Troubleshooting A Wireless Dog Fence

Recently I’ve been having an issue where my dog Stella keeps running through her invisible dog fence. It’s problematic and troublesome for a number of reasons, and knowing that it can happen makes me always on edge. If Stella gets out of the fence then she’s out on the loose without a leash. She could be an annoyance to neighbors in any number of ways. She could even hurt people if the circumstances were right – she never has, she’s a sweetheart, but as a dog owner you know it’s your responsibility to make sure your pet doesn’t scratch, bite, or jump on anyone ever. She could also run into a busy street and be put in harm’s way in any number of situations. It’s just something I had to get to the bottom of, and fast.

We purchased a wireless dog fence system for her last summer, and everything was working great for the whole season. It wasn’t until this year that we started experiencing problems, but as soon as we put her out for the spring she started getting through. We did tons of research, from calling the manufacturer to reading forums and even helpful websites online, like this page that actually gave us a few ideas and ultimately fixed the problem: More on that in a second.

At the outset it seemed like we tried everything. We replaced the batteries in her collar, we went over to the base station to make sure that the power supply was working correctly. We made sure that the programming was correct and that the barrier was properly set. Nothing had changed at all from last year, and it was beginning to become quite frustrating. The manufacturer tried to help but ultimately our conversations with them didn’t get us anywhere. They recommended all of the above, and also noted that we may need to use a higher level of static correction for our dog. Stella had responded very well to the lightest correction setting, and I wasn’t too keen on cranking up the power as if that were the only solution. My gut just told me that there was something else going on.

Then I came across the article referenced above by The Pampered Pup. They mentioned that you can have interferences from large objects or components that can obstruct radio frequencies – then it dawned on me. This spring we had installed a brand new water fountain that can be controlled from your smartphone. It just so happened that we had placed the fountain pretty close to the barrier. Sure enough, when I took the dog collar in my hand and walked around the statue towards the barrier it lost a signal. This means that there was a hole in the barrier where Stella was able to get out – probably without her even knowing. She’s a fairly obedient dog and I wouldn’t suspect her to be mischievous.

Then came the question of how to resolve the issue. We had just had the fountain plumbed and it was quite heavy. Moving it would certainly be undesirable, though of course we could do it if we had to. My husband had an idea to try though – why not just bring the barrier in a few feet? We did that and it has seemed to work. Unfortunately Stella has a bit less room to run around, and she’s going to have to get accustomed to the slightly reduced yard, but it seems to have fixed the problem. I just wanted to share because this problem had baffled me, and I was about ready to give up. Hopefully this helps someone else out there who is going through the same thing as me. We have to keep our dogs safe!