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Underground Electric Fencing

Electric underground fencing has become very popular as a low-cost alternative to physical fencing. There are several companies that make this type of fencing, and it is available at most hardware, and pet stores. There is also a national chain that comes and installs it, and trains your dog for you.

I will not send a puppy to live in a home with an electric fence.

Here are the reasons why:

1. If your Ridgeback sees something it wants to chase, it absolutely will run through the boundary.

2. An electric fence does not keep other dogs, wild animals or people out of your yard.

3. There has been a correlation between the use of electronic fences and heart problems.

4. The use of the electronic fence can cause behavioral problems, including housebreaking issues and aggression.

5. The fence/boundary can fail and you may be unaware that it has happened, until your dog is gone.

6. If your dog escapes your yard, he/she will get shocked when he tries to re-enter the boundary.

7. For someone walking in your neighborhood past your home with their own dog, it can be terrifying to see a full grown Ridgeback running at them full bore and does not add a positive connection for our breed.

8. If your dog does escape and is running at large, it is highly likely that he will be hit by a car.

An underground fence should not ever be an alternative to physical fencing for many reasons.

You cannot convince me that sending an electric shock/pulse into your dog's neck, is either a good idea or has no adverse affects on the animal. An electric underground type fence will not work for a Ridgeback. Most reputable Ridgeback breeders will not put a puppy in a home with an underground electric fence. I definitely will not put a high drive hunting dog in a home with an electric fence.

 There have been several long term health problems linked to the use of an underground fence, such as; psychological stress, heart problems, respiratory distress, gastrointestinal issues, urinary problems, and the introduction of seizures. Not to mention they are not safe. These fences allow your dog to have free reign of your yard, but do not protect the animal from any other animal (or human) coming into their yard. Someone could easily come into your yard and take your dog, or children could torture the animal. An underground electric fence is a false sense of security.
Ridgebacks will chase anything that moves including, rabbits, birds, chipmunks, squirrels, cats, other dogs, raccoon, possum, deer, and any other wild or domesticated animal. If that animal happens to be on the other side of the underground fence, the dog will run through the boundary. It doesn't matter how wide, or how well trained your dog is. You are putting him at risk by using an underground fence as a primary means of protecting him in your yard.
Also there is an issue with intact animals. Most reputable breeders will have you wait to spay or neuter your dog until they are 18 months. This is extremely important because the dogs need the hormones to complete the growth process (early spay and neuter causes many health problems). Males can smell a female in season from over 3 miles away. An underground fence will not stop a male from either coming into your yard, or from your male leaving your yard.

In my Pennsylvania home, I built a 5 1/2 foot fence. It was a 3 rail treated wood, lined with welded wire mesh horse fencing. In my new Maryland home I have a 5 1/2 foot 4 rail fence lined with welded wire horse fencing. The dogs are good with their physical fence boundary, and I have no problems with jumping or digging, but there is no way an underground fence would ever hold them in, especially an intact male or bitch in season. A 5 foot fence for most Ridgebacks will suffice. However, there are some that will jump a 6-7 foot fence. A Ridgeback can easily make it over a 4 foot fence with ease.