Do Electric Fences Work for Big Dogs?

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Building fences keep your dog safe but that’s not all. These fences also keep your dog from disturbing your neighbors and the neighborhood. Keeping your dog fenced reduces the chances of your dog getting hurt by vehicles, attacked by other animals, intruders, and even being dognapped. Yes, dognapping is a thing. It’s like kidnap but instead of a child, it’s a dog.

What is an Electric Fence?

An Electric fence generally is a barrier or fence that has electric current flowing through it and delivers an electric shock to people or animals that come in contact with it. For big animals and most livestock rearing, these electric fences are the visible traditional fences with an electric current in them. While normally for dogs, the electric fence is most times invisible and a collar is worn.

Sometimes people mistake electric fences for invisible fences, I did that too. Both of them use electricity but the difference is mostly in the visibility. While the electric fence is built above the ground with wires from post to posts or solid barrier materials, the invisible fence is buried in the ground.

Electric fences can be visible too because electricity can be made to pass through some chain-linked or solid barrier fences. Invisible electric fences might be a better option for your dog if it is on the big side.

In this article, we will be referring to bother the visible and invisible electric fences but mostly the invisible ones.

Do Electric Fences Work for Big Dogs?

Do Electric Fences Work for Big Dogs?

The short answer to this question is Yes. The electrical shock delivered by your fence should be adjusted to meet the size of your dog if you want it to work. Invisible electric fences are most suitable for small dogs because the static shock delivered by them is very minimal even if it is at the highest level.

But for big dogs, the electric fence seems to be more of a better option because you can always adjust it by yourself to the right amount of shock.

For electric fences that come with collars, there are about 3 to 100 levels of static shock. Well, each brand with its levels. These levels are of different degrees such that level 5 has a lower output than level 20. In most cases, the higher the level, the higher the output. So if you have a big dog, you might want to set the simulation to a level as high as 10.

Related Guide: Dog Traumatized By Electric Fence

Reasons To Use Electric fence For Big Dogs

Most dog owners who employ the use of electric fences for their dogs do this with the purest of intentions, not for any reason but to keep their furry buddies safe and happy.

  • The invisible electric fence keeps your dog contained, yet allows it to see and enjoy the view beyond the yard. It offers your pet enough space to run and play freely without feeling confined to a particular area.
  • Big dogs are known to be capable of climbing or jumping over fences. Some of them even get a boost from materials that you forget to move away from the fence. Invisible fences give no chances for your dog to jump over because what it intends to jump over is on its neck. The only thing it can do to get through the electric fence is to endure the pain which the chances of it happening are thin.
  • Invisible electric fences can be adjusted to fit your dog’s description. For instance, if your dog has left its boundary before despite the correction delivered by the collar, you can increase the correction level to be enough to dissuade your dog from leaving next time.
  • The collar continues to correct your dog as long as it is outside the fence, the pain might get to the dog and make it return. Unlike a visible electric fence which does not have any effect on your dog once it has jumped over it.
  • Invisible electric fences teach your dog(s) to respect boundaries.
  • Visible fences most times make your property look small and so can cause your dog to feel caged. Unlike invisible electric fences.
  • Electric fences are considerably cheaper than above-ground fences.
  • Invisible electric fences work on every type of terrain whether flat or sloppy or any shape. Unlike visible electric fences which need flat terrains to stay firm.
  • Forgetting to close the gate happens to a lot of dog owners. It’s normal because people make mistakes. But this mistake could cost you your furry bestie. But using an invisible electric fence eliminates the chances of this ever happening.
  • Electric visible fences are electrocution hazards especially when you have kids and unaware people coming into your yard. But invisible electric fences narrow the shock to just your dog and this shock is even merely a shock.
  • A visible fence cannot be carried along when dog owners are moving but an invisible electric fence can. It is portable and can be installed anywhere the dog owner decides to take home.
  • Most electric fences are reliable, easy to install and they maintain the beauty of your yard.

Are Electric Fences Powerful Enough to Hold a Big Dog?

Well, yes. At purchase, they might not be strong enough to hold your pet but after you must have tested it and found out, you can adjust it to deliver enough static shock that your dog would respond to. But be careful not to increase it so much that it can traumatize or stress your dog.


Having a big dog does not stop you from using an electric fence. It gives you every reason to use one. Like every decision made by humans, it takes a lot of inquiry and consideration to pick the one for your big dog. But in the end, you’ll see that it was worth it.

The assurance electric fences give you is everything compared to those few hours of research and thoughts.

Related Guide:

Maria Martinez is a dog lover who likes to write about different dog products. She likes to share those products which she owns and uses and provide honest reviews about them.

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