. For large farms and ranches, an electric fence is a more cost effective solution for keeping your dog safe at home. Some systems can enclose up to 25 acres!  It’s also easier to install, because your land does not have to be cleared or leveled. Another benefit of an electric dog fence for large properties is that your system will notify you if there is a break in the wire, which eliminates the need to constantly check fencing for damage.

Contain Stubborn Dogs

Some dogs are regular escape artists, and traditional fences aren’t enough to keep them contained. By digging under, jumping over, or tearing through, the most determined dog can find a way out of most fences. For particularly stubborn dogs, an electric dog fence is very effective. Beeping and a mild static shock prevent dogs from getting too close to the perimeter, which means they can’t break through without experiencing discomfort. The added ability to see beyond the yard helps to satisfy your dogs’ natural curiosity, reducing their desire to escape and explore the outside world firsthand.

Nico and the Chickens | ImaginAcres

Reinforce Traditional Fencing

Due to the fact that electric fences do not stop other animals, you may need both types of fencing if intruders in your yard are a concern. On top of that, sometimes even an electric dog fence isn’t enough to contain overly enthusiastic dogs. In these instances, electric dog fencing makes for a great addition to a traditional fence. With both containment methods in place, your dogs are doubly protected from escaping your yard. A DIY electric fence is a simple and inexpensive way to reinforce your existing fence.

Create Indoor Zones

Electric dog fences are not only for outdoor use, they can also be used inside to create barriers and zones for your dogs as necessary. You’ll no longer need to put your dog in a crate or lock them in a room, which will make everyone happier. There are even electric systems that are designed for indoor use, and they’re easy to place in doorways or hallways. Indoor electric fences are often portable as well, so you can adjust the barriers and zones in the most convenient way at all times.

Before you choose an electric containment system, be sure to read online reviews to get an idea of each system’s pros and cons. For example, some systems work best in small areas or with small dogs. As long as your dog is older than six months, not pregnant, and not sickly, they can be trained on an electric dog fence. And as long as you follow the instructions carefully, anyone can install an electric dog fence on their own.

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