If you submit an application to SHUG and you have an electronic or invisible fence, we're going to say no. We aren't saying you don't love your dog. We aren't saying you're a bad dog owner. We are saying NO to electronic/invisible fences.
There aren't a lot of things that make us say no here at SHUG. We like to say yes. We know Sighthound lovers often have more dogs than "normal" people. (Normal?!?! What's normal?) We understand titers, raw diets, homeopathic and alternative medicine. Our adopters live in the country and the city, in houses and condos and apartments and come from all walks of life.
But when it comes to electronic or invisible fences, we say no.
The bottom line is that electronic fences do not protect your dog from danger--other dogs and wild animals and humans with bad intentions. In the case of a Sighthound especially, the electric fence can even put them in greater danger. Because they can attain speeds of up to 45mph in just three strides, the "buzz" or "zap" of the fence won't stop them from leaving if they're chasing something. It will, however, keep them from slinking home after the chase has ended.
This weekend a horrible tragedy reminded us all again why electronic fences are such a bad idea. On Saturday evening, Michael J. McCann received a call from a friend that her dog Dimitri was missing and she was afraid he had been attacked by a coyote.
"I ran over with my infrared camera, as it was after dark. It took us over an hour, but, we found him a couple hundred yards from home. He had fought off the coyote and most likely tried to get home. The shock collar around his neck had prevented his return, so he went back into the woods to lay down to die. When we found him he was pretty torn up with a temp of 94°F. It looks like we got to him just in time.
Invisible fencing is not going to keep animals, or other threats out of your yard. If your dog runs through the barrier in pursuit of a critter, he's going to get corrected by that collar if he tries to get back. Please don't even think about installing this: especially for greyhounds."
Yesterday Dimitri succumbed to his injuries. His family is devastated. Dimitri was LOVED.
We're sharing this story to honor his memory and to hopefully educate other dog owners about the dangers of electronic or invisible fences. If you have one, get rid of it. Dig it up. Throw it away. Throw the collars away. Don't tell yourself you just won't use it. Every time it rains, you'll face temptation. THROW IT AWAY. If you don't have a physical fence, keep your dog on a leash. Please.