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  • Dan Beattie

Regular Fence vs. Invisible Fence – Which is Right for You?

People often find themselves “On The Fence” when deciding on a Regular Fence vs. Invisible Fence. We sell and install many dog fences in West Michigan, and we hear this a lot.





And there are plenty of pros and cons of each.

While an invisible fence can help keep your pets in your yard, they don’t do much for other critters getting in.

On the other hand, they don’t obstruct the view as much as traditional options.

So, how do you decide what’s right for you?

There are a few things you should consider before you choose the right fence for your home. Let's look at three of the biggest questions you should ask yourself when comparing a Regular Fence vs. Invisible Fence.

  • Fencing Compared

  • 1. What’s Most Important — Keeping My Dog In, or Keeping Other Dogs (And Anything Else) Out?

  • 2. What Kind of Cost and Maintenance Will the Fence Require?

  • 3. Do I Want a Fence That Increases the Resale Value of My Home?


  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do Electric Fences Hurt Dogs?

  • Do Electric Fences Work for Big Dogs?

  • How Can I Keep My Dog in the Yard Without a Fence?

  • Is Invisible Fence Worth It?

1. What’s Most Important — Keeping My Dog In, or Keeping Other Dogs (And Anything Else) Out? Invisible fences (also called “electric fences”) are often advertised as worry-free solutions. Still, the fact remains:

They’re good at keeping dogs in, but they don’t keep anything else out.

If you’re worried about another dog or animal getting in your yard and potentially hurting Fido… you probably want to consider a ‘regular’ physical pet fence.


A traditional physical fence system made from materials like Wood, Vinyl, Chain Link or Aluminum is designed to keep Fido SAFE, close to home… and other dogs and animals away.

>> Pro Tip: Consider your neighborhood. Do you live in a remote or wooded area where wild animals could potentially get in your yard? What about other dogs?

Are you at all worried about strangers or kids aggravating your pets?

These types of questions can help you decide between an invisible fence and a regular, traditional fence. 2. What Kind of Cost and Maintenance Will the Fence Require?

A traditional fence will generally cost more upfront than an invisible fence. However, professional invisible fence installation and training can get very expensive very quickly.

The typical thinking is that electric fences are maintenance free but there are some maintenance costs involved with electric fences too! — you’ll need to buy replacement batteries for each dog collar every few months. Especially with more than one dog, that can add up to a couple of hundred dollars every year. Added to that, repair costs from inclement weather or other causes can end up costing well over several hundred dollars too. On the other hand, if you choose regular pet fence styles like chain link aluminum or vinyl, virtually no maintenance is required. Chain link, vinyl, aluminum, and ornamental steel fencing is highly durable and resists the elements, leaving you with more time to enjoy your yard (and time with Fido). 3. Do I Want a Fence That Increases the Resale Value of My Home?

Invisible fence systems typically don’t add much — if any — resale value to your home.

When done right, a regular fence does.

A wooden privacy fence, for instance, can add some resale value to your home (much, much more than a chain-link fence). But you can get a much bigger return on your investment by installing a Vinyl or Aluminum. fence that’s durable, resists the elements, and practically maintenance-free.

Frequently Asked Questions Do Electric Fences Hurt Dogs?

Frankly, this depends. Most electric fences allow the owners to set the intensity of the shock once their pet has breached the barrier. If the fence and collar are set up as they’re intended, that shock will not be painful, according to VCA animal hospital. Instead, it’ll simply startle the dog into correcting their actions.

But hurting your pet is still a REAL possibility!

The problem is finding the right intensity setting for your pet

Some dogs, for example, maybe much more sensitive to shock than others.

Even large dogs can howl dramatically when being jolted on the lowest setting. Beyond that, some pets may even develop problematic behaviors because of the “trauma” right off the bat. If, for instance, your pet doesn’t make the connection that the shock came about because they crossed the boundary of the yard, they may be afraid to go anywhere in the backyard for weeks. Do Electric Fences Work for Big Dogs?

Simply put, this depends on the fence and the dog. As we mentioned above, an electric fence typically gives the owner various settings for shock intensity. And big dogs, as you’d expect, can generally withstand higher intensity shocks. Physically then, if your electric fence has the intensity capability to create a shock uncomfortable enough for the size of your dog, it should be enough to correct his behavior. But (and there are a lot of buts here), whether or not your invisible fence works also depends on a variety of other factors like:

  • Your pet’s unique personality

  • Other dogs or wildlife in the area

  • How much discomfort your dog can withstand normally

  • How much discomfort your dog can withstand while aggravated

  • The level of training you provide

And when you add to that the fact that a larger dog can generally withstand a more intense shock, an invisible fence may not be the best option for owners of dogs who tend to be escape artists.

How Can I Keep My Dog in the Yard Without a Fence?

The right traditional fence can often be the best way to keep your dog from getting out of your backyard. However, there are a few other alternative ways you can keep your pup from going on the lamb without using a regular fence. According to K9 of Mine, some of the best are:

  • Tie outs, tethers, or trollies

  • Boundary training

  • Using a long line (attached to you rather than an object or the ground)

  • Putting up an exercise pen

Is Invisible Fence Worth It?

This is a tough one. There are plenty of pros and cons to an invisible fence. In the first place, invisible fences don’t impede the view, are relatively inexpensive, and reduce the chance of your dog running free because of a gate that was left open. The downsides, however, are that they require a good amount of training, can lead to other behavioral problems, and may not keep your pet from escaping despite the shock. In the end, when deciding on an invisible fence vs. regular fence, an electric fence may be more hassle than it’s worth, and a Traditional Wood, Chain-Link, Vinyl or Aluminum fence could be your better option.

Undecided On a Fence?

If you need come inspiration or would just like to look at some style and options.

on the Privacy Fence Company Website Click HERE to explore our photo gallery.

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