How Can I Stop My Pet From Escaping

Does my pet need a Containment System?

Dogs enjoy freedom and exploring their environments, seeking new experiences which may prove beneficial to them. Their actively inquisitive nature makes it inevitable that they will wander from a property if they are not confined. Even when an owner considers that their dog is well trained to remain on a property this may break down when their dog is challenged with an appealing temptation. A dog’s safety and that of other animals and people can be put at risk if they roam. They could chase livestock, jump up at children or become involved in road traffic accidents. The primary objective of Containment Systems for cats is to reduce the risk of road traffic accidents.

"A dog's safety and that of other animals and people can be put at risk if they roam"

Why should I use a Containment System?

Restricting a dog’s freedom to its garden is a compromise to allowing it unlimited freedom to roam. The dog can still enjoy a degree of freedom to explore its immediate environment in safety, maintaining a good quality of life. This is a much better solution than being confined to the home and only  allowed into the garden on a lead supervised by the owner.

It is not always practical to construct physical barriers around a property that will reliably contain a dog.

  • Fences to contain some dogs would need to be very high.
  • Planning permission may be required from local authorities or home owner associations.
  • Secure fencing can be unsightly and expensive.

How do Containment Systems work?

Containment Systems use an unpleasant electrical stimulation to discourage a dog from moving beyond a predetermined perimeter. The dog wears an electronic receiver collar which is a small ‘box’ with a battery, attached to a collar. Two contact points on the back of the box, rest on the underside of the dog’s neck.

Containment Systems are behaviourally activated. This means it is the dog’s movement in relation to a perimeter that causes stimulation and not the owner. As a dog approaches the containment perimeter it receives an audible or, in some cases, a vibratory warning. If the dog continues to move toward the perimeter it will receive an unpleasant electrical stimulation. A pulse of static electricity travels between the contact points and through the superficial tissues on the underside of the neck. The dog quickly learns to respect the perimeter and then avoids stimulation completely.

“This is a much better solution than being confined to the home”

What types of Containment Systems are available?

There are essentially two systems:

Boundary wire system: creates a perimeter of any shape and can have exclusion areas within it. The wire is usually buried just under the ground and can even run through streams. You can also purchase additional wire that will create a perimeter of up to 25 acres (selected systems only).

Wireless system: creates a circular perimeter around a central transmitter with a diameter of up to 55 metres. It is a portable system, but the dog should always be fully trained and familiar with the area in which the system is used.

What are the advantages of a Containment System?

  • It forms a hidden fence which has no visual impact.
  • It is economical and does not require planning consent.
  • It creates a perimeter, and systems using boundary wire can also create areas within the perimeter from which the dog is excluded. This is useful to keep dogs away from flower beds or landscaping.
“The dog can still enjoy a degree of freedom to explore”

When should I not use a Containment System?

There are situatins where any system using electronic collars that deliver static stimulation should not be used.

  • In dogs under 6 monhts of age.
  • Pregnant or nursing bitches.
  • Dogs with health problems especially heart disease.
  • Dogs that are unable to respond appropriately due to injury, illness, age or senility.
  • Where dogs have aggressive tendencies.
  • Dogs suffering from separation anxierty and similar anxiety related disorders.

Introducing your dog to a Containment System

It is the ability of the stimulation to ‘inhibit’ a dog’s movement towards a perimeter which makes these systems such valuable safety tools. However, because of this response, it is important that these systems are introduced slowly and carefully according to the training instructions for each product. When the dog is learning to use a Containment System it is important that it has a visual indication of where the boundary is.

This is achieved by using numerous flags to mark the boundary. Dog owners should be patient and consistent when training their dog to use a Containment System which can take approximately two weeks. Ultimately the dog associates the boundary with other objects in the environment and the flags can be removed.

Their actively inquisitive nature makes it inevitable that they will wander from a property

ECMA™ - Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association™

The ECMA™ philosophy is to develop products that promote animal welfare and enhance owners’ communication and relationship with their pets.

As a founding member of ECMA™, PetSafe® Brand has a continuous concern to improve the well-being of pets, giving them harmony and integrating them into everyday life. PetSafe® Brand is committed to meeting the requirements laid out in the ECMA™ standards for pet protection products for sale in European Union countries.

All PetSafe® Containment Systems meet these requirements.


Download the leaflet

Written and developed in conjunction with
David Chamberlain BVetMed. MRCVS
Veterinary Consultant to PetSafe

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